15 Habits to Supercharge your Field Coaching Days (Part III: Habits 11-15)

Part III Title Graphic

While we find ourselves at the beginning of yet another school year, we are coming to the end of our 3-part series around 15 habits to help supercharge pharmaceutical field coaching days (insert sarcastic “awwwww” and #sadface here.) 🙁

I truly hope you’ve picked up something useful from each post – I know it’s given me a lot to reflect on.

We’ll finish up our discussion starting at #11 this week and work our way to the end of the list.   As a reminder, these practical habits come directly from some of the best pharmaceutical district managers I know, taken right from the field and delivered in this post.

Some of my thoughts are sprinkled in as well.

For a refresh of habits 1-5, simply click here and for habits 6-10, click here.

Let’s get right to it.

  1. Get up early with purpose
  2. Morning workouts
  3. New meeting spot
  4. Wipe the slate clean
  5. Tailor the day
  6. Review prior coaching reports/e-mails:
  7. Set Clear Goals
  8. Slow Down
  9. Learn on the commute
  10. Put your phone down (Be present)

Habit 11 headerIt might not be tagged as the most fun part of a field coaching day (for either party…), but the habit of practicing relevant skills with the folks on your team is without question a powerful way to generate results.

The concept of “deliberate practice” from the book Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin was brought to my attention by a friend and DM in New England as support for developing this habit.  It makes total sense and the most successful people in their field are relentless in their practice.  We should be no different here in pharmaceutical sales land.

Drop the formality and unrealistic stiffness of traditional “role playing” and just take the time to practice with your team!

Habit 12 HeaderThere could probably be some healthy discussion on this one but I’m a firm believer that DMs should actively (but appropriately) participate in the sales conversation with customers during a field coaching day.

Being the dude holding an invisible clipboard, staring silently over the shoulder of a sales representative makes everyone uncomfortable, drains energy from the day and brings little value to the table.

I accept that there are times when taking a backseat is necessary for coaching purposes but a truly energized day unfolds when the DM and representative feel like a TEAM working toward the mutual goal of serving the customer.

And it’s less creepy. 🙂

Habit 13 headerThis one is very much related to habit #8 from last week (Slow Down) shared by Tony Ramy from New Hampshire.

I remind my team regularly that my goal is to help them succeed in business and in life…NOT check the box on having done a field ride so I can write a coaching report.

That said, intentionally carving time into each field ride for a discussion of personal and professional development is a habit that can supercharge a field coaching day.  It keeps the focus squarely on the person you’re with and ensures that they have every opportunity to achieve their goals.

Not to mention, it makes for a much easier mid-year and year-end evaluation process…for everyone.

Habit 14 headerSales leadership doesn’t need to be all sunshine and rainbows, but DMs who have a habit of staying positive, building up and encouraging the folks on their team create supercharged field coaching days.

Tom Rath, in his book How Full is Your Bucket?, uses this analogy to describe this idea beautifully, “Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful.”

A full bucket means a great day in the field.

So fill it.

Habit 15 header OK – debate me on whether or not this is an actual habit but it is SO worth including to wrap-up this list either way.

The most sure-fire strategy for creating supercharged field coaching days?  Make sure the right people are on your team.

A DM from Massachusetts shared this one with me and it really makes sense.  Invest the time in hiring positive, hungry  and hard-working folks and awesome days in the field are sure to follow.

For more insights into the ideal healthcare sales candidate, check out this post from my friend John Crowley and be sure to follow his work – he’s on point.

So there you have it…15 Habits to Supercharge your Field Coaching Days!

I hope there was at least 1 idea included in this series that challenged you to think (and ultimately act) differently in order to make the most of the time you have in the field with your team.

I’m also hopeful that this isn’t the END of a discussion, but rather the BEGINNING of an on-going dialogue in which we can all continue to learn from each other.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts!  What habits have you decided to implement in your field coaching process?  What OTHER habits do you think supercharge days in the field?

Special thanks are in order for Tony Ramy, Steve Soderlund, Amy Parillo, Alan Bundy, Kevin Holtz, Brian Mastrianni, Lisa Angwin, Wendy Keppy and Ian Aisenberg…all excellent DMs whose ideas and insights were used in this series.  I’ve learned a ton from you all and appreciate the help!  The same can be said for many other great leaders who have influenced me over the years…keep up the inspiring work!

Until next time,


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “15 Habits to Supercharge your Field Coaching Days (Part III: Habits 11-15)

  1. Dave, thanks for sharing. This was an enjoyable read.

    My two cents: The importance of items 1-14 are directly impacted by 15. Arguably, if you are great at 15 everything else falls into place. If you are great at 15 and actually nail a good portion of the others… JACKPOT!

    • Al,

      Thanks for the comment and kind words…appreciate it more than you know! Agree big time on your 2 cents, too…the right team with just a few of the habits in place could really get some amazing stuff done.

      Take care!


  2. Dave
    Another excellent addition and conclusion to the 15 Habits. To continue with the theme of habits, Stephen Covey once stated that our role as leaders is not to motivate. We should hire already motivated individuals which is your Habit #15. A leader’s role is to inspire. I believe the first 14 habits serve as a template for managers to model and inspire their teams to success.

    • Frank,

      Thanks for the comment and thoughts! That difference between motivation and inspiration is an important one…easy to mix them up. I can only hope that some of the habits outlined help leaders provide that template for success. Appreciate you jumping in on the conversation!