Tell me a little about your background?
Prior to MSC and Stryker Orthopaedics, I was in finance and insurance for approximately 8 years. I spent 4 years as an agent at New York Life Insurance Company. I then started my own practice (Norris Financial Services, LLC) specializing in investments and group benefits. After 2 and a half years doing this, I was contacted by AIG to become the Agency Sales Director for the Greater New Orleans office. I did this until the AIG decided to shut down its financial network.
Why were you interested in Medical Sales? What drew you to this industry?
I always had an interest in the healthcare industry and knew that I had the personality and skills to be good in sales. The environment medical sales brings is like no other. Most sales is just that; sales. In medical sales, you are building relationships, enhancing a surgeon’s practice by providing beneficial products, enhancing the lives of people in your community, and then assisting in the surgeries. This is not a desk job; you are a part of the entire process.
How long did you try to get into the industry? What was that experience like?
It took me approximately 2 months to get into the industry after I completed my course at MSC. The experience was difficult but rewarding. The day after I graduated from MSC, I was on the computer sending emails to any and every recruiting manager, district manager, etc. that I could find in my area. I applied the ideas I learned at MSC and took a different approach than the “average Joe” who is trying to break into the industry. This got me a lot of attention and responses; whether good or bad. I didn’t sit back and let EliteMed Recruiting find me something; I took it upon myself to find an opportunity.
How did you learn about Medical Sales College?
A past graduate introduced me. I reached out to him about his experience of entering the industry.
Did you have any fears about attending the School? What were they?
My fears were that I would be wasting my time and money. The placement rate of ~80% was reassuring but there was no guarantee that I would be placed. Taking 6 weeks to dedicate yourself to something that you aren’t sure is going to ultimately be worth it is scary. Also, I was coming from a business/finance background. I had no experience in healthcare, hospitals, anatomy, etc. I was unsure how I would be able to learn this in a short time and then be able to apply it to real life situations.
What ultimately made you decide to attend the College?
My desire to get into the industry. I knew I was not an attractive candidate and I needed to do something to equip myself. I also didn’t want to be a “project” for a company; I decided MSC would be what I needed to have a head start.
Describe your experience once you began training with Medical Sales College.
It was intense. 5 days a week for 6 weeks (going 8:00-5:00) learning material you have never seen before is tough. I went into it telling myself I was going to stay focused and give it my all because I wanted this career. I met a lot of great people who have become friends and we pushed each other in and out of class. I reviewed and studied weeknight, took a day or two off on the weekend to unwind, then dove back into it headfirst. You have to make a commitment to the material and course.
Explain what your interview process was like.
It was long and tough. Through LinkedIn, medical sales websites, and EliteMed, I interviewed with 4 companies. I had to travel to a lot of these interviews and meet with some companies up to 6 times (Stryker being one of them). Most lasted well over an hour and some went to two. These companies know what they want from a candidate and they will ask the questions to determine if you are qualified. I went into each interview knowing I had what it took to land a job. I was confident in my abilities thanks to my experience and knowledge learning at MSC, I dressed appropriately, and left it all on the table. The interviews are the first sale in this new career.
What from your training did you specifically use during the interview process that ultimately helped you land your position?
I used an approach that Jim Rogers told me. I sent personalized emails instead of just a resume to everyone I contacted. This separated me from the 100s of resumes sent to recruiters. This generated a lot of attention. Once I was in front of a manager, I told my story of why I went to MSC (it was the first thing on my resume). I told them I had a passion and would not stop until I was in this industry. I used terminology that I had learned at MSC that showed them I knew what I was talking about.
What is your current job like?
Hectic but fun. Days start early and usually end late. As a sales associate, I able to learn first-hand from seasoned reps. I spent majority of my day in the OR watching and assisting in surgeries. This is the best way for me to learn.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at Medical Sales College/What piece of training do you use the most in your day-to-day activities?
How to approach hiring managers. I feel most companies are going to train you on their products, surgeons, procedures, etc., but if you don’t land with a company, you will never have this opportunity. I learned you have to go out and get the opportunity. MSC equips you with what you need to say, how to say it, how to act and perform. MSC also provided me with the medical knowledge needed to show that I was ready for this industry. Even if I was able to land with a company in this industry without going to MSC, I would have a long journey ahead of me. MSC has made the transition much easier.
Why should someone attend the Medical Sales College if they want this career?
If you’re like me with no experience in this industry, they provide you with a foundation to be successful. I know the terminology that I hear in the OR setting and am able to speak the “OR language”. I know how to handle myself in the OR.
What do you know now that you wish you had known before entering the industry/attending Medical Sales College?
The journey that lies ahead of you once you graduate. It is not all rosy and easy. You have to bust it every single day; from the moment you wake up until you feel you have put in a full day’s work with networking yourself, following up on contacts/emails, etc. If you do this, you will land interviews and have the opportunity to show your worth. MSC gives you the ammunition to take it from there.