Founding a company is not the same as knowing how to demo your product to doctors.

If there is one thing I know about Founders and CEOs, it’s that they love their slide decks. Give them access to PowerPoint and they will happily talk for hours about the wonders of their solution.

Unfortunately, I rarely see these passionate executives taking the time to tailor their slide deck to their audience. Sure, they swap out names and the seemingly obligatory photo of the prospect’s hospital, but that’s it. The same slides, and the same presentation, are used for the doctors, the C-suite, and anyone else they can get to sit for a demo.

So, here’s the question: does that sound like a good idea? If you’ve even glanced through my ebook on lead generation for healthcare vendors, you know it doesn’t.

Download my free ebook, How to Become a Lead Generation Machine, to find out even more ways to grow your company.

Demos, like any other form of marketing, need to be tailored to your audience. As doctors are a lot easier to reach than the hospital C-suite, you are likely going to be presenting to plenty of them – and you need to keep a few things in mind if you want to get the most out of your time together. See also: 5 Signs You Aren’t Ready to Sell to Hospitals.

Understand the reality of large health systems.

Once upon a time, the physician was the owner of the practice. They had final say on every decision and they were, without a doubt, the key person to get on your side during a sales conversation.

[su_quote cite=”Alex Kacik, Modern Healthcare” url=”″]Only 47.1% of physicians in 2016 had ownership stakes in a medical practice … (t)hat’s down from 53.2% in 2012, and research shows that doctors, especially young doctors, have been shifting from owning their own practice to joining larger practices.[/su_quote]

Now, most physicians work in a larger health system. They are not owners and do not have decision-making power. What they do have, though, is influence. They are likely to have the ear of the other physicians in their department, if not in multiple departments, as well as that of the nurses and other clinical staff.

Find out their main interests and pain points BEFORE you meet with them.

Doctors have different interests than the executives in the C-suite. That means your slide deck needs to shift from high-level concerns like hospital-wide ROI, to the pain points that directly affect the doctor in front of you. These will vary but are likely to include:

  • Better patient care
  • More time to see patients
  • Less form-filling and bureaucratic red tape

There are a lot of ways to find out what the particular doctor you are working with is interested in. You can learn more about researching your target audience here.

Figure out who the next round of influence needs to be.

In health systems with thousands of doctors, it is unrealistic to assume that each doctor has the ear of the C-suite. If you are expecting the CEO to be interested just because one doctor liked your solution, you are going to be disappointed.

Instead, seek out the physician’s help in bringing in the next ring of influencers. Hospitals make decisions as a team, so you will need to get many people on your side if you want to win the deal. Department directors and nursing supervisors are just some of the people that doctors can help bring to the table. In fact, many purchasing decisions happen at the Department level, so you may not need to aim for the C-suite, at all.

Finish your demo with a clear action step.

It’s nice to have a feeling of camaraderie during your demo – it adds energy to the room and gets people excited about your solution. As nice as it is, though, you need more than that to advance the sale. Aim for something concrete, like scheduling another demo with the next level of influencers. Or get agreement that the physician will introduce you to the department head.

Here are 3 quick tips for giving demos to doctors:

  1. Learn what motivates them before you meet.
  2. This will help you understand what to emphasize and what questions to prepare for. Focus on the person in front of you and save your decision-maker speech for when you get in front of them.

  3. Control the impulse to talk about your company.
  4. The focus needs to be on them, not you.

  5. End with a next step that is within reach of your audience.
  6. They may not be able to get you directly into the C-suite, but they can get you one step closer.

Test out these tips at your next demo, and watch your success rate climb.

Want more lead generation magic? Get the free ebook, How to Become a Lead Generation Machine.