Excerpt from Drug Rep Success by Alex Anderson
Think of the pharmaceutical sales industry as a castle with a large solid steel door. In order to get into the castle you must have a key. There are no short cuts. There is only a front door and a back door to our castle.
In order to get past the main gate, you must have a four-year bachelor degree. Today 99% of pharmaceutical companies REQUIRE a bachelor degree to be considered for pharmaceutical sales positions. There is no specific bachelor degree requirement; therefore, the degree can be in any field.
It is important to note that in some pharmaceutical companies, a Bachelor of Science degree is preferred. Obviously a science background will give you an edge when talking with physicians. A person with a science degree may have a better understanding of how the entire human body regulation system works and will be able to communicate this with a physician.
If you have or are about to get a four-year college degree, congratulations, you just made it through the gate and can see the door.
There are two types of persons who are reading this guide and two very different ways to get into the door of our Castle.
The two groups of people include those who have just graduated or are about to graduate and have some or no sales experience – Type 1, and those who have a bachelor degree and have worked in sales for the last few years – Type 2.
For Type 1 persons, congratulations, you are in the same boat that I was in seven years ago! I had no pharmaceutical sales experience, no connections into the field of pharmaceutical sales, and no post-graduation sales experience. I’m living proof that you can get into this field without family members, connections, or friends in the pharmaceutical industry.
However, you must have drive, determination, patience, persistence and dedication.
I must warn you that this is NOT an easy field to get into. Starting off, you must be willing to relocate, attend out of town meetings, work harder than ever, and prove yourself beyond all expectations.
I have always felt that in life there are no easy roads. If the road is easy, it’s most likely not worth traveling.
If you plan on being in sales, SELL something. Make sure you like it and can excel in this field. Sell something while you’re still in college. Let’s be clear on this. Waiters, customer service reps, retail help, and cashiers are not sales people. True that they sell, but they’re not sales people. Get a job with a title of SALES, or better yet OUTSIDE SALES, and keep hard copies of all your successes, as you WILL need these at your pharmaceutical interviews. If at all possible, sell something technical such as computers, cell phones, gadgets or widgets. This type of sales will show a company that you can sell complicated types of items. Pharmaceuticals can be very complicated.
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