"As a medical representative I help healthcare professionals meet the needs of their patients.” One of our graduates explains what life’s like as an Ashfield medical sales representative.
I applied to Ashfield because I knew it was a leading company providing services for the healthcare industry. It’s also a company that puts extra effort into developing its employees. There’s lots of opportunity to grow with the company and progress up the career ladder.
For anyone considering a career in medical sales, I hope my experience gives you a good idea of what the job is really like.
What is a medical sales representative (rep)?
Put simply, my job is to help keep GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) aware and informed about a company’s products.
I receive intensive training on the therapy areas and products I work with as well as the structure and roles within the NHS. I research the needs of my customers and set up appointments with them to discuss where these particular products are best suited to their needs.
This provides an important link between pharmaceutical companies and the HCPs that will prescribe their drugs, medicines and medical devices.
So what does a day as a medical rep look like?
An average day can be varied and challenging. You have to have excellent planning skills as you need to ensure your targets are met. Learning to manage your own diary is essential; it’s your best friend and dictator! When my diary is full, seeing customers is easier but the days are hectic.
My territory includes a variety of customers and some are easier to see than others. I adapt my schedule to accommodate customers at a convenient time for them and it’s important to work efficiently to get the most out of every day. This could mean some days I’ll have an early one-to-one with a GP before his surgery in one town, then drive to the next town for a lunch meeting with another.
Each day as a medical rep can be a real game of two halves; one moment you’re flying high following a call and two hours later your key appointment has been rearranged.
Territory knowledge as well as relationships with receptionists is essential (and a little bit of luck is helpful!)
I make sure I’m busy every day to improve my chances of catching nurses before clinic, or GPs in between patients. Throughout the day I drop off my business cards with staff at the clinics and surgeries, asking them to call me back if the GP or nurse has time to see me.
Card dropping is an important part of the job. It helps you get to know your accounts and when best to put them in your diary. I have a call target to be made each day with GPs, nurses and pharmacists. All three have different but equally important interactions with a patient’s treatment and I tailor my approach for each one.
When I’m out in the field, it’s critical I’m effective and achieve the objectives set for my client. I report daily on who I’ve seen and the impact that I’ve had, as well as regularly discussing my performance with my manager.
Conversations with healthcare professionals can vary, so understanding the person you’re calling upon is key.
Prior research is essential, and knowing when to engage and how to begin the conversation is crucial. Our discussions can cover lots of topics, from patient profiles to the cost effectiveness of my product compared to the competition.
I’m knowledgeable of the NHS and provide support whenever possible. This can be done by showing how my product helps customers achieve their own goals and targets, reduces secondary care referrals or supports their patients.
As a medical sales representative I help healthcare professionals meet the needs of their patients. I work to be the best I can be and make a difference in the big wide world of healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
For someone wanting to grow their career in an exciting and fast-paced environment, this is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do. Achieve targets, enjoy meeting customers, and make a difference in healthcare.