An orthopedic sales representative markets and sells products designed to alleviate orthopedic trauma and aid in orthopedic reconstruction. Her client base normally comprises orthopedic physicians and surgeons, physical therapists, and clinic and hospital personnel authorized to purchase orthopedic equipment. She may also sell her products to retail stores that rent and sell medical equipment and supplies directly to patients and their families.
Organizational skills are required to be a successful orthopedic sales representative. His inventory of products has to be complete and up-to-date to meet his client needs. He needs to have good negotiation skills to broker sales contracts with his customers. The ability to establish and maintain clear and friendly communications with a wide client base is required to be a successful orthopedic sales representative.
Some companies provide their orthopedic sales representatives with leads and contacts in the industry, but most jobs require cold calling and appointment scheduling by the representative. The representative is required to maintain her own inventory of demonstration products as well as ensure her customers receive ordered products in a timely manner. If products fail to perform to the expectations of her customers, she must address and resolve their issues with the distributor or manufacturer. Sales and marketing reports for management review are required from orthopedic sales representatives.
This job requires a significant amount of travel. Daily automobile trips to doctor’s offices, hospitals and clinics are necessary, as is occasional long distance travel by air to conventions, seminars and trade shows. Professional attire is mandatory for this position. Since samples of orthopedic equipment and devices are commonly bulky, the representative must be able to handle multiple satchels during the course of his workday. Evening and weekend work is often mandatory to complete paperwork and place orders.
To be hired as an orthopedic sales representative usually requires a bachelor’s degree or enough work experience for an employer to waive the educational requirement. Background in sales of technical or medical equipment is strongly preferred. Being aware of the latest developments in orthopedic products and treatments is considered a plus by many orthopedic sales companies.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
In large companies, advancement opportunities to territorial or regional management positions are generally available to sales representatives. Positions in smaller companies may have limited growth potential. According to Salary.com, as of November 2009, the median annual salary for an orthopedic sales representative was $78,248.