Medical sales has a well-deserved reputation for being extremely competitive. The path to get into the field is littered with job seeker casualties: “not enough sales experience,” “not the right kind of experience,” “no experience in the medical field,” and so on. But there are ways to get your foot in the door even if you have no experience at all. You’re going to have to work for it, but it is possible, and it’s very worth it.

So here’s a few offbeat ideas for you to get into medical sales:

    • Think about trying zip code selling first. You’ll see that sometimes, in medical sales job postings–”need B@B sales with zip code experience.”

    “Zip code experience” is when you get a job with someone like ADP, Paychex, Xerox, or someone like that and they give you a list of zip codes to sell to. That’s it. You don’t get a lot of leads. You’re pounding the pavement, cold calling, trying to drum up business all on your own. It’s a very difficult job. But it’s also excellent training for medical sales.

    • Job Shadowing. This is a great experience, but many candidates won’t consider it because it seems like a “teenager” thing to do. So instead, a candidate wants to work for Stryker might just apply for the job, cross all their digits, and hope for the best. Most of the time, it doesn’t work!

    Instead, I’d like to see you approach someone who works in the space you’d like to be selling into, and ask them if you can follow them around for a day. Or even an afternoon or just one sales call. Maybe you could take them to breakfast or lunch to repay the favor. These are excellent ways to observe the process, become a stronger candidate from what you’ve learned, help you learn what the job is like, and demonstrate to your future sales manager that you’re willing to go the extra mile.

    • Volunteer. Any experience in hospitals, clinics, doctors offices, laboratories, etc. can help you, even if you don’t get paid for it. If you don’t have a medical background, these kinds of experiences can give you the keywords you need for your resume to get it noticed in candidate searches.

Sometimes you just have to get creative with your approach. But when you do, you get a side benefit—aggressively taking action to go after your goal communicates to employers that you’re the kind of flexible-thinking, pro-active, goal-oriented winner they want on their team!

Author's Bio: 

Learn “How to Land a Medical Sales Job” straight from The Medical Sales Recruiter! Peggy McKee offers a FREE training webinar where she answers the top 10 questions most folks have about breaking into medical sales, and teaches the 6 essential steps to landing the job!
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