Success is not attained with a snap of a finger. It definitely won’t happen overnight, so you have to work your way through it. That is exactly how success was achieved by our guest in today’s episode, Brett St. Clair. Brett worked in medical sales as an associate when he felt incomplete because it was not his dream role. So instead, he made this a stepping stone for his career to gain experience, learn more about the medical field through asking more questions to his seniors. He also enrolled in EYS program by Samuel, our host, which he considered to be his best professional decision and was able to help him towards his dream. So now he’s living a completely different life with his dream company while making the magic happen.
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Brett St. Clair: Medical Device Associate Sales Rep To Sales Rep With Evolve Your Success
We have with us a special guest. It’s special to me because this guest went through one of our programs that helps professionals get into medical sales. The majority of people that find us and take our program do not have medical sales experience. They are fresh and new to the industry. They haven’t been able to get the position they want, whether that be because they are not getting the interviews or because they don’t know what to do when they get the interviews, and they are not getting offers or because they don’t even know where to start.
However, this guest was in medical sales but he didn’t have his dream role. He wasn’t working with his dream company, and he wanted to. He hadn’t found a way to make that happen, and then we found each other. He enrolled in the program. Now, he is living a completely different life in his dream role with his dream company, making the magic happen. It’s exciting because, for me, this is a passion of mine. For me to help a professional realize their dreams, that’s what it’s all about. To help a professional that’s already in the industry realize an even bigger dream is also very special.
It goes to show that this thing can be incredibly useful for many different types of people. I’m so proud to catch up with him. It has been over about a year and a half. That’s what we talked about in this episode. He is what he does and how he got to where he is now. I’m happy to share it with all of you. As always, thank you for reading. You might be working out. You might be at home. You might be on a walk. I do hope you take these next fifteen or so minutes to enjoy this interview.
Brett, how are you doing?
Samuel, I’m doing pretty well. How are you?
I’m fantastic. It’s another day in 2022. I’m excited to have you on the show because you are someone that has experienced some of the things we have done here at Evolve Your Success. I’m not going to spoil it. Why don’t you kick it off? Why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do?
I appreciate you having me on. My name is Brett St Clair. North Central Ohio is home to me. It’s outside of Cleveland. I’m a Sales Representative for a major medical device company with a specialization in joint replacement in orthopedics.
Those are some great buzzwords that people in the field know but people that are trying to get in might not. Tell us a little bit about what that role is specifically.
I represent knee and hip implants. I’m the rep who is responsible for a specific company’s product lines relative to knee, hips, revisions, and things of that nature. What that means is, essentially, when a surgeon uses my company’s products, I’m there providing clinical support and expertise. I’m helping out the surgical reps, techs, and staff in the room. I’m making sure everything is ready to go for when surgery starts in inter-op that everything is set up properly.
On average, how many cases would you say you are in per day?
It varies. There have been days when it’s 4 or 5. There have been days when it’s one. It depends on the day and the week and the time of the year, too. It’s even like a cyclical business.
Run us through on an average. What does a typical day look like in the field?When you are determined to do what you love, go for it and realize that it's the best professional decision that you’ve ever made. Click To Tweet
My morning starts early. My territory is a little bit different than a lot of other people. My closest hospital is an hour and a half away from my house. My morning starts at 3:34. I’m out the door at 4:30 at the latest. I’m getting to surgery an hour early. I’m making sure all the trays are ready, and all the implants are there. I’m trying to get my eyes on everything and get set up. That way, when the surgery staff gets there, they can walk into a smooth environment for getting the day started.
I have talked to a lot of guests about what it’s like to be that presence in the room and how much of an added benefit you are to the surgeon. From your experience, talk to us a little bit about your role in surgery. Are you the peacekeeper or second-in-command? What is happening when you are in a case?
It varies based on the operating room that you are in. It’s based on the staff’s comfortability with your products and how many times they have used it. There have certainly been operating rooms that I have been in where I’m pretty much a fly on the wall. You are there in case there’s a one-off chance that something goes wrong.
There are situations, though, when I arrived at the hospital and I’m told, “The scrub tech has never scrubbed an ortho case before. We are going to need you.” That’s you buckling up your pants, getting everything ready, and keeping the surgical tech one step ahead throughout the procedure. That way, it doesn’t add time for the surgeon.
How long have you been a sales rep?
I was hired as an associate in January 2021. Around November 2021, my manager came to me and asked me if I would be interested in being promoted to sales representative.
Before a sales rep, what was your title?
I was an Associate Sales Rep.
A lot of people want to get into medical device sales, especially orthopedics where you are. They hear about being an associate sales rep versus a sales rep. Tell us what the difference is from your experience between associate sales rep and sales rep.
To me, the biggest difference is who you are with on the day-to-day. When I was an Associate Sales Rep, it was me and my senior rep. I would be with him 3 or 4 times a week. Inside ORs, I have tremendous learning opportunities being next to him and asking him questions. He is explaining things to me as they are going on. Since I have been promoted to a rep, I’m in the territory by myself, so that’s not there anymore. A huge emphasis for being an associate is that learning experience and having the opportunity to get in the weeds, see some surgeries, ask some questions and learn.
When you were an Associate Sales Rep, were you working with a number of reps or just one?
It was one other rep.
Do you work with an associate sales rep now as a Sales Rep?
No, it’s just me.
Is that something that you are going to have experienced at some point? How does it work?
That’s in the cards. You have to have a territory case volume-wise that supports the need for it to bring on someone else. The goal is to get there. It’s a work in progress now.
Talk to us about how you became an Associate Sales Rep for the company that you work for.
It’s not your typical entrance into your program and into the company that I work for. I was already an Associate Sales Rep for a small manufacturer of capital equipment. When COVID hit, things were difficult, and I wasn’t getting into ORs. Rightfully so, they were pretty strict on who they were letting in. I was in a position where I wasn’t happy.The biggest thing to consider is your interview skills. Click To Tweet
I don’t think it was the fault of the companies or my own. I crossed paths with Samuel. We had a conversation. You laid it out there and you were like, “What do you want to do?” I told you and you were like, “What is stopping?” It hit me in the head that nothing is right. That’s what led me to the program to fine-tune my skills and optimally be able to land the job that I knew I always wanted.
It’s great to have you on because you saw the program at its earlier stages. Tell us a little bit about what you saw was lacking and what you gained working with us in the Evolve Your Success program on Medical Sales Career Builder.
First and foremost, the biggest thing for me was my interview skills. For the longest time, I would apply to jobs fresh out of college. I had 1 or 2 interviews and wouldn’t hear anything back. I never put any thought into the fact that it could be the way I was presenting myself for my interview skills. When I was in the course with you, and you were going through mock interviews, I have learned the dos and don’ts of the medical device industry. It hit me on the head. There were some things you were like, “You are not supposed to say this.” It’s not like it was bad or anything. I was just naive to it. It’s fine-tuning in those skills and helping to present yourself confidently and articulate the body of work that you have created for yourself.
That’s one aspect. You were already in the industry but you wanted to get this desired company. You want to get a specific role within that organization in a specific field. You had your thoughts around what it would be like when you worked in that space. What are the differences between what you thought and what you are experiencing now?
There aren’t too many differences, and I will tell you why. In my first role, when you and I first came into contact, I had a great deal of contact with orthopedic reps, joint replacement reps, and trauma reps. I had exposure to that. I had a pretty decent understanding of what the day-to-day was like. Going through your course, one thing that you emphasized to me was to be picky like, “You know what you want. You are not in a position where you are applying at 100 different jobs open that something hits. We want you to find your most optimal companies and positions and go after those.” It’s because of the research and the stuff that you encouraged, there were no surprises for me.
You went to the program and got into this position. A lot of people think that this kind of assistance is for people that are unfamiliar with the industry. It’s there for people like that. Without a doubt, if you are someone that’s not connected to the medical sales industry and you want to get in, a resource like what we are doing is going to be a game-changer for you. You are someone that was in the industry. Talk to us about why it’s still so valuable for people that are in the industry and want to make a transition.
It’s a cultural thing. When you have the weekly calls with you and all your classmates, and you hear the successes that everyone else is having, it creates a competitive environment where it’s like, “I’ve got to get my stuff together for next week. I will bring my brag book.” It’s an environment that sparks growth but it’s also one where you go to class every Tuesday and Wednesday night, whenever it is. You are looking forward to hearing the progress that your classmates have made. I don’t know the class sizes now but I can say that when I went through it, we had a small pretty tight-knit class. Everyone was super enthusiastic about everyone else’s successes. That’s a huge thing for me.
Now, the game has changed quite a bit. The class sizes are significantly larger now. However, there’s still that tight-knit family feel. You even had an opportunity to come and revisit. Talk to us a little bit about what that has been like.
That was awesome for me. That was everything that I wanted. When you reached out to me, you were like, “I had an idea. I would like you to come back and speak about what a day in life is like.” That was incredibly humbling for me. It was something that I knew I always wanted to do. It was my first opportunity to do something like that and have a class that comes loaded with questions. They want to know what it’s like in the day-to-day.
I encourage that for them to be able to use me as a resource to understand, “What is it like to be an associate rep in orthopedics? Is that something for me?” The last thing I would want is anyone to go into any position and accept that, thinking it’s going to be one thing. Three months into it, you are like, “This is not what I signed up for.” That doesn’t do anyone any good.
In the program now, there’s the personal branding element, which helps people get exposure to even being someone that should be considered for the field. There are the sales skills and foundational skills, which go around your story, what you are about, what you deliver, what you bring to the table, and how to position all of it, so it makes sense to a hiring manager on why you should be considered.
Lastly, there’s mastering the interview process. In one shot, give it to those reading now, whether they are trying to get into the industry or they are like you trying to make a transition into a more specific industry or a more desired company, why is the Medical Sales Career Builder something they should consider doing?
For me, it was the best professional decision that I have ever made. It gave me an opportunity to look at things from 30,000 feet. I was in the position that I was in, and it allowed me to look at this as a project. It was like, “How are we going to assemble and articulate myself to be able to land the job that I wanted?” It was something through the courses and lectures.
It’s through meeting and bouncing ideas back and forth and the 9:00 PM text messages I would send to you saying, “I need to talk.” That allowed me the opportunity that I have. We weren’t even done with the course and I was turning down job offers because we were able to take my story and what I had done and accomplished. We presented in a way that’s desirable. I owe you and the course all the world for that.
Brett, you owe yourself. You are the guy that did it. Thank you. This is what it’s all about. How long ago was it?
Over a year and a half ago.
Much has happened since then. It’s amazing to catch up with you and see that you went from where you were to a sales rep with a very great company. It’s something that has always been on your radar, and you have always wanted to work for. You are living the dream now. Congratulations to you.
I appreciate you, Samuel. Thanks a lot for having me on. It’s always a pleasure getting to talk with you.
That was Brett St Clair. Don’t you love that story? I love that story. Brett came with a goal. He knew where he wanted to be, what he wanted to do, and which company he wanted to do it with. He needed a pathway to get there, and that’s what we helped him do. I love sharing that episode. I hope that it resonated with those of you that are in your positions now or those of you that are wanting to get in your positions now.
We have this program for individuals like you. You want to get in. You have been reading these episodes, maybe. You have been talking to friends. You have been scouring the internet. You have been spending some time on LinkedIn, and you know you want this. You want to be in medical sales. You want to be in a position like Brett but for whatever reason, the things you are doing aren’t getting you there.
Maybe you are not getting those interviews. Maybe you are not getting to the offer stage. Maybe you are looking at it like, “I want to make this happen but I’m busy and clueless. Let’s see what happens.” Maybe that’s you. If it is, then don’t hesitate to visit Evolve Your Success and select Attain A Medical Sales Role. Have a conversation with someone from the Evolve Your Success team that can talk to you about what can help to get you where you want to go.
We do our best to provide episodes with people from different parts of medical sales. Some people are in biotech, pharma, lab, dental or medical device sales. It’s all fields and specialties. We want people to come with insights and innovations. Some people are entrepreneurs that are bringing whole new ways of doing business within medical sales. We do our best to find you guests that are going to bring you these insights and highlights and add a little spice to what you know of your career.
Hopefully, that’s what Brett got to you. He inspired some of you to take action and make some things happen to get you where you want to be. We have these episodes coming every single week. I invite you to come and read every single week. If you ever catch this skipping an episode, do not worry. One is coming up. We are always going to do our best to bring you these types of innovative guests. Thank you for reading. Make sure you tune in for another episode.
About Brett St. Clair
Brett St Clair is a joint replacement medical device sales professional with a leading medical manufacturing company. He enrolled and graduated from our EYS Program that helps professionals enter the Medical Sales Industry. Upon his graduation and attainment of that role over a year and a half ago he had this to say…
“Enrolling in Samuel’s EYS Career Builder program was the best professional decision I have made to date. The knowledge I gained through the program was pivotal in making myself the candidate I desired to be. Beyond the coursework, lessons, calls (etc), the course encourages you to commit to something that is often overlooked – internal reflection. While developing your skillset, network, and overall knowledge of the industry is incredibly important. One of the biggest takeaways for me was taking what you had learned and connecting it to your “why.” Why do you want to work for this company? Why do you want to promote these products? Why is this your passion? This course isn’t structured to land you “just a job,” it is structured to help you land your dream job. Which I was able to accomplish.
I wish everyone had the opportunity to learn from an individual like Samuel. He is someone who I consider as a coach & mentor, but also as a friend. Samuel is relentlessly focused on developing talent while pushing you to grow through positive reinforcement. The EYS program has made an undeniable impact in my life, and for that I give Samuel and the program my respect and highest recommendation.”