Create a daily reminder list

April 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Use a checklist to reinforce your most effective skills.

Do you want to accomplish more in the same amount of time than you presently do? Do you want to be more efficient and productive? Do you want to have more physicians take action on your presentation? Do you want to make a stellar improvement in your professional career? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you should use a "Did I" list.

A daily reminder

What is a "Did I" list? This is a checklist of all of the dozens - and hopefully hundreds - of techniques and/or daily action steps that you know have worked in the past in your efforts to communicate your products and knowledge to physicians, pharmacists, hospital formulary communities and managed care organizations. The "Did I" list is a daily reminder that you can use to ask yourself whether you used those positive techniques every time you called on a physician.

This list allows you to become accountable to you, the most important person on your sales success team. By using a "Did I" list, you employ a self-management accountability tool to determine the course and success of your sales career. This list will allow you to fine-tune your performance on a daily basis.

How do you use a "Did I" list? Review the list every morning and every evening. Place a check mark next to all those activities, techniques and action steps that you did do and an 'X' next to all those that you forgot or missed. Prior to calling on your physicians in the morning, review yesterday's list and use it as a reminder of what you did do, what you missed and what you need to be sure to do today.

Of course, you must be honest and forthright in your accountability to yourself. You cannot fool or trick yourself into being successful.

The list becomes even more effective if you reward yourself for all those things that you did do. If you consistently asked for leads and referrals and asked the doctor to use your products, then you might consider celebrating with your family or your district manager at a dinner. Or, for great accomplishments that result in monetary rewards, put an additional percentage of the money aside in savings. There's no better way to invest in your future than to invest in yourself.

If you find that you are frequently making Xs on your list, then you need to reprimand yourself. There's no need to be overly hard on yourself, but a gentle reprimand is in order. After all, you made the list based on what you know has worked in the past. If you are not repeating these behaviors on a regular basis, then you can't hope to achieve a consistently stellar level of performance.

An alternative to reprimanding yourself is discussing these shortcomings with a coach or mentor. Ask them to make you accountable.

Also, don't forget to regularly add to your "Did I" list. Whenever you find a great idea that works, add it to your list. The list is not meant to be static; it is a work in progress. Just like you are.