Rep finds balance in contract sales

July 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

For Lorraine Simpson, a Chicago-based sales representative with Professional Detailing Inc., there are no downsides to working for a contract sales organization. "I'm telling you, it's wonderful!" she said. "But the perception is that in contractual work, you don't work as hard and you're not on the same level. In my opinion, we work just as hard."

For Lorraine Simpson, a Chicago-based sales representative with Professional Detailing Inc., there are no downsides to working for a contract sales organization. "I'm telling you, it's wonderful!" she said. "But the perception is that in contractual work, you don't work as hard and you're not on the same level. In my opinion, we work just as hard."

Challenge is built into the contract situation itself. "We want to see the contracts get renewed," Simpson explained. "So it's to our advantage to really work hard to prove to the company that we can increase sales."

"The expectations are just the same - you see a certain number of physicians, do sales promotions ... your managers and evaluations are the same. The only difference is that you usually don't have the entertainment budgets that other companies have," she said. "So therefore, your evening and weekend programs are less."

Simpson got her start as a full-time, "noncontract" sales representative with Syntex Laboratories in the early 1980s. After taking a break from her sales career and having a son, Simpson came back to work - this time as a contract rep. With an active family life, social and community calendar, art and gardening, the less hectic evening schedule is a plus.

"What I like is the diversity of all of it - learning a new product, meeting different people," Simpson said. And her company has helped. "I have probably done more interesting things with PDI than I've ever been able to do before." As for the old, "noncontract" days? Simpson said, "I haven't looked back since!"

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