So you’re in week 2 on Tuesday again in your call cycle. You have been doing this pharma rep thing for over a year now and it is starting to wear on you. When you started you were dedicated, motivated and ready to go!! But lately you have been feeling a little different. Your motivation is waning now and you have the daily grind blues. You start to think the following:
- Do I really want to do this for the rest of my career?
- Can I phone it in today and go through the motions picking up signatures to make it look like I worked?
- My uncle has a tire shop, maybe I can work for him!
- I don’t see any opportunities in the near future to climb the ladder in this company, maybe I’ll just start over in another industry.
Believe me I get it!! If you have been in the pharmaceutical industry for any period of time, at one point or another you have hit that wall and all of these things come into your mind. You have conducted yourself as the consummate professional, always putting on your corporate mask when appropriate. You have played the game perfectly, but you feel like you are ready to come out of your skin from the daily monotony. Its the same old, same old each and every day and you just don’t know what to do.
When an outsider looks in at what the territory pharmaceutical representative does each day, there is a tremendous amount of variety from their perspective. They think:
- You don’t sit behind a desk in a cubicle each day like most….so stop complaining!!
- You are out and about all day….which is amazing!!
- You get paid pretty well.
But what they don’t understand is that you are a complex person who needs more. You are a winner who needs to be challenged each day. So how can you get past this inner feeling of pharmaceutical sales boredom and actions in perpetuity? Here are some suggestions to get past the daily grind that everyone who has been in the industry knows you have hit…because at one point or another they have hit it too:
- Challenge yourself to be a product and disease state champion: Each day you are speaking to high level thinkers in physicians. Just like anyone who knows anything, they studied and studied and studied. Studying married to experience in anything makes you an expert. In the age of technology with information at your fingertips in the form of the internet, you can become a disease state expert that knocks the socks off of your boss on field rides and the higher ups at POA meetings. Dedicate yourself to gaining every single piece of information on the disease states that you sell in. Search for every bit of information on your products and the products that you compete with. Too many representatives rest on what they are trained with. Do more and you will feel fulfilled and have a sense of purpose beyond the day-to-day!!
- Gain a mentor who has been there and done that: The daily grind stagnates representatives. They cannot see beyond what they do in the day-to-day. Look to gain a mentor who has already climbed the ladder. Not only will this show initiative, if you are able to convince the right person (through salesmanship) to take you under their wing and give you insights into how they progressed through the industry, this will open your eyes to items beyond what you do every day and perhaps unveil curiosities you never knew you had. This may also show you that their are many avenues of progression one can take to different positions within the industry.
- Become a student of Salesmanship: There are certain professions that have been around through the ages. One of them is the profession of being a salesman. There are literally hundreds of thousands of books and articles out there that speak on salesmanship and the various components of salesmanship. Become a sales expert!! From the sales call, to targeting, to prospecting, to selling to different personality profiles, to understanding your own personality profile, and so much more. There is an unbelieveable amount of information out there as it relates to salesmanship that you can draw from to increase your knowledge base. All you have to do is go and seek it out!!
- Study Leadership: Another subject that is written about almost as much as salesmanship is leadership. There are endless articles out there on this subject and if you are someone who wished to gain that next position and climb the ladder so to speak, leadership and management techniques will be essential to motivating and inspiring others to perform. Be proactive with your approach in understanding and executing leadership qualities.
Part of the difficulty of the daily grind that pharmaceutical representatives find themselves in, is narrow vision. Widen your line of sight and see the bigger picture. The above mentioned suggestions will not only help you grow as a pharmaceutical professional, but that growth will become apparent to those that manage you and position you for the next position!!