Selling to hospitals is like herding cats

The voicemail on the CIOs phone of an eight hospital groups says, “Thank you for calling but if you are trying to sell me something and I don’t know you, please don’t leave a message as I will not call you back.” I recorded his message (with his permission) and saved it as a reminder of how hard it is to sell to hospitals. Even if you did get through to a CIO, they are not the ultimate decision maker, usually it is a group decision. Start somewhere else then END with the CIO.

Every healthcare solution ultimately helps a patient. Your spouse, your mom, your sister, someone. Never forget that when selling into a health system. With that in mind, think about who will use your solution to help your mom. Those departments are who you call on first. But remember, you are not the only one calling on them so bring value.

It has always been said, you need five touch points with someone to earn the right to sell them. Those touch points need to have value. By providing an article, new statistics or a recent case study you are on your way to earning the right for their time. Example; “Hi Sally, not sure if you saw this but attached is a Deloitte white paper saying the number 2 loss of revenue is from cash payments.” Ultimately you are giving them information to help them do their job and establishing you know your industry.

Try this, whomever is going to make the sales call in your organization have them leave you a voicemail message. For practice, have them leave a message for a prospect. Play the message back with them (remember, this is practice not punitive). Did they practice their message prior? Did they give value? Did they sound like an expert? Small exercise but will make a good sales person think.

Peter Longo
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