Personalize Your Health IT Sales Pitch
It's a well established fact that sales reps perform better when pitches are more personal. No one wants to be on either end of a call where the script describes the product and not much else — no reference to the prospect's personal pains or triumphs, no knowledge of the organization.
As the rep on a call like that, you feel like you're flying blind, while the prospect feels like a victim of poor research and unwanted contact. The responsibility to change that pattern of conversation falls to you, the rep. But how do you begin to personalize your pitch in the health IT field, a notoriously complicated landscape with various influencers, decision makers and challenges?
3 Keys to a Great Health IT Sales Pitch
While there are many ways to approach personalization, the three we've outlined below stick out: they've stood the test of time and can be molded to whatever field you're working in. But in health IT, they're especially important, due to the size of the systems you approach and the breadth of the products your prospects already use.
1. Use Your Resources
First and foremost, browse your prospect's website, advises Matt O'Connor, senior account executive at HIMSS Analytics. "It's a window into their world, and you can often find summaries of executive leadership bios to understand who you need to speak to." But, O'Connor warns, many sites are built to entice visitors to learn more by speaking to a team member. So if you need a thorough and vetted summary, consider checking out the Google blurb that pops up when you type in the company's name. That can be more helpful.
In addition, the LinkedIn company page is a step toward personalization because it can help you find out more about who you'll be speaking to when you do call or email. You can understand the company background and find employees on the network, diving into their personal backgrounds for context. LinkedIn, says O'Connor, is an ideal resource because it gets high mileage.
Customer Relationship Management Platform (CRM)
You should be able to use your CRM to understand the details of your prospect's interactions with your brand. You might see, for example, that in the past, certain services have peaked their attention and other pitches have fizzled. The CRM, if upkeep is organizationally prioritized, allows you to understand which pitch types have succeeded and which have failed. If you understand that a prospect looked at your product last year, but didn't buy, you can latch onto the reasons for that as a gateway for personal conversation when you make that first call.
Join LinkedIn groups. Sign up for regional events. Sign up for national shows. And continue to focus on your local community, says O'Connor.
"Not only are local events less chaotic, and therefore easier to navigate, but you also get more face time. I recommend local, community-based groups because that's an area where you can really expand your network," O'Connor says. "Even if you sell nationally or globally, opportunities still exist with the people you live around, and these sorts of events can help create potential relationships in the future."
2. Develop Your Questions Based On Your Research
"Once you’re on that first call, the most important thing you can do is ask questions," O'Connor says. These questions should reveal that you've done homework; you want to both be informed and appear informed.
"In order for your prospect to reveal more about their needs, goals and wants, you need to show some knowledge. Saying, 'I know you've succeeded with this product in the past. Is there any new technology you've implemented since that has been more of a challenge than you've anticipated?' is a great door opener," O'Connor says.
Ideally, you create questions (based on research) that get to the heart of a challenge your product can solve. If you know the challenges ahead of time, your pitch can be even more personal and compelling. Rather than coming off as critical of the challenges, though, act as a friendly resource. Address it when there is some new process or technology at play that you know to be difficult to manage.
"The most important part of the exploratory health IT sales call is listening and getting your prospect to open up. That gives you a lot of opportunities to jump in and see how your services can really assist them."
3. Put Customer Service First
Yes, you are in sales. But sales is also customer service. Strive to personalize your pitch by strengthening relationships that were formally strained. If someone has historically been dissatisfied with a relationship with your organization, think of it as an opportunity to reinvent the relationship.
"I've had clients I've inherited who have vented their grievances," says O'Connor. "Taking ownership of the mistakes of the past, and going above and beyond by doing the legwork yourself, shows initiative and that you care, and that you'll be a good resource for the prospect in the future.
"Yes, you need to hit your sales goals," says O'Connor. "But you are more than proposals and price quotes. Sometimes you need to be a customer service employee first."