Description of a Medical Sales Representative

As a medical sales representative with Ashfield Healthcare I work in one of the company’s largest full-time sales teams. It’s a great job – I plan my own days, make my own appointments, manage my finances and find and develop new business opportunities.

After graduating with a degree in Sport and Recreation Development, I worked in the sports industry for two years before setting off to travel the world. Sixteen months later I was back in England and starting to think seriously about my career. I’d always been interested in sales but was unsure which industry to work in. The pharmaceutical industry was introduced to me through a friend who was working as a medical representative. I spent a day shadowing him, which was a great way to experience exactly what the job involved and how varied the days could be. I was ready to sign up right there.

I was lucky enough to get my first medical sales job with Ashfield, and after an intensive two-week training course I was fully equipped with the necessary product knowledge and sales skills, and a burning desire to get started. The training and preparation I received allowed me to hit the ground running and within a few days I was seeing GPs, attending meetings and building my all-important client base. I get lots of support from my team and my managers who, having been representatives themselves, are always there to offer support.

The more you put in, the more you get out.

You soon learn the skills required for success in the field. Planning, time management, communication, team work, patience, persistence and problem solving are just a few of the skills I’m constantly developing. Applying these skills with drive and enthusiasm is key in this industry – the more you put in, the more you get out.

My current role offers a great platform for me to develop my career within Ashfield. My next step is to sit my ABPI (Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry) exam, followed by joining the Ashfield Academy – a two-year training programme concentrating on areas such as finance, management, HR and marketing. From there I’ll aim for management.

My typical day looks like this:

• Begin work by calling into medical centres and practices to make appointments, book meetings and arrange to call back to see GPs after morning surgery.

• For the rest of the morning I aim to see around 4-5 GPs. It’s important to know your territory and manage your time well, but you need to be flexible too. GPs don’t often finish surgery on time and you may need to drive a good few miles between calls. When you do get to see a GP your communication skills are really put to the test, so getting your message across quickly is a skill you’ll need to develop.

• Most days I have a lunch meeting, which provides the opportunity to talk in detail with the GPs and clinical staff. The format of these meetings varies – you could be selling one to one, or presenting in front of 10-15 people.

• Afternoons are the best times to call into pharmacies, not only to promote your products but also to pick up on what’s being prescribed. It’s then back to the surgeries to make new appointments and promote to practice nurses and managers. It’s important to work on building a relationship with practice staff, as they’ll often play a key role in determining the outcome of your day.

• Once home I’ll work on daily reports, update client profiles, organise finances, respond to emails and telephone calls, and finally double check my plans for the following day.

Ashfield’s expanding fast and is always looking for talented, motivated people to join its nationwide teams. If you’d like to find out more, take a look at the company’s website at www.ashfieldhealthcare.com or email jobs@ashfieldhealthcare.com

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Jeremy Northam
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