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Healthcare: Medical Sales & Marketing

Wait, medical sales?

Who would have thought that the world of medicine had a sales and marketing field? Surely it’s all about doctors, nurses, ambulances, George Clooney, ER and all that, right?

Well, no.

The medical profession consumes millions and millions of products each year, from surgical equipment and life-support machines, to the thousands of drugs that are used to help sick patients.

This sector is the ‘go-between’, so to speak, between the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies. Medical sales executives help to deliver necessary medical products to the various medical organisations in the smoothest and most cost-effective way possible. 

What does medical sales & marketing involve?

The world of medical sales and marketing ensures that healthcare professionals are always equipped with the most up-to-date medical products.

Furthermore, they ensure that pharmaceutical and clinical engineering companies gain enough revenue to plough further funds into researching new drugs and solutions for the healthcare industry. They keep doctors and nurses up-to-date with the latest technologies and make sure that they always have a steady stream of the products they require to care for their patients.

A degree is certainly not essential for a medical sales career; however, if you have a science-related degree of some sort, this will certainly help your cause.

If you have an in-depth knowledge of the industry you are working in, this will be a huge bonus too. Obviously though, the key aspect of medical sales is the ability to sell. If you have the ‘gift of the gab’, you’ll do just fine!

What will I actually do as a medical sales professional?

Most likely, you will be working as a sales representative for a medical supplier. Essentially, your responsibility is to ensure that all relevant healthcare professionals are aware of the product you are selling and its uses and benefits.

However, most importantly, you will be required to sell as many of your products as possible! In most cases you will be issued with a ‘patch’: an area in which you are responsible for all of the sales activity. You will get to know all of the ‘decision-makers’ in your area, forge and maintain a relationship with them and then push your products as much as is politely possible.

Largely, your clients will work for the NHS. You might be pitching to people working in the large hospitals, primary care trusts, general practices and other organisations.

The private sector will also be a target for you. Indeed, private hospitals, clinics or pharmacies could also be your customers; it all really depends on what products you are selling. For example, if you’re responsible for selling a new type of surgical knife, you’ll be hanging out with the maverick surgeons of this world.

You will often discuss things with your clients on a one-to-one basis; however, group presentations in front of a board of scrutinising professionals may also be a regular fixture.

As with any sales role, the ability to identify what the customer is looking for and giving it to them in the most cost-effective and efficient manner is absolutely crucial. However, it’s also extremely important to understand the situation of the person you are selling to. If they are incredibly busy, then spouting long platitudes over the phone will not get you very far!

If you’re interested in a career in medical sales and marketing, check out the occupational profile of a medical sales consultant now!