In last week’s blog, the topic of identifying and cultivating habits for powerful field coaching days was addressed with the help of my family’s bulldog Moe, who provided a useful (and funny…) example in this video.
Today, we’ll take a natural and important next step in this discussion and look at some the SPECIFIC HABITS that successful pharmaceutical sales leaders have in place to set the stage for supercharged field rides with the folks on their team.
How do I know what some of these habits are? Well…I asked.
What follows are the first 5 (of 15) habits that were shared with me by successful sales managers out there in the field today along with a few thoughts of my own. Not academic or philosophical ideas, either. This is actual stuff that DM’s are doing before, during and after jumping into the passenger seat of a freshly washed and vacuumed fleet vehicle and having an awesome, productive day.
Is the idea that someone might try and implement ALL of these to be successful? No way. Hopefully, there will be just ONE habit that jumps from this list over the next few weeks that you can implement into your daily life to fire up your field rides. Refer back to last week’s blog for some ideas on how to implement a habit successfully, too – since that’s where the magic really happens.
Let’s get started:
This one has some managers cringing right out of the gate, but a purposeful early morning ritual was mentioned as a killer habit by more than one person I talked to. It has the power to set the tone for an entire day of coaching through increased levels of energy, focus and attitude . Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning had a profound impact on me personally and since reading it I have built my own 60 minute morning routine around: hydration, exercise, journaling and writing. (And coffee. Just saying.) While I’m certainly not perfect in my application, I have formed a consistent habit and the results have been amazing. Give it some thought, get up early and be sure to read Hal’s book.
The habit of exercise in the morning was mentioned by several managers as key to a supercharged ride day and is a natural fit into the early morning ritual mentioned in habit #1. The type and duration of exercise varied but the result was highly consistent. One leader I spoke to described his early morning running this way, “That alone time among the trees and along the water allows me to organize my thoughts and make better decisions. Ultimately I feel it puts me in a better place both physically and mentally to have a successful coaching session.” Sign me up!
OK…this one is mine. Simply meeting in a new location the morning of a field coaching day can have a powerful impact. Nothing against that Panera Bread or Starbucks that you love to meet at (yes, I know… the parking is great) but the habit of switching things up can change the entire tone of your day. Pick a local place with cool artwork on the walls, an interesting coffee menu or some kind of weird history. Use your iPhone (the YELP app is excellent if you’re not already using it) or a simple Google search for ideas or delegate the selection your team…the results will surprise you!
A manager in New England shared his personal success with a habit of starting every field day with an emotional clean slate – wiping clear any negative carryover from a prior field coaching visit or anything challenging from his own personal life. This DOESN’T mean forgetting important coaching content that must carryover to each travel day – but rather lose the negative baggage that can get in the way of progress. “It’s hard to do every day but I make a conscious effort each day to ‘clear my lens’ and put myself in a positive frame of mind.” Imagine how this level of self-awareness and mindset management might impact the quality of your next field ride.
When discussing habits we often focus on rituals that can be done same way over time – and for good reason. But how about a habit of purposefully changing up the structure of field ride days to meet the needs of the person you’re working with? Like, literally doing the day completely different based on who you’re working with. A DM I spoke with put it this way, “each of my representatives has different strengths and areas of opportunity to work on so I tailor each field day to the individual rather than a set structure.” Just like a good suit, a field coaching visit feels better when it fits right. One size does not fit all.
So, what do YOU think?
Are you already doing some of these things? If so – share some experiences in the comments section below!
What other habits have you identified and developed that help drive the success of the field rides with your team? Share below!
Stay tuned until next week when Habits 6-10 will hit the blog with some further food for thought.
Until next time,