Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tax Write-Offs for Capital Equipment Purchases

A candidate I interviewed today in the copier industry said they are having success leveraging Section 179 to encourage their customers to move ahead with capital purchases this year.

There is an entire website devoted to this tax incentive, which is part of the Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

As the site explains: "Section 179 was designed with businesses in mind. That's why almost all types of 'business equipment' qualify for the Section 179 deduction."

Business equipment like copiers, video towers, powered instruments... probably worth exploring. May only apply to for-profit businesses (many hospitals are non-profit). As you know I am not a tax professional, but I am sharing this tidbit in the hopes you may find an opportunity to close more deals before the end of the year.

Happy Selling and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The best and worst of my job

Today was a great day, because I got to call someone up and tell them they got the job. I love that!

It was also tough, because I called someone who had done a terrific job throughout the interview process and let them know they didn't get the job.

I don't enjoy giving people such news, but I understand that at a minimum people appreciate closure, even if it is not what they want to hear.

There are times when we think a candidate is great in many ways, but not the right fit. There was one such candidate recently. I left them a message, with a brief explanation. In return, I got one of the nicest, classiest responses ever. Although it did not change the outcome (in fact the candidate agreed with the rationale), that person's stock shot way, way up in my eyes.

If I ever have or hear of something that is a great fit for that person- I will definitely call them right up.

My recommendation is always to be as gracious as possible if you are not the chosen candidate and ask to be considered for future opportunities. It's even appropriate to drop a line from time to time too, maybe a couple times a year. In time, it could lead to a positive outcome.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FutureMedica and on-line courses

A friendly blogger at FutureMedica contacted me with some free on-line courses that may be useful for readers of the Upside. /

I briefly looked at some of these courses. Some were more course outlines, but I think there could be useful information to be had here for the enterprising sales person looking for to increase their knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As long as we are celebrating... Why not celebrate 3 years of blogging?

I realized today it has been about 3 years since I started this blog. My first post was in November 2006.

While I am not one of the prolific most bloggers, I try to make my posts useful and interesting. I hope that there has been some beneficial information shared here, for both those looking to break into medical device sales, as well as industry veterans. Thank you to those of you who have taken time to comment and contribute your perspectives.

Here are some of my favorite posts (if I may say so)...

For Neophytes:
1. How to Get Experience When You Don't Have Any 3/17/08

2. Becoming A Sales Associate - Fast Track Opportunity for Growth 10/23/08

3. A Day in the Life of an Electrosurgery Rep 7/15/09

For Everyone:
1. Ten Truths from Rookie of the Year 4/26/07

2. Pocket Guide to the O.R. 3/12/08

3. 212 Club 8/08/08

The Interviews:
1. Sonny Crockett's Great Year 12/14/07

2. Athletes in Medical Device Sales 5/30/07

3. The Rookie of the Year Interviews
NOM 3/13/08
2007 7/21/08
2008 7/17/09

If you have a favorite, or something you'd like me to consider writing about, let me know!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reason to Celebrate

Sometimes its good to look for even small reasons to celebrate. So break out the champagne, I have surpassed 500 contacts on Linked-In!

Hitting the 500+ mark on Linked-In is considered the "big time". They stop counting individual connections after that point. Thank you to the many who have accepted my requests or reached out to me to join my network.

If you haven't yet connected to me, you can find me at

Once in my network, you will be notified when I update what I am working on (like new positions), add new connections or join new groups. My blog is also uploaded to my Linked In page.

If you haven't spent much time on Linked In, now is a great time to build your network in anticipation of new possibilities in 2010!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New! Jobs on Twitter

I am now on Twitter. You should follow me at:

Get the inside "scope" and be the first to learn about new openings!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

25 questions

No, this is not the list of questions you get tagged with on Facebook.

I referred to 25 questions I had prepared before going on a ride-along with the electrosurgery rep this summer. A candidate I spoke with today is preparing to go on a ride-along and wanted to know what these questions were.

The list of my actual questions on that day follows. I recommend anyone going on a ride-along prepare a list of questions before going with the rep to gain as much information from the rep as possible. The focus of the questions might be slightly different than mine, but not much. Basically, you want to understand the job as best you can from someone who does it, and to learn what it takes to be successful.

1. If you were a recruiter (like me), how would you explain this job to a candidate?
2. What does it take to be a successful rep for this company?
3. Who is your major competition (in this territory)? (follow-up by various second level questions to find out more)
4. Biggest day-to-day challenges? Toughest part of the job?
5. How often are you in surgery?
6. New products?
7. Average sales cycle?
8. Cost of (major products) and financing/purchase options?
9. What is the biggest challenge facing you in this economy?
10. Tell me about a typical/recent sale, and decision makers in the process.
11. How much influence does the surgeon/clinician have over the final purchase decision?
12. Why are our company's products better than the competition? What is our biggest competitive advantage?
13. What do you have for demo equipment? How do you run evaluations (samples etc)?
14. How much contact do you have with customers after the sale?
15. Do you do much selling to the C-Level, how when why?
16. What has been the biggest surprise to you about this job?
17. How much cold-calling do you do versus existing business?
18. What are the essential skills and attributes for success in this role?
19. What questions you ask if you were me? If you were me, what would you make sure I/candidate understood about this job?
20. What is your background?
21. How long have you been in this position?
22. How did you approach "starting up" your territory?
23. In retrospect, what would you do differently? What have you learned?
24. Tell me about the training and support you've received from the company.
25. How much travel do you do, how many overnights?

If you count the number of question marks, there are more than 25 questions here ;) This should be at least a starting point for anyone going on a ride-along. I am sure there are other people who have some great questions to ask, or if a rep, questions they wish someone would ask them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Demand for Sports Medicine Products

When I talk to candidates, one reason they often mention for wanting to be in medical device sales is the demographics of the aging baby boomers. The reasoning goes that because baby boomers are staying active longer, by jogging, playing sports etc, they are putting more wear-and-tear on their joints. Hence, increased demand for Sports Medicine repairs.

This is true, but there are several other factors driving demand for such products. Unfortunately, the so-called obesity epidemic also increases demand. Extra weight puts a lot of extra stress on joints.

Another contributor to increased demand is the intensity with which athletes engage in, specialize and train for sports from a younger and younger age. Thank you to the candidate who brought the following information and article to my attention:

"As kids begin to specialize in their sport at a younger age, doctors are seeing an increase in the injuries associated with the sports that they choose."

Excerpt: By way of example, we are seeing more swimmers suffering from shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries, more cross-country runners with knee pain from patella femoral problems, and more soccer players with ankle sprains and anterior cruciate ligament injuries.