What is the difference between pharmaceutical and insurance sales?



What is the difference between pharmaceutical and insurance sales?
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4 Replies to “What is the difference between pharmaceutical and insurance sales?”

  1. It really depends on what type of industry or customer the insurance rep is selling to but pharmaceutical would be strictly business to business. It is more sexy as far as company cars, home offices and expense allowances go. Many insurance jobs I’ve seen have been strictly commission compensation while pharma reps typically have a strong base salary as well. The day you get into pharma, you will be making good money and insurance could take a while longer to build your territory and residuals. Qualifications and experience “seem” to be much more stringest for pharma reps than insurance reps. Both have great money making potential


  2. Do you mean pay? Benefits? Job satisfaction?

    Pharma reps have a base and then commission, but often you have to hit 100% of your sales goals to earn any of that.

    Benefits are decent, usually – not always – a company car (if they don’t provide you one, you’ll get $1,000/month or so to cover insurance, gas, maintenance, etc). Healthcare packages are decent, too.

    Job satisfaction is at an all-time low in pharma. Every rep I know wants to get out. I did the job for 2 years and finally got out; even in the face of the current economy, it was the best decision I ever made. Doctors are harder than ever to get to, “perks” (like fun marketing stuff and meals) are being cut back, managed care is making it more and more difficult to have prescription brand-name drugs covered, and the pressure is on to see more doctors, more pharmacists, do more lunches, more dinners, spend more time working, etc. than ever before.

    Two girls I used to work with who left pharma before I did now work in insurance. The pay isn’t as high but they still get a decent base salary and car allowance.


  3. The other major differences:

    Pharma is a product or a tangible.

    Insurance is a service or an intangible.

    Insurance, in my opinion and if you are of the correct mindset, can have a better longevity to it if you stick it out and actually work very hard at it. Because while you can build “accounts” in Pharma, you can have clients for a lifetime in insurance. Insurance continually pays over your career. It’s called the “back end”. You see, if you sign up a customer and they stay and renew with your insurance company, you get paid continually. This is why you may make more as a Pharma Rep at the beginning, but as a good insurance agent, you can make money well into the future and it can actually grow.

    My insurance agent with Northwestern Mutual has sold us Life, Disability and other policies. He’s 53 and works about three days per week now because his book of business is huge. Took a while to get here, but he has not worked a Friday in over four years.






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