The Promo Prescription
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), better known as Obamacare, is causing quite the ruckus in the news (and, probably, your HR department) these days. The plan has been a lightning rod for debate since its proposal during the 2008 presidential campaign, with things only intensifying as more of the law's provisions begin to take effect. But whether you're for, against or indifferent to it, one thing is certain: At 955 pages, with section titles like "Limitation on Excessive Remuneration Paid by Certain Health Insurance Providers," the PPACA is kind of headache-inducing.
But not everything relating to health care has to be that way. Take selling to the health care market: It can be tricky at first, but with a little preparation, you'll be moving product faster than an old-timey snake-oil salesman at a Wild West hypochondriac convention. Sounds good, right? So put down that copy of the PPACA, stop Googling "excessive remuneration," and check out the great sales tips we've compiled for you below. They may not do anything for your headache, but they're sure to boost your profits in the health care industry.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
"As far as from a prospecting standpoint, [distributors should] go to the library and get the book of lists of the metro markets to look up the key health care entities in town. Certainly everybody knows somebody who works at a hospital or health care network, and if [they] can get them to give you a favorable introduction as a referral into one of the departments, [that's] great too. Finally, again, [check] the hospital association site for prospects. It's really just, do your research and do your legwork before you make the call. Don't just go make a cold call on a major hospital chain or network, or even an individual hospital, because you know you'll get eaten up because you're just another person coming in, unless you really have a strategic advantage."
- Dale Limes, MAS, senior vice president of sales, HALO Branded Solutions, Sterling, Ill. From "The Right Prescription: Revitalize slumping sales with niche marketing to the health-care industry," Promo Marketing, February 2009
"All health care items have target markets and opportune selling times. Try to familiarize yourself with these times and use them as guidelines. If you approach your client with a variety of options geared at promoting specific drugs they sell, you will have a much better chance of success."
- Ian Ellen, executive vice president, Martini Promotions, Montreal. From "Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News: Give the health-care industry a promotional shot in the arm," Promo Marketing, February 2007