Guest Author: Peggy McKee, The Medical Sales Recruiter
It’s common for me to get questions from folks in higher-level sales positions or semi-supervisory positions (maybe National Accounts Managers, etc.), maybe interviewing for Regional Accounts Manager positions, who want to know how to differentiate themselves so that they will be the ones who get tapped for promotions. There’s a lot of advice out there about these kinds of things, and certainly your sales performance has to be solid to even put you in the running. I provide custom consulting at this level, too, but to get you started, here are 9 ways to raise your visibility within your organization and build your personal brand:
1) Always be over-prepared (for everything). Always be on time. Always send thank-you notes. So, if a VP of Marketing travels with you, send him a thank you note immediately – within 24 hours. The thank-you note shows your appreciation, and separates you from the pack. It’s all really just basics– good manners and good work ethics. Simple, but you’d be surprised how many sales reps get caught up in their own “stuff” and forget these simple things.
2) Arrive early. Stay late.
3) Offer to do projects or tasks that no one else volunteers to do. Be the “go to” person.
4) If the president or CEO wonders about something in a discussion, go find the answer and respond to him. It will show that you are paying attention to him, it will show your initiative, and it will set you apart in personalization.
5) A lot of people work very hard for certain events like Regional Sales Meetings. Decisions like: Where will we have it? What are the topics? Who will speak? What will we eat? Who’s going to eat where? What projects will we do? These issues take a lot of time and energy, and the ones who set it up often don’t have much administrative support. They’re doing it all. Remember to thank them when it’s over. Thank the Regional Sales Managers, the sales team, the trainers, and the people from the home office who fly out to speak with you. That’s huge.
6) Gather information on competitors. Any time you see something that might be of interest to anyone in your organization, whether it’s marketing, technical support, or anyone, send them a quick e-mail with a link to the pertinent information when you can. You can set up Google Alerts to let you know about any developments in your company or within your industry, any key people you have a rapport with or need to develop a rapport with, any information on your competitors, product areas (genomic testing, FDA-approved tests, point-of-care, microarrays, etc.—you get the drift). Set up those alerts that let you know every day about what’s going on, send relevant information on to whomever it’s relevant to, and if they ask how you saw it, tell them about the Google Alerts. It sets you up as a SME (Subject Matter Expert). You’re not necessarily an expert, but it does show your fluency with the computer/internet, your creativity, and your initiative in forwarding information that will help your company.
7) Ask if you can be a mentor within your organization. Lots of people want and need one and are afraid to ask. But, if there’s someone (like you) who’s volunteering…it becomes more likely that they’ll take it. Spending 20-30 minutes on the phone once a week with them will really benefit them, and it will show in their growth. And if you have taken the initiative to set it up rather than participating after you’ve been asked (if the company even has a program), it shows you as the leader that you are.
Be willing to do a presentation on a product, a competitor, or sales training. Meeting organizers often have trouble finding content. If you are willing to provide some of that content, it increases your profile, positions you as a subject matter expert, and helps you build your personal brand.
9) Sharpen the saw. Keep up with your reading in sales or motivation, talk to people about them, and send the books you read along to others in your organization. That’s a very cool thing. It makes people feel that it’s a personalized gift, you’re trying to help them learn something, and you’ve already read it so you know it’s good. There are a lot of great books out there. I love the Malcolm Gladwell books, and here’s a link to a few more.
These are some pretty significant ways to impress those higher-ups in your medical sales organization, so that when the next opportunity for promotion comes available, it’s all yours.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.