Access Issues

July 1, 2010
Reid Paul

Pharmaceutical Representative

Here's the funny thing about the SPBT Conference. Each year I seem to get more done on the airplane ride going there than I do while actually attending meetings and seminars. That's not a criticism of the conference-far from it-rather it's a recognition that sometimes it helps to have space and time to think.

Here's the funny thing about the SPBT Conference. Each year I seem to get more done on the airplane ride going there than I do while actually attending meetings and seminars. That's not a criticism of the conference—far from it—rather it's a recognition that sometimes it helps to have space and time to think.

Reid Paul

It also doesn't hurt that in each of the last two years on the airplane I sat next to people that I had been working diligently to meet with. While usually it is a challenge to get a few minutes of someone's time, on the airplane I had hours. Both of these impromptu meetings gave me deeper insight what was going on at their companies, and in the industry that simply would not have been possible otherwise. Having that access was priceless.

Still, it isn't merely the time that made these "meetings" so valuable. The time came without distractions. No one had another meeting to get to, a call to answer, an e-mail to read. That freedom from distraction was liberating.

It was also energizing. As Jim Loehr, founder of the Human Performance Institute, argued in one of the SPBT conference's keynote addresses, time is meaningless without sufficient energy to devote to it. This is probably not news to most reps, but it nevertheless is an important reminder. It is far better to exert a great deal of energy into a two-minute detail than it is to have a flat and lifeless 15 minute meeting.

Of course, we can't count on airplane flights alone to ensure that we have the access we desire. Nor can we expect to find time with our key contacts without distractions. Everywhere else we can count of buzzing iPhones and crying patients to compete for time and attention. So what do we do? There's no simple answer, but we can focus our energy on the moments that we do have. And, when access does present itself, take advantage of the opportunity. Next year I won't even take a book.

Reid Paul

Editor-in-Chief

rpaul@advanstar.com

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