Q: What's the hardest thing about being a pharmaceutical sales representative?
A: The hardest thing for me is remaining psyched up and enthusiastic. Selling the same product for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years can get boring. When I am bored or unexcited, my presentations are boring and unexciting. This translates into uninspired and mediocre sales.
I keep my creative juices flowing by speaking to the patients who use my products and thinking about how my stuff has changed their lives for the better. Thinking about the many people who are living better lives because of me getting the doctors to use my products recharges my selling batteries.
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You also have to be well organized. Even if you are a good rep and a skillful salesman, poor organization skills can hurt your performance.
Another hard thing is sometimes the people you are dealing with can really get on your nerves.
You might be saddled with a partner who feels that it is appropriate to give you orders as though she is your boss - or criticizes the quality of your work, or gossips about you behind your back. This is a difficult situation to be in.
Your management wants you to work things out and not come whining about your colleagues.
Other times, your customers may act inappropriately. For instance, you may have an appointment with Doctor "X" . You drive 20 miles to get to the office and you get there on time and set to do a great job. BUT it may come to pass that doctor "X" ,for some reason, is not in the office that day.
The receptionist should have called you but she didn't. You want to grab the receptionist by the throat and shake her or at least give her a good scolding.
However, you have to smile and be cordial and say that you understand and so on. This is really hard for some people. If you can't swallow your pride and be subservient when the situation calls for it, you are not going to last long.
Another hard thing is the studying and memorizing that you need to do. Your company may decide that the sales force needs a refresher course on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system because they are about to launch a new improved version of a anti-convulsant that they are marketing.
Don't be surprised when they hand you 5 manuals of 150 pages each and tell you that you will be getting a test and that the passing grade is 90%. I know some people who find this situation hard to deal with.
You need to be highly adaptable and trust your management implicitly without bitching and whining; if you cant, you will have a hard time.
See Also: What are some of the things that you don't like about being a pharmaceutical rep?
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