I’ve gathered a list of questions about having a career in sales and going out in the field. I had my colleague’s answer them based off of their personal experiences. Sales is different from many others career paths in that we work from home but also do a decent amount of traveling to meet with our customers in the field. These answers from the team will hopefully resonate with someone, help someone who is thinking about taking a sales position (especially in pharmaceutical sales), or even just give you an insight into what this AvKARE Institutional Sales team is all about! Our team varies from representatives with years of experience in different sales positions, completely different career backgrounds, as well as representatives straight out of college; but one thing we all have in common is our passion for sales and the experience we’ve gained from working at AvKARE. Enjoy!


  1. What’s one way you connect with your customers and start to build a relationship with them? “Honestly, I try to enjoy a laugh with them. People naturally open up & relax when you’re smiling & laughing… then if I can show them I’m really just trying to help them, they seem to be more responsive.” – Samantha Yonkers
  2. What is your biggest piece of advice when it comes to a sales representative keeping organized and on top of their schedule? “I like to start with making a plan for the month. I map out the areas I want to visit for the month. Then I break those down into weeks. I always front load my weeks in case something has to change – I won’t be panicking trying to finish up for the month, Then I’ll break my weeks into days. I love routines; typically, my Mondays all look the same. Then my Tuesdays all look the same, etc. It makes it simple for me to stay on top of things and know what to expect while being successful! I’m old school and write everything down I want to target for the month in my journal/planner. I highlight them as I go. Something about checking things off is really satisfying to me! Then I add them into my Outlook Calendar as well.” – Alexandra Cockerham
  3. What is one thing you would say to someone who is thinking about making a career change to the sales field? “I would tell anyone looking to transition to sales to make the move if they are a self-motivated individual who enjoys collaborating with clients and colleagues to solve challenges. – Craig Speechley
  4. If you had to pick a favorite place you love to visit in your territory, what would it be? “San Diego! It’s 75 degrees and sunny every day! Hard to beat that perfect weather.” – Janneke Schroats
  5. Having years of experience in sales, what is the biggest misconception of sales reps that you have experienced? “The biggest misconception is that we are there to sell them something they don’t need or that isn’t competitive. We are there to find something that benefits the customer and the sales representative. We want everyone to win!” – Dawn Martin
  6. You have experienced a transition from an inside sales rep position to more of an outside sales position – what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from that so far? – “I had actually done outside sales for about 10 years in various industries before coming to AvKARE but decided to take the inside role in hopes to get into the pharmaceutical industry so I already had a good idea of how things would be. However, the main thing I learned from doing both roles at AvKARE is that all forms of communication are important; some buyers prefer calls, some prefer emails, and some love the in-person interaction. I think it is important to communicate with each pharmacy purchaser in the manner they prefer. The second biggest lesson I have learned is that I should have paid more attention in geography, but I am forever grateful for GPS!” – Lori Decker
  7. How do you stay positive when experiencing rejection in the sales field? “Always remember the more NO’s you get eventually you will get a “yes”. That’s the excitement of the chase!” – Kristen Okolowicz
  8. What is your favorite event to attend with the AvKARE team? “Definitely the NPPA (National Pharmacy Purchasing Association) conference in Las Vegas!” – Karen Porl
  9. Since we do not go into an office every day like many other career paths tend to do, what are ways that you self-motivate? “The truth is that I love to work so I don’t have to do much motivating. It’s harder for me to not work. There are times when I want to sleep a little longer. I will let myself skip the gym but then I have to get up and get going.” – Jen Malt
  10.  What is the biggest hurdle you’ve experienced being so young in this sales position? – “I would definitely say that the biggest hurdle I have faced being so young in this sales position is having buyers laugh when I tell my them my age, even if I think that most of our team is quite young. I always get the ‘I’ve been in this position longer than you’ve been alive!’ But then we work together to solve their problems and fill their needs and they completely forget about it.” – Christian Sweat
  11. What is the most difficult part of being in sales and what is your favorite part? “Most difficult part: The long driving hours while still making time to market other items and simply check in with buyers, for example. That’s a big one for me. It’s been so worth it because we really do work with wonderful people. It’s the driving for me though… Love: I’ve worked in different industries, and this is by far the best one I’ve worked in. The people we work with are so genuine and really care about what they do for patients. Bottom line – it’s the sincere conversations we have with our buyers and working in a crazy, but wonderful industry.” – Megan Tracy
  12. Have you had any memorable experiences with your customers? If so, what happened? “One time I was wearing a body suit to an appointment, and it somehow came unbuttoned before I walked in. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize what had happened until after I already left when my sister took a picture of me to show me what I looked like. It looked very similar to if I put my underwear on over my pants, but no one stopped me or told me the whole time I was in the hospital! A very embarrassing moment for sure, but definitely a funny story to tell!” – Mallory Myers
  13. In sales, having a brand for yourself can help you stand out among other sales representatives –in what way do you make yourself stand out to your customers? “I’ve self-branded myself by bringing a passion of mine to work. I love the beach and anything revolving around it, so I’ve incorporated beach stickers and paperclips on my catalogs, a palm tree in my signature, and send beach content in my emails. Customers love the pop of fun and remember me by it!” – Courtney Burtell
  14. If you had to choose one word to describe the AvKARE Institutional Sales team, what would it be? ENCOURAGING – “I know that I can go to anyone on this team when I’m stuck with something or having a rough day and they will talk me through anything. I think it’s important to work with people that you enjoy being around, especially since you are talking to them or collaborating with them almost every day. I’m thankful to be a part of this awesome team!” – Me (Morgan Griffing)