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What Makes A Good Medical Sales Rep With Rob Bahna

Posted on November 22, 2023

Success in medical sales is not only about knowledge, but also about the application of that knowledge, adapting proactively, and being aware of your impact in the room. In this episode, we have Rob Bahna  discuss what truly makes a good medical sales rep. From his early beginnings to climbing the ladder of success, Rob provides a firsthand account of his journey through various leadership positions in medical sales. He shares the key attributes that define a successful candidate aiming for a career in medical sales. Rob’s advice is crystal clear: it’s not just about having the knowledge; it’s about demonstrating a track record of success, even if it’s not directly related to the field. His emphasis on giving a hundred percent in everything you do becomes a guiding principle for aspirants. Tune in now and elevate your understanding of what it takes to thrive in medical sales!

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What Makes A Good Medical Sales Rep With Rob Bahna

We have with us another special guest. He goes by the name of Rob Bahna. Rob has had a very long and extensive career in medical sales. As always, we do our best to bring you guests who are doing things differently in the medical sales space. I do hope you enjoy this interview.

Rob, how are we doing?

I’m great, Samuel. How are you?

No complaints. Just making it happen in 2023. Why don’t you tell the audience who you are and what you do?

My name is Rob Bahna, but before I do that, I want to say congratulations on the 153 or so episodes.

Thank you. I appreciate that, Rob. We’ve come a long way. We’re very proud of it. Thank you.

You should be. I can remember when I first got my start in medical sales. I would’ve loved to have had a resource like Evolve Your Success and given advice to people about breaking into medical sales. Obviously, I know it also goes to people who have been around a while, like me, trying to remain at the top or advance their careers. I think that’s fantastic and I’m honored to be talking here. I personally have been in the medical sales field for over 30 years. I’m a legacy. My dad was also in medical sales for 30 years, so it’s been part of my life for my whole life.

That’s a first. Your dad was a medical sales professional for 30 years.

I’m very passionate about selling. I’m proud to be a professional medical salesperson. I’m the first to tell everybody that. I believe I’m a student of selling. I believe that the minute that I think I know too much is the minute I lose my value to my company. It’s always growing and learning. I’ve had the pleasure of hiring over 1,000 salespeople in the medical field. I’ve had the opportunity to train over 1,500 in a variety of different training programs.

I’ve done over 3,000 coaching sessions, ride-a-longs, or whatever you term them, with a lot of salespeople. I’ve learned a lot from each of those. Some of it was good and some of it the stuff that I hope I never did.

You’re almost six years of experience because there’s your 30, and then there’s your dad’s 30 that I’m assuming was passed on to you. Is that the case or not quite?

Some of it was. We never sat down and talked about sales strategies until I got into sales. When I did, then we would start to talk about that. I was very fortunate that I left the company to go spend the last ten years of his career before he retired. We worked at the same organization for the last 10 years or close to 10 years. That was a blast. I got to see him win awards. He got to see me win awards.

This gets better and better. What position did you have?

I was a Director of Sales and he was a Regional Manager. He didn’t work for me, but I outranked him.

I don’t even know how to take that. How did he take that?

He was great with it. He was very proud of what I was able to accomplish. I have the unique experience of starting four inside sales programs for four different medical companies. Way before inside sales, that’s how I got my start. Way before anybody even knew what inside sales was. Back then, we even still called it telemarketing. Things were different back then, especially with startups, so a lot of my career has been with companies under $1 billion and a lot of it has been startups.

Whether it was starting a new division of an existing company or a complete startup, that’s where I’ve spent quite a bit of my time as well. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s a great way to make a living if you’re selling something you are passionate about, believe in, and make a difference for people. I would never do it any other way.

It's a great way to make a living right if you're selling something you're really passionate about. Share on X

Did he report to you?

He did not. We wouldn’t have done that. That wouldn’t have worked well.

That would’ve been pretty tough.

We both played baseball in college. We’re pretty competitive to the point where my mom has forbidden us to even play baseball together. That wouldn’t have worked well.

Do you have siblings or is it just you?

Two older sisters. One that’s an attorney and one that’s a teacher.

It’s you and Dad then going back and forth. That’s the only way. You have so much experience. I’d venture to say you’ve probably seen almost everything.

I’ve seen a lot. I think that there’s an opportunity to grow all the time. As I alluded to it, I’m a big believer. I’m going to throw a few sayings out at you. I’m a sayings guy because I’m a storyteller when I sell. I believe what was good enough to get you there isn’t good enough to keep you there or get you to the next level. I am always looking at how we do things. One of the companies that I worked for had a great thing in our motto. The motto was, “We don’t do things the best way. We just do things the best way we know how.”

When we bring you in, we want you to teach us a better way. If there is a better way, I’m all open for that. It would be hard for a salesperson to give me an excuse or something like that that I haven’t heard at least a few times. At the same time, it’s a very different world than it was 33 years ago when I started calling out physician’s offices. HMOs and PPOs didn’t even exist. Nobody even knew what those were.

I don’t want to bore everybody with all that, but there were no cell phones. There was no email. When you went in for an appointment, they would shut the door and they wouldn’t answer the phone. Obviously, the selling environment, whether in acute care with purchasing, didn’t exist then or they didn’t have the authority they do now. There were no GPOs and no IDNs.

It’s a very different world, but to me, the fundamentals of selling don’t change. The tools you use, the availability of information, even the expectations of the customers, and your preparedness are all different. I think the buyer is more educated because there’s so much more information that they can go do. They go do their own research more than we were the information back then.

I did a talk about the power of social media. There’s some research that we pulled out by Gartner that was showing how decision-makers now, most of them are millennials, and the millennial decision-maker don’t even want to deal with the sales rep in any way, shape or form. They want to do their own research, and then when they need a sales rep if they have questions about their own research, but they prefer to make decisions off their research.

You obviously have to adjust to that as an organization and as a salesperson. I think you have to be more prepared because they’re better educated when you go in front of them, especially at the higher levels. I think that dictates a lot of what your pre-call planning needs to be and what your preparation needs to be. Of course, it also depends on the education level of the product you’re selling that you’re actually getting across, and then who are you calling on?

It’s very different, in terms of my preparation, if I’m dealing with someone that’s frontline patient care than if I’m dealing with the CFO on the C-suite. I’m not going to ask them the same questions and they don’t expect me to ask them the same questions. That’s where it’s a little different, but the fundamentals of understanding the customer, uncovering their needs, and then presenting it in a way that you’re focused on how it’s going to solve their issues and problems versus your features, that’s never going to change for the best sales.

MSP 164 | Career Success

Career Success: The fundamentals of understanding the customer, uncovering their needs, and then presenting it in a way that you’re focused on how it’s going to solve their issues and problems versus your features, that’s never going to change for the best sales.


Did your experience consist of both inside and outside sales experience?


Let’s jump into what makes a good sales professional. I would love to hear from you, thinking about the individual contributor, what would you say are the top three things that someone needs to be able to bring each and every day if they’re serious about being successful in a medical sales position?

Attitude, work ethic, and good judgment.


That’s not always easy to uncover, but when I sit down and talk to people, that’s what I look for and that’s what I try and uncover. Where do they fall in those three? There are other intangibles. You have to be able to communicate and all of those things that go beyond that. Those are the three that I look for the most.

I love the fact that you’ve had so many interviews in your career. Think about one of these candidates that’s interviewing for you. How do you assess their work ethic, attitude, and judgment?

You have to ask good questions, you obviously have to look at their track record, and you have to look at depending on what their experience has been. The interesting thing for me is I’ve hired a lot of kids right out of school, and then I’ve hired people with 15, 20, or 25 years of experience, depending on which organization it’s been. You have to adjust your questions based on what you are looking at in front of you and their experience level. If it’s somebody like Joe Testa, who I hired right out of college, he was an athlete. You have to look at what he has done so far and what he has done to show that he has that work ethic and drive. Good judgment is the hardest part to find. That’s the one that is not easy.

The other part, if I’m dealing with someone who has experience, I want to know what they have done with hitting their quota. Where do they rank in their sales organization? Talk to me about the sale you’re most proud of. It doesn’t have to be the one that’s the biggest dollar amount. Walk me through what happened. Tell me about the hardest sale you ever made regarding length of sale or complexity, and walk me through that.

What I’m trying to do is try and find out from them, what is that drive? It’s interesting because I tell my people all the time, “I’m not worried about what happens when we’re there. I’m worried that we’re not giving the customer what they need when we’re not there, and they have to fight the internal battle and someone’s telling them no.” As it relates to the hiring side, I’m trying to uncover what they are going to do. Are they self-motivated enough to get up in the morning and do what they need to do without someone looking over their shoulder? That’s where you have to try and ask good questions and have them tell you about their successes in the past.

We’re going to dig in a little bit more then, especially around these questions, because good judgment is a challenging thing to properly assess on a stranger. Considering you’ve had so much experience, talk to us a little bit about how you’re able to sift through the fluff. Give us an example of what it looks like with someone who’s pretending to showcase good judgment and what it looks like with someone who, in your opinion, does have good judgment.

If I were to look at a resume and there were 3 or 4 job changes in 3 or 4 years, we’re all going to naturally dig into that whenever we’re doing an interview. I’m going to usually ask 2 or 3 questions that go a little bit deeper once they give me an answer. If they said to me, “There was a layoff and I was the last one hired.”

I’m going to dig into that a little bit. I’m going to say, “We’ve all experienced that. That’s a tough thing. Tell me a little bit more about the layoff. How many people were in the salesforce? How many were affected by the layoff?” Depending on where they were and how long they’ve been there, I want to see if they’re going to take any ownership of it or if it really was the case. It could go either way. One of the things I love to do is I’d love to take people out to dinner in the interview process.


I almost always take people out to dinner.

This is new. Do they interview with you during the day or does the actual interview happen over dinner?

Usually, the interview is first or even after. If I was flying into town and they weren’t available that next night, I would go to dinner with them first, and then I would do the interview the next day. The reason for that is we’re all different when we’re in an interview. I want to see how they treat the waiter. I want to see how they treat the people in the restaurant. I want to see how they interact with other people when they’re on their best behavior.

I have seen this before, but it’s not common. If the dinner’s before the actual interview, during the dinner, I’m assuming you’re trying not to ask any interview questions for the following day or whenever that interview’s going to happen. Outside of seeing how they treat other people, what are you revolving the conversation around?

Usually, by then, we’ve at least done an initial interview. I won’t go into anything new, but I’ll ask them a little bit more about what it was that they already talked to me about. Some of it is I try to see if they lead and steer the conversation.

Do you like that when a candidate tries to lead and steer the conversation?

Yes, in that situation. I’m a big believer in the steps of the sales call and an interview is nothing other than a sales call. You’re selling yourself, not a product. When I sell and when I try and work with salespeople, I believe in engineering agreement to move the ball forward. I like them to feel like they’re in control while we’re in control. That’s giving them an opportunity to say, “I don’t have any more time.”

An interview is really nothing other than a sales call. You're just selling yourself, not a product. Share on X

When they’ve said, “You’ve got 30 minutes.” When I look at my watch and I say, “When we sat down, you mentioned you had something else, and we’re at 30 minutes. The conversation’s going well, but I want to be sensitive to your time. Do you want to keep going or should we schedule some of the time?” A lot of the time, you keep going. They’ll say, “Let’s keep going.”

It depends on how you control the conversation. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be in it as a profession. I believe people love to buy, but they hate to be sold. It’s a feeling of, is it a conversation? Is it somebody leading me somewhere? Is it somebody that’s presenting before they even know I have a need? In that kind of situation, I would love to see this person ask me some questions about the organization. Usually, when I start the dinner, I usually say, “I don’t want this to be an interview. I’m not going to ask you anything that’s inappropriate, but ask me whatever you want.” I just see what they say.

How many times were you certain or thought you wanted to hire someone, and then the dinner is what ruled them out?

Probably 15% to 20% of the time.

What is that like? Without naming names, give us the scenario. I’m sure the audience is thinking, “I want to know what those stories sound like.” Drop it on this, Rob.

Some of it’s amazing. We had a candidate once and I had our regional manager with us, who had already interviewed this person three times. We got done with this dinner. This candidate went off on the waiter because the drink was wrong.

In front of everybody?

We’re all sitting there in suits at a chain restaurant and he went off because it was a Diet Coke versus a regular Coke.

What happens?

We knew right then. We finished the dinner, but he was there. If that’s how he reacted to something as benign as a drink order being wrong, how will he react with your customer service team? Even when we’re doing that, I’m almost looking as much for how would they interact with your internal team and your internal customers versus your external customers.

We all know when we’re dealing with external customers, whether introverts or extroverts, we’re on stage, actors, and we know that. How do they interact with the internal team that is instrumental in helping us get our job done? That’s where that made me go, “Wait a minute.” I can remember the regional manager. We got back out in the car and he said, “I don’t know who the heck that person was, but that was not the guy that I spent three days interviewing.” There’s all kinds of little things like that.

In addition to that story, what was the situation with the candidate that impressed you the most out of all the candidates you’ve ever interviewed?

At a dinner?

Tell us what the situation was and what they did that impressed you so much.

The ones that impress you the most. Although it’s a little different now, are the ones that have done their homework. They’ve come in and they’ve got a presentation prepared. They’ve come in and they’re ready to even do a role play without you asking them to do that. They come in and they differentiate themselves from all the other candidates. That’s what you’re trying to do. That’s what your resume’s designed to do.

It’s designed to, in fifteen seconds, get somebody to say, “Let’s talk to this person or at least give them a phone screen.” What you’re looking for is how is this person going to be different. What is their preparation level like for this interview? If you haven’t done your planning or pre-call planning for an interview, what are you going to do when you have five calls? It is very telling, especially at what level you’re hiring at.

I want to get into some of your history, but before we do that, I want to talk a little bit more about your experience with sales professionals. We’ve talked about the individual contributors and candidates, but now I want to move it to sales leaders. Just because of your position, you’ve managed multiple sales leaders. In your opinion, what are the top three things you think a sales team leader needs to have?

A psychology degree. That’s actually what my degree is in. In all seriousness, I would say they have to have great communication skills. They have to have the ability to teach. They have to have patience. When I first got promoted, I worked for an incredible mentor who was an incredible salesperson. When I got promoted very quickly, six months into my career, I was managing people who were twice my age.

He sat me down and said, “The hardest thing that you are going to run into, and any manager does when they get promoted, is not everyone is going to have the same work ethic that you do. Not everyone is going to care as much as you do. You can’t expect that. If we had a room full of you, we wouldn’t even need a manager.

Not everyone is going to have the same work ethic that you do. Not everyone is going to care as much as you do. Share on X

Lead from the front and have high expectations, but don’t put your expectations so high that you are going to get overly frustrated in your role.” The toughest thing for a new manager in my experience and I’m not displaying it very well right now is learning to be quiet. You go in and one of the first things you do when you go to a ride-a-long and you see somebody struggling a little bit is you want to jump in.

Jump in and then say, “This is how you do it.” You’re restraining yourself with all your might. I know exactly what you’re talking about.

That is a skill and you have to work at that. Teach a person to fish or hand them a fish. If it was a large IDN that meant millions, I’m not going to let them press and turn on that. You have to be willing to allow them to make those mistakes and learn from them in the right situation.

You started with Sage Products back in ’98, correct?

That’s when I started with Sage, yes.

Before that, was it college and you knew you wanted to do this role? Was this an opportunity you decided to take after college?

I actually thought I was going to be a clinical psychologist and I did some work, on the complete extreme, with paranoid schizophrenics. I had known this one patient for over two years and he saw something on a bus sign that sent him completely back into not even knowing who I was anymore. I’m such a goal-oriented person. I understand that’s the extreme, but it’s part of the reason I work out pretty much every day because it’s one of those things I can control. I do it and I’m done. I can check that box and move to the next thing. There are so many things in sales that we can’t control that are those variables.

Knowing I was a goal-oriented person, I decided, “I don’t think that’s going to fit for me.” I turned to what my dad was doing and I said, “It’s given us a good life and he seems to enjoy it.” I sat down and talked to him about it and he said, “If that’s what you want to do, I’ll let you talk to a couple of recruiters that I use and they’ll give you some advice.” I was talking about how it would’ve been great to have your resources around. That’s kind of how I got into it.

You’ve been a sales manager. You’ve been a national director. You’ve been a VP. You’ve been an Executive VP. You’ve consistently made headway into the role you are now. Give us your philosophy on what drives you to take your career success to where it is. Is it something that every day you say to yourself? Is it a mantra? Is it spiritual-based? Tell us what that life philosophy is that drives you.

I think it’s helping people achieve what they want to achieve and being a conduit for them to do that. Obviously, there’s some self-certainness in there because it helps me get to where I want to get to. You get to a level, hopefully, where you’re looking outwards and not always looking inwards. Whether it’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or however you want to look at it, there are stages to your career. Once you have a certain level of income and a certain level of accomplishment, it becomes much easier to look outward. I’ve been the team captain of every team I was ever on. I was a student class president. I’ve always been a leader.

Once you have a certain level of income and a certain level of accomplishment, it becomes much easier to look outward. Share on X

It’s been one of those things where I haven’t always been a vocal leader, but I’ve been someone who, if we were going to do a run, I would finish first or second every time. If we were going to go do a workout after practice and none of us felt like doing it, I was going to do it and I was going to be there doing that. I have high expectations of myself and I have expectations of others. That’s the kind of person I want to work for, but I don’t expect anybody to work harder than me. That will never happen. I don’t ever ask someone to do something that I’m not willing to do in front of them.

If I say, “Why don’t you try this?” They were to say to me, “Can you give me an example?” Absolutely, I’d be happy to give you an example. If you want me to handle this one in front of the customer, I’d be happy to. I shouldn’t expect you to be able to do something. That goes beyond selling. It goes into management and it goes into every facet of the business of trying to help people. I’ve been very blessed with the mentors that I’ve had. I take mentoring very seriously and pay it forward, whatever verbiage you want to use for that. That motivates me.

It’s funny that you say the work ethics. I’ve interviewed hundreds of VPs, CEOs, and you name it. What I consistently hear from VPs, especially, “No one is going to outwork me.” I’m not making this up. It’s clicking right now, but I think that is the most consistent thing that I hear from VP-level professionals. “No one’s going to outwork me.” You just reinforced that whole thing. That’s cool. Everybody tuning in, those candidates out there tuning in, I hope you’re taking notes because Rob is dropping knowledge on us over here.

You’ve been doing this for a long time. When you look at it, we all have our own strengths and we all have things we do well. If you become in perspective, you work with people, and you give them the opportunity to give you feedback, whether they’re your superior or someone who is a colleague or someone that works technically for you, I try and invite that feedback all the time. The goal is for all of us to get better. I know that there are things that I’m good at and I know that there are things that other people do a lot better than I do.

That whole thing of, “You’re not going to outwork me.” I’m not going to lose because I get outworked. One of the owners of one of our companies said, “There are no unrealistic expectations. They’re just unrealistic timeframes.” He used to always also say, “We’ve never lost a game yet. We may have run out of time but weren’t giving up yet. We haven’t lost a game yet.”

Whoever created that, tell him I’m stealing that as of now. I’ll be using those terms. Let’s get back to you. You’ve worked for all these different companies. I’m looking at four different companies you worked for. All in the leadership positions. All in the VP space. Here you are now with another one. How do you make it work with your social life? Are you a family man? Do you have kids? The wife? How do you make it all work?

I’m blessed. My wife, Jenny, and I just celebrated our 30th anniversary in Iceland weeks ago. She’s been the rock and the support.

I’m going to call you the man of 30. Your dad gave 30. You put in 30. You’ve been married for 30 years. You’re sending records over here. That is wonderful.

Unfortunately, we were not blessed with kids. We met in college at a gate camp. That was always part of the plan, but that didn’t happen. Outside of work, we fill our time with volunteering at some animal shelters and some things like that. You can see the pictures of the dog behind me, probably. A lot of family, a lot of nieces and nephews, and all of that. I’m a sports fanatic. I’m an avid reader. I read probably two books a week. One business book, one bestseller. Stephen King’s book, Holly, came out and I finished it. I would much rather sit down with a book than watch TV.

I thought I was doing something with my 2 to 3 books a month. Two books a week? I got to step my game up. Challenge me, Rob. I got to step my game up. Do you travel a lot?

I do. I’m on the road for the next five weeks. We’re in trade show season, so that doesn’t happen all the time. I believe training is an ongoing thing. It’s not an event. I think too many companies treat training as an event. We’re going to have a two-day training program and then pretend that that’s going to change habits. It’s not. If you are going to help people grow and change habits, you have to be consistent with what you’re trying to show them and the feedback that you’re giving them. Part of it is trying to be consistently out there.

MSP 164 | Career Success

Career Success: Training is an ongoing thing. It’s not an event.


Also, the value that I can bring to my organization is providing customer feedback and providing them with what we’re hearing in the marketplace. If you do it well, some people respond to titles. They’ll often share things with me that they won’t share with one of the account managers. That’s where I can come in and ask a question, or ask an opinion, or ask them for some feedback in a way that doesn’t potentially impede on that direct relationship with our business.

When I go out and work with the salesperson, I ask them what they want me to do. I’m not there to say, “You did this well.” We’re going in and we’re saying, “What’s our plan? What’s our goal? What do you want me to do? Let’s get this done.” We’re hiring good people. I’m not there to babysit anybody. We’re there to have fun, number one. My favorite saying in life is, “Life is too short to dance with ugly men.” That’s a Mae West saying.

I’ve never heard that in my entire life. Say one more time.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men. You can look at me. I’m obviously not talking about my looks as it relates to that, but I’m going back to that attitude and having fun. That’s the way I try and approach it. Let’s have a good time while we’re doing this. Why not? You could take it the other way, but it’s not the way I want to go.

On that note, we’re going to be bringing this to a close. I want you to drop some knowledge for each segment I’m going to mention right now. The first one, one thing that you tell the candidates that are all looking to get into medical sales right now. What’s the one thing you would leave with them on this episode?

Whatever you’re doing, give it 100% and be successful at it. Even if it’s not what you want to be doing yet, you’ve got to show a track record of success however you can get that to help differentiate yourself from the other candidates that are out there.

For the medical sales professionals who are in the field now, what would you share with them?

I think we’ve gotten too reactive. In many cases, we are not as proactive anymore as we used to be, in my experience, of good territory management and good customer planning. What’s our strategy there? The way that I look at sales training is it’s a playbook if we use the sports analogy. A playbook is not where you stop. Before you go into an account or a game, you drop a game plan. You have your playbook, and then you have your game plan. When I’m in front of the defense and they’re changing, now I’m going to call on audible. There are three levels of it.

In many cases now, we stop at one level instead of looking at it as a little bit longer term than it should be. Especially in capital sales, which is what I’m in now. If I miss out, I may be looking at 2, 3, or 4 years down the road, but I’ve still got to have a plan and I still need to be proactive so I don’t miss that chance as much as I can.

I think that’s the thing. Make sure you are looking at whatever your territory or whatever yours is proactively and make sure that you have a plan and that you’re working that way. There are too many things that we react to and a lot of it’s necessary stuff. If you continue to allow that shiny object to take you away from what’s urgent and important, you’re never going to get where you want to go.

MSP 164 | Career Success

Career Success: If you continue to allow that shiny object to take you away from what’s urgent and important, you’re never going to get to where you want to go.


You’ll never hit the goal. You nailed it. You have to have that plan. That saying, “You have a plan until you get punched in the mouth.” Tyson said it. It goes back to what you’re saying. It’s one thing to get in the field with no plan and try to react to customers. If you have a plan and even if your plan can’t be executed the way you thought, you’re going to be able to move a lot farther and a lot faster because you had that original plan. You had something to bring the baseline back to and operate from there, even though the environment did not support that original plan. I completely agree with that.

When I say the phrase, “self-aware,” what does that mean to you?

Self-aware is the awareness of how you are perceived by the people around you.

That is a fundamental characteristic of most successful people. It is something a lot of people are missing. If you don’t have that, it is a big detriment in selling, in my experience. If you are not conscious of the room and if you’re not conscious of how people are reacting to what you’re saying. In order to be able to do that, you have had to have practiced. You have to know your stuff whole so that you can be aware of the environment and you can be self-aware. I think your definition was great. That’s where the people that I see even on my team now, they are good versus those who are struggling, there’s a big difference in their self-awareness.

This has been fantastic spending time with you. We have one more thing to do called the lightning round. Are you ready?

As ready as I’ll ever be.

You have 4 questions and less than 10 seconds to answer each one. First question, what is the best book you’ve read in the last six months?

I went back and re-read Wooden on Leadership and Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. Those two are certainly classics, but they are great reminders of what it takes to be an elite performer and an elite leader and how striving for those things and working towards them is an ongoing project for life.

I read both of those books and I couldn’t agree more. Best movie or TV show you’ve seen in the last six months?

I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies, but I guess the best one tied back to reading would be A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks, based on the book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I watched that on a plane.

I’ve seen the advertising but never bothered to watch or read the book or movie. It’s good stuff?

It’s good stuff.

How about food? The best meal you’ve had in the last six months?

Being in Chicago, if I don’t say pizza, I’m probably going to get hit. We have a tradition with, as much as I travel, that usually on a Thursday or Friday when I come home, we’ve got a good Chicago deep dish pizza that’s sitting here. Other than that, I would say I’m a big fan of Eddie V’s and I’m a big fan of their filet. We were at one last weekend, so I would probably say that one.

Last question. What is the best experience you’ve had in the last six months?

I would go back to Iceland. My wife and I are celebrating. We had an anniversary and my birthday, all two days apart. We got the pleasure of being in Iceland for that. It was everything that we thought it would be.

Iceland was never on my radar, but I’ve met a few people who have come from Iceland and they all say the same thing that it’s something else. It’s making its way on my list as well, Iceland. That’s awesome. Rob, it was wonderful hearing from you, learning from you, and being on the show. I know the audience is grateful. Thank you for being on the show and we look forward to seeing all the wonderful things you continue to do out there in medical sales.

Thank you for the opportunity. It’s my pleasure. I appreciate what you guys are doing. I think you’re helping out an awful lot of people and that’s something to be proud of. Thanks.

Thank you.

That was Rob Bahna. What is cool about medical sales is it doesn’t matter where you start, whether you started off as an orthopedics rep, trauma, ENT, endoscopy, OB-GYN, pharmaceutical, or diagnostic testing. Once you’re in this space, you have the opportunity to move into other spaces. The number of people I’ve spoken to with careers as short as five years who are doing amazing and cool things now, it’s a beautiful thing to see.

This is the industry where you can start off as a sales rep in any of these fields I mentioned earlier, perform for 2, 3, 4, or 5 years, join a startup, and have the opportunity to do something like what Rob Bahna is doing or have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of a supply that’s going to change how hospitals operate, or a device that’s going to change how the entire procedure’s done, or a drug that literally revolutionizes the condition or disease state. It’s in this industry that you can have those types of experiences. In this industry, you can spend a number of years in one space and literally move all of that experience and value to another space within medical sales.

For those of you tuning in to Rob Bahna’s episode and you’re thinking to yourself, “I loved what I was tuning in to. Give me the chance to sell what he’s talking about. I would love the opportunity to sell something like that. I’d love the opportunity to be connected to something like that.” That’s why we have the Medical Sales Career Builder program. Evolve Your Success is all about helping you evolve your success. There are levels of success. Once you hit one, it’s time to step it up to the next one and you continue to evolve.

That can look like many different things, but when it comes to your career trajectory, if you’re not in this industry and you know you want to be, why not take advantage of what can help you get there? One of the biggest things that Medical Sales Career Builder offers, our program, is that no one takes into account the level of support you need to get into one of these positions.

In addition to finding out where you want to be, that’s first and foremost. Having someone to work with you who’s in that field and who has 10 to 15-plus years of experience gives you all the ins and outs. Somebody working with you to teach you all that you need to know about interviewing, the process, how many you might have, and what you say to each type of individual. Work with somebody to develop a personal story that actually communicates your value.

When you have that kind of support, you’re going to show up differently. When you have that kind of support, you’re going to do things that you’ve never done before. That’s what we’re all about. You’re literally evolving into the person you need to be to get this job. When you get the job, the journey just started.

You then have to continue to evolve to be a performer and continue to evolve to maintain that success, and then evolve to whatever level you want to take it to after that, including doing a startup and doing something like what Rob Bahna is doing. This is the opportunity you have and this is what I believe in. It’s created such a life for me that I’ve made it my mission to invite as many people as possible. Not just invite them to this space but show them how to actually get in and succeed.

If this is you, if you’re someone out there who’s tuning in to this episode right now and you’re thinking to yourself, “Yes, Samuel, you’re speaking my language. I still and absolutely want to be in a medical sales position, help me,” then go EvolveYourSuccess.com. Fill out the application. Schedule some time with one of our account executives. Let’s have a conversation and get you to where you need to be. As always, we do our best to bring you guests who are doing things differently in the medical sales space. I do hope you come back next time for another episode.


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About Rob Bahna

MSP 164 | Career SuccessRob Bahna is a Dynamic Senior Level Medical Sales and Marketing Leader and has been in the medical sales industry for 30 years, following in his father’s footsteps who was also in med sales for 30 years. He is currently the Regional Vice President of SalesRegional Vice President of Sales at Nanosonics, an infection prevention company that has successfully developed and commercialised a unique automated disinfection technology.



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