Virtually all of my shops are routes of some type. Whether it’s five shops around town, 50 banks on a two or three day trip around the state, or it might be a 10-day smorgasbord with some video shops thrown in to spice things up. Regardless of the type of shops, a cheat sheet takes care of the basic reporting needs and helps me keep better track of my time.
My basic cheat sheet is an Excel spreadsheet formatted for a sheet of legal size paper [8.5 by 14 inches]. This fits the top of my Posse Box, and rides shotgun on the passenger seat.
Figure 1 shows the cheat sheet for a series of Last National Bank of Connecticut shops. Depending on the total number of shops, I’ll print one or two sets of the reporting forms. Any serious problems will get noted on the reporting form with the shop number and a few key words to help jog my memory and a reminder to listen to the audio recording of the shop. If I’m in a two party consent state, then I will write in almost complete sentences and in greater detail so I won’t have to struggle to remember what happened at 10AM when I’m filling out the reports after dinner. The “Notes” column got chopped off in the scan. The first comment was, “Asked about savings, told about checking” and the second comment was, “Recommended Credit Union.” They aren’t extensive, but they are enough to jog my memory that the first banker didn’t pay attention to my question, and the second banker didn’t want my business.
The cheat sheet shown in Figure 2 is identical to that in Figure 1, except that I formatted the “Address” column to “wrap text” so I can include the name as well as the address of each business. On these shops, I print each shop’s report and they are stacked, in order, inside the Posse Box. If I have a large number of shops, I’ll have a second cardboard box in my trunk with the shops, in order, but separated by days. I’ll then load the shops for that day into the Posse Box.
A Posse Box is an aluminum box, about an inch or so thick with a clipboard on the lid. They used to be used by law enforcement as a way to keep their tickets, etc, straight. Posse Boxes are still available. I purchased mine from Galls [ www.galls.com ]. What I particularly like about it is I can paperclip the business card to the report, then put the report at the back of the stack, and I know the card and report are secure in the box. On multi-day routes, I have a 6”x9” envelope in the cardboard box. Once the reports are done, I put the business cards into that envelope, so I know they are all in one place. Here is the link to the box I purchased: http://www.galls.com/galls-streetpro-top-open-legal-size-clipboard.
I hope these hints can help improve your shops.