The pharmaceutical sales industry has witnessed steady growth for decades, as emerging companies have hit the market with exciting new drugs, and Big Pharma has expanded its sales forces to maximize coverage. In addition, the implementation of the â€œPodâ€ concept by Big Pharma during the past two decades has swelled the numbers of pharmaceutical sales representatives.
That is, until recently. As the U.S. economy began to stagnate in 2006, and the presidential initiative to socialize health care gained momentum, pharmaceutical companies have responded by significantly reducing the size of their sales forces. Additional forces, such as the rising popularity of television marketing of drugs by Big Pharma have contributed to the shrinking number of pharmaceutical sales representatives now calling on physicians.
So, does the pharmaceutical sales industry still provide a great career opportunity these days? The answer is a resounding YES!
While the number of pharmaceutical sales representatives has shrunk by an estimated 25% since 2006, this industry remains vibrant, with many new companies, drugs, and sales opportunities emerging. The challenge for the individual seeking entry into this lucrative industry, however, is much more acute than any time in recent history.
But, there are strategies available for job-seekers into the pharmaceutical industry that will significantly enhance the chances of obtaining one of these coveted sales opportunities. I have revealed some creative methods which may prove fruitful to those who choose to utilize them in their search:
1) SHADOW A PHARMA REP- If you want to prepare yourself
for a job in pharmaceutical sales, you should spend a day or two
shadowing a current pharma rep on his/her sales calls. Even if you
do not know a pharmaceutical rep, you can easily find plenty of them by
spending an hour walking the floors of a medical building where
doctors are located. Ask them to allow you to accompany them on
sales calls, to obtain a taste of what their typical day is like. By spending this much time with a current rep, you will have the opportunity to
ask them about possible job openings within their company, or
with other companies that they may know about.
2) PHONE A DISTRICT MANAGER DIRECTLY- Too many job-seekers
simply apply to openings through the corporate web site. Their
resume becomes one of thousands, and their chances of ever securing
an interview are very low. However, one can dramatically increase
his/her chances of getting an interview by communicating directly
with the hiring district sales manager. Once again, you can identify
these individuals by walking the halls of medical office buildings.
you will engage many pharmaceutical representatives each hour you
spend there, and can ask them to provide you with the name and contact
information of their sales manager. As a bonus, you may find some
district managers working with their reps, and can engage them directly
when you meet them. Always dress smartly for these forays to the
medical office buildings. And, do not forget to carry several copies of
your resume with you, in case a request is made to provide one.
3) ATTEND A MEDICAL CONVENTION- The exhibit floor of
most medical conventions is filled with pharmaceutical exhibitors.
the major national medical conventions such as the American Family
practice Society, the American Cardiology Association, and the
American Diabetes Association, have dozens of pharmaceutical
exhibitors manning booths on the exhibit floor. During lull times
when the physicians are in scientific sessions, most booths are relatively
quiet, and this provides an excellent opportunity to talk with sales
managers and representatives. It is almost always possible to secure a
visitors pass (for a fee) to gain entry to the exhibit hall during these
4) JOIN A PHARMACEUTICAL SALES JOB BOARD- The niche job
boards which specialize in pharmaceutical sales jobs are an excellent
place to identify and apply for entry-level pharmaceutical sales jobs.
I suggest that you join at least two of the fee-based niche pharmaceutical
sales job boards. The â€œfreeâ€ job boards are open to everyone in the world.
so, your chances of having your resume noticed when applying for a job
a job found on a free board are very slim. Contrarily, the fee-based job boards limit applicants to members-only. Thus, your chances are much
better applying to a job found on these boards. Why join two fee-based boards? You will find different jobs on each board. Two of the best job boards for finding pharmaceutical sales jobs are www.gorillamedicasales.com , and www.medzilla.com .
The time-worn phrase that â€œthe-squeaky-wheel-gets-the-greaseâ€ certainly applies when seeking a pharmaceutical sales job in the current job environment. One must be creative, assertive, and be willing to invest some time and money towards securing a position. I urge you to â€œthink-out-of-the-boxâ€ in your job search. Attempt to identify covert opportunities to present your case in person, or on the telephone, to the individuals within the pharmaceutical companies who can help you achieve your goal.