31 Oct 1 on 1 with a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. Courtney Hood
Legally, He’s the Dope Man
-Who is Courtney Hood?
Courtney Hood is someone who is passionate; someone who knows who he can and will be in the future, and with that, he has grown patience. I have had many job offers from large companies, but I know my true fulfillment will come when no one can control my career or even more, when no one can wake up one day and say, “Hey, we no longer need your services.” I love God, Family, my fiancee, and my frat brothers. I feel like relationships are needed. Whomever you feel is the most successful person, whether it be Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, or any of the other greats – they all had relationships. Relationships are apart of what is going to help you get to the next level in your respective field. My dad always told me “son, whatever you do, always love people” so I always keep that in mind as I form relationships and interact with others.
-Tell us about your career as a pharmaceutical sales rep?
I landed the job on October 20, 2014, a year after moving to Atlanta. I always wanted to be in pharmaceutical sales. During my entire college career, I knew they made great money, gave you a company car, met with doctors and pretty girls; that was all me, automatic! I started with the company on a contract for three years. Within the first three months, I was sent to Las Vegas twice and Chicago. It was very exciting to say the least; it’s been a really great job. On top of that, we launched the number one branded obesity medicine in the country
In this career field, if you aren’t socially conscious, knowing what doctor’s like and dislike, you will have a hard time. I have a great personality and this career path gives me a great opportunity to show it off and expose it. In this field you’ll often find attractive people, unfortunately and fortunately attractive people often are initially received well in business; I believe it is in my best interest to utilize that for my benefit. If I go into an office and notice that I am being looked at, I will smile and be nice to make sure I am remembered. I use my charm and personality to help maneuver and build relationships so I can meet the doctors (In a sense, the same way a beautiful young lady would do on social media – monetize it). I use what I was naturally given to advance myself; everyone has something that they are naturally good at, and my ability to be socially conscious in various settings, public speaking, and my personality, are mine.
I educate doctors and staff on the medication that we sell. I know it sounds funny, but in additional to self education doctors often learn about the new and existing medications from us. We provide value by keeping Healthcare providers astute on clinical information, side effects, warnings, cost and coverage.
My goal is to see 10 doctors a day. I have lunches with doctors and quarterly dinners with speakers who come in to give clinical presentations on the drug. It’s still sales, but it’s a fun job. Thus far I have had a successful career in pharmaceutical sales. I won Silver President’s club in one of the most challenging territories with my previous company. Now I have progressed with a new company, in a specialty role within the Dermatology space, and it is going great!
-What made you come up with a used car business?
I have loved cars since I was in elementary school. At any point, someone could point a car out to me and I could tell you the year, make, model, and a fact about the car. One day, while eating with a frat brother, he told me about a lady who wanted him to work for her. He then asked “Why can’t I do this on my own?” I told him he could because its really not hard. I told him I’ll do some research on what is needed to start the business and we will get it going. I wanted to see what this entrepreneur life was like, so after filing the paperwork, attending the classes and continuing education course for the Georgia dealers license we opened Echelon Imports.
I was already looking at cars online staying abreast on the market because its what I love, but now I am getting paid for it. Sometimes I have to tone myself down because I want to make sure I put a person in the best possible vehicle their money can buy down to the wheels, leather, trim, features etc., everyone who buys cars really doesn’t care what they are spending money on as much as I do. So at Echelon Imports we are brokers that strive to find you the best price on the vehicle that YOU want, and save you the time of visiting every dealership in the city looking at cars your entire Saturday. As opposed to having a car lot full of vehicles we search for the specific vehicle you request and bring it right to your doorstep. Any information or advice that you need on purchasing or selling a vehicle, value, financing, or simply need a consultation I’m your guy. Selling cars now is preventing me from saying “I wish I would have done…back in the day.”
-Any advice for young Black males or millennials?
Know who you are. Once you know who you are, you will know how valuable and powerful you truly are. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you aren’t qualified or not good enough. You should walk in a room and demand attention and respect in a positive way (some people shy away from attention, and I understand that). Start participating in personal development. Whether that be of reading, attending conferences in your field, motivational speaker events, praying etc. Find and know YOUR lane and stick to it, work on that craft!
If you want to succeed in corporate America and climb the corporate ladder, thats great, but remember its about promotion and advancing in different roles not a 2-3% raise you may get every year. For the entrepreneurs, I am young in entrepreneurship and I am comfortable saying I am still learning and will continue to learn so I make sure I feed myself with good content through documentaries, books and podcasts. Some of the titles include: “The Secret to Success, Minority TrailBlazers, The Dave Ramsey Show, and The Model (Health Show)”. One thing I have noticed is that it’s not going to happen overnight. You will have financial struggles (unless you have the cash flow from pre-planning), but never give up, and most importantly, realize it’s OK to fail because failures are only speed bumps on the road to success. I remember when a new boss told me at a job I first started.. “I want you to fail,” when I first got the job. It was crazy to hear, but failure gives you a chance to get better.
I also started reading more. I’m not saying we don’t read as a people, but we know the stigma about keeping books from Black men – that came from slavery. I now look to read entire articles; I used to not read a full article if the scroll bar was too small lol! (indicating a large article), but now I make a conscious effort to do so. I also buy more books now. Whenever I hear multiple people or someone of influence say that they have read a certain book, I need to read it, too. Now I have books downstairs in my book shelf that I walk past every day and as long as they’re there its a constant reminder that I need to read every last one of them. It’s just like a gym membership on auto draft – if that money keeps coming out of your account eventually you will go to the gym and workout. Even if I don’t read them now, I will eventually. I know it may sound cliché, but you can do whatever you want to do. I went to the National Sales Network seminar recently, that had a number of successful panelist. One panelist stated, “There will never be a good day to decide to do what you want to do.” Just do it, and have confidence. We hesitate because of lack of confidence. Be prepared for the doors to be closed in your face and the rejections as well. All of these will make you better. Self-educate and invest in yourself, bet on yourself and believe in yourself
This article was written by Justin Sims, (IAMMRMENTOR), In hopes of not only inspiring entrepreneurs, but young black males to be the best and the truest version of themselves.
If you like this article and find yourself interested in more positive stories about black millennial age males, please visit WWW.IAMMRMENTOR.CO and follow him on his social media pages IAMMRMENTOR on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Editing By: Ciara Dawson