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How to Start a Career in Medical Device Sales

If you love talking and consider yourself a people person, chances are you’ve thought about a career in sales. But which direction to go? Every single industry requires a sales department, and if you’ve got the skills to promote a product and seal the deal you will find opportunities. But as with most careers, it pays to specialize. So if you have a respect and appreciation for the health and wellness industry, you may want to look at a career in medical device sales. Your clients will range from massive pharmaceutical companies all the way down to the private citizen suffering from a chronic illness. But at any of these levels you are helping to improve someone’s life, give relief from pain or the symptoms of illness and basically use modern technology on behalf of others. It’s the type of sales job that will leave you feeling satisfied on many levels. But to get there you have to know where to begin. So here are some steps to help you start a career in medical device sales.

Most careers begin with some sort of specific educational path, but this isn’t always the case with sales. To put yourself in the best position you would be wise to obtain a bachelor’s degree from a respected university in business or communications. But many well-paid salespeople rise to the top of their industry with only a high school diploma. People skills and the ability to create results are all that matters, so get yourself as much sales experience as possible. This can start while you’re still in high school. Look for retail jobs and build a level of comfort with selling. Try your best to make yourself invaluable to management, and keep track of all of your progress. This experience will be invaluable when interviewing for a medical device sales job, and will look great on your diploma.

Before you apply for any job in medical device sales you must do your homework. Selling medical devices will be unlike any other sales experience you’ve gained. Most of the industry leaders are completely unknown to the average person on the street. There is almost no consumer-facing advertising, meaning there will be very little brand recognition or customer loyalty. So research the various ailments and issues that are addressed by medical devices. Think about the needs that are being filled by each unit, and put yourself in the shoes of those who require them. Until you understand why the industry exists and can think like a customer, you probably won’t get any closer to your goals.

In addition you’ll want to give yourself a basic education in anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. This is especially crucial if you want to work within a hospital setting, providing devices for surgeons and highly-skilled technicians. They won’t take you seriously if you can’t speak their language, making this step absolutely crucial. Once you have a grounding in the basics, learn all you can about the different products out there, the procedures they are used to perfect and the companies that provide such devices. They’ll probably all be brand new to you.

Now that you have the education, and hopefully several years of excellent sales experience it’s time to look for an opportunity. These aren’t always posted on the general job boards, so get out and network. Look for meetup groups that bring medical technicians together. These can be organized by hospitals, by medical unions or through social networking sites like LinkedIn. Start attending as many as you can find in your area. You may get tired of hearing conversations about medical device passivation by the end of it, but this is the best way to unearth a good opportunity. Then it comes down to the interview, and selling your skill set as well as you plan to sell those medical devices.

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