By Admin | September 4, 2008
Vicki Kemp is a sales rep for medical device maker LifeCell. We recently had a chance to meet with her and talk about her job talking to physicians.
Where are you from?
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Where did you go to college and what was your academic major?
Fairmont State University. Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
What has been your career path from college to your present position?
I first worked as a nurse at United Health Care on 5N, maintaining floor nursing duties and then went to WVU Hospital where I worked as a nurse in the O.R.
I moved in 2002 to Augusta, GA to follow my husband’s career move and worked at a few facilities down there in the O.R. as a travel nurse. I really loved this!
We then moved to Pittsburgh in 2004 for another transfer for my husband’s career and have settled in. While waiting for a long 5 months for the state of PA to do the paperwork for my license, I decided to give pharmaceutical sales a try.
I got a job right away and it was a roller coaster ride from the beginning. Two weeks after they hired fourteen of us, they did a mass lay off and laid off more than half the sales force.
Out of the fpurteen they hired, they only kept three of us. I continued to work for this company for another eight months until I decided to leave and go back to nursing.
The company which I will not name is no longer around and was very unstable. In trying to do what was best for our family, I went back to travel nursing in the O.R. I did this for about another year or so before I was approached and asked to come back to sales, but this time for medical device.
I took a chance and went into the sales arena again. I ended up loving it and have been doing med device sales for over 2 ½ years now. My second job is a mother of an adorable little boy named Jaxson. He is 10 months old.
What is the most important attribute a sales rep has to have to be successful?
Willingness to support your clients needs while maintaining the safety needs of all patients.
What are your strategies for coping with rejection?
Not taking it personally and evaluating myself to see what I may need to improve upon. It is a constant learning curve.
What is your strategy when talking with physicians who you sense really don’t want to be talking to you?
Trying to put myself in their shoes and recognize when they are interested and have time to talk and when they are not interested and I am wasting both parties’ time. I also try to find some sort of common ground to relate to and grow from there.
How many hours a week do you work?
I have never really have counted. It varies week to week depending on the entertaining, education and how much I do on the weekends and evenings.
In sales your job is never really done. Having constant email coverage on a cell phone, keeps me working constantly.
How important is appearance in your job?
I think professionalism, a professional attitude, and professional attire (when not wearing scrubs) is important. For me this is what makes appearance important, not one’s physical attributes.
Studies have shown that as women sales rep age and lose their looks, they get marginalized into less and less desirable jobs. How would you respond to that?
I, personally, have not witnessed this. Most of the women I have worked with, both young and middle aged, have been very successful. I believe it was their hard work and dedication to the job, not their looks that helped attribute to this.
How do you get paid? Straight salary, straight commission or a combination?
A combination of both.
Are you currently doing any clinical nursing?
Not at this time. I will say though, it is very hard to not put in a helping hand when I am in the O.R. I have to remember to ask if they want help first before I let my old habits kick in. I don’t want to step on any toes or offend anyone.
Who determines what gifts and payments you can make to physicians? Are tickets to ballgames allowed? Are dinners at nice restaurants allowed?
There are policies, procedures, and laws that govern what we can and can’t do. Games are not allowed, dinners are, if it is for educational or sales purposes. Our company is very good at maintaining strict guidelines and helping us determine what we are and aren’t allowed to do.
What do you like most about your job?
It gives me the mix of both worlds. I can do sales and use my nursing background at the same time.
Most of the time, my nursing background is helpful in allowing me to succeed. I am able to work my own schedule and drive myself to do well.
It is very fun to meet new people from all walks of life and gain great amounts of knowledge from each individual. I believe this career path has helped me to become a more rounded individual.
Disclosure: Ms. Kemp has paid a professional sales call to the interviewer to discuss her products.
Copyright 2008 DailyInterview.com
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