“The essence of my job is building trust and strengthening professional relationships with customers.”
Teva Canada is proud to showcase the amazing talent of our employees through our new ‘Meet the expert’ series. Through their ongoing commitment, Teva employees are touching the lives of almost 200 million patients daily. We are pleased to share stories from the many subject-matter experts from across our organization.
Meet the [Messenger]: Julien Dery
Julien Dery is now in his fourth year as a sales representative in Quebec for Teva Canada. It is his job to make Teva stand out in a competitive marketplace, and he understands that comes down to building and strengthening connections with his customers. Here, he shares how he rises to that challenge every day, and the advice he would give to others just starting out.
My interest in health care started at a very young age. So much so that for a school project in the fifth grade, I wrote my own, short version medical dictionary and shared it with my class. A number of my friends went on to become doctors and although that did not really speak to me personally, the healthcare field really piqued my interest early on, and so you could say that is where my sales journey began.
I worked for multiple pharmaceutical companies after I graduated university. As rewarding as it was, after four or five years I was looking to continue to enhance my sales and leadership skills, I made the leap to real estate where I spent a few years overseeing a large portfolio of rental properties in the downtown Montreal area. While doing that, by chance, I met an acquaintance who happened to mention an opportunity at Teva in Sales, as they thought I would be a great fit. At that time, I was thinking that I wanted to return to the healthcare field and here is a great opportunity to do so.
There was definitely a learning curve when I made the move to generic pharma. I frankly did not know what the generic field entailed – it is really its own beast. There was a bit of a learning curve when I made the move to real estate and an even sharper learning curve when I moved to Teva. Again, it is about dealing with people and rapport building, which was something that came naturally to me.
Influencing, helping others and contributing to improving the lives of patients are great inspirations in being in my current role as I continue to learn, grow and evolve. In my work, I know that I am contributing to the improved lives of patients and creating a positive experience for my customers as well. I get to put all that together almost every day in my job as a Sales Rep.
The biggest challenge in my job is the nature of the extremely competitive market that we are in and convincing customers to choose Teva over the competitor. To overcome that, I do my best to build trust, offer timely and reliable service, and gain a better understanding of what our customer’s needs are.
People, no matter the field, no matter the competition, no matter the product or the service, ultimately like to work with people that they like. That holds true in my role where, in Quebec, we are all mandated by the same limitations and we all sell the same products with the same look at the same price. Therefore, the only thing differentiating our success is the people in sales roles.
My motivation comes from knowing that what I do is really about helping my customers help their patients – it is why we are in the business we are in. Many times, my clients would share testimonials from their patients who switched from a competitor to a Teva product and are much happier with it. It feels great knowing that I have helped made that happen.
The part of my job I enjoy most is challenging myself every day in an ever-evolving industry. There is always something new happening. There is no time for things to become stale. I want to make things happen, and that is something I truly get from my work as a Sales Representative. Again, building strong connections with customers, forming bonds with colleagues, and the fact that each day presents a completely new set of challenges.
Although the pandemic presents its challenges, it also created opportunities for us to be creative with the technology available to us. It seemed like the whole world took a pause when the pandemic hit, but pharmacists never stopped. The doctor’s offices were closed for face-to-face visits, so not only did pharmacists not get the work from home break that many of us got, but they also had to work even harder because patients were depending on pharmacies for medical advice. In turn, that meant many more emails and calls for us sales reps, but it was really the opportunity to try to support them virtually, however we could. So I made sure I was there for them as much as possible, from a distance.
The thing I cannot live without at work is my cell phone. That is the beauty of living in 2022, you are always connected, which ensures we can more effectively support our customers, anytime, anywhere. Coffee for my clients and myself is also very important; as I am sure, the same is true for most of us!
Even outside of work, I like to challenge myself. I really enjoy reading anything and everything about philosophy among others. I also enjoy everything tech-related. So much so, that I put together a PC of my own. During the pandemic, I learned a new hobby such as woodworking, make wooden puzzles, which then transitioned into tearing them apart, and putting them back together in different ways.
I would tell anyone who is just starting out as a sales rep that if you do not find an open door or window, break through the wall. This is something that comes through experiences in different fields, meeting different people, and facing different challenges. It became apparent to me that if you cannot find an obvious solution, then “create” one. Many people, especially younger people just out of school are often intimidated by certain industries or certain roles. However, success in sales is an acquirable skill – many people think it is innate, but it is not. I really find that it is a skill that you can develop over time.
I think the keys to success in sales, in no particular order would be: patience, resilience, agility, self-motivation, authenticity and rapport building, just to name a few.