Scott Burrows

Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Keynote Speaker

I’m Tired of the “Bitter Pill” Jokes – You Too?


As a pharmaceutical sales speaker, who has a broad background in sales and motivating pharma sales teams, I am tired of the “Bitter Pill” jokes. What I mean by that are people minimizing your professional background and efforts. If this past 18 months has taught us nothing else, it is that the world has once again turned its attention back to our industry. Are you motivated to meet those needs? You are not a joke; you matter.

Pharmaceutical sales are important. You must strive to be professional, knowledgeable and committed to the industry.

Netherlands-based “The Future of Healthcare,” online magazine wrote (April 23, 2020):

“The representative must be focused, now more than ever, on building networks and relationships with customers… these networks will be very essential in pitching new product launches. They need to be very agile in their efforts to provide the relevant and highly personalized pitches valued by the customers.”

Focus is essential

In this post-lockdown era, your clients have a pent-up need for knowledge. Will you stand-up and deliver that knowledge to them? Steve Jobs had a great quote on focus I’d like to share:

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

He was absolutely right. In my pharma sales keynote talks, I stress that the very best salespeople are those who can take complex information and distill it down into a few important sentences. The trick however, is to have the product knowledge and the confidence to expand on those sentences to give your customer as much detail as is required.

To get to that point there must be an intense commitment; a laser-light focus to the utmost of professionalism.

How do you reach this type of commitment? How do teams, your team, achieve greatness? There are three essential elements I address as highly important:

Vision: In pharma sales, you must have a vision for success. You must carry it with you and allow nothing to clutter it. Learn more, do more and be more. Pharma sales are unlike any other form of selling. When it comes to your work, your vision, let nothing and no one make a joke out of what you do or your highest purpose. Your work will ultimately make a difference in someone’s life.

Mindset: Is your mindset one of playing it loose and not taking yourself seriously? Or is it to develop that laser focus, drive and purpose? If you see yourself as building networks, building credibility and having a standard of excellence, that is who you will be.

Grit: Anyone can decide to be a “decent” Pharma sales rep for a week or a month, but it takes the right amount grit daily grit to be truly successful and outstanding. Grit is a difference maker. No matter the setback, challenge or even triumph in the moment, grit keeps us all on point and very real.


What you do is no joke. It is vital. It is important. Believe in that mission, and above all else, believe each day, in yourself.



To contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Pharma Sales Speaker, please reach out to him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

Latest Posts