Helping Health Professionals Become Sales Professionals
“Health workers have been helping patients their whole lives, it’s my mission help those disillusioned find meaningful work to live fulfilling lives.”
Working as a health practitioner is an incredible honour that genuinely makes the world a better place. There is no better feeling than relieving someone’s pain, and watching them lead a fulfilling life. However, as a lifelong career path, working in health is not for everyone. Stagnant wage growth, lack of a clear career path, costs of ongoing education with little to no impact on salary, compassion fatigue, lack of scalability in the business model, dis-empowerment and the monotony of clinic work can leave some health workers disillusioned.
But here’s what many practitioners don’t realise. To become a health professional takes a huge amount of grit, intelligence and excellent communication skills. Without realising, they have been harnessing and developing an insane number of transferable skills. Instead of going back to university, or taking an entry-level job at a large corporation – health professionals (if marketed properly) can leverage their current skills into new, high potential careers. Since graduating as a Physiotherapist (PT) in 2010, I have been fortunate to work with amazing tech companies and mentors that have allowed me to transition out of PT. I am currently Head of Sales for Blys – Australia’s Leading On-Demand Massage Platform.
Like working in health isn’t for everyone – neither is sales! But I can tell you there are commonalities that make transitioning into sales more seamless than other professions. Your work as a health practitioner has usually involved:
- Spending time face-to-face educating clients and explaining their health problems
- Asking questions to uncover your client’s beliefs and their expectations
- Having empathy and deeply caring about improving your patients well-being
- Recommending specific treatments that will help your clients reach their goals
- Advising clients how often they seek treatment from you
- Being accustomed to stressful situations, and in some cases dealing with life or death.
- Referring clients onto another professional if you are unable to help them – always leaving them better off
- Strong clinical reasoning skills to justify particular treatments
- Following up, either by phone or email to ensure your clients are maintaining their progress
You have been in sales for as long as you’ve been helping patients. Every time you’ve rehabilitated or successfully treated someone, you’ve closed a sale. Working in health gives you a vast amount of client-facing experience, and teaches you how to tailor treatments based on needs. Leveraging these skills combined with your ability to care, will see you accelerate faster than any new grad in a sales environment. Put all this together and assuming you work hard – a sales career will give you:
- Greater potential for financial gain (try making a million $$$ seeing 15 patients per day and not burning out).
- Flexibility over your working environment (working from home isn’t an option as a health professional)
- The ability to work for companies with innovative products that haven’t saturated the market yet (there’s a PT clinic on every corner in most suburbs)
- Greater meaning and motivation because you can exponentially increase your positive impact in the world (there is a ceiling effect to your work in health – there are so many hours in the day, and if you’re not present in the clinic, you don’t earn money)