Monday, March 29, 2010

The Perfect Ride-Along

Today I spoke with a candidate who went on a ride-along last week as part of the interview process. From the way he described it to me, I think it may have been the perfect ride-along. He got to see a good rep in action and four surgeries in one day of the same product.

Here are a few things he shared with me about his experience:

1. Although product was the same for all four cases (actually it was our new SRS system, so more than a single item), every surgery was different. In fact, he said the anatomy of each patient's shoulder appeared different, probably in part due to the individual variations of the injuries, but also because no one's anatomy is "textbook".

2. Because of these differences, each surgical procedure was unique. Each case called for some variation in the technique and instruments used for the repairs.

3. The rep played a crucial role in having different instruments and solutions ready for the surgeon and his team. The candidate commented that the rep "seemed part of the (surgical) team".

The reason I think it may have been a perfect ride-along, is because his observations highlight the learning curve inherent in becoming a successful surgical implant rep. He saw just how much surgical technique can vary from case to case, and how important it is for a rep to be on their game. Developing this level of skill as a sales rep takes study, dedication and what I like to call "time in the saddle". Being able to problem-solve in the operating room, while remaining confident and calm, is the hallmark of a seasoned rep who is an asset to his or her customers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Careers Website

ConMed Linvatec has launched a new careers website. Sales positions are highlighted through a series of videos of sales representatives sharing their personal perspectives on working for the company.

Another great part of the website is the page on Community Action. There is a long tradition of the company and employees giving back to the community.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More On 30-60-90 plans From Peggy McKee

Peggy writes a terrific blog call the Medical Sales Recruiter at

She has written quite a few posts on 30-60-90 day plans. She too thinks doing your homework to create a detailed 30-60-90 plan is a good idea. If you want to good laugh, watch her video: "This is not your daddy's job search."

Friday, March 12, 2010

30-60-90 day plans, as a Work In Progress

Many of the managers I work with like to see 30-60-90 day plans. It gives them a sense of how you would go about developing yourself and your territory. Such a plan also conveys your professionalism and seriousness.

Many of the plans that candidates create are too vague and superficial. (Guess what- we know you will go to training if selected.) Such basic items should be included but they do not a meaty, serious, substantial 30-60-90 day plan make.

In the better plans I have seen, candidates dig in and do some real world research. For example:

1. Names of major hospitals in the territory
2. Key contacts at these hospitals- there is usually good information to be found on the hospital's websites
3. Profile a few key doctors- again the hospital website might be a good starting point, and then google up some additional information
4. Incorporate key products into your plan- how will you increase market share? who is the competition?
5. What is your gameplan for developing your territory- as in specific actionable items by week or month

I know, I know. You don't really know the products or the company or the territory just yet... but why not give it your best shot? If this is truly the job you want, why wait to start learning and investing in your own success?

Think of it as a Work In Progress. As you move through the interview process, you will learn more about the job. Refine your plan as you go along. Ask the hiring manager some pertinent questions to develop it further. If it seems appropriate, you might even ask a rep or manager to review it and give you feedback. By your final interview, you will have a roadmap for when you start in your new territory... hit the ground running, and become Rookie of the Year- right?

Developing and refining a 30-60-90 day plan is a great way to demonstrate your serious, professional commitment to success.