Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

One Interview Trick That Puts You Ahead Of Everyone Else BIG TIME; Most Won't Do It!

I had interviews going last week for a medical sales job that would accept and in fact preferred a BtoB (Business to Business) Sales Person.  The hiring manager was very nice and gave me a generic (no names given) run down of the candidates moving forward since my candidates were not in play.  Something struck me funny when I heard this about one particular candidate, "Boy this guy is great, in fact, can you believe this?  This guy actually went out and made a few calls on our actual customers or potential customers to learn the business and the product line! Unbelievable"!  Of course I smiled to myself and thought, "What rock is this manager living under?  That is now becoming one of the oldest tricks since the job seize in 2008/2009"!  What trick?  The Recruiter, GO CALL ON A CUSTOMER, Trick!

Yes, the Recruiter Trick.  I try not to over coach my job candidates for placements with my clients.  I will give them the basics and then tell them to research this career site if they decide to join, because we do have a great career collection (and growing) group of resources for researching companies, interviewing techniques and advice.  I let them find the articles themselves OR if they are struggling with an interview behavior that may kill them in the interview, I will direct them to an article. 

I will pull the trick out of the hat and tell a BtoB or someone who is in the medical industry, but not versed on the market segment or product line, to go to a current potential customer user (i.e.; Acute Care, Long Term Care and etc.) and the call point they would be selling to (i.e; Material Manager, Nurse Manager of Infection Control and etc.).  Funny, when I mention The Trick, only 10% will do it at the most.  Yep, out of 10 people interviewing for the same job and given that advice, 1 person will do it.  That one person, if all else went well on the interview, will get the job almost 100% of the time.  Even when I share that statistic with Job Candidates, it still won't move the number!  Even those without employment won't, the people who need to do it the most!  But Why?  But Why? (sorry, but trying to put a little Lucile Ball emphasis there if you remember when and where she used it in the classic and now vintage movie, "Yours, Mine and Ours"). 

Let me answer the "But Why"?  People are afraid to make the calls!  Natural, right?  Who wants to be a Business to Business Sales person cold calling a hospital or doctors office who's only experience in the medical industry is watching old re-runs or ER or Nip and Tuck?  Big time scary for a BtoB!  Even moderately scary for the experienced hospital or medical sales representative to call on someone outside their call pattern.  So what is the hiring manager thinking when a job seeker (especially a BtoB) actually does it?  He thinks they are a genius that thought of it themselves (as we know, they probably didn't) and that they were actually brave enough to do it!  On top of it, that one or even better, successful multiple cold call activity gave THAT JOB SEEKER multiple advantages over ALL the other candidates.

 

Advantages of Doing the Recruiter Trick

  1. Gained a direct understanding of the call point and can speak to their discussion and interaction with sometimes an actual key customer of the hiring company!  Better yet, I had one candidate who was able to secure a huge appointment with a new potential customer that the hiring company was trying to get to for years (no wonder the person before them was fired!).  Compare that interview conversation vs. a person who stumbles in and says they researched the call points on line and asked a buddy who is in the same type of sales! BONK!
  2. Understands the product line from a customers perspective, sometimes the customer has given the Job Candidate samples of the hiring companies product AND the competitors product and went over the advantages and disadvantages with them!  One even received sales literature from the competitors and the Hiring Companies!  That brings up another point that I will address in a later article; the need to have great questions and goals prepared for this customer call in advance!
  3. Sometimes the first call leads to multiple calls! the customer calling a friend at another hospital, department or office to see if they can help the Job Candidate get a better perspective of the hiring company and product line!  Wow, they don't see them as a Representative YET, they see you as someone coming in wanting career advice!  Nurses and Doctors want to help, they are just made that way, and they want to help this person in their job search and THEY are impressed you came to them. 
  4. Many times a customer has become an advocate for the Job Candidate.  Yes, I am serious.  I have had candidates that got lucky and called on a key current customer and that customer knows the hiring manager.  They pick up the phone and call him or her and said, "I love this gal or guy, I really hit if off with them and I am impressed he/she wanted to know my opinion about your company".  WOW, what an edge this candidate has now!  The hiring manager has some explaining to do to that key customer if they don't hire THEIR person!
  5. The Job Seeker went from a TELLING the Hiring Manager what they could do if they got the job to SHOWING them what they already did in the territory and possibly with a current customer.  Actions do speak louder than words!  They have already begun the crucial step of building a relationship with a current or potential customer!

Now you can answer this one; If you were interviewing 10 candidates over 2 days, as many Hiring Managers do (some up to 14 people), who is going to have the advantage of getting asked back for a second or third interview if all else is equal?  If you are the one who hasn't executed the Recruiter Trick, then you have a bigger trick to perform; trying to get the job!

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved

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