Adaptability, positivity, and strong relationships are the heartbeat of success in maternal infant care product sales. Embrace the challenge, cultivate partnerships, and let innovation guide your journey to triumph. In this episode, our host Samuel Adeyinka sits with Mignon Blanc as she takes us on a journey through her remarkable career as a product specialist in Maternal Infant Care. She shares insights, challenges, and triumphs that have defined her path in the medical sales industry. But Mignon’s journey is not only about sales; it’s a testament to the power of networking and community engagement. Her story underscores the significance of connections and the role they play in propelling careers to new heights. Tune in now to discover the secrets of strategic salesmanship, the power of adaptability, and the importance of building genuine connections in the world of medical sales!
The CE experience for this Podcast is powered by CMEfy – click here to reflect and earn credits: https://earnc.me/ecXU8V
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Maternal Infant Care Product Sales With Mignon Blanc
We have with us another special guest. She goes by the name of Mignon Blanc. This young woman is very impressive. She’s based in Los Angeles. She got into her role from a Commercial Leadership Program, a two-year rotational program that teaches in-depth sales and marketing and is based in various cities across the US. She’s been a powerhouse since she joined that organization in the Western region of the US. She’s generated over $25 million in revenue while at GE HealthCare. I am not going to share anymore because this episode is another exciting episode. It’s another person that’s doing amazing things in the medical sales space.
She brings a lot of light to a role that’s not that common when you read about medical device sales. By that, I’m talking about maternal-infant care product sales. For anyone that’s wanting to be in medical device sales and be closer to the infant care side of things, then this is the episode you absolutely want to make sure you read. As always, we do our best to bring you innovative guests that are doing things a bit differently in the medical sales space. Enjoy this episode. Thank you for reading. I do hope you love this interview.
Mignon, how are you doing?
I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me.
We are excited to have you on the show. Why don’t you tell the audience who you are and what you do?
I sell a maternal-infant care line of products.
Let’s get into that. Tell us a little bit about what it means to be in your space. What exactly are you selling and what’s the layout like? Who are you calling on? Who are you talking to? Give us a little insight.
The first thing about being in this space, you have to be passionate about moms and babies. I can’t imagine who isn’t. Everyone pretty much checks the box, I would say. I’m excited to be in this space, and I wanted to be in the space in the first place because I have a soft spot in my heart for advocacy as it relates to women and children of color. It’s because there are many disparities in the industry. What I do is call on the labor and delivery NICUs in all of Los Angeles. If you’re familiar with the area from San Luis Obispo to Torrance.
It’s pretty much a four-hour span from top to bottom of my territory. I sell infant warmers, incubators, fetal monitors, and phototherapy. I’m working with nurses every day to help them learn how to use our equipment. Sometimes I’m working with moms with our equipment that is physically on the patients. I’ll be in the room telling them, “This is what we’re doing. This is what we’re monitoring. This is how we’re supporting you.” It’s a very collaborative environment. When I’m in the NICU, I’m also working with nurses, but I get to see the little preemies inside of my incubators and it makes everything worthwhile seeing my products keep the smallest people in the world alive.
I want to get into the nitty-gritty here. Why don’t you walk us through each of those products and where they fit in caring for babies?
I’ll start with our incubators. We have two. We have a regular incubator and an OmniBed. That product line is called Giraffe. We decided to go with Giraffe because they care for their young. It’s a very supportive and loving environment that they provide for their young, and that’s what we’re doing essentially. With our Giraffe incubator, everybody I’m sure has seen some incubator in their lives. I will mention that our company holds the lion’s share in this market. 9 times out of 10, if you’re going into the NICU, you’re going to see one of our Giraffes.
It’s essentially a microenvironment that provides the perfect temperature and humidity, and it also blocks out sound. Overall, it’s the perfect environment to continue on growth. We have babies as small as 27 weeks. Some even smaller than that are in our beds. The gestation period is 40 weeks. We’re trying to get that baby to at least the starting point of where they should have been at the 40-week point. What we want to see is healthy babies, providing them with the perfect environment to grow, develop, and put as little stress as possible on their little bodies.
Our incubators are closed and sealed environments. Our OmniBeds are also closed and sealed environments. However, the top raises up and becomes a radiant warmer. When certain procedures are being done, that heat is still being centered on the baby, and there’s no chance of the heat being lost or a stark difference in temperature change because the slightest degree in temperature change can mean life or death for babies. It’s absolutely critical that all the bits and pieces, dials, and things that we have on our beds are completely calibrated and perfectly tuned because we are taking care of the smallest babies. That’s Giraffe, then we have our Pandas, which are our warmers. I don’t know if you can notice an animal theme going on.
Our Panda warmers is a radiant warmer that is typical in labor and delivery. As soon as a baby is born, heat loss is one of the biggest things that can cause stress to the baby. As soon as they’re born, they’re put on one of our warmers. It’s a flat surface and it has resuscitation capabilities to help the baby breathe after they’re born. It’s a critical time to have those resuscitation capabilities. Warmers are typically in labor and delivery. Other items that we have in the labor and delivery are Corometrics Monitors. Coro 259CX is our latest monitor that’s in labor and delivery. This is a fetal monitor that records. It has ultrasound, toco, pulse oximetry, and pretty much all of the necessary capabilities to monitor mom and baby throughout the labor process.
Attached to that, how we take it a step further, we also have our Novii Wireless monitor. This is doing all the same things that a Corometrics Monitor is doing, but it allows mom to move around the room. It’s also waterproof. If she wants to go in the shower or bath, she can do that there’s still continuous monitoring. The Novii product is also great for high BMI patients because those external and conventional ultrasounds and all the transducers are skilled at recording those heart rates and stuff through higher BMI patients. Novii is perfect for that.
Another thing is phototherapy equipment. Some babies are typically jaundiced and have high bilirubin in their blood. We use phototherapy to help combat that. It’s a bright blue light that shines on our babies. They look like little baked potatoes when they have our lights on them, but it’s to help them continue to grow and be the best that they can be.
With all these different products, I’m assuming you have a team. You’re not just working solo on this.
I have a clinical team for the NICU, L&D, pre-sales, post-sales, quoting support, and sales support throughout the entire sales process.
Let’s get into it. What I want the audience to understand is what a team layout, and then what is your specific role on the team.
I’ll start with myself first because it’s easier to think about myself and then the environment that I’m working. In my specific role, I’m responsible for creating those relationships in the NICUs and L&Ds as well as directors who cover both women’s and children’s departments. I’m in charge of making those relationships, helping them as relates to providing them with quotes or information about our products and understanding their buying cycles. If they do have new equipment that they need, help to be a collaborative partner to help them purchase equipment at the best time for them. That connection point between our company and the customer as it relates to our maternal-infant care products. I’ll walk you through the sales cycle because that’ll show you how different people come in.
If I have a customer that comes to me and says, “I would like to learn more about your Giraffe OmniBed. We’re thinking about upgrading our current fleet. How can you help me?” I would say, “Let’s set up a demo. I can have one of the OmniBeds shipped out to the hospital. I’ll also bring in some of my clinical specialists so they can help address some of your nurses’ clinical concerns.” Since I’m a rep, I’m not able to train or provide specific clinical advice. That is supposed to be our clinical teams who are actual RNs who have special certifications. As a rep, I’m only able to teach you about the machine and how it works itself.
You are the first point of contact. I noticed you said when they find you, what do you mean by that?
The person who is in the position I’m in now, before me, was in the role for many years. They may have had a relationship with him and then didn’t need equipment for a long time. They reached out to somebody and said, “Can you point me to your Giraffe rep? I need questions about Giraffes. I used to meet this girl, but I’m not sure who the new person is.” Since we are such a big company, we have ultrasounds, MRS, CTs, and X-rays. We’re all over the hospital. If somebody sees one of our products, they’re most likely going to ask one of our reps, “This is totally not your area, but I need help in labor and delivery. Can you put me in contact with the rep for that?” That’s how leads can come to me.
Is that how you get the majority of your leads, or are you out there hunting for leads as well?
I’m in a special situation to where I have the most market share in my territory. It’s a lot of farming the relationships that already exist and helping to maintain the current installed base that’s in my territory.
Walk us through the rest of the sales cycle.
I go in. We do a demo. I bring in my clinical support. Everybody loves us. They want our company. What do I do next? I provide them with a quote. I can either quote myself, which I’m trained to do, or I can reach out to my quoting team and say, “I need a simple quote for a Giraffe for this hospital. Make sure to include these terms and these accessories. Send it to me.” They’ll send it to me in fifteen minutes or maybe even shorter. I forward it off to the customer, and if they have the money at that time, or if they may have funding later on, they’ll send me a purchase order. I can book the order myself, or I can reach out to my sales support team and say, “I’m on the road. Can you book this order for me? Here are all the forms. Let me know when the confirmation is done.”
Once it’s booked, then I start to work with my project managers and our factory team so we can figure out a schedule depending on what our lead times are, when this can be shipped out, and when the hospital is ready to receive it. Once all of that’s scheduled, it’s a waiting game because, with all the supply chain constraints that we’re facing, that does pose an issue. There’s a lot of waiting, depending on which product they’re purchasing.
Once the product is created by the factory and it’s out the door, I work with my project management to coordinate tracking. I update the customer, “Here’s your product. It’s on its way.” Once it’s delivered, then I work with my field engineers and we work to install the products. I don’t necessarily have to be on-site for that, but I love to because it’s a great way for me to understand my products on a deeper level as I’m sitting there screwing it in or rolling it through the hallway. It’s another reason for me to get into the hospital, which is the best part about it. That’s pretty much the start-to-finish of how it is. If there’s an issue with invoicing because usually invoices are sent afterward, I reach out to accounts receivable. That’s pretty much all the people that I deal with.
In all those touch points, it sounds like once they’ve agreed to receive the product, it’s out of your hands.
It’s pretty much out of my hands. The best time of day for me is when I get the purchase order. That is only half of the battle as it relates to my compensation. We’re compensated 50% on orders. When they physically send me the purchase order, 50% on sales when it’s delivered or revenue. Orders are revenue.
It’s out of your hands, but you’re still monitoring the process because you want to ensure that it gets delivered.
I’m still compensated based on when it gets delivered. That’s the second half of the compensation pool. That is challenging because that has nothing to do with me, but that’s the way it is. I haven’t had too many issues because if you’re making your number in 2023, you sold all these products, they are likely all going to be delivered in 2024. While it’s out of my control, it is something that usually takes care of itself.
Is your role one where you can, “I’ve been a product specialist for a little while. I want to go to the sales side. I want to see if I can go to the clinical side.” Are those moves you can make from your position, or it’s not set up that way?
I can give you a little bit of background on where I was and where I’m now, and then where I can expect to be. When I first started, I entered the Commercial Leadership Program fresh out of college. The CLP program is a two-year rotational program where every six months you move to a different city and you learn a different area of the business. I’m originally from New Orleans, but the company moved me out to LA. I’m like, “This is where I want to be. I’m good. I’m having a good time here.” Towards the end of it, you have to specialize in what industry you want to go into but throughout, this is teaching you how to be the best salesperson. I decided I wanted to be an imaging account manager. I learned about our MRIs, CTs, X-rays, medical and medicine machines, and all sorts of stuff.
Towards the end of the program, there were no opportunities available for IAM in LA. For me, I preferred the location over the position. I went after this role called the Deal Hub Architect. That was a pretty amazing role. In that position, I strategized the largest deals in the western region of the United States, deals that were $5 million and up from Montana to Maui. I did the project management. I helped coordinate financing, coordinated pricing, and overall proposal to the customer. I was essentially the person to work that deal from start to finish to bring it over the finish line. I was in that role for one year, but I helped close over $25 million in that position. It was pretty good.
In that role, it was more commercial operations. I was supporting sales as opposed to directly selling, but I worked with region presidents, market vice presidents, account executives, and sales reps such as myself now. While I was in that position, it was great, but I felt like I was making my company richer as opposed to enriching myself. Since I was internal, I’m like, “I’m supporting the teams around me. Within my company, I want to be in front of the customer.” That’s why I joined this industry so I can help people and patients, be internal customers and collaborative partners outside of my company. I decided to go back onto the sales side, and that’s when I went into the role that I’m in now. That goes to show you the versatility of where you can go in our company, “Where do I plan to go next?”
I would say, “Where do I plan to go next?” because I don’t want to box myself in as supposed to maybe listen. A possible role for me next would be an account executive position. That is sales, but you’re more so managing the relationships on an entire hospital life level. Instead of just focusing on maternal-infant care, you’re all of the company at X hospital system. You’re managing those C-Suite relationships, trying to create those larger bulk buys and all sorts of things like that.
Will you get to stay in LA and do this?
That’s right up your alley. That is fantastic. Thank you for walking us through that. Let me ask you this question. If someone is green and they are reading this episode and are like, “She is literally doing what I would love to be doing if I was to get into medical sales.” Is that a position they can get into coming from a different industry? Is there a gateway position that they need to entertain to get to what you’re doing now?
I’ve encountered this situation a couple of times as far as people saying, “Your job seems pretty interesting. How do I get into it?” If you have med device and equipment sales experience, then you should be fine transitioning into this because the products are relatively easy compared to an MRI machine. That curve isn’t as significant. If you know how to sell, you know how to sell. You can sell ice to an Eskimo, essentially. That shouldn’t be too much of a transition, but if you’re not coming from a strong sales background, then you’re going to have to take a little bit more of a creative route.
If you’re coming straight out of college or a five-year MBA program, then I would suggest doing a leadership program like I mentioned before or if you’re later on in your career, but you don’t have any sales experience, maybe start with inside sales, and then from there, prove your value. Find ways to stretch yourself and collaborate with the industry or business that you want to be in. That way, they know your name. When a position becomes available, then you would be the first person to go up for it.
If you have sales experience in a different vertical, not medicine at all, then this position that you’re in now is viable.
I am not a hiring manager, but if you do have strong sales experience in general, I can imagine that you can make a transition. It’s one of those things. It’s all about spend selling. When you’re in that interview and talking about your transferable skills, make sure to mention how your experience in elevator sales directly translates to maternal-infant care. Also, speak about your passions. Why are you passionate about this?
When I mention my career and why I’m in here, or why I’m in this role, it’s because I’m passionate about women and children, especially in the area that I’m in. As a Black female, there are a lot of odds against me when it comes to having children and as it relates to healthcare. I’ve written articles on it and have done research on it. The numbers are scary. Me being in this industry is one little way that I can be a Black voice in this environment and try to make some change and difference.
I love that you highlighted that. I want to change the direction of the conversation a little bit. What have you seen a difference in Black women in this space compared to other ethnicities when it comes to the care and to what’s going on? Have you seen any difference?
As it relates to the current position that I’m in across the country, this role has been historically White men in this position. Obviously, that’s a problem because of the patient population that we’re directly dealing with. Sometimes, when I’m going into a patient race, people are comfortable with me walking in there as opposed to a man walking in the room. That’s one of the direct issues that I’ve seen.
In this role, it’s been historically White men. We are now a lot more diverse. There are a lot more women in this position. That’s great. That was one of the first things that I brought up when I moved into this role. It’s like, “Do we not see this as a hindrance?” Nothing has been done. I’m one drop in the bucket. As far as it relates to the role, we’re getting better. As far as the patient population and the customers that I’m dealing with every day, it’s a wide range of people, especially being in LA. It’s diverse. I’ve gone into rooms where patients only speak French, and I’ve had to leverage the 3 or 4 French words that I know. I’ll go into a room and they only speak Spanish, and I’m like, “I have to be creative on how I’m going to talk to them.”
I’ve definitely been in a hospital where I’ve had to help people out with the little bit of Spanish that I know. It’s definitely a diverse market as it relates to patients. As it relates to customers, I would say it’s getting more diverse. I have found a great advantage to being a minority in this role and working with my minority customers and having them see a familiar face, “I can trust her. She knows what she’s talking about because she understands where I’m coming from.” I’ve been able to build a deeper relationship with my customers as it relates to that because I’m empathetic to what they’re going through. I know what they’re seeing every day. I’m able to speak to them in a way that relates to their concerns as minority healthcare leaders.We can be able to build a deeper relationship with our customers if we’re empathetic to what they're going through. Click To Tweet
How much patient interaction do you have?
It depends on what I’m doing in the hospital. I was installing some Corometrics Monitors that I was mentioning in the labor and delivery. There were six that I was replacing. One of the ones that I had to replace that was broken or about to break was in a room that already had a patient in it, and they couldn’t move the patient out. I had to go into the room and take all of her leads and transducers off. I swap out the machine, hook them back up, and the time I’m talking to her, “Calm down. I know you don’t hear a heartbeat right now, but that’s all right. Let me plug you up,” and then we’ll keep moving. There are some other instances where I go to check the hospital’s equipment, and it may be in use on a patient because that’s the best way for me to see how well it’s working.
I walk in and see the patient, “How are you doing? I’m a rep. I’m checking the equipment that you have on. No need to be alarmed.” In some of those situations, I’m working with the nurses to troubleshoot and to help them with the assistance of my clinical specialists. We’re working with them saying, “Maybe you should place a transducer here or there. This is how you have better numbers and readings.” The patient will be sitting there chilling as we’re helping. I haven’t had too many issues or instances where a mom is in labor going crazy. Have I heard that through the door? Yes. Have I heard a lot of expletives? Have I had a monitor passed to me covered in blood before? That’s all fun stuff to me. If you’re in this industry, you have to be uncomfortable sometimes.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in your role?
It’s specific to me at the company. While we have amazing products in my product line, and we are the industry standard across the country, when you are so good, it starts to become the mentality of, “If it’s not broke, then why fix it?” I’m selling my equipment, which is top-of-the-line, but everybody is familiar with it now. Sometimes I feel like it’s hard to continue to grow and expand my business because I don’t always have something fun, new, and exciting to share.Sometimes it can feel like it's hard to continue to grow and expand our business because we don't always have something fun, new and exciting to share, but that gives us an opportunity to be creative. Click To Tweet
That gives me an opportunity to be creative in other ways. Being a strategic partner as it relates to, “This is your current installed base. Here’s how I can help you upgrade it over time. Here’s how I can help you extend the life of your equipment,” and different things like that. That can sometimes be a challenge of not having a new product all day, every day to sell, or a new shiny thing. It forces you to be creative in other ways because there’s a lot of business out there. You just have to find it.
Give us the top three things that make an amazing product specialist. People thinking about this career track that you’re on, whether it’s someone that’s wants to move from a different vertical into what you’re doing or someone from outside the industry that wants to do what you’re doing. What would you say they need to be able to bring to the table that would make them a high-performing product specialist?
1) Adaptable. Every single day is going to be different. Sometimes I wake up thinking it’s going to be an easy day, and then I found out that 21 of my beds were delivered to a hospital way before they are scheduled. They have nowhere to put them, and I have to figure out what to do. That was a scary day, but I fixed it because I’m adaptable. I figured it out. Being adaptable and able to roll with the punches is definitely number one. 2) Having a high say-do ratio of whatever you say, make sure you do it. Follow up and follow through.
A lot of my business, I accredit it to me, simply picking up the phone or stopping by a customer and saying, “How are you doing?” They say, “I need something,” and then I follow up promptly. That is a lot of my business. It’s following up and following through with my customers. 1) Adaptability. 2) High say-do ratio and 3) Positivity. I say positivity because I didn’t realize how important it was until I had the manager that I have now. He is the most positive radiating person that someone can meet. Having the energy of a manager makes my job much easier.
It makes me want to be positive and feel good about, “I’m going to be able to achieve my number because we’re going to follow X, Y, and Z steps.” If I’m ever freaking out, let’s say, for instance, where all the beds were delivered super early, “Take a breath. Calm down. It’s going to work out. We’re going to figure it out together.” Having that calm, cool, positive energy and mentality helps you to pace yourself and be very good at your job. I work in the happiest place in the hospital. Other areas in the hospital are treating sickness. Mine is bringing life into the hospital. You have to have that positive attitude that all your hard work is going to pay off. Adaptability, high say-do ratio, and positivity.Having that calm, cool, positive energy and mentality helps you to have patience with yourself and be very good at your job. Click To Tweet
You have it so concisely. You can’t drop that story twice about this bed issue and not tell us what happened. How did you solve that issue?
I was out for a speaking engagement in the West. I thought it was going to be a smooth day. I get a call from my customer saying, “A truck pulled up with 21 pallets and I don’t know what to do with it because I told you I don’t have space for it. Why are they here right now? I told you I don’t want them now.” I’m like, “Don’t worry. Let me make a couple of calls and we’ll figure it out.” I call my project manager and I am slightly freaking out, but I have my sister in the background, “Calm down. Be positive. Relax. It’s going to work out.”
I’m on the phone with my project manager. I’m like, “Do you remember those beds that we were supposed to schedule for two weeks from now? They arrived.” The truck driver drove all the way from El Paso, Texas. He cannot turn back around. What are we going to do?” She made a couple of calls and was able to find space in a warehouse to put all of the beds there and store them until they were ready to be delivered a couple of weeks later.
Simply making those phone calls, knowing who to call, and being a collaborator and a partner with your customer was the most important thing to help me get through. I could have not answered the phone because I’m out of the office. You could have seen my, “Out of office,” and disregarded it, but because I answered the phone, stopped everything that I was doing when I was out of town, completely out of pocket, and start to figure out a solution and to collaborate with my team to get this done.
That’s why it was successful. That’s why we were able to get it done. I was also able to have that revenue recognition because it was delivered. There are a lot of positives to it, but that was the latest freakout that I had in the role because the bed is a little bit smaller than a golf cart. Imagine 21 of those showing up with nowhere to put. That’s one small issue that we were able to get around. Being positive certainly helped me get through that.
How demanding is your role? Talk to us a little bit about social life. Do you have a family, husband, wife, and kids? How do you make your social life and personal life work with the demands of this position?
I’ll start by saying that the previous role I had was very demanding. I was working on everybody’s schedules. I was working on very small timelines with high amounts of work, stress, and visibility. I had deals that the region president was saying, “I need these numbers yesterday. Where are they?” I have the CEO of the company saying, “I saw that big deal that you’re working on. When will you get it done?” For all of the different numbers that are associated with it, that was a high-stress position. The role that I’m in now, I don’t want to say a breeze, but it is pretty good. That is attributed to the hard work that was done prior to me and the foundation that was laid into this territory before.
If you’re going after any sales position, do your research on the health of the territory. What happened to it in the past? Do you have a high market share? Do you have a low market share? Do you have mostly competitors that you’re going up against? That’s all going to play into how your work-life balances and whatever territory that you’re going into. I was told that I had a high-performing, high-volume territory, and that’s what it was. It has been delivering ever since. That has been reassuring. It’s almost like I’m farming on a day-to-day basis of, “What do you need? I can send you a quote. I can collect that PO for you. I can make sure everything is delivered.” I’m not necessarily going out and prospecting all day, every day, but that is because I started this role.
I’m still in the reactive stage as opposed to the proactive going out and growing my territory. This particular territory has allowed me to do more of the farming stage early on so I didn’t have to claw, fight and eat ramen noodles at the beginning of it because I wasn’t making any money. As far as my work-life balance, I would say a little snippet of it. It’s pretty good. I do not have a husband, but I do have a long-time boyfriend. He’ll be my husband soon. No kids. I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor for sure. Not that people who have kids don’t, but I have my own McDonald’s money.
Are your hours your own each day or 8:00 to 5:00 is when you’re working?
8:00 to 5:00 is when I’m on call. That’s when my phone is on. That’s when it’s business all day, every day. Between 8:00 to 5:00, my customers can call me and I can call them. My coworkers can call and collaborate with me. 8:00 to 5:00 is when I set my boundaries. That’s where I have my work phone on. In between those hours of 8:00 to 5:00, sometimes I’m at customer sites, working from home, or running errands in the middle of the day, but not all time. In between meetings, I’m taking care of other business. I also have the flexibility and freedom to work remotely elsewhere. Let’s say I’m out in another place doing a speaking engagement. I’m still able to be on call and support my customers. When I say on call, I’m not a doctor, but my customers can call me about everything. I’m available.
On weekends and nights, in some cases you are accessible and you make yourself accessible.
Nights during the week, yes. On weekends, absolutely not. I don’t charge my work phone on Friday afternoons. If it dies, it dies. I’m not available until maybe Sunday night when I charge it back.
We want the facts and the truth. When you say speaking engagements, are these company related or your own thing? What are you referring to when you say that?
Now we’re getting into the fun stuff. Aside from my current position, I’m heavily involved in a not-for-profit membership organization.
That’s in our program. You have to join your local chapter. That’s a requirement.
I love that. All of the people in LA need to be a part of the LA chapter. I’m heavily involved there and I joined when I was a sophomore in college. That was in 2016. When I was a sophomore in college, I was the youngest person in the room networking with people who are a lot more senior to me. I joined the Louisiana chapter and always give props to my home chapter. It started there. I went to the student conference and the professional conference. I continued to build my brand and network as hard as possible to somebody that everybody knew and they can rely on. I started to be asked to, “Could you speak at this event? Can you speak about your experience at the student conference?”
That turned into, “Can you host, in essence, the 30th-anniversary event in Miami?” That turned in, “Can you help launch the first-ever chapter in the United Kingdom?” I’m the board chair of the newly formed board. I lead a team of eight individuals who are super amazing. We’re all tasked with growing and engaging with early career talent across the country. That is people who are students interested in this career. That’s undergrad and graduate people who are 1 to 5 years out of college or in their career as well as people who are interested in transitioning into the sales side of things.
That can be somebody who was in the military for 30 years and then they decided, “I want to go into sales.” They still fall under the early career bubble. My speaking engagements are mostly with the not-for-profit membership organization. Sometimes they’re with our company. I’m going to be speaking on Capitol Hill for this girls’ science camp. They hold a STEM camp that our company puts on. I’m going to be one of the panelists on Capitol Hill in July 2023. I love public speaking. It’s my jam. When I’m not working with customers and doing podcasts, I’m doing public speaking or giving back to my community in some shape or fashion.
We have more questions, but wrapping up, let me ask you this. You clearly knew about the medical sales industry when you were an undergrad to get into a program that fast-tracks you through a company. When I talk to a lot of guests that have been in the industry 10 or 20 years, back in the day, there wasn’t this knowledge that younger people have access to. Tell us a little bit about what you got wind of when you were in college that let you say, “I know I want to be in medical sales and I know I want to work for an organization. I’m going after it before I even graduate.”
It’s like most freshmen in college, I wanted to be a doctor. I studied Biology Pre-Med. I chose that major because I wanted to be a doctor, but I also wanted something that was going to challenge me and be difficult. I continued on and then in sophomore year, I hit Organic Chemistry and I thought, “This is a little harder than I thought.”
It got me too. That’s when I said, “What am I doing again?”
It’s like I hit a little wall and I’m like, “I’m trying to pass this class. Maybe being a doctor isn’t something that I want to do.” I started to ask myself, “Why do you want to be a doctor? Is it because you think you’re supposed to do this, you want the money or you’re passionate about it, but not really? Be real with yourself. Why do you want to do this?” I stopped and thought, “That is a lot of school.” There are so much politics associated with being a doctor nowadays, especially in the US. I thought, “Let’s pivot a little bit. Let’s see what else we can do. How we can still help the community? How we can still be in a lucrative career? How we can go through less school and still be as successful.”
That’s when I stumbled upon medical sales. I was always that person who was with my parents online, “What do you do? That’s cool.” I remember my mom’s good friend. She did pharma sales. I was like, “I’m going to talk to her and stay close. See what she’s talking about.” She was a part of the organization in Louisiana. She said, “I’m a part of this organization. I think they have a student conference. I’m not sure. Maybe you should apply. You can even join the local chapters.” I said, “Okay. I don’t know anybody.”
You got an early introduction to exactly what happens in medical sales and that set your pathway.
That set my pathway. That was the jump. Thank you to Miss Monique. She started my career.
In wrapping up, I’m going to give you a lightning round. You have less than ten seconds to answer four questions. Are you ready?
First question, what is the best book you’ve read in the last six months?
I like true crime. This isn’t a true crime, but a murder mystery. I read the book called Thursday Murder Club. Every time I would get in a plane, the person next to me would be reading this book. I had to buy it because I’m like, “I love murder mysteries. I like reading. Let’s see what happens.” It’s a fantastic book. I highly recommend it.
Second question, the best show, TV show, or movie you’ve seen in the last six months?
The wrap-up of Snowfall. It’s fantastic. Highly recommend.
I started and I don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under, but I had no idea. That show is mind-blowing. Good stuff. Best meal you’ve had in the last six months?
I feel like I ate something I knocked my socks off. I went to a restaurant at this place called Hanuman Thai Eatery. It’s a Thai spot, but I had this curry. It’s called Khao soi. It was fantastic. I’m all about coconut curry, and it had the best meals and the perfect amount of spice.
Last question, what’s the best experience you’ve had in the last six months?
My time in London was absolutely fantastic. I made some phenomenal friends that will be my family for the rest of my life. It also showed me the power of networking can take your career off bounds. As I mentioned, I started off as a little student a part of the organization and it brought me all the way to being a board chair and then to being in London, launching the first international chapter. It’s all network. Go to London if you haven’t gone yet.
It was wonderful having you on the show. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom with us. We can’t wait to see what amazing things are coming from you as you continue your career.
Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.
That was Mignon Blanc. If you’ve been reading for any length of time, then you already know what I’m going to say. If you want to be closer to infant care, that’s something that excites you, that’s the type of role that you want to connect yourself to and be a part of, then visit EvolveYourSuccess.com. Take a look at our program, the Medical Sales Career Builder. Fill up the information and the application. You’ll be connected to one of our account executives, and you will be interviewed to see if you’re a good fit for our program. If you are a good fit and you do pass the interview, then we are going to get you exactly where you want to go.
I am not going to belabor this point. I appreciate that you continue to come back to get the information that you need to make informed choices about where you want to be, where you want to take your career, and where you want to take advantage of full opportunities. Thank you for reading. Make sure you tune in again for another episode.
About Mignon Blanc
Mignon Blanc is currently a Maternal Infant Care Product Sales Specialist at GE HealthCare based in Los Angeles, CA.
She joined GE Healthcare in 2019 as a member of the Commercial Leadership Program (CLP). CLP is a 2 year rotational program that teaches in-depth sales and marketing skills, and is based in various cities across the US. Following CLP, she upheld the position of West Region Deal Architect. In this role, she strategically designed, analyzed, and project managed the largest multi-modality opportunities in the Western Region of the U.S. While in the role she generated over $25M in revenue.
Mignon is originally from New Orleans, LA. In 2019 she graduated with a B.S. in Biology Pre-Med from Loyola University of New Orleans. Outside of her day job, she is heavily involved in the National Sales Network, where she currently upholds the role of Early Career Development Board Chair and V.P. of Marketing for the Los Angeles Chapter. She is also an avid community servant who dedicates her spare time to supporting NICU families through the organization Miracle Babies.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Medical Sales Podcast Community today: