Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs - The Big Myth

job in pharmaceutical sales for sales reps and those who want to become sales representatives


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Why NOT to Consider Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

Top Ten Pharmaceutical Companies in the World




Johnson & Johnson





Bristol-Myers Squibb

Schering Plough

Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

Before you apply to the companies listed above or pursue the pharmaceutical sales position please read on….
Here is a typical pharmaceutical sales opportunity advertisement –


Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

Applicants must possess a Bachelor's Degree preferably in a scientific discipline. A minimum of three (3) years of related direct sales and/or marketing experience is required. Excellent communication skills (verbal/written) and proficiency with a computer including Excel and Microsoft Word are also required.


The reality is that they don’t require a technical or science degree and they don’t always care so much about your sales experience. They do care about your ability to get in front of and stay in front of the doctors. If you only have a business degree and you don’t want what I call a true sales opportunity (one where you have to ask for the business/purchase order – unlike pharmaceutical sales where you can ask the doc if he will write your script but you won’t know for another month whether or not he really did write it and you did, indeed, make a sale) then this type of opportunity may be for you. Pharma reps do make good salaries, have a potential of a 20-25k commission, drive company cars and attend great national meetings.

Why you should consider clinical diagnostics laboratory sales rep rather than pharmaceutical sales?

  What’s not to like? Well, it is difficult to set yourself apart from others through performance, great performance can be due more to physical attributes, territory alignment and good old fashion market timing. Even if you have the technical background and an understanding of the challenges that the physician faces, the NYGoodHealth pharma company can’t have you adlibbing – you have to stick to the script! And because it is hard to stand out, it is hard to move up the ranks. Add to the mix that there are thousands of reps (over 30,000 reps in the top five pharma companies) working for the top pharmaceutical companies. In comparison, in the clinical diagnostics arena and the biotech/research products sales arena, the top 5 companies combined would have a little more than just 1000 representatives. Be one of the few, not one of the many!

“It’s been a rough 2007 for Big Pharma workers. Crippled by mounting competition and slowing pipelines, the country’s largest drugmakers have announced plans to shed a record number of jobs this year – more than 30,000 at last count” Dec 13, 2007; Big Pharma’s Tough Medicine by John Simons, Fortune Magazine

It is difficult to stand out in sales forces of that size and with that type of selling dynamic. So when these 2000 layoffs hit the street looking for jobs they will have no certainty of winning out against other interviewees. But in the lab products arena you can set yourself apart through drive, intelligence, skill sets, technical understanding and sales savvy. In this industry, a successful representative is tracked by executive recruiters. There are always great opportunities for the proven capital equipment or reagent sales representative in this market. If any of this hit home…please check out more information about these opportunities by clicking the link "Visit our Clinical Labs Sales Jobs page."

Visit our Clinical Labs Sales Jobs page

Check out my podcast comparing pharmaceutical sales, medical sales, diagnostic sales, healthcare sales, and others…


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