If you have been a regular visitor to PharmBoard.com you have read a lot about networking and the importance of follow-up when it comes to your job search. Strong follow-up is essential when you are interviewing and meeting people within the industry. But what about those of you who are already pharma sales reps? Follow-up applies to you, too.
Think about someone you know who is excellent at remembering details about the people he meets. The guy who remembers birthdays, kids’ names and other facts that make the person with whom he is speaking feel comfortable and valued. Chances are this person is either a successful politician or one of the top sales reps at your pharmaceutical company. Why? Because he can recall information about the people with whom he interacts. Information about such things as what was discussed at a past meeting, people in their mutual network and personal facts.
Now, this person may have a photographic memory, but more than likely he is great at taking call notes. Call notes are details of a sales call. They can also pertain to a networking meeting or encounter. Good call notes will provide information that you can use to follow-up with someone regarding product information or a possible pharmaceutical representative opening.
Not everyone has the skill to think on their feet during interviews or sales calls and by taking thorough call notes, you can review them while doing your pre-call planning or developing your strategy for networking within the pharmaceutical industry. By taking the guess work out of your follow-up you will appear more knowledgeable and focused on the needs of your customer or network contact. Additionally, call notes make great tools for writing sales letters and follow-up notes.
By having all the information from your meeting you can also ensure that you deliver on a promise you made or remind yourself who may owe you an actionable item relative to your job search. Let’s look at the elements of all good call notes:
- First, you should have an organizer or notebook where you write ALL your notes. Someplace where everything can stay together. This eliminates the chance of several bits of paper floating about and getting lost. You should have this anyway if you are looking for a position as a pharma sales rep.
- Next, good call notes should include:
- Date, place and time of your meeting.
- Who was in attendance, that person’s title and organization.
- Topics discussed and any people mentioned with whom you may wish to follow-up.
- Actionable items promised by you and to you and due dates. These would include any interviews.
- Also try to summarize your notes with a headline for quick and easy reference. Something like: Pharmaceutical Job Fair Discussion with Pfizer or First Sales Call to Dr. Conway Re: Lipitor®.
- Finally, every good call note must note Action, Response and Next Steps. This means that you list what action was taken (interview, sales call, ride-along), what response was there (call for 2nd interview, request for more info) and the next steps you need to take (schedule another meeting, call the physician, meet with HR). At the very least your call notes should have those details: Action, Response and Next Steps.
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