My Medical Device Sales Career
If you are interviewing for a Medical Sales Position you are very aware of the number of steps in the interview process with most companies. Typically somewhere after the 2nd interview you will be asked to travel in the field with one of the hiring companies recognized Sales Stars (a Field Sales Trainer or minimally, a sales representative that will show you a good productive day in the field).
Many of you may feel that this is a day that is all about you; deciding if you like the job and getting an opportunity to find out about what it is really like working for the company. Afterall, you are going to be with a kindred soul, a sales warrior just like you that must slay the dragons each day to EXCEED quota (remember “meeting quota” is a dirty phrase in the world of medical sales)! Certainly you can let your hair down a bit and ask a few questions you would never ask the hiring manager, in fact you might just tell the Star Sales Person how you really feel about that wretched, low down boss of yours and why you want to quit! Right?
While you are at it, you may try to find out a little dirt on the hiring manager of the new company that sent you out on the field ride, right? Wow, you found out they were divorced and you are really feeling this Star Sales Person is becoming your personal friend and confidant; by the end of the day you decide to tell them how terrible your divorce was and that it led to your current bankruptcy and drinking problem! Afterall, this is the “Field Visit”, a time to get friendly! Right? ….Wrong! There are 18 ways to shine in the Field Visit and we have them listed for you!
It seems foolish, but actually all of these things have happened over the years when I was a hiring manager putting Sales Candidates out in the field with a selected and valued Sales Representative; the Field Visit is a critical step in the interview process and most good managers make very good use of that time. It is the longest period of time during the interview process where you are exposed to a company employee. Company’s know that most people can pull off a structured hour interview; it is another story pulling off an 8 to 10 hour exposure in the sales field when often a candidate let’s their defenses down!
Your host, the Star Sales Person, is there to observe you in various customer and business settings including getting to know you and your personality. They know the sales team and they are trying to see if you would be a fit for the team and the hiring manager. They are often instructed to call their manager immediately following your field visit for their feedback. The Hiring Manager has often briefed them on areas he would like observed and sometimes questions he would like them to ask you blended in the mix of your casual conversations! How do I know this? I did it myself over my 15 years of medical sales management and when I was the Star Sales Person carting potential new hires around in my car!
So here is a quick check list that will help you look your professional best, but also help you maximize the Field Visit to answer your own questions about “the real” job.
The Field Visit is a critical part of the interview process for you AND the employer! Make sure you prepare for that important day and be in a position to be moved forward to the final interview phase. The interview is never over when you are within earshot or view of your Sales Star Host. So, beware of the “Field Visit”; you can be friendly but on your best behavior!
©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved
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