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How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You
Author:  PharmaVet
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Someone recently asked me to write about what makes for a successful management field ride in pharmaceutical sales. The question is a good one because most pharmaceutical sales reps treat their manager's time in the field with them as something to be endured. A smart rep realizes that their manager must have done something right in order to be promoted out of field sales, and there may be a thing or two to learn from him or her.

The most basic thing to remember is that you need to make your manager feel welcome. But she's not welcome, and you want her to go far away, right? Okay, you're entitled. It's just not smart, though, to let your manager know that you feel that way. Managers are people too, and they don't appreciate being made to feel like an imposition. If you had guests in your home you wouldn't dream of letting on that the timing of their visit is inconvenient or that they're getting in your way. You certainly wouldn't let them know that you don't like them. So why would you do that to your manager? There's far more at stake in your relationship with your manager than in your relationship with any ordinary visitor to your home. So suck it up, be charming and gracious, and make her feel welcome.

Part of making your manager feel welcome is cleaning your car. It shouldn't have to be said, but I'm saying it. Get rid of all the fast food wrappers, vacuum up the dog hair and fossilized french fries, and wipe the spilled soda off your console. Don't make her sit among filth. Clean out and organize your back seat and trunk. Make sure she has room in the back seat to put her laptop bag or her coat. Run through a car wash at the end of the day before her visit.

Make sure that your trunk and your detail bag are stocked with the current visual aids and giveaways, and don't give your manager any reason to believe that you're not using them on a daily basis. If your company unveiled a new visual aid at the last POA meeting and you think it's not a good one, tough. Break the shrink-wrap on it and use it before your manager rides with you. You don't want her to know that you're not following company direction.

You have already established your normal routing, and your manager probably knows what it is. So don't deviate too much from it, or you risk having your manager think you're taking her on the milk run. I don't remember how it got its name, but the milk run is when you take your manager to visit only the friendly offices with prescribers who will see you. If you're always complaining about how bad access is in your territory, wouldn't it make sense to let your manager see just how bad it is? At the same time, your manager wants and needs to see you in action – so it's not smart to go to the opposite extreme and take her to only no-see offices.

Before you meet her in the morning, make sure you have printed out your itinerary for the day. Be ready to discuss your objective for the call without having to refer to your call notes. Show your manager that you're prepared for a productive day, and don't let her think that you're doing anything differently than you normally would. You always have a printed itinerary, and you always review tomorrow's plan the day before so you can be prepared.

Be prepared to discuss challenges that you're facing in your territory and how you might address them. Managers generally expect that, if you present a problem, you have already thought of at least one solution. Your manager doesn't want to hear a litany of complaints, but she will be open to hearing about challenges – but only if you've given thought to how you might overcome them. Consult with her. She's probably smarter and more savvy than you give her credit for.

If your manager tends to butt in and steal the show when you're talking with a prescriber, talk to her before your first call. Let her know that you value her input and learn a lot from her, but that you want her feedback on your presentation skills and would like her to hold back during your presentations. Establish a phrase that will signal her that you'd like her to step in. I had a manager who routinely stole my show until I talked to him about it. I told him that I'd like to handle the presentation myself unless I said the safe word -- Joe, what are your thoughts on that? He was fine with it and, for the most part, stopped butting in. Most importantly, he respected me for the way I handled it.

Whether you want it or not, you'll be getting criticism – hopefully of a constructive nature – from your manager. So rather than dreading it through two whole days with your manager, take the bull by the horns and ask for feedback. Don't wait till the end of the two days. Throughout your time together, ask your manager's advice on various situations. She'll be flattered, and you'll get the benefit of her knowledge and experience before your time together is over. While she's still with you, try out some of her advice. Incorporate her suggestions into your presentations. She'll be pleased and impressed.

Whatever time your manager wants to meet in the morning, be cheerful about it and be early. Show her that you value her time and that you're always up this early. If you bring along a bottle of water for yourself, pick up a second one and have it waiting for her in the car. It's considerate and will be appreciated. If it's raining, bring two umbrellas and offer her one of them. If you have two power outlets in your car, point out the extra one and let her know she's welcome to plug in her phone or laptop. In short, be a decent host and make her feel welcomed and appreciated.

  Author: STW
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   I have a question about a 30 60 90 business plan. Could you describe what a good one looks like and what kind of information is included?
  Author: Ready
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   I wish I had read this a couple of weeks ago. I'm still fairly knew and I believe I have made a foe of my manger, but I'm trying to do it his way but we are definitely struggling and butting heads every step of the way. Nonetheless Great! advice.
  Author: GG
    Job Fair   Log In to Report Post
   Good morning,
In a week, there is a pharmaceutical job fair in my area. Instructions are to come w/several resume's and ready to interview. I'm interested in your thoughts on this. Is there really a big likelihood that I may leave w/a job offer, or is this just to increase candidates in their "job pool?" As the location is close to a 2hr ride for me, I honestly don't want to waste my time if there's not a decent chance people will receive job offers.
Thanks, GG
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   I am seeking employment in North Central Ohio - Cleveland, Elyria, Sandusky, Mansfield, Fremont and/or Toledo regional area. I am a self starter that can work independent of direct supervision while being a team player. I am located midway between Cleveland and Toledo.
I have pharma, bus. to bus. experience as well. Drop me a line and I will send you my resume/cvr ltr.

Thanks for the help!
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   I've been applying for pharma and I just recieved a call from a Novaquest recruitor for a 1 year contract position that would be then be "picked up" by Abott Labs. Anybody have any imput on taking a position like this?? The salary is 48-58 plus 20 at goal... how good of a company is novaquest?? Interview questions?? Thanks
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
    Abbott   Log In to Report Post
   What is training like in primary care sale?
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   I also am working on a 30-60-90 day plan for an interview with Pfizer next week. All of the information shown as been most helpful. Any other helpful hints(thinking outside the box) that can help me stand apart from the other applicants?
  Author: snorkie
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   I worked for Wyeth and am currently trying to go back to work for them in Idaho. They are a great company. The training is a couple of weeks two different times. Have 3 or 4 selling experiences, some positive and some negative. Show how you got results even with the negative ones. Attitude, smile, and a nice suit are important. Usually Wyeth uses HR First for their pre-screening (that's through Kelly Services). If you make it through the online testing and the phone interviews you get a face to face, sometimes with more than one person.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
    Re: How To Make The Management Field Ride Work For You   Log In to Report Post
   Has anyone worked for Wyeth? How long is the training program? Any information about the interview process with Wyeth would be helpful.

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