The Catalyst … accelerating business growth in healthcare


Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @12:14 PM

I have been involved in hiring hundreds of sales people and managers in my career. Not once during the interviews for these jobs did any candidate say, "I want to lose" or "I don't care about winning".
Every one of us says we want to win - and I believe that is true. So why do we have people who continually succeed despite the challenges that are put in front of them and others who effectively give up the day the goal or quota is assigned?
In some ways I believe it is about really having the Will to win. Coach Bobby Knight once said that "the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win."
Let's use presentations as an example. When you give a presentation to a customer, your own team or even in public, you know going in how well prepared you are and how much work you have done to be ready. If you are completely confident because your preparation has been flawless, it is apparent to everyone who hears you.
We have all been on the other end of a presentation where someone was not prepared because they did not own the material. I certainly don't want someone reading slides to me instead of having an engaged conversation whenever possible.
When I started selling very few people had cell phones, email was just starting and people actually didn't answer their phones or text during the meetings. And unless it was a doctor, very rarely did anyone interrupt a meeting that was taking place.
But just as those thing change - so has our ability to prepare with the data and knowledge that is readily available on companies and people. Can you imagine asking the president of a company "what does your organization do"? Yet - many people are not prepared to ask intelligent questions and show that they have done their homework. Every person we deal with wants us to be prepared and show them that we value their time.
If you watch cooking shows, it is easy to see the finished meal and say - wow, that is great. But it doesn't happen without practice and repetition, preparation and hard work.
It's not what you want, but what you do that matters. Everyone wants to win. Some people choose to.

Have a great week.
Rob Bahna

Vice President of Sales
Rescuscitation International

Tags: selling, leadership, determination, teamwork, leader, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

Overcoming Stalls and Objections

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 @01:35 PM

A SELLect Sales Tip from Amy Hardin

Tags: selling, leadership, Essential Healthcare Management, determination, web video, sales, business growth, Management, business development

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Jan 04, 2012 @01:16 PM

The old axiom "Practice Makes Perfect" has been around for a long time. Anyone who has seen my golf game knows that Practice Does Not Make Perfect. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. If I go to the driving range, what I do is practice my imperfect golf swing, to make it more consistently bad.

If we talk about my softball swing - it is another story. From years of baseball from little league through college, and 25 years of softball, I know the fundamentals of the swing and what it should be. The more I practice, the more confident I become and the more muscle memory kicks in so I don't have to think about it.

Have you made any New Years Resolutions for 2012? Why do so many resolutions fail? Most resolutions (assuming they are reasonable, achievable and important to the person making them) fail because we don't make them habits. You have probably seen different opinions on how long we have to do something to make it a habit. I have often heard it takes 21 days (or 28 days) of consistently doing something before something becomes a habit.

Psychological research on this question in a paper was recently published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. Phillippa Lally and colleagues from University College London recruited 96 people who were interested in forming a new habit such as eating a piece of fruit with lunch or doing a 15 minute run each day Lally et al. (2009). Participants were then asked daily how automatic their chosen behaviours felt. These questions included things like whether the behaviour was 'hard not to do' and could be done 'without thinking'.

When the researchers examined the different habits, many of the participants showed a curved relationship between practice and the automaticity of it. On average a plateau in automaticity was reached after 66 days. In other words it had become as much of a habit as it was ever going to become.

Although the average was 66 days, there was marked variation in how long habits took to form, anywhere from 18 days up to 254 days in the habits examined in this study. As you'd imagine, drinking a daily glass of water became automatic very quickly but doing 50 sit-ups before breakfast required more dedication.

The researchers also noted that:

Missing a single day did not reduce the chance of forming a habit.
A sub-group took much longer than the others to form their habits, perhaps suggesting some people are 'habit-resistant'.
Other types of habits may well take much longer.

66 days is a considerable amount of time and requires strong commitment. And remember that this applies to business habits as well.

If you want call on 2 new prospects each day in addition to your current customers, track your progress each day for 66 days.

If you want to do a better job of asking for referalls, track your progress for 66 days.

If you want to lose weight, track your calorie intake, or your calories burned during excercise , check out the free App Lose It! for the iIPad or IPhone. It will give you a good example of tracking and how motivating that can be.

And practicing bad habits will not get you the results you are looking for, don't hesitate to ask for help to make sure you are practicing correctly.

Have a great 2012.


Rob Bahna

Tags: selling, leadership, determination, leader, priorities, referrals, business growth, 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

Quality vs Quantity

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Wed, Dec 07, 2011 @09:08 AM

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.

Rob Bahna

Tags: selling, Schroeder, marketing, determination, hard work, business growth, Management, strategic thinking, business development

Jimmy Valvano

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Tue, Oct 04, 2011 @07:15 AM

The link below is for a You Tube presentation given on March 3, 1993 by Jimmy Valvano as he was dying of cancer.

When you have 11 minutes to spare, take some time to watch it. If you have never seen it - you will learn a little Italian. If you have seen it - it will remind you of some of the important things we need to prioritize.  

He suggests a few key things in his speech:

Every day, we should do 3 things:



Have our emotions moved to tears.

We should never forget:

Where We Started

Where We Are

Where We Are Going To Be

He ends by saying that Cancer may take away all of my physical abilities, but it cannot touch my Mind, it cannot touch my Heart, it cannot touch my Soul.

Don't Give Up. Don't Ever Give Up.

Whatever business or personal obstacles you are facing this week - keep them in perspective.  

Rob Bahna 

Vice President of Sales

Resuscitation International

Tags: determination, priorities, strategic thinking

The Gringo

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 @02:41 PM

The definition of insanity is doing things the same way and expecting different results.
S.T.O.P. doing things the same way, and you will help your organization become more effective and profitable.

Let’s assume that the doping alligations against Lance Armstrong are not true. At least for today. Throughout one of the past races, a Columbian Tour de France rider on the Kelme - Costa Blanca Team, Santiago Botero, kept a diary for the newspaper. Each day the newspaper published his diary from the previous day. Here is one of his entries.

"There I am all alone with my bike. I know of only two riders ahead of me as I near the end of the second climb on what most riders consider the third worst mountain stage in the Tour. I say 'most riders' because I do not fear mountains. After all, our country is nothing but mountains. I train year-round in the mountains. I am the national champion from a country that is nothing but mountains. I trail only my teammate, Fernando Escartin, and a Swiss rider. Pantani, one of my rival climbers. The Gringo Armstrong is in the Peleton about five minutes behind me.

I am climbing on such a steep portion of the mountain that if I were to stop pedaling, I will fall backward. Even for a world class climber, this is a painful and slow process. I am in my upright position pedaling at a steady pace willing myself to finish this climb so I can conserve my energy for the final climb of the day. The Kelme team leader radios to me that the Gringo has left the Peleton by himself and that they can no longer see him.

I recall thinking 'the Gringo cannot catch me by himself'. A short while later, I hear the gears on another bicycle. Within seconds, the Gringo is next to me - riding in the seated position, smiling at me. He was only next to me for a few seconds and he said nothing - he only smiled and then proceeded up the mountain as if he were pedaling downhill. For the next several minutes, I could only think of one thing - his smile.

His smile told me everything. I kept thinking that surely he is in as much agony as me, perhaps he was standing and struggling up the mountain as I was
and he only sat down to pass me and discourage me. He has to be playing games with me.

Not possible. The truth is that his smile said everything that his lips did not. His smile said to me, 'I was training while you were sleeping, Santiago'. It also said, 'I won this tour four months ago, while you were deciding what bike frame to use in the Tour. I trained harder than you did, Santiago. I don't know if I am better than you, but I have outworked you and right now, you cannot do anything about it. Enjoy your ride, Santiago. See you in Paris.'

Obviously, the Gringo did not state any of this. But his smile did dispel a bad rumor among the riders on the tour. The rumor that surfaced as we began the Prologue several days ago told us that the Gringo had gotten soft. His wife had given birth to his first child and he had won the most difficult race in the world - He had no desire to race, to win. I imagine that his smile turned to laughter once he was far enough not to embarrass me.

The Gringo has class, but he heard the rumors - he probably laughed all the way to Paris. He is a great champion and I must train harder. I am not content to be a great climber, I want to be the best. I learned much from the Gringo in the mountains. I will never forget the helpless feeling I had yesterday. If I ever become an international champion, I will always remember the lesson the Gringo taught me”.

The choices you make are yours for life. And the choices you make – are your life.
Make them count. And don’t ever lose because someone outworked you.

Rob Bahna
Strategies To Optimize Profitability

Tags: determination, hard work, Quality, business growth, Management