Tom Duerden

The guys at Pareto get to know you as a person and a professional, and match you to openings that mirror your values.

After graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in Journalism, Tom Duerden wanted a rewarding and lucrative career with opportunities for progression. Tom excelled through the Pareto process and was subsequently placed with Johnson and Johnson Medical in 2011. Now a Territory Manager, Tom looks back on his Pareto journey and gives us an insight into his experience of the world of sales.

Why did you choose sales as a career?

“I always wanted a career that rewarded hard work. I realised early in my university degree that a career in what I studied may have offered me much less opportunity, both financially and in terms of progression. When Pareto informed me of the chance to work in the healthcare industry for a company like Johnson & Johnson, I was determined to make an impact in the interviews and assessment days that followed.”

How did you find your experience of the Pareto recruitment and training process?

“They were great in helping me prepare for a number of challenging conversations during the interviews and assessment days. I was given solid background information on the specific Johnson and Johnson company I would eventually join- Acclarent. I was informed that detailed research into the NHS would be invaluable- it was! The guys at Pareto get to know you as a person and a professional, and match you to openings that mirror your values.

What has been the biggest challenge for you, working in the sales environment?

“Entering medical sales as a graduate was incredibly difficult. Not only was I learning about the sales process in general, but being introduced to a detailed medical speciality and how my product would fit in line with this. It was overwhelming at first, especially when understanding how to tailor the product to a clinician’s individual practice, but Pareto were excellent at helping me to prepare for the process and gave me the fundamentals I needed to make a great start. I then undertook more specific company training in the US, Europe and on my patch once I was on board.”

What have you found to be the best part of your role?

“Two things! Firstly, gaining exposure to surgery on a daily basis and being a key part of a surgeon’s ‘in-theatre’ team is fascinating and hugely rewarding. The mutual trust and many relationships I’ve formed with massively respected health care professionals is the thing I enjoy most about my role.

Secondly, knowing that your procedure/product is enhancing a patient’s experience is a driving force. The fact that I’ll ultimately be rewarded depending on the volume of patients who benefit from a superior treatment option is a real motivator for me. I’d be lying if I said that the opportunity to earn money is something that I didn’t enjoy about the role and the industry too!”

Is there any advice you’d offer to others considering a career in sales?

“Do it! But do it for the right reasons, using the right opportunity to get to where you want to be. Work hard, work smart and be yourself! Listen to the guys at Pareto.”

How has your career progressed?

“I’m now in to my 4th year as a Territory Business Manager in the North-West, having previously worked in the Midlands. In my first year at J&J, following my New Hire training, I was awarded the 2011 Rookie of the year award for the Acclarent franchise at the J&J cross-franchise annual conference in Edinburgh.

More recently, (2013) I was fortunate enough to be named the Number 1 performer for Acclarent in EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) at Acclarent’s Annual training conference in Budapest, which was obviously a real highlight to date.”

How do you see your future developing?

“Definitely within medical sales and within Johnson & Johnson, I hope! I’d like to think that regional management is the next step in my career development however I’m in no rush. People management appeals to me but I want to see the correct opportunity as opposed to trying to move up the ladder for the sake of doing so. I’ve been involved in the mentoring of colleagues already and I’ve learnt a lot from management and colleagues myself and intend to continue to do so.”


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