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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

General Information
Tips On Getting In

Case Histories Of people who successfully broke into Pharma Sales:

Case History #1
Case History #2
Case History #3
Case History #4


Most Commonly Asked Question:
Do Reps really make lots of money? Big bonuses? 
How many products does a rep carry; how do you get paid bonus on them?


Basic Requirements for being a drug rep?
I think I want to be a pharmaceutical sales representative, but how can I know for sure?

How necessary is it to have a 4 - year degree? 

Is a scientific degree/ sales experience required

Am I too old to land a job in pharmaceutical sales?

How long should I expect my job search to last?

I'm willing to relocate for the right pharmaceutical sales job.  Will this help me ?

Will a DWI hurt my chances of being hired as a pharmaceutical rep?

I have bad credit; will this hurt my chances ?

Information  On
Landing the job
Will an MBA or other advanced degree improve my chances of being hired as a pharmaceutical sales rep?

What are the pros and cons of working with a recruiter?


How important is the resume in landing a pharmaceutical sales job?

How do I shop for a resume writer?

What are the essentials that should appear on my resume?

What about a cover letter?

What is the best way to land a job in pharmaceutical sales?

What if nobody will give me reps' business cards?

Are newspaper advertisements a good way to find a job in pharm sales?

What is a Job-Fair?  How useful are they?

What do companies look for at Job-Fairs?

What are the pros and cons of working at a small pharmaceutical company versus one of the biggies?

I am in college. What can I do to enhance my odds of being hired as a  pharmaceutical sales representative?

The Interview Process
Why do the drug companies give so many interviews; why does the process take so long ?

What should I bring to an interview? 

What is proper etiquette for a "ride-along?"

I have been on several interviews but received no offers.  What could I be doing wrong?

Daily Operations/ Miscellaneous
Do Reps really make large bonuses?  How many products does a rep carry and how do you get paid bonus on them?

If I'm hired, what kind of training can I expect?

What is a typical day for a pharmaceutical sales representative?

How many sales calls are you required to make each day?

What is a contract sales company ?

Should I accept a contract sales position if my real goal is to work directly for a drug company?

I am lucky enough to have more than one job offer.  How do I decide?

When the economy does a downturn, what is the job market like for pharmaceutical sales reps?

If I am hired, and I have poor sales, will I be fired ?

What are some of the things that you don't like about being a pharmaceutical rep?
   
What's the hardest thing about being a rep ?

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Q:  If I'm hired, what kind of training can I expect?

A:  You can expect training that is a combination of charm school and university studying.  It's very vigorous and intense.  You'll be learning every aspect of the product you'll be selling, from the underlying anatomy and physiology to competitor products.  You will be bonding with your associates and hopefully form life-long friendships (or at least career-long friendships).

You'll also be taking a course in sales.  You will likely be sent to another city for your training, but don't count on having any extra time for sightseeing or meeting with friends.

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The training usually has two or three segments.  The first segment may consist of home study.  Your manager will give you scientific training manuals to read and learn.  You may be required to stay at a hotel so that you don't have any distractions. 

You can expect to be tested on the materials that you are studying.  If you will be selling something complicated like an antibiotic or a anti-hypertensive agent, the home study can last for weeks.  AND the passing grade is usually 90% (no curves).

There is the possibility that you can flunk out, so make sure that you take this segment seriously.

The second part of training may be with a field-trainer in the field trainer's territory.  You will shadow the field trainer for a couple of weeks depending on what product you will be selling. For the first few days, you will just observe. 

Your trainer will pick you up early in the morning and go over what you have learned during the home study portion of your training.  He will probably quiz you to make sure that you are comfortable with the product knowledge, you know what color the pills are, you know how much the medicine costs, etc.

He will teach you how to use the company software for logging sales calls, how to do an expense report, how to take inventory of your samples, how to pack your trunk, what to do if your car breaks down, how to use the gasoline card, etc.  He may take you to a hospital (if he has one in his territory) and show you the basics of working a hospital.

Your trainer will also teach you basic selling skills, like how to ask questions (which we call probes) and how to do presentations and how to close the sale.

After a week or so, he will hand you the bag of drug samples and presentation materials and
you will do the job while he observes you.  (I still remember the day that my trainer handed me the reins - I was shaking like a leaf during the presentation).  Your trainer will offer you feedback to perfect your sales calls.  Your confidence level will build during this phase. 

Usually, the field trainers are people who are on the management track and they are real sharp.  You will develop a bond with your trainer that may last for your entire career.

The third segment of training is formal classroom training.  You will go to the company home office for sales school along with a group of people in the same boat as you. 

There you will meet people from all across the nation.  It reminds me of being a delegate in the U.N. because it is set up like a big council meeting room, like the seats in an amphitheater.  There are all sorts of high-tech audio-visual equipment.  You will feel special; your company will treat you like gold because you are their most important asset.

In sales school there are more tests, nightly study sessions and mock sales presentations that are videotaped.  You will be exposed to the corporate culture of your company.  And please don't goof around, because you are living in a fish bowl. 

Oh, there's another thing: lots of coffee breaks with doughnuts, coffee, cappuccino, tea, hot chocolate, ice cream, yogurt coated raisins, doughy pretzels with mustard, soda, etc. 

All of your meals are covered.  (For some reason, drug company people have to be fed every two hours. Most people wind up gaining a few pounds so don't over do it.  You don't want to take up two chairs at the end of sales school.

After training you will be pumped and transformed into a mean, lean, drug selling machine.

Then you graduate and they ship you back to your territory and you begin your career.

At this point you will work with your manager on a regular basis until you retire.

" Rah Rah Rah - Go Robo-Rep" !


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Pharmaceutical sales:

Mother Page; Starting Point / Case Study 1Case Study 2
Case Study 3 / Tips on how to get in / FAQ Table of contents
Willing to relocate / Hardest part of being a rep / How do I
know it is right for me? / Working with a recruiter / Typical length
of job search / Interview bring with materials / Ride along 
Cover Letter / Resume essentials / Small company versus
large company; working for / Am I too old / Scientific degree
MBA / Number of calls per day / Cover Letters / Salary and bonus 
Getting laid off / Best way to find job / Newspaper advertisements
Trouble getting business cards / Interviews but no offers
Training / Contract rep / Future sales reps / More than one job offer
Resume essentials / How to find a resume writer / Job fairs(A)
Job fairs(B) / So many interviews



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This Page Last Updated 3/10/2009