My Medical Device Sales Career
This is an open blog to the the members of the Linda Hertz Group:
A bit about me. I was a successful Real Estate Agent for over a decade working in a small town near Santa Barbara. With the downturn in the economy and the crises in the real estate market I was forced to find a new career path. I joined a great company and had two successful years as an Opthalmic Sales Rep, in Los Angeles, until the company downsized its entire sales force. With the Real Estate market still floundering, I have been seeking out a new career. Now I should say that I feel very fortunate to have found another job to pay the bills, but its not in sales, and certainly not nearly as lucrative, challenging or exciting as a working in sales and marketing. One of the main reasons I enjoyed being a sales rep was meeting new people everyday, the thrill of landing the next big sale and financial rewards that come with hard work.
This brings me to the reason why I've written this blog. I have four close friends who are either Pharmaceutical Sales Reps or Medical Device Reps. All have said I would be fantastic in either industry as I have the drive, desire and talent needed to be successful. After hearing them out I decided to do some research into breaking into either field. It has not been an easy process as it seems most companies are looking for seasoned experienced reps or salespeople who have b2b experience. After submitting my resume to Monster.com, Medreps.com and a few other sites I was sent an email by the NAPRx. This email stated very clearly that "The NAPRx® is widely known for its CNPR® Certification Program which provides vocational education for individuals looking to enter a pharmaceutical sales career". They say they are even accredited! "Students can take the course directly through the NAPRx® by correspondence/online or it is also offered through over 300 colleges and universities(schools include: Ohio State University, University of Texas, Rutgers University, University of Mississippi, Indiana University, University of Colorado, plus hundreds more!!)" It seemed to make sense. I signed up, for free, to receive more information and proceeded to call a my friends for advice on which program to take.
The programs they offer range from under $69 to $329 depending on how many options you wanted. I wasn't sure if I really needed the priciest option so I reached out to my friends for advice. The were unanmous in their opinions....none had ever heard of the NAPRx and all said that you don't need certification to become a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep or a Medical Device Rep. I decided not to pay for the certification, but have been bombarded, daily, with emails from the NAPR saying that they have "Hundreds" of positions that need to be filled immediately and they you need to be certified before you can apply! This just seems very fishy!
I have tried to break into the industry for the last two months with no success. After sending out over a hundred resumes I either get no response back or I receive e-mails stating I am just not qualified for the position. I have had one telephone interview with Lilly. Afterwards I received an email from Lilly letting me know that they are looking for a more qualified and seasoned rep.
So my big question is ... how does one break into the industry with no prior experience and is the NAPRx a scam or a legitimate source to become educated and qualified to break into the business? Are there jobs available? I would sincerely appreciate any helpful advice. I am willing to train, relocate or do whatever it takes to have a long successful career, but I don't want to waste time and $350 on a certification that I don't need!