A Day in the Life: Pharmaceutical Sales Representative was originally published on Firsthand.
6:00 AM: I wake up and head to work—a 30-second walk to my home office! I go over my schedule for the day and respond to pressing e-mails.
7:00 AM: I either begin work at home or travel to hospitals or physicians' offices to try to catch doctors before they begin seeing patients. These doctors are often those who are interested in our products, but say that they don't have the time to meet. If I'm working in the office, I spend one to two hours “cold calling” prospective clients to try to generate business.
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM: My tasks vary daily, but I typically spend 25 to 70 percent of my time traveling to meet with physicians, pharmacists, and other clients. I attend scheduled meetings with physicians and other clients. I don't just drop off the samples and brochures and leave. I provide clients with informational brochures and product samples. I respond to their questions about the product, and try to convince them to use our product over a competitor's. I might have to meet with the physician several times to convince him or her to make the change. Sometimes I strike out, but I always try to maintain good relationships with clients. There's always another product to sell, and the sales process is all about building relationships.
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM: Amidst my travel to meet physicians, pharmacists, and other clients, I have the latitude to take care of personal issues such as running errands, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, quick workout at the gym, etc. My daily schedule is flexible in that I can work more hours on some days, and fewer hours on others when I have appointments, errands, and other personal tasks scheduled.
12:00 PM: Lunchtime. I bring lunch into a doctor's office, along with drug samples and product brochures, and use the time to educate staff about the benefits of our newest drug.
1:00 PM: I travel to more appointments or head back to my home office to do more cold calling or enter the results of my morning sales calls into our company's tracking database.
4:00 PM: I participate in a phone meeting with my manager to review sales accounts and discuss sales goals and forecasts. We discuss strategies on how to reach doctors who don't want to meet with sales reps. My manager also describes continuing education opportunities that he wants all sales employees to pursue.
5:00 PM: Phone meeting with another sales rep. I've been a quarterly sales leader at my company many times. Because of my experience and track record, my manager sometimes asks me to talk with inexperienced sales reps to provide them with pointers on how to be successful in the field.
Afternoon: I take care of errands, appointments, etc., as needed.
6:00 to 9:00 PM: I meet with doctors and other clients for dinner, cocktails, or other after-work events in order to educate them about our products.
9:00 PM or so: I head home. I review the next day's schedule and prepare product samples or informational packets that I'll need for an early-morning appointment the next day.
10:30 PM: Bedtime
Weekends: I meet with doctors and other clients who did not have time to meet with me during the week. Events include lunch, dinner, or recreational events such as a round of golf or attending a baseball game. I also do a little office work to stay on top of things before the new week begins.