It’s a tricky world out there for healthcare vendors. On the one hand, the need for healthcare is eternal so there is always a market for your product. On the other hand, marketing to health systems in financial crisis – as virtually all currently are – takes some finesse. So here are some tips to help both your sales and your marketing teams navigate the economic worries of your customers.


Listen. The number one thing sales teams need to do when talking to a health system under financial stress is listen. You could argue (and I would) that listening is the number one skill your sales team needs at all times – but that goes 1000 times more when finances are tight.

Health systems need to express what they are going through before they can take in any new information. So let them tell you about their struggles with staff shortages and budget shortfalls. And listen.

Provide information. Once you’ve listened, you’ll know what they are concerned about and what they are looking for, so here is when you start providing information. Mind you, that really means information, not a sales pitch. Let them know what you are able to do, what you aren’t able to do, and why that may be more helpful to them than their current approach.

Guide, don’t push. Above all, use a gentle approach. See yourself as a guide, steering prospects to the best solutions for their facility. Avoid at all costs seeming pushy. People get nervous when finances are tight, even if the purchases they are making are absolute necessities, as most hospital purchases are. But that doesn’t mean your customer feels any less stress about it.


Empathize. In a financially strained environment, marketing needs to lead with empathy. If your usual tone is reserved, this is the time to warm it up. If your usual tone is casual or campy, this needs to be taken down a beg.

Use stories. One of the best ways to show empathy is with stories. Steer your content towards the types of situations that the financial challenges are bringing to your customers. Show that you understand the climate they work in.

Provide helpful information. This is the time to make sure your content is really pulling its weight. It should be useful and provide information that would be especially helpful for your customers to know when budgets are cut.

Health System Challenges Become Your Challenges

When the health systems that buy your product have financial struggles, their challenges become your challenges. With the use of listening, empathy, stories, and useful content, you can be helpful to your clients while still getting the contract.

Photo by chutipon Pattanatitinon on Unsplash.