Essential Healthcare Management Newsletter
The Catalyst … accelerating business growth in healthcare
|Essential Healthcare Management Newsletter||August 2012|
|Essential Healthcare Management
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The book, called Wish You Well, is actually required reading in school districts throughout the country. It tells the story of twelve year old Louisa Mae Cardinal and her tranisition from New York city of 1940, to living in the Virginia mountains with her great-grandmother on her farm.
My mother grew up on a farm with 9 siblings in Ohio. And some of this book and story relates to me in this way. But the other thing that Baldacci points out is that we really don't take the time to learn even about our families and take advantage of that history.
But, Baldacci says it much better than I can. Here are some quotes from various parts of the book:
“Unfortunately, we live in a time where everyone seems to be solely looking ahead, as though we deem nothing in the past worthy of our attention. The future is always fresh and exciting, and it has a pull on us that times past simply can never muster. Yet it may be our greatest wealth as human beings can be “discovered” by simply looking behind us.” David Baldacci in his author’s note for the book “Wish You Well”.
“One’s courage, hope and spirit can be severely tried by the happenstance of life. But as I learned on that Virginia mountain, as long as one never loses faith, it is impossible to ever truly be alone.”
“I hope that once you close the last page of Wish You Well, you will want to journey through the past of your own family, to learn the things you never knew before – stories of love, sadness, loss or happiness. These emotions are innately human, and they forge the bands of shared experiences that connect us all. In fact, these connections, both large and small, over time are what constitute our humanity.”
William Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead, it’s not even past.”
As a business leader, one of my goals is to always really learn about the people I work with. But then I stop and think, how much can I still learn about from those people I have known for years?
My grandparents never had a computer or cell phone, let alone an Ipad. As a matter of fact they had a shared phone line that you had to wait for the neighbors to finish talking before you could make a call. I don't believe they ever flew on an airplane. Their home did not have central air or heat. We thought we would freeze when we were sleeping upstairs. They worked their farm for 15 plus hours each day and hoped the weather cooperated. By all accounts - they had a difficult life. It would be a shame not to learn from it.
But I have to put down my cell phone and Ipad to do it....
Pick up the book. You will not be sorry.
Have a great week.
Here we are getting ready to start the 2012 Major League Baseball season with another Spring Training under way. You can almost smell the fresh cut grass, hot dogs, peanuts and taste the cold beer as the warm sun hits your face.
Each year these elite players spend weeks getting ready to do the one thing that they have been doing all their lives - playing baseball. And then the regular season lasts for 162 games followed by the playoffs.
The following numbers are provided by the NCAA about the chances of being drafted by a major league baseball team (this is not making the majors - but just being drafted so the real odds are worse).
--High school senior players who go on to play NCAA men`s baseball: Less than three in 50, or 5.6 percent
-- NCAA senior players drafted by a Major League Baseball (MLB) team: Less than eleven in 100, or 10.5 percent.
-- High school senior players eventually drafted by an MLB team: About one in 200, or 0.5 percent. Drafted baseball players almost always go to a minor league team. These teams abound; there are over 150 of them, compared to 30 in the majors. The big leagues have 750 players, yet the 2004 draft alone took 1,500. Hence some estimate that only one in 33 minor leaguers ever makes it to the pros. If that's correct, the chance of a high school player making the big leagues is one in 6,600, or 0.015 percent. That's roughly the chance of a thief guessing your PIN number on the first try
Why then do these elite players - the millionaires, the best of the best, who have been doing this their entire life focus on the fundamentals and basics in Spring Training? The answer is, of course, that to make that elite team it takes tremendous talent and skill. But at that level it also takes hard work and effort to be the best of the best - just like in any field.
How often are you practicing, evaluating and working on your skills and that of your team? How much do you spend making your team better?
In today's major leagues, players spend countless hours studying videotapes to try to gain a competitive advantage on the competition in any way that they can. That includes video of themselves and what they are doing well and need to improve upon. Do you? Are you studying what your competition is doing?
Show me a person who knows it all, and I will show you someone who I don't want on my team. Show me someone who has had success, and wants to continue improving and working to continue that success - and always find a better way, and I will show you a superstar.
Have a great week.
Vice President of Sales
Randall was my boss at IBM. He brought me into his organization early in my career as a first-line manager. As great leaders do, he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I’m glad, because in my first few months as a manager, I made a lot of mistakes. I first tried being a super-contributor, a manager who relies on his own contributions rather than working through his people. Then I tried to manage my team instead of lead them. I focused on controlling my employees and enforcing company policies rather than coaching and enabling them. All the time, Randall was patient.
Randall’s office door was always open. I could come to him with my questions, frustrations, or need for encouragement. He would always hear me out without interrupting or redirecting. Rather than change the conversation to something he would rather talk about, he would stay on my topic. He would probe, reflect, and show empathy.
When you talked to Randall, you knew he was listening and not merely formulating his response. When you left Randall’s presence, you felt understood. He had a way of making you feel good about yourself. He made you feel important. It was even therapeutic at times. Depending on your need, Randall could be a proxy for your counselor, pastor, friend, and even your parent.
Great leaders are great listeners. They are not merely great speakers or talkers. They leverage the power of both their mouth and ears. They provide information when appropriate, but equally well receive it. They make themselves available to their constituents. They are open-minded. They seek to understand before being understood.
Talking to someone is not a conversation. At best, talking is half of a conversation. The other half of a conversation is listening. If you are talking to someone who is distracted and not understanding, your talking is more a vocal cord exercise than a conversation. For effective communications to take place, there needs to be effective listening.
Counter intuitively for many people, people who focus more on speaking than listening are not as effective in their ability to influence. They don’t garner the trust of others. They don’t endear themselves to others. They don’t have as deep and meaningful a dialog. Nor do they understand or learn as well.
There is no joy in being with someone that wants to do all the talking. They constantly redirect the conversation back to themselves. They don’t care about what others have to say. They want to be the center of attention. You think, “Why don’t they just talk to a mirror? It’s obvious they don’t really need anyone else in their conversation.”
Listening enables understanding and builds relationships. It makes people feel important, valued, and respected. It satisfies people’s basic need to feel understood. There are many situations where people don’t need you to solve their problems or do anything other than empathize and listen.
The ability to influence, collaborate, encourage, coach, gain trust, and learn is more dependent on a well-developed ability to listen than to speak. As Stephen R. Covey, author of The 8th Habit, said “The most important skill in life is communications. And the most important communication skill is listening.”
Regardless of your role or level, develop the #1 skill of effective communicators – listening - and watch your performance dramatically increase.
Alpine Link Corporation
In my 20 years of medical sales experience, one of the most common mistakes I see sales professionals make is having follow-up calls that are not what they should be. If you are calling someone who has done business with your organization in the past but you don't know them well - or it is your first time personally calling them, make sure you are well prepared.
And do yourself a favor - put as much pre-call planning into your phone calls as you do your personal visits for the best results. There really should be no such thing as a "cold call" any more with key people in an organization since you can do so much research before you call. If they have any authority - they expect that you have done your homework.
Here is an outline I might use to call on someone I don't know well....
Good morning _____, this is Rob Bahna with Resuscitation International.
I have been working with other ________ departments (or title you are talking to), discussing some ideas that have helped them deal with some of the unique challenges they are facing today with SCA victims. We have seen some outstanding customer satisfaction and positively affected patient outcomes.
I would like to ask you a few questions to see if some of our solutions might make sense for your department.
I would like verify some of the information I have been able to learn about your facility and
make sure I understand them from your perspective as the ____________(title)?
Ask about them…..
I understand you have been a _________ for 5 years. What are the biggest changes you have seen in that time as it relates to how your responsibilities have evolved? Where do you find yourself spending a lot of time where you didn’t use to?
Besides yourself, who else do you involve in the important process of purchasing medical supplies and equipment?
Sell Your Company
Jane, we know it is important for you to know who you are doing business with. Resuscitation International has been servicing the emergency medical supply and equipment needs of pre-hospital professionals for 10 years. We have a proven track record of being an industry leader. We are proud to have more than 100,000 agencies and professionals rely on RI.
______, as you are well aware, over the last 10 years we have seen a shift in acuity levels. You are being asked to do higher levels of care in many situations with less resources, especially in today’s economy. RI has been in business for over 10 years – and we can help you deal with these challenging times.
Determine Your Customer’s Objectives
Make them stop and think – ask high gain questions that differentiate you and are not only situational.
1) What Criteria do you use to evaluate your potential suppliers (business partners)?
2) How do you prefer to place your orders?
3) Which company do you currently order your supplies from today?
Do you order from more than one company?
4) Could you please share with me what your experience has been with Resuscitation International?
If they do not volunteer it – ask them
5) It looks like you have not ordered from us in the last ______, could you share with me some of the reasons?
Engineer Agreement to Demonstrate Product-Program
________, I appreciate you taking the time to share this information with me. Based on your feedback, and some recent changes we have made it (whatever areas kept them from ordering from us – or things they like about others) we believe we can make your job of ordering easier and be very competitive from a price perspective.
When do you normally place your supply orders? What do we need to do to earn a shot at your next order?
If my pricing is competitive, would there be any other reason that would prevent us from doing business together?
Best of Luck. Be proud to put your signature on everything you do. Or don't do it.
Vice President of Sales
Tags: selling, Essential Healthcare Management, hospitals, healthcare suppliers, teamwork, medical devices, brand management, market research, priorities, sales, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development
A SELLect Sales Tip from Amy Hardin
Any one of us who have been in positions to interview and hire people over the last 10 years are probably familiar with "Behavior Based Interviewing".
Behavioral Based Interviewing is interviewing based on discovering how the interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations. The logic is that how you behaved in the past will predict how you will behave in the future i.e. past performance predicts future performance.
Like most trends in business, I believe it has some merit based on the level of person you are interviewing, what their experiences have been, and what you are really looking for in an employee.
One of the values of the technique when it first came out - was that it forced "professional interviewers" to think differently and give real answers that they had not rehearsed or prepared in advance. Whether you are a sales person questioning customers, a manager questioning employees or even personally, stop and think about the value of that for a minute.
Here are a few examples of Behavioral Based Interviewing Questions:
•Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
•Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.
•Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
•Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, how?
•What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it.
•Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren't thrilled about? How did you do it?
•Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?
•Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure?
And in this style of interviewing - the follow-up question is also planned out based on which way you answer. You are generally asking questions by category trying to figure out someone’s resilience, persuasiveness, negotiation skills, adaptability, ambition, integrity, analytical thinking, sales ability, management style...
Do you have a list of questions like this that you ask based on what you are trying to accomplish with the person/people you are questioning? Whether it is interviewing a potential candidate, learning about a customer, motivating a team or understanding an assignment given to you - the quality of the questions you ask will help determine your success.
The more prepared you are; the better listener you will be able to be. If you don't know the questions cold, you will not be able to listen as effectively as someone who is really prepared.
Think of the top 3 objections you expect from any situation and be prepared to deal with them with good questions up front to remove them as obstacles whenever possible.
If you anticipate that they will resist your proposal because of people in their facility fighting "change" you might ask, "Can you give me an example of a time when you helped a staff member accept change and make the necessary adjustments to move forward?"
Can you tell me about a time when you had to convince someone in authority about your ideas? How did it work out?
Describe a project or idea that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
Spend the time to develop your questions. It will help differentiate you and your understanding of the people you are working with. It will also save you time and frustration in learning that the person you are working with might not know how to do something because they have never been asked to do it before.
Have a productive week. And that includes taking time to stop and think about your plan and further develop your process.
There are a couple of axioms that are often used by sales managers. Sales is about quality not quantity. Sales is a numbers game. Which of these age old statements is true?
Of course, they are both true.
If you and I have roughly the same playing field, and roughly the same selling ability, and you put forth the effort to make 25% more sales calls then I do - you should outsell me by at least 25%.
Of course you have to have quality - that goes without saying in professional sales. If you don't have quality - get out of the business. But don't ever forget that quantity matters - and it does not take away from the professional quality that is needed.
If we are really honest with ourselves (and your manager is not listening) we know that many of the big sales we have achieved have been because we were in the right place at the right time. That is a result of hard work and effort. If you want to call it luck - go ahead. Create your own luck.
I laugh at sales people who get offended at discussions of quantity. How many customer calls do you make in a day (either in person or on the phone - or if you are really smart in managing your time - both)? You should always have a goal in this area.
And then. at some point it becomes simple math. If you average 5 calls per day - you average 25 per week. 100 in a month. 300 in a quarter. 1200 in a year.
Set your goal to average 1 more than that. 6 calls per day is 30 per week. 120 in a month. 360 per quarter. 1440 per year.
That is 240 more calls annually by doing one more call per day. That is like having 2 extra months of selling time by making one more call per day. How would you like to earn 2 extra months pay?
No matter what you do - even if it is not sales, set your goal to average one more than you do today. One more workout per week is 52 per year. Asking for one more refferal per week is doing it 52 times per year.
Always look to improve your quality. Work hard on your sales/product/clinical knowledge so you can make the most of each opportunity. But never forget that you can't win if you are not in the game or if you quit before the next guy does.
"Success is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable." John Wooden.