The Catalyst … accelerating business growth in healthcare

EHM and Intego

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Thu, Oct 04, 2012 @01:42 PM


DALLAS – September 26th, 2012 – (EHM) a healthcare business consulting firm, was chosen by Intēgo® to help secure contracts with integrated delivery networks and group purchasing organizations across the United States.

EHM is a healthcare business development firm, creating demand for the products and services of leading medical suppliers.  Since 2007, the group has served the needs of clients, combining corporate accounts strategy and operational infrastructure.  EHM guides clients through the procurement process and helps companies present their offerings to key decision makers and target audiences.

Intēgo® has been the leading manufacturer and installer for healthcare communication products and services for the healthcare industry since 1985. Intēgo® provides Nurse Call products to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities nationwide.  The Intego Software’s CommonPath™system is the most comprehensive nurse call solution on the market. It is designed to accommodate today’s three principal nurse call modes of operation; Direct to Caregiver, traditional to nurse station, and the CommonPath Centralized™ approach.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, EHM, medical, healthcare suppliers, medical devices, brand management, business development

More Important to Be Kind Than Clever

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 @12:10 PM

One of the more heart-warming stories to zoom around the Internet lately involves a young man, his dying grandmother, and a bowl of clam chowder from Panera Bread. It's a little story that offers big lessons about service, brands, and the human side of business — a story that underscores why efficiency should never come at the expense of humanity.

The story, as told in AdWeek, goes like this: Brandon Cook, from Wilton, New Hampshire, was visiting his grandmother in the hospital. Terribly ill with cancer, she complained to her grandson that she desperately wanted a bowl of soup, and that the hospital's soup was inedible (she used saltier language). If only she could get a bowl of her favorite clam chowder from Panera Bread! Trouble was, Panera only sells clam chowder on Friday. So Brandon called the nearby Panera and talked to store manager Suzanne Fortier. Not only did Sue make clam chowder especially for Brandon's grandmother, she included a box of cookies as a gift from the staff.

It was a small act of kindness that would not normally make headlines. Except that Brandon told the story on his Facebook page, and Brandon's mother, Gail Cook, retold the story on Panera's fan page. The rest, as they say, is social-media history. Gail's post generated 500,000 (and counting) "likes" and more than 22,000 comments on Panera's Facebook page. Panera, meanwhile, got something that no amount of traditional advertising can buy — a genuine sense of affiliation and appreciation from customers around the world.

Marketing types have latched on to this story as an example of the power of social media and "virtual word-of-mouth" to boost a company's reputation. But I see the reaction to Sue Fortier's gesture as an example of something else — the hunger among customers, employees, and all of us to engage with companies on more than just dollars-and-cents terms. In a world that is being reshaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that remind us what it means to be human.

As I read the story of Brandon and his grandmother, I thought back to a lecture delivered two years ago by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, to the graduating seniors of my alma mater, Princeton University. Bezos is nothing if not a master of technology — he has built his company, and his fortune, on the rise of the Internet and his own intellect. But he spoke that day not about computing power or brainpower, but about his grandmother — and what he learned when he made her cry.

Even as a 10-year-old boy, it turns out, Bezos had a steel-trap mind and a passion for crunching numbers. During a summer road trip with his grandparents, young Jeff got fed up with his grandmother's smoking in the car — and decided to do something about it. From the backseat, he calculated how many cigarettes per day his grandmother smoked, how many puffs she took per cigarette, the health risk of each puff, and announced to her with great fanfare, "You've taken nine years off your life!"

Bezos's calculations may have been accurate — but the reaction was not what he expected. His grandmother burst into tears. His grandfather pulled the car off to the side of the road and asked young Jeff to step out. And then his grandfather taught a lesson that this now-billionaire decided to share the with the Class of 2010: "My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, 'Jeff, one day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever.'"

That's a lesson I wish more businesspeople understood — a lesson that is reinforced by the reaction to this simple act of kindness at Panera Bread. Indeed, I experienced something similar not so long ago, and found it striking enough to devote an HBR blog post to the experience. In my post, I told the story of my father, his search for a new car, a health emergency that took place in the middle of that search — and a couple of extraordinary (and truly human) gestures by an auto dealer that put him at ease and won his loyalty.

"What is it about business that makes it so hard to be kind?" I asked at the time. "And what kind of businesspeople have we become when small acts of kindness feel so rare?"

That's what's really striking about the Panera Bread story — not that Suzanne Fortier went out of her way to do something nice for a sick grandmother, but that her simple gesture attracted such global attention and acclaim.

So by all means, encourage your people to embrace technology, get great at business analytics, and otherwise ramp up the efficiency of everything they do. But just make sure all their efficiency doesn't come at the expense of their humanity. Small gestures can send big signals about who we are, what we care about, and why people should want to affiliate with us. It's harder (and more important) to be kind than clever.

Shared by Bill Taylor

Tags: leadership, marketing, teamwork, brand management, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

Are You Talking Too Much?

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @02:03 PM

Frank Ripullo was recently quoted in an ANAE "Sales Tips" for Reps Who Like to Win Issue
"Many Sales Representatives are talking too much. When you're talking, you're telling. When you ask questions to get clients talking about their needs, you're selling; you're finding out what they want to own. Only then can you guide them to the right product or service"

Frank Ripullo
Managing Partner/Founder
Essential Health Management

Tags: selling, Essential Healthcare Management, brand management, Frank Ripullo, business growth, strategic thinking

Follow Up Calls

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @03:45 PM

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.
Rob Bahna
Vice President of Sales
Resuscitation International

Tags: selling, Essential Healthcare Management, hospitals, healthcare suppliers, teamwork, medical devices, brand management, market research, priorities, sales, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development

Avoid Ugly

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 @02:11 PM

One of my favorite sayings in life, on the surface, may seem to be a little odd:

 "Life Is Too Short To Dance with Ugly Men"

I have always heard this attributed to author, actor, and comedian Mae West. Given her seemingly before her time attitude and quotes from the 30s and 40s, she probably meant it literally.

 “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
 ― Mae West
 “I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.”
 ― Mae West
However, I have always related this quote to ATTITUDE, not physical appearance. To me, the most important thing that we control, that impacts our success and happiness more than anything else, is our ATTITUDE. Life is difficult at times, even with a positive attitude. But if you are a glass half empty person, it is a long road.
A couple of definitions of UGLY:
Disagreeable; unpleasant; objectionable.
Threatening trouble or danger.
Mean; hostile; quarrelsome.
Personally, I don't want to even be around an UGLY ATTITUDE. I try to avoid hiring them, working for them, working with them and even hanging around them. We can't always control our situation, but where you can, AVOID UGLY.
You have the choice of how you react personally to situations. You can find the positive, or you can find the negative. And if you are in a situation where you can't find the positive, then take the steps to get out. It is not worth it.

That may seem over-simplistic and easy to say. But all you have to do is look around and you will find examples of people who have seemingly UGLY situations and they don't let them change their attitudes. Sure, they may have a bad moment or a bad day, we are all human. However, they don't let things turn them into UGLY PEOPLE.
Think of how many people you impact on a given day. When they walk away from you - have they "Danced with An Ugly Man"?
And maybe most importantly, what about those people you don't "have to" be nice to, how do they feel walking away from you?
Have a great week. Don't let anyone make you UGLY. Especially you. 

Rob Bahna

Tags: selling, determination, brand management, Quality, sales, business growth, business development

Web Video Done Right

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @12:38 PM

A few weeks ago, I worked with my friend Amy Hardin to create a series of short web videos. Here’s the result. It got me thinking about web video since I get asked at least once a week about how to do it or why. So here’s my easy guide to on-line video. But first, see how it’s done.

Make it look good.

I know you can buy a Flipcam and crank out a video. In fact a toddler can produce and upload videos to YouTube as easily as diving headfirst out of his high chair. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea if you are attempting to create a credible image of your company. If you are doing an informal series of tech tips or if you are hilariously funny, you can get away with the Flipcam approach. (Shooting your blog sitting on the toilet could work…). But the fact is, bad lighting and bad audio makes viewers skip to something else. It makes you look amateurish and cheap. I don’t know of many companies who are fighting over the Cheapskate Amateur position (although I’m sure they are out there).  Decent lighting and sound isn’t that hard to achieve. In Amy’s case, we rented a small studio (you’d be surprised at how affordable it is) and used decent microphones (you can rent them for about $35). Lucky for Amy, I know how to light and record this sort of stuff.

Make it short.

Rambling on and on while saying nothing works well for politicians but here in the real world, we need to get to the point. If your video is longer than about 3 minutes, you better make sure your critical points are in the first two minutes or nobody will ever see them. People on the web have the attention span of hummingbirds. You’ll notice Amy is pithy. She knew what she wanted to say and she nailed it. It helps to know what you are talking about. Keep it in short sound bites so you can spark some interest. If the viewer is interested they will dig deeper and spend more time. If you drag on, they’ll skip over to that site that shows that Chihuahua that pees while doing handstands.

Look into the camera.

I see a lot of videos where the subject is looking off to the side. I want to scream “Hey! I’m over here!” What are they looking at anyway? Probably some fat producer doing a funny little dance (that’s my trade secret – don’t even think of stealing it). Looking in the camera lens equates to looking into people’s eyes. You are talking right to them. This is important because people naturally engage with their eyes.

Why do it in the first place?

On-line video is a valuable tool in the marketer’s quiver for many reasons including:

  • It shows that there is a person behind the company, not a faceless corporation.

  • As a visual and auditory medium it is immediate and holds interest better.

  • You can use video to deliver value before the sales process even begins by showing your knowledge.

  • It enhances search engine placement

  • It is easily shared

  • Well produced video projects credibility and professionalism.

I know I will get a bunch of emails from people who disagree that production value counts. After all, there are many videos on YouTube with millions of views that look like they were shot with a box camera from 1920. The key is that good content will always prevail. But if you have good content AND good production values, you will realize more benefit from the effort. Unless you can suck linguine through your nose while riding a unicycle wearing nothing but a thong to the beat of Lady GaGa. In that case, you can forget everything that preceded this paragraph.


by Pete Monfre

Tags: selling, marketing, brand management, web video, pete monfre, sales, business growth, business development


Posted by Stan Schroeder on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @12:48 PM

We all know how important and valuable referrals are to our business, both short and long term. Several industries survive on referrals, and they almost always help separate average performers from those at the top of the list in selling success. They will help you get over that quota and earn more.

Like many aspects in selling, the length and depth of your relationships with your customers will likely have an impact on the number of referrals you are getting. If they trust you and believe in your credibility – the risk is minimized in their mind.
However, in today’s fast paced selling environment, the most successful sales people are the ones who are actively asking for referrals from as many of their customers as they can. We have all run into situations where we get contact information and give them a call and they say “We just went with a competitor. If only you would have called us last week.”
In further developing your own sense of urgency, you need to put asking for referrals on your TO ACCOMPLISH list as an activity that you routinely engage in with your customers. But you will find more success if you sell them on giving your referrals versus simply asking.
Answer the question for them of WHY should they give you a referral? Remind them of the positive results and experiences that they have had and get them emotionally involved. I believe people buy on emotion and justify it logically – which is why it is always critical to recreate a portion of that emotion before you ask for something.
Kathy, from our conversations it appears that you have been happy with the service that Resuscitation International has provided, and you have told me that our pricing has been very competitive. Is that a fair statement? Great - I am glad to hear that. Do you know of any other departments/services in your area that could benefit from our outstanding prices and service - I am sure they will thank you for it....
John, I am glad to hear about the great results you have seen from using the Weil Mini Chest Compressor. You mentioned that the ease of implementation, and consistently providing compressions at the adequate rate and depth, without interruption have resulted in some very positive outcomes. Do you have any colleagues at other departments in the area that you feel might benefit from this device to help them experience similar results in their communities?
Sandy, thank you for sharing your experience with the Weil Mini Chest Compressor and how it has helped you streamline your protocols and your training. Obviously, quality CPR sustained over time is a critical link in trying to save these patients, and I am glad you have found the MCC a valuable tool to help accomplish this. Can you think of any other departments or colleagues who you feel would benefit from this great new device?

You may never know exactly why they will give you a referral (maybe they are interviewing at that facility and they want to show how up to date they are on industry trends…). But you won’t get very many if you don’t sell them on it. We all know we should ask for referrals. Like everything in sales – it is not what YOU KNOW, it is WHAT YOU DO that matters.

Rob Bahna 
Vice President of Sales
Resuscitation International

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, hard work, EHM, healthcare, medical devices, brand management, referrals, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

New Executive Directors expand EHM expertise

Posted by Frank Ripullo on Thu, Jul 07, 2011 @05:55 PM

The medical supply industry is growing and a wave of companies are acting quickly to claim a share of the market.  The most successful suppliers are aligning with seasoned professionals who can spur demand for their products and services with key healthcare decision makers.  We know working within integrated delivery networks and group purchasing organizations is a delicate process.  At EHM, we use our expertise in business development and marketing to help our clients maneuver through the healthcare maze.

We have recently expanded our diverse business development expertise by adding two highly experienced, results-driven executive directors to our leadership team.  Espen Kateraas brings 16 years of experience in the global medical supply industry.  He has developed, launched, and marketed medical devices in markets around the world, including Europe, South America, and the Middle East.

Joining Kateraas is George M. Mathew Jr., a marketing expert in the medical supply industry.  Before joining EHM, Mathew was a product manager, responsible for the launch and growth of several major branded and generic drugs, diagnostic tests, and medical devices.  Mathew brings valuable experience in a variety of functions including brand management, strategic marketing, operations, sales, business development, market research and forecasting.

We are excited to introduce Kateraas and Mathew to the EHM leadership team.  Please read our press announcement to learn more about our new executive directors.  Vistit:

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, marketing, EHM, healthcare, healthcare suppliers, gpos, IDNs, integrated delivery networks, medical devices, brand management, market research, GPO, Espen Kateraas, generic drugs, branded drugs, diagnostic tests, market forecasting, George M Mathew Jr, kateraas, sales, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development