How Puppy Smiles Can Change The World

My morning routine is pretty simple. Mental prep, workout, shower and get to work as fast as possible.

Talking to people at the gym only prolongs my workout and delays the start of the workday.

Some people call me anti-social. Others use stronger words.

As I’ve traveled and worked out at gyms across the country, I’ve noticed most early risers have a similar approach.

✓ Keep your head down.

✓ Avoid eye contact.

✓ Ear buds always in.

✓ On the off chance you catch eyes—give a halfhearted grin and mouth “hi”.

It’s universal early morning gym etiquette.

Not today…

From the minute I set foot in the gym this morning, something was different. People were living in the moment.  They weren’t rushing to start their day.

I saw the 300# power lifter giggling like a schoolgirl.

The professional bodybuilder took a break from admiring herself in the mirror to rack her weights.

The CrossFitters weren’t posting to Instagram.

Everyone was laughing and happy and talking.  Talking to each other.

What’s going on?

A quick glance at one of the 72 televisions hanging from the wall brought me to a dead stop.  Rather than showing the depressing morning news or Sports Center on repeat, someone tuned all the televisions in the gym to the Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl.

Puppy Power

I couldn’t help but stop what I was doing to watch the adorable fluff balls wrestle with each other.  It was freaking adorable!

What fascinated me was the overall mood of the gym remained upbeat long after the Puppy Bowl ended.

The puppies were the catalyst causing everyone to light up with smiles.   The smiles caused a chain reaction transforming the gym from a quiet dungeon to a lively weightlifting social hour.

The next time you’re having a rough day, remember the power a smile can have on others as well as yourself. 😃

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

5 Ways to Avoid Career Crippling Mistakes on Social Media

Yesterday I received LinkedIn mail that hit me like a brick. A progressive young man, searching for his dream job with my organization, sent a message that spoke to all the traits I look for in the ideal Healthcare Sales Professional.  I thought – this is exactly the guy I want on my team.

A quick scan of his LinkedIn profile gave me very little insight to his experience or expertise. It was the standard online resume. STRIKE 1.

I clicked to his linked Twitter profile and his prolific use of expletives was impressive. I had never known someone to use cuss words as nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs and adjectives – in one sentence! STRIKE 2

At this point I just wanted to see what else he would be foolish enough to put online for the world to see. His Instagram account was full of seemingly innocent golfing and fishing pictures. Except – most were posted during prime selling hours. STRIKE 3

Facebook photos of shotgunned beers. Tell-all blog posts about a relationship gone bad. Inappropriate Instagram selfies. Twitter arguments. Lots of foul language…

Google’s web crawlers find our deepest darkest mistakes – instantaneously. There is no such thing as the disappearing Snap. What you put online lives…forever.

Customers are checking you out

Maybe you plan to stay with your current company until retirement and aren’t worried about potential employers seeing your party days. Not so fast!

A 2014 International Data Corporation survey showed that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to support their buying decisions. Your customers are checking you out.

A few inappropriate comments or photos could land you in some extremely hot water and even cost you some business.

Potential employer’s due-diligence

A 2016 Careerbuilder survey found that 60% of recruiters use social media to research job candidates before an interview. In sales, a whopping 65% of hiring managers use social media to screen candidates.

Your online rep will either help or hurt your chances of landing a new gig. Here’s the type of content employers have found during back-ground checks that prevented them from interviewing/hiring candidates:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos, or information – 46%
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 43%
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. – 33%
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 31%
  • Poor communication skills – 29%

Did you just say…

“I don’t have any social media accounts.”

“All my social media accounts private.”

Here’s the problem – 41% of recruiters are less likely to interview candidates if they can’t find information about them online. At a minimum, you need a complete and active LinkedIn profile.

5 Ways to Avoid Career Crippling Mistakes on Social Media

Before you can create a killer online presence, you have to audit all of your entire digital footprint. Here are five steps to self-auditing your social media presence.

  1. Google yourself – The first step to a good social media audit is figuring out exactly where you show up online. If you have never cleaned up your old posts, be ready to bury your head in your hands at least once! Start by googling your name and city to determine what people see when they look you up. Make a list of all your social media accounts so you can start the audit.
  2. Review photos – Take your list of accounts and go through every photo! Audit your posts and remove anything unfavorable to a future employer. Sure, you should remove or hide obviously bad things, like shirtless gym selfies or a shot from a wild St. Patrick’s Day party in 2009. But don’t let sneaky posts get past you. Funny memes that reveal too much about your politics or extracurricular activities can put you at a disadvantage.
  3. Step into the viewer’s shoes – There are 2 types of people, funny people and those that think their funny. Your sarcastic wit may not translate in text or seriously miss the mark if taken out of context. Evaluate your content through the eyes of someone you’ve never met. If anything may turn off a hiring manager or customer, hide it or delete it.
  4. Check your friend’s list – Prospective employers and customers could be interested in who and what you interact with online. You should routinely unfollow or disconnect from people or pages with suggestive profile images or posts. If you’re working hard to develop a good reputation, you don’t want to ruin it by being associated with someone else’s bad decisions – thanks Travis Kalanick!
  5. When in doubt, delete – It can be difficult to keep up with all the social media platforms you want to use. If you haven’t touched an account in a few years, get rid of it altogether. The less you have to keep up with, the easier it is to keep your online reputation in good standing.  Myspace and CafePharma are still searchable.

Once you’ve cleaned up your old accounts, switch gears and focus on improving your online presence. Spend five minutes to upload professional profile photos, update your experience on LinkedIn (check out this post on how to create an All-Star profile) and make your personal Facebook and Instagram profiles private.

If you’re not sure whether or not to post something, just remember this golden rule: information on the Internet lives FOREVER. Even if you delete it, there’s a good chance that it could be resurrected long after you have forgotten about it. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg

Can Money Be Your Why?

The Crowley family is coming off an awesome spring break.  We spent some much needed down-time in the mountains of Asheville NC getting much closer as a family and just goofing off.

One of our outings was to the unbelievable Biltmore estate.

During the tour, my oldest daughter (Logan 11) informed me that HER mansion was going to have a gymnastics room and candy parlor.  Not JUST an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley the pauper George Vanderbilt built in his measly 178,926 square foot shack.

When asked how she was going to pay for it, she confidently said “I’m going to own a bakery – Daaaaad”.

In my face.

This got me thinking about us – Healthcare Sales Professionals.  When I was a kid, I never said “one day I’m gonna be a salesman.”

Has any kid ever said they wanted to be a salesperson?

To make matters worse

While contemplating this question, I ask some friends and family how they would describe salespeople.  Keep in mind, they know I am a sales guy.  What did they say?

“Slimey, conniving, conceded, narcissistic, deceitful, egotistical, liars.”

They said this to my face!

So, how did we end up in sales?

Who in their right mind would pursue a career with such a terrible reputation?  Landing a sales gig doesn’t equate to hitting the jackpot.

I’ve been ignored, yelled at, spit on, chased by protestors and cussed out.  I’ve slipped on ice and bruised my tailbone, pitted out a suit jacket in August and split my pants chasing down a doctor.  I’ve been called an overpaid caterer, an unreliable FedEx man, a glorified public relations rep and a legal drug dealer.  Ahhh, the glory.

Why did I decide on a career as a human punching bag?  Money.  I took all the abuse because I knew that if I kept fighting, I could make more money than the doctors I was calling on.

Growing up as a kid, we didn’t have much.  I vividly remember the rush of pride little husky-jean wearing Johnny felt opening his saving account register to see the “mountain” of money piling up from shoveling snow and mowing lawns.

As a college intern, I remember asking company executives which jobs made the most money.  They all said the same thing – Sales.

I was hooked.  Sales was my destiny!

Start with Why

The belief that money was my main motivation got me thinking about Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why.  His famous principle says the way to inspire people is by identifying and speaking to their “Why”.

Focusing on Why has been a game changer for me.  I remember selling a technology solution that empowered customers with data and analytics that improved their efficiency and profitability.  But, six-months after implementing my largest customer, I discovered no one at the practice was using the software.  It just sat there dormant while they paid me a hefty monthly service fee.

This was my fault.  I had demonstrated WHAT the technology did and HOW to use it.  But, I completely ignored WHY the software was important to the customer and WHY it was essential to patient care.

I went back to the customer with use cases (the Why).  Their utilization and profits skyrocketed.

Simon defines the “Why” in this famous Ted Talk.

Money is never the Why.  Really?  

Simon states the Why is never to make a profit.  Money is just a byproduct.  Money can be used to buy objects or create an emotion.   Those outputs are the Why.  Not the money.

Money may create the security that comes from not worrying about bills.  Money may foster the prestige from living in a mansion or driving a Bugotti.  Money may be an objective metric used to gauge progress for an over-achiever.

I understand Simon’s principle but I am struggling to see if it is true for sales people.

Money certainly creates security, fosters prestige and is a quantifiable metric.  But money does none of that for me.

There’s something about seeing an ever increasing commission statement that gives a great sense of accomplishment.  Is it the accomplishment that I seek?  No.  Because if I was the #1 rep in the company but didn’t make the money I desired, I wouldn’t be pleased.

Am I alone?  I’m seriously torn by this.  What do you think?

I would be honored if you would reply to this email and tell me if money is your Why.  If not, do you think money could be a Why – for someone else.  It may take me a few days but I will reply to every one of your emails.  I take your responses seriously.  

Podcast Peep Show – Smart Medical Sales Podcast with Saul Marquez

Since his first podcast, I was hooked on Saul Marquez’s interview style and the quick 30-minute format.  This week I was a guest on Saul’s Smart Medical Sales podcast where we talked about the keys to a successful, lucrative and rewarding Healthcare Sales career.

One of my go-to questions when meeting someone I’m trying to emulate is “what podcasts do you listen to?”  Here’s a peep into one of my favorite Healthcare Sales podcasts.  If you are a Medical Device Professional, you must subscribe to this podcast.

Smart Medical Podcast Interview Links

Podcast Interview Description

The Smart Medical Sales podcast is designed to provide listeners with the tips, tricks, and secrets to breaking into medical device sales. The medical device sales industry is a small niche of sales where you can make a very handsome living. By tuning into the show, you will be able to listen to helpful advice from Saul Marquez, a medical device sales professional who broke into medical device sales from the outside. The show will have theme based episodes as well as interviews so you can get on the fast track into medical device sales! Tune in to take your career and life to the next level!

 

How to Navigate 2017 Healthcare Trends – Innovate for Value

Part 2 of 3

If you’ve been paying attention to political news at all, you know that healthcare is under the microscope, big time. Or “big-league” according to President Twitter.

To help you navigate the 2017 healthcare trends and the “you-ja” changes coming our way when Obamacare/ACA is repealed, this is my second post about how to add value as a healthcare sales professional.

How to Keep Your Prospecting Emails Out of the Trashcan

In a previous post, I proclaimed email is the devil.  I’m shocked how many people responded pledging 2017 the year to wean themselves off the email teat.

(Yes – I see the irony of a guy who sends a weekly email to you claiming that email is Satan.)

I do hate email though.  It’s been bastardized in large corporations filled with people who equate sending an email to accomplishing a goal or task.

I HATE, HATE, HATE email.

4 Sales Trends That Will Determine Your Success in 2017

Judging by the feedback I’ve received over the last few weeks – you are ready to have your best year ever.

Success as a Healthcare Sales Professional starts with a lot of planning. Part of that planning is keeping a close eye on sales trends and the healthcare market.

Why staying up with sales trends is important in healthcare sales…

This past Saturday morning, I met with an ex-pharmaceutical representative of 20+ years.  Let’s call him Frank.

Frank was struggling to get back into the industry after a round of layoffs pushed him out nearly 2 years ago.  We had been introduced through a mutual connection who asked if I could help Frank out.

Two minutes into the conversation, I realized why Frank had struggled to land a gig despite decades of experience and solid results.

I asked Frank how we both worked in Nashville Oncology market for so many years and never crossed paths.  His eyebrows raised in confusion.

I asked if his experiences at Novartis aligned with what I saw during my 6-month stint with the company. He tilted his head to the side – dumbfounded.

I asked if he liked living in New Jersey during a past assignment at corporate headquarters.  He squinted his eyes in disbelief.

I watched as Frank tried to figure out how I knew so much about him.

When I finally asked, what I could do to help him – his replied “I don’t know who you are or what you do.”

The Marriott Mess Up – When to Delight and When to Sell

Just to be clear, I love the Marriott hotel chain.  However, I couldn’t help tell this story and how it relates to our lives in healthcare sales…

I’m a Jersey boy who has lived in Nashville for the past 11 years.  Growing up – we rang in the New Year by watching the New York City ball drop.

So when I moved to the central time zone, New Years Eve hasn’t been the same because you have to watch the New York City ball drop at 11PM CST.

a-time-to-delight-and-a-time-to-sell

This year was going to be different. I was spending New Years Eve at the Marriott in Marco Island Florida.  I was eagerly anticipating a real-time ball drop.

(Yes I stayed up waaaaaaaay past my 8:00pm bedtime.)

So when we arrived at the Marriott, I was pumped to hear the hotel was planning a celebratory bash.  In an effort to keep guests on campus and spending money, they were bringing in a DJ, huge outdoor dance floor, AND big screens broadcasting the NYC Times Square festivities.

How to Overcome Inexperience in an Interview

Coach-ability is the new experience

Have you ever been denied a job because you “lacked experience”?

How are you supposed to get experience if nobody will give you a chance?

While millennials get a bad rap, they possess one character trait that can be leveraged to overcome a lack of experience…

COACH-ABILITY!

Check out this video to hear a story about one guy who was anything but coachable…

How to Overcome Inexperience in an Interview Viideo

Download the infographic

Want a LinkedIn profile that inspires people to connect with you?  Click the image below to get 8 simple steps to creating a LinkedIn profile that customers trust and employers value…

how-to-create-a-killer-linkedin-profile-infographic

Avoid this Booby Trap if You Want to Break Into Medical Sales

I spend a lot of time working with young people who are eager to break into the medical sales industry.

I’ve noticed a lot of people working a contract sales gig think this experience will lead to a full-time position as a Medical Sales Representative.

I hate to break it to you – if you’re not careful, it can be a career ending booby trap.

booby-trap

Why a contract sales gig wont help you break into Medical Sales

Recently, I received a call from a Rachel.  Rachel is a eager, hardworking millennial woman who is working as a 1099 sales contractor.

Rachel was ticked!  She was upset the pharmaceutical company co-promoting her product wouldn’t even consider her for a full-time W2 job.

If “contract sales” is a new concept to you, let me explain.  Pharmaceutical Company A develops a new drug.  The success of the product largely depends on sales and marketing.  But, salespeople are expensive!

What happens if the product bombs?  What happens if unforeseen side effects impact sales?  FDA hiccups?  Insurance companies won’t pay?  Any of these can kill a product.

Rather than taking the risk of hiring a bunch of new sales reps, Pharmaceutical Company A contracts with Company B to use their sales reps to promote the new drug.  If the product isn’t as successful – Company A breaks the contract with Company B.  Company A doesn’t have to worry about negative publicity from layoffs and cost of severance.

But here’s what Rachel didn’t understand – her contract job didn’t give her the experience she needed to transition into a full-time sales gig.

Sure, Rachel’s title was Pharmaceutical Sales Representative. But she had never spoken with the hiring manager – not even through email or a phone call!  This is a huge downside of contract sales. A full-time position in Medical Sales requires face time and collaboration with the co-promoting District Manager and the local Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives.

As a 1099 contractor, Rachel was responsible for making calls and providing samples to her prospective doctors. She was compensated for this work, but her interactions with physicians in her territory were also limited.

As we talked through her work experience, it quickly dawned on Rachel why she wasn’t being considered for a full-time position.

Her business card said “Pharmaceutical Sales Representative,” but her responsibilities were that of a FedEx delivery person. All she did was drop off samples at the front desk of the physician’s office.

How to transition from a contracted 1099 to a full time W2 employee

If you’re in contract sales, don’t get too down on yourself – yet. It’s possible to transition to a full-time medical sales job, but you have to approach it from a different angle.

Your experience alone won’t be enough to get you hired in this competitive marketplace. Here are some tips for getting your first full-time sales gig:

  • Develop relationships. Start getting in touch with local reps and district managers.  Develop those relationships through constant contact. The key is to make it worth their while to stay in touch with you.  Provide them with market intel about offices that accept samples, competitors’ actions, and anything that may be important for them to know.
  • Don’t stop at the front desk. Administrators and other staff will try to keep you from meeting physicians. You can’t blame them – just imagine how many reps try to make contact with their physicians every day. The best thing you can do is continue pushing to develop a personal relationship with the physician. The more physician relationships you have in a territory, the better chance you’ll have of landing a W2 job.
  • Know the market and business. Too many people want to break into Medical Sales just for the benefits – good salary, flexible work arrangements, and the chance to make a difference in patients’ lives. You have to make it clear that you understand the market and you can bring value if a company brings you on in a full-time role.  How has the Affordable Care Act impacted your market?  What are your customers doing to prepare for value-based care?  Which payers are covering your product and which are causing problems?  How do you plan to address each of these areas?  Learn about larger healthcare issues and explain why that’s important to the local District Managers.

Money, freedom and fulfillment are just a few benefits of Medical Sales.

If you want to learn more about how you can break into Medical Sales, check this out.