Business Magazine

Extended Ride Alongs Work for All

Posted on the 22 July 2011 by Billcookonline @billcookonline

Having just spent the better part of the last three days in the field with one of our business development directors, I am reflecting today on the value of spending a large chunk of time in the field.  Most managers and representatives in pharma, biotech, home health, home infusion and specialty pharmacy do not spend so much time together making calls on current and potential customers.

My question is, why not?  We all know that a rep can make any one day look really good.  Every rep has accounts that will make them shine– honey holes, if you will.  And every manager has been on what we call a “milk run” where the rep takes the manager along for a day to accounts that will listen, commit and even send a referral.

But have a rep put three days together.  Where each day you start early, work late, and go to all account types, including the ones that the rep doesn’t know and ones where the rep isn’t necessarily even liked!

That’s what we did the last three days.  And, guess what?  We learned a lot.  We created a great working relationship.  The rep earned my respect and trust and praise.  I was impressed with her work ethic, her knowledge and sales skills, her tenacity, and her planning and territory managment skills.  I also learned where she needs help and what her weaknesses really are, and how to help her with those.

I suspect that she gained some things from me along the way as well.  Hopefully, I inspired her and provided leadership, direction and support.  I clarified, re-directed, and challenged her to do even better.  I learned a tremendous amount about her selling style, background, and concerns that I can build upon to provide more and better support.

So, what about you?  Whether you are a manager, director, vice president or CEO, you could benefit by spending a few days in the field with one of your representatives.  And, the same goes for all the reps out there– try inviting one of your superiors out for a three day marathon of call-making.  You might be surprised how much it helps you and your career!

Have a great weekend,


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