I can always tell when a client of mine has been talking with a marketing agency that doesn’t specialize in healthcare. They’ll start talking about the benefits of social media ads and SEO to reach health system CEOs. They’ll bring up the value of inbound marketing. But the simple truth is none of those methods, no matter how well they work in other industries, will land you a meeting with a hospital CEO. What you need are the basics – simple cold outreach, clear messaging, and persistence. Because boring works best with health system CEOs – and here’s why.

Hospital CEOs have zero free time.

The main thing to remember about hospital CEOs is that they have zero free time. So all those ideas that require them to be browsing the web or bumming around social media aren’t going to fly. Even if some hospital CEOs are on LinkedIn, they aren’t spending a lot of time there and they aren’t responding to ads. I’ve been in healthcare marketing for years and I have never seen a successful LinkedIn ad campaign.

So, does that mean you shouldn’t waste your time creating an ebook or writing blog posts? Not at all. If these are informative about a topic the CEO is thinking about, they can be very useful. But don’t expect them to be actively looking for them or dazzled because you came up with an eye-catching ad.

Hospital CEOs like you to get to the point.

Remember, they have no free time. That means they don’t want a flashy song and dance. They don’t want to feel sold to. They just want to know what you offer so they can decide if it’s what they need. Above all, they want to feel that you respect their time and are not wasting it.

Of course, to do that, you need to be super clear on your value proposition. You need to be able to tell that CEO, quickly and succinctly, exactly what you can do for them. So don’t hide behind catchy taglines.

Hospital CEOs only want you when they want you.

Unless you land on the perfect moment in time, a hospital CEO is unlikely to give you the time of day. That’s why repetition is so handy. You reach out, wait, reach out again. You can space it out however you like, but you need to space it out. I like to reach out a few days apart at first, but then I wait a few months if there’s no indication of interest.

The goal of drip campaigns is to keep on someone’s radar until the moment arises when they need what you offer. That is a perfectly sound plan for reaching hospital CEOs, just make sure you respect their time. Inundating them with weekly emails that are not useful to them is not a winning strategy.

Boring is not so boring.

Boring, as it turns out, is not so boring. It’s simple. It’s clear. It’s honest. It doesn’t need to hide behind the latest technology because, at its heart, boring is about direct communication. And there’s nothing as helpful in getting a CEO on board as that.

Photo by Elena Joland on Unsplash.