Here’s Why Healthcare Vendor Success is Not about ROI

Healthcare vendor success does not start with numbers.

Healthcare vendors love numbers. Heck, I do, too – they can be awesome. But you will not live or die based on numbers alone.

Here’s the deal, people need to trust you before they are ready to listen to you. And, in order to trust you, they need to believe that you have really heard them.

Get your prospects to trust you, and then dazzle them with your ROI. If you go in the reverse order, you’re screwed.

Let me give you an example – this just happened to me last week.

I went to my doctor and he suggested they test my cholesterol. Now, as someone who has not eaten meat in 25 years, and barely any dairy in that time, my lipid levels are not something I give much thought to. Still, I figured it couldn’t hurt to make sure, so they took some blood and I thought nothing more about it.

Until I got the results.

How does a virtually-no-dairy, no-meat vegetarian get high triglycerides and low HDL? What the what?!?

So, I called my doctor – and that’s where things went awry.

My doctor responded by telling me to lose weight and then sent me a brochure on “Cholesterol and Women.”

Do you see where he missed the boat?

1) I don’t think I’m overweight. This is called denial, as it turns out, but you don’t win me over by starting there. I am barely overweight, have a ton of muscle and am sick to death of how often women are told they are fat. So, this is not a good starting point. The minute he went there, I stopped listening.

2) His brochure had nothing to do with my lifestyle. I don’t eat meat, I already exercise every day – there was nothing in this brochure that connected with me. I don’t care if I’m a “woman” and the brochure is for “women,” it completely missed the mark. I threw it in the recycling.

3) He ignored the research I had done. Like everyone you are selling to, I went online before speaking to my doctor. I found there is actually a weird thing with vegans where they get high triglycerides and low HDL. That seemed relevant to me, so I paid attention.

That’s when I was able to piece together what was going on, in a way that made sense to me.

I realized that, in order to combat motion sickness when I have a Rescue shift, I had taken to eating candy and having juice. The combination of adrenaline when my pager goes off, the heat in the back of the ambulance (patients tend to feel cold, and their needs win), plus facing backwards and working while driving over potholes (I live in Vermont) drained my electrolytes. I felt exhausted and nauseous by the end of a run – and something sweet seemed to do the trick.

It worked, but I now saw the error of my ways. I was drinking a couple of bottles of juice and eating a bag of candy every month, when I never had before.

Ah-ha.

So, why was I now able to take that information in and accept it – even accepting that I probably should pay attention to my weight – when I couldn’t hear that from my doctor?

Easy – the online research showed me that they understood who I was. My doctor didn’t.

So how does that play out for you on a sales call?

1) Are you telling them something they don’t want to hear? My doctor told me I needed to lose weight, but I wasn’t ready to hear it. Are you sure that the CIO is ready to hear about his security weaknesses? Or that the CFO is ready to hear about lost ROI? If they aren’t and you bluster ahead, anyway, you will lose the sale.

2) Do you understand the reality of their work? My doctor didn’t understand my diet, so he gave me a generic brochure that made me feel completely left in the cold. He was trying to help, and his information was factually correct, but I felt like he didn’t even know me. If you trot out facts before your prospect feels you understand their situation, you will be dismissed. Every time.

3) Are you assuming your information is all there is? My doctor didn’t listen to what I had learned on my own. He dismissed it in favor of what he wanted to talk about. Do you ever ignore what your prospect is saying? Do you nod while they talk, just thinking of when you’ll get an opening to make your point? If so, you are likely leaving them cold – and giving a tasty present to your competition.

So what’s the remedy?

Connect. Listen.

Hear their viewpoint first; get their perspective. They have likely already done a ton of research and really only want your perspective on what they have already found. They don’t want you talking to them as if they don’t know the facts. And this goes double if, like with my doctor, their research uncovers something you don’t know.

Save your numbers for later. Build trust first.

Even better, connect with your prospect long before your first sales call.

Every piece of content you put out, from your website to your emails, needs to connect with your prospect. If you’re not sure how to do that, I can help. Download my free ebook, How to Become a Lead Generation Machine, and pay special attention to Chapters 3 and 4.