Why be a medical rep?

The right reasons? Who knows what they are?

If you are prepared to work hard the rewards are there. Not only in financial terms, but also job satisfaction.

I'm often asked what sort of person you need to be. My opinion is that a competitive disposition is an advantage, but that doesn't mean you need to be overtly aggressive.

I had an American colleague who found the British non-confrontational customer/rep relationship really hard to understand, especially since, as a race, we have a history of getting stuck into the occasional war.

If you want to get on in this job, you need to appreciate the psychology of your customer. Most British customers don't like to say outright, "No, I don't want to buy it", just in case they hurt your feelings. On the other hand they can't bring themselves to say, "Yes, I'll buy it.", because that's making a commitment. We don't like to commit to things across here. Oh No!

It's probably easier to tell you why you shouldn't go into repping.

Don't do it because you are bored with your current job and can't think of anything else to do.

Prospective reps often ask what it is like. Until recently, I'd invite them to spend a day 'in the field' with me so they could get an idea of what is actually involved. Chatting with them as we were out and about often showed they just fancied a change and couldn't really decide how else to apply (or re-apply) the skills learned at University or in the health service. Repping seemed like a soft option for some people. If only they knew!

This is completely the wrong reason to go into repping.

A customer would rather buy from someone who has a genuine interest in the subject, someone they can trust to help them make informed decisions on what is the best for their patient. If you don't feel capable of becoming a 'Consultant', you'll do your company, your customer and (ultimately) yourself, no favours by bluffing your way into the wrong job.

If you only fancy a change, learn Swahili and do VSO, but don't come into repping. You won't enjoy it.

N.B. This site looks best when viewed from a distance after drinking six pints of lager.

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