Reaching C-suite and tips on “getting in the door”
by Julanne Williams

While at the ANI 2016 in Las Vegas we attended a special session intended to help exhibitors in their onsite experience. Additionally, they held a panel discussion that included CFO’s and VP’s from various health care systems.  For most people in the marketing and sales world this is a welcome opportunity. To hear first-hand what issues healthcare executives are focused on right now as well as what message resonates with the C-suite and decision makers is all good stuff.

Here is what they shared on their “Don’t do this” list:

  • Don’t say your software works with every solution – instead say “Our software interfaces with…” Cerner, EPIC, etc. Be specific.
  • Don’t call C-suite executives…period. They don’t answer their phone. They have gatekeepers whose sole job is to make sure you don’t get to talk to the CEO, etc.

On the “Do this” list:

  • Do your research before you send an email. One of the executive’s birth name is Robert but he goes by Bob. As soon as he sees an email addressed to “Robert” he disregards because he knows that person doesn’t know him well and feels they didn’t take the time to research about him either.
  • Bring your content expertise to an HFMA event.
  • Write white papers.
  • Position yourself to sell your product – For example, if you know the CEO is involved with JDRF or Make-A-Wish foundation, make a donation to or join their team.
  • Know their gaps.
  • Be able to prove a return on investment (ROI). For one of the CFO guest panelists, this is how she makes decisions.
  • Be able to share proof that you can perform.
  • Be willing to take a risk.
  • Have experts at the table.
  • Be respectful of their time.
  • Share solution stories through HFMA.
  • HFMA Business Development Team – meet with their thought leaders – get on their editorial calendar. Share content.

So while there was a little self-promoting for HFMA going on there, (hey, they were the host) I’m hoping there are some helpful tips here that you’ll find useful.