Scott Burrows

Scott Burrows, Medical Device & Pharmaceutical Sales Motivational Speaker

Nothing is a Given in Healthcare Sales, and That’s a Good Thing


Remember the old slogan, “There are no guarantees?” As a medical device and pharmaceutical sales speaker, I started 2020 speaking in-person to groups, then switched to virtual, and now the entire healthcare industry is somewhere in-between. One common thread from the sales reps in my audiences was “Who could have seen it coming?”

No one and Anyone

No one could have predicted a worldwide pandemic of course, but anyone who has worked in medical device sales or pharmaceutical sales for any length of time understands that the only healthcare sales constant is change.

In January 2021, as we were all in that somewhere in-between place, Greg Slabodkin wrote an article for MedTech Dive entitled “4 key trends for medtech in 2021.” The four trends noted were: Elective procedures remain under pressure; Another banner year for Covid-19 testing; Tuck-in acquisitions poised to take off and Digital, remote tech adoption to grow.

What impressed me was that within each of the categories above, was the resilience, optimism and projected flurry of activity. For example, M&A activity to the tune of nearly $500 billion, elective procedures ramping up in the third quarter and booming in the fourth quarter, and the huge increase in the reliance and quality of remote tech.

There were organizations who saw potential in adversity and those who pessimistically viewed and “succumbed” to the challenge.

By April 2021, as vaccines and their positive efficacy impacted the industry, Susan Kelly also writing for MedTech Dive said:

“Medical device makers are gaining confidence in their earnings prospects and cash flow generation as patient volumes recover from the pandemic-driven slowdown, increasing the chances that the brisk M&A pace that kicked off 2021 will continue through the year…”

In other words, those medical device and pharmaceutical companies who were determined to succeed are succeeding.

Medical Device Sales Report

The 2021 Medical Device Sales Salary Report similarly found reason for optimism. Medical device reps who had a success-oriented mindset after they went through the worst of 2020, found reasons to appreciate the potential that 2021 holds. One key finding was that:

“Job and income satisfaction are high and medical device sales reps are hopeful. While 64% of respondents felt the pandemic had a negative impact on their 2020 earnings, predictions about the ongoing impact of COVID are slightly more optimistic — only 42% say COVID will have a negative impact on 2021 earnings”

Despite the optimism there were still reps who were warily viewing 2021 and beyond. They feel defeated. As 2021 has unfolded, it can be seen that medical device reps have roughly divided into two camps: those who see numerous opportunities and a strong recovery ahead, and those who are losing their ability to deal with the challenges.

As a medical device and pharmaceutical sales motivational speaker, I know first-hand that nothing is a given in healthcare sales. I also know that it’s a good thing. You can turn failure into success, and you can overcome challenges. If 2020 knocked you down, 2021 must be the year you stand up again.



To contact Scott Burrows, medical device and pharmaceutical speaker for a virtual or live presentation, please reach out to him through this new website or his office at: (520) 548-1169


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