Welcome to the latest installment of our interview series titled “An Interview with….”, where we interview professionals from the Pharmaceutical world. In the latest installment we interview a rep that started out in the pharma industry as a contract rep, but was then hired by the parent company. As with all interviews, our interviewee remains anonymous for the purpose of bringing you honest answers to honest questions. Additionally most in the pharma sales professionals are seemingly terrified of the company they work for so remaining anonymous allows our subjects to feel comfortable. Enjoy!!
TalkPharma.com: You started in the industry as a Contract Pharma Representative working for a contract organization…but you were eventually hired by the parent company. What was it like for you in the beginning being the “contract rep”? Did you feel as if your partners who worked for the contracting company treated you differently because you were the “contract rep”?
Contract Rep now with Parent Company: One of the most noticeable things after training was how welcoming the parent company was. Leadership and counterparts frequently reminded us that we were in this together and did a fine job of never treating me differently. The expectations were equal and my partners also ignored the fact that I was on contract.
TalkPharma.com: Tell our audience some of the challenges you faced working as a contract rep trying to prove yourself in a new industry?
Contract Rep now with Parent Company: I feel that in this industry you’re only as good as your last quarter. What I mean by that is you’re always on a constant cycle of proving yourself. If you won a Crescent trip for a year and won again, many respect that more greatly than to win and never win again. You should always be looking for ways to improve your craft and skill set to stay ahead of the curve. My personal biggest challenge has been my ability to adapt to the many different personalities in the industry. Sales people are competitive and judge mental by nature so being able to effectively communicate without stepping on anyone’s toes was a struggle for me at first.
TalkPharma.com: You have now been hired on by the parent company. Was this your goal all along?
Contract Rep now with Parent Company: I would say it has been. Originally, I had felt I needed to prove myself further before applying. However, through sound advice from my manager I place my name in the hat (for a position with the parent company) and things worked out in my favor.
TalkPharma.com: Now that you have been with the Parent company for some time now….what are your thoughts on the pharmaceutical industry in general? Do you see yourself making a long term career out of Pharma Sales?
Contract Rep now with Parent Company: Considering I’m doing an MBA with a concentration in Pharmaceutical management and marketing, I’d definitely say this qualifies as being in for the long haul! This is one of those industries that combines my passion for business and helping others through medicine. I question if I would stay on the sales side of the work force as judging from trends, pharmaceutical sales representatives and managers are a dying position. Ideally specialty or managed markets would be my next vertical move. Ultimately, leading a global pharmaceutical company is my long term goal.
TalkPharma.com: What are your long-term aspirations professionally speaking…pharma or otherwise?
Contract Rep now with Parent Company: As I said in the previous question, my commitment to the industry is there and so is my passion. I aspire to find a mentor and from a title stand point become a CEO for a global pharmaceutical company.
TalkPharma.com: What do you love about your profession on the day-to-day…..and what do you hate or dislike about your job?
Contract Rep now with Parent Company: I mean who doesn’t love cold northeast winters and inclement weather? That was sarcasm, but on a serious note days like that are the best as there is less representative traffic from other companies and less patient traffic. I love the interactions and the challenge of trying to convince a physician to try your product/service over a competitors. It’s a real thrill and the satisfaction after a successful close never gets old.