Excellence in Sales: Luke Murphy
Edition: November 2012 - Vol 20 Number 11
Luke Murphy believes the most valuable lesson he has learned after 10 years in medical products sales is perhaps also the simplest: Be yourself.
“As I was beginning in the business, I was trying hard to be what I thought my customers wanted me to be,” says Murphy, of Candia, N.H.-based independent rep firm Med Care Associates, and a runner-up in this year’s Repertoire/HIDA Excellence in Sales Award for a manufacturer rep. “But there’s a lot to be said for being yourself and doing the best you can.”
Murphy grew up in Auburn, N.Y., in Upstate New York. He graduated from Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. with a degree in business, and entered medical sales 10 years ago with Sempermed USA. At the time, the Clearwater, Fla.-based glove manufacturer was launching a comprehensive rep development program. “For three and a half months, I worked in the warehouse, customer service, accounts receivable, accounts payable, marketing – every single department they had,” recalls Murphy. “It was the best experience I could ever ask for.” At the end of that period, he took a territory in central Florida in ambulatory care sales.
But after a year, he had a chance to join Med Care Associates. “It was the hardest decision I have had to make in my professional career,” he says. “But ultimately, it was the right one.” He moved back North, to Portsmouth, N.H., to begin his new career as an independent rep. “Today, Med Care represents Sempermed, so I’ve come full circle,” he says. Five years ago, he and his wife, Nicole, moved to nearby Dover, N.H., where they live with their son, Louis; and await the birth of their second child.
What you see is what you get
“I think the customers I have the best relationships with know who I am,” says Murphy. “If there’s one thing I know today, it’s that I’m more myself than I have ever been. And at the end of the day, people know what they’re getting from me.”
Murphy is grateful for the career he has been given. “[Medical sales professionals] get to make friendships with customers and deal with people we enjoy. Not a lot of people can say that about their work, and I don’t forget it.”
To young salespeople, Murphy says, “Work hard every day, enjoy this business. This industry will offer you so much if you do the right things.
“I’d rather work with a distributor who works hard than one who is the best public speaker or best presenter,” he says. “And I hope that’s what people see in me and in Med Care. I would hope they would say the reason they work with us is that we’re like them – we work hard.”
Others have noticed.
“Luke has always been a hard worker,” Diane Simpson, inside sales support and assistant to the director of the web division of Affiliated Materiel Services, Bangor, Maine. “When Luke first entered the manufacturer rep arena he was a young, green kid who didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Luke has developed his style and work ethic to become one of the leading manufacturer reps in the field. His knowledge, honesty and integrity never falter, and he is a pleasure to work with.” Murphy received this year’s Affiliated Materiel Services “Key Partner Achievement Award,” given to the representative selected as a key partner by a vote of the distributor’s sales reps and inside staff.
Adds Bill Clifford, COO, non-acute-division, Affiliated Materiel Services, “Luke is extremely knowledgeable about all of the products he represents, from complicated digital diagnostic equipment to disposables. He is always there to answer questions, and gets back quickly when he doesn’t have the answer. He is always ready to pitch in and be there to help with large equipment installations, and has become somewhat of an expert on EMHR and digital diagnostics, making him invaluable to both customers and distributors. Tremendous follow-up skills and an attention to detail to help create sales wins for all.”