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.
Let’s get right to it.
- Get up early with purpose
- Morning workouts
- New meeting spot
- Wipe the slate clean
- Tailor the day
- Review prior coaching reports/e-mails:
- Set Clear Goals
- Slow Down
- Learn on the commute
- Put your phone down (Be present)
It 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!
There 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. 🙂
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.
Sales 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.
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.
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,