*$!!@# SALES REPS!!

Dom Spinella dspinella at chugaibio.com
Thu Jun 12 16:21:55 EST 1997

I'm always amused to observe the level of arrogance that seems to be
acquired in graduate school and peak in the post-doctoral/junior
scientist level.  Newly-minted Ph.D.s often seem to suffer from the
delusion that theirs is the only work that's important, and that a mere
"sales rep" is unworthy of their time and attention.  I suppose that in
my junior years, I also suffered from the same syndrome.  While I agree
that some sales reps are overbearing or under-informed about their own
products, most (particularly the successful ones) are not.  Many have
left careers as bench scientists to pursue a sales career. As I have
matured in science and scientific management, I have found that sales
reps can often be valuable resources, serving as "detail" reps do in the
pharmaceutical industry to inform investigators about new products and
protocols available to them.  They can often be a source of personnel
leads as well -- very useful when it comes time to try an fill positions
with qualified people.  So the next time you get a visit from a sales
rep, my suggestion to you is to chill out a little, put down the
arrogance and the pipette for a minute and listen respectfully.  You
just might learn something useful and/or make yourself a friend and
ally.  At the very least, you may avoid getting yourself reputation as a
jerk (sales reps talk to each other and to other scientists too you
know) which could later come back to bite you. 

-- D.G.Spinella, Ph.D.

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