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.

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