The 2017 conference season is in full swing, and healthcare professionals from all over the nation are hitting the circuit. Perhaps you’re one of them!
One of the benefits most often cited as reason to attend trade conferences is the learning aspect… you have the chance to learn from industry-leading experts, network with folks just like yourself, and chat with vendors who are helping healthcare face real-world challenges head on. It’s a 48-72 hour rush that leaves you feeling completely re-energized. You’re ready to get back the office and put this new knowledge to work!
Slow down, tiger. You’re in healthcare, an industry all too familiar with red tape. You have a hurdle or two ahead of you, like getting your boss’s buy-in on these new ideas and initiatives.
Even if you’ve never been in sales before, it’s time to think like salesperson. You’re preparing a pitch, and you have a hard sell ahead of you. Here’s how to put your sales hat on and get a “yes” from your supervisor.
Set One Initiative As Your Priority
These types of events tend to be information overload. You’re attending 6-8 sessions per day for days on end and speaking with countless vendors. You’re bound to be inspired to tackle more than one challenge when you return. Be careful with this strategy - if you plan to toss out a few ideas and hope one of them sticks, you likely won’t see much progress.
Instead, become a champion for one important initiative. Choose one that aligns most closely with your organization’s goals for this year. This way, you have a solid foundation to convince your leadership that the initiative is worth it.
Be Realistic About What You Need
Don’t sugar coat the resources you need to get the project done. If you need a team, if you need to carve out part of the budget for this project, and even the amount of time you plan to spend working on the project needs to be well-noted. Presenting this information up front helps prevent a tentative “yes” from turning into a “no” once your supervisor realizes the project scope.
No Pain, No Gain
In sales, they say that the customer won’t buy unless they are experiencing acute “pain.” You don’t care about having a pen until you need a pen.
Now, it’s time to frame your initiative as a solution to an acute pain point for your organization. When you present your solution, start it off by saying, “I know that [insert your pain point here] has been a challenge for us, and I think I have a solution.” Then, use detailed, well-thought out information to present your case. You can follow up by saying, “at the recent conference I attended, one of the speakers suggested […], and I’ve spoken with a few vendors who may be able to help us with this initiative.”
Stop, Don’t Start
When presenting a new idea or solution, people often get wrapped up in what you can start doing after the initiative is in place, rather than what you can stop doing thanks to this new process. A winning solution is one that you benefit from because you’ve cut back and created savings, whether it’s time or money, for your team.
Let’s use EverCheck as an example (we automate license verification & ongoing monitoring for healthcare employers). You could say, “we can start verifying licenses automatically!” But that doesn’t really address the pain point, does it?
How does this sound instead… “We can stop verifying every license one-by-one, stop sending countless reminder emails to our employees and managers, and stop worrying that we have an unlicensed associate working.”
That’s the difference between selling what your initiative does versus how your initiative can really help.
There you have it! Now that you have your sales hat on, go wow your boss. And once you get your “yes,” do everything in your power to make your new project successful!