Article Title: Forrest Gump’s Guide to Selling Success
Author Byline: Peggy McKee – the Sales Recruiter
Author Website:

From Forrest Gump’s Guide to Becoming a Gazillionaire, on

Who taught Elvis how to dance, received the Congressional Medal of Honor, got Nixon impeached, became the world ping-pong champion, built a national shrimping empire, and fathered Haley Joel Osment?

One man: Forrest Gump.

If I could choose one mentor in business, or in life in general, it would be Gump. I don’t care that he’s not real. The wisdom that he conveys is real, and I think we could all learn something from it.

This advice is so great, I’m going to tweak it for you so you can use it for medical sales (and still make a little money):


“And cause I was a gazillionaire, and I liked doin’ it so much, I cut that grass for free.”

If you’re in sales, you better like people and love sales. If you’re in medical sales, you better love the science and technology of it, too, so that keeping up with trends and development in the industry is a pleasure, not a chore. Be in the kind of medical sales that really interests you-there’s a lot to choose from: medical device sales, laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, hospital equipment sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, cellular or molecular products sales, surgical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, or biotechnology sales. (Find out about how to get into medical sales.) If you love it, you’ll be good at it, and if you’re good at it, the money will come.


“I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.”

E.Q. is just as important as I.Q. Successful salespeople know that sales are a lot about building relationships-it’s not just about the product. Customers know if you’re really in it to help them, or to help you.


“Stupid is as stupid does.”

Make good decisions. All the time. Don’t get caught not being where you said you’d be (sometimes they’re tracking you), keep your commitments, follow through, and make your company look good.


“When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go… you know… I went.”

Take care of yourself. Keeping yourself in good physical condition by getting enough exercise, eating right, getting enough rest, and taking mental breaks from the job once in a while will keep you at the top of your game.


“Momma always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.”

Find a mentor. Read books on sales. Read medical sales blogs. Come to the medical sales recruiter for custom consulting to help you be the best sales rep you can be and have the best job you can have.


“I gotta save Bubba!”

Loyalty matters.


“Jenny taught me how to climb. And I taught her how to dangle.”

If you had a mentor (or even if you didn’t), be one. Be a team player. Always be networking. You never know where your next lead is coming from, or whether you might need a job sometime in the future. Someone who has been willing to help others will almost always get that generosity rewarded in some way down the road.


“My Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”

Don’t dwell on a sale that didn’t close, or a job that went bad. Learn what you can from it, and move on.


“I’m sorry I had to fight in the middle of your Black Panther party.”

Learning the art of apologizing will serve you well. Using it even when you don’t think you’re wrong will (sometimes) serve you better.


“Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I can run like the wind blows.”

If you’re in sales, you better know how to brag. About your products when you’re selling, and about yourself when you’re job searching. One great tip is to keep a brag book. What do you keep in it? Letters from happy customers, “good job” letters from sales managers, sales and revenue numbers, data on improvements you’ve made, training you’ve completed, awards and accomplishments. Learning how to use it in interviews will give you an edge.


“My Momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ ”

On medical sales: No kid ever said, “I want to grow up to be a medical supply sales rep!” Still, there’s satisfying reward, financially and otherwise, in educating customers and delivering a product that will benefit people. There’s a lot of ways to combine the loves of people, business and science in healthcare sales.

On job searching: Don’t be afraid to move on (and up) if you get the opportunity, and don’t be afraid to go after what you want. Be open-minded about relocating, because it could be the step that leads to really great things. One tool that can help you move up or get the job is the 30/60/90 day sales plan template


“That’s all I have to say about that.”

Just as important as knowing when to talk, and when to push for the close, is knowing when to shut up and wait.


Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

About the author, Chief Executive Restaurant Recruiter

Born in Arkansas, moved to FL for 3 years as a youngster. Lived in GA most of my life. Married in 1985, 2 kids, one of each. Graduate of USNA Class of 1980. Love golf, computers, poker, photography, and gadgets.

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