With today’s generation of health conscious individuals, the medical and pharmaceutical industry continues to grow and open for numerous opportunities. This includes the demand to seek for health care, consultation, services and medications. Because of this, career growth for pharmaceutical sales representatives continues to improve. If you are one of those professionals aiming to enter this career, keep reading and get to know the steps on how to become a pharmaceutical sales rep.
1. Finish a Bachelor’s Degree.
Although most companies do not require a background in Pharmacology or Medicine, it is suggested to take up courses that will enhance your knowledge in terms of the human anatomy, chemistry, biology and science. This would be useful once you incorporate complex theories and physiology. Having a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) would be beneficial in terms of seeking employment and promotions. This only means that you already have a specialized knowledge focusing on sales and administrative strategies.
2. Be sure you have a clean Credit History and Review.
Most of the time, pharmaceutical companies give out perks and benefits to their sales representatives. This could either be in a form of bank account or company car. If you are shown to have encountered previous credit problems and difficulties, this could affect your employer’s confidence and trust in handling company assets.
3. Create a credible resume along with your letter of intent.
You can include any previous sales and customer service experience. This would be an edge since most companies prefer to hire applicants with a background in these fields instead of hiring a newbie that needs to be trained and educated regarding the basics of the business. Don’t forget to include your professional references.
4. Look for potential employers.
Research for companies that offer good benefits and salary. Make sure to know the background of the company including their mission, famous clients, target market, top selling products and any research they have conducted. Through this, you would be able to impress them once you come in for an interview.
5. Brush up on your people skills.
Since most of the time, you would be dealing with other professional people such as pharmacists and physicians, it is important that you have a pleasing personality which could impress and convince potential customers to try your product.
6. Improve your communication skills and social relations.
This job entails educating the public regarding certain information such as a drug’s mechanism of action, adverse reactions and therapeutic effects. Therefore, you must be able to reach out to your target market in a simple yet understandable manner. The way you educate would definitely affect their decisions whether or not they would support your product.
7. Seek for referrals.
Look for friends or colleagues that are in the health care and pharmacology field. Ask them for the best companies looking for pharmaceutical sales representatives. If possible, you may also request for of a list of physicians and establishments who could become your potential clients once you get hired.
8. Undergo pharmaceutical sales training programs.
The National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (NAPR) supports the will of pharmaceutical sales representatives who would like to have a continuing education and hone their skills. Through this, you will gain more knowledge regarding the basics in the pharmacology industry, terms, human anatomy, FDA regulations, laws and ordinances, etc. These programs are offered by schools and colleges. On the other hand, for convenience, you can also complete this using their online modules and trainings.
9. Obtain certification.
There is a very tough competition in the pharmaceutical industry and it is important that you are on top. Being certified by certain associations such as the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (NAPR) gives you more job opportunities and demand for a higher income. Once you become certified, you are entitled for more benefits and advantages with the association. The following are the requirements needed for you to achieve a certification:
- Must have completed the Pharmaceutical Sales Training Program
- Must pass the examination – this is composed of 160 questions and needed to be finished within 120 minutes. Please be reminded that this is an online exam. You may visit the (NAPR) website for more information. Questions would be focused on human anatomy and physiology, FDA rules and regulations, pharmaceutical laws, basic terms and definitions, etc.
10. Learning doesn't stop once you become employed.
Make sure to update your knowledge regarding the medical advancements and technology. Attend seminars and trainings if you can. Read medical journals and magazines.
Due to the steady demand for certain health care, engaging in pharmaceutical sales projects a very good career growth and opportunities. For beginners, starting salary could be at $75,000. However, you may gain more once you do well and perform excellently in your job. This industry attracts a lot of professionals who would like to earn a 6 digit salary. If you work really hard to succeed in this profession, you would be offered a lot of bonuses and prices. But always remember that the competition is getting very tough nowadays. So it is always important to get on top of your competitors and excel in terms of performance.
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