Many chemical manufacturing companies hire as many BS chemist for sales positions as they do for laboratory positions (about 60% of all chemical-sales people have a degree in chemistry), and for someone of them the first time they consider sales as a career is when the position is offered to them. An advanced degree is often an advantage, especially for more complex products, as it provides instant credibility with potential customers.What might you be doing as a scientific salesperson? Try this on for size:
According to Ted, "A typical sales call goes like this: Meet the customer. Small talk. Discuss current and previous projects. Update database if any information has changes, especially new hires and changes to personnel. Ask what is the company doing. What projects are being worked on, and what problems are they having? Is there something we have that may solve their problem? Can we talk to the engineer who is designing the project and get him to specify our equipment in the plans? That means that when it come time for the contractor to actually bid the job, he has to buy our products. These days most engineers are reluctant to specify one vendor exclusively, but it is always good to make sure you are at least on the list of possibilities."As a dedicated introvert, I have no interest in meeting new people and asking if they might be willing to do business. But my thoughts have always been: more power to them -- if the sales people at my company eat well, I eat well.
*As always, CJ's copy of the book helpfully provided by the author, Dr. Lisa Balbes.