The Language of Sales – How to Increase Your Simulation Budget
This summer I had two fantastic engagements that focused on helping simulation champions increase their program, by gaining additional financial support through considering the language of sales when dealing with administrators.
First was at the Global Network for Simulation in Healthcare meeting in Oxford last month which continued the work started by previous participants to identify and create a tool set for helping simulation champions convey the opportunities of simulation to administrators. Look out for industry-changing content from this group in the next twenty-four months.
The second was at the amazing SimulationIQ Platinum Sponsored SimGHOSTS 2016 USA event, during the SimNEXT sponsored keynote address by Jump Trading Simulation Center’s Director and CMO Dr. John Vozenilek, who demonstrated how their simulation program was seen as a cost-reduction center for the OSF Healthcare hospital.
While this conversation is not new to the world of healthcare simulation, in fact we covered it extensively in 2012 during the HealthySimAdmin event which you can watch here, the conversation has definitely evolved to become a primary concern of simulation program directors and industry partners around the world.
To grow your simulation program, the concept is simple:
To increase your simulation program you will need increased financial and institutional resources, and to do that, you need to gain the support of the highest level administrators possible from your organization. So how do you successful start and maintain that conversation with institutional leadership so they become as impassioned about simulation as you are? As clinicians, researchers, educators, administrators, and technology specialists, we may not have the learned the tools necessary to convey this message in a way that can be heard by the other side.
As a documentary film-maker I learned at an early age that I need to craft my message in a way that can be understood by the audience. If they cannot understand parts of my message, or they are missing context, or don’t have a chance to build the right frame of mind — then my efforts would not translate into the understanding the audience was willing to consume. When it comes to marketing, the first thing I read was that “no one cares about your problems, they only care about their own”.
In that reality, we need to start our campaign to increase simulation not from our perspective, but from the perspective of the highest level administrators we will need to participate in-order to move the program forward in a big way. The question then becomes: What are their priorities, their needs, and most importantly their problems? Usually, the priorities in healthcare education are for maximum learner pass rates and in professional healthcare for increased quality of care with minimal costs. BOTH groups usually share the same primary problem: finances.
With this knowledge we can begin to speak to organizational leadership within the right frame to capture their attention, provide solutions, and create big wins.
Well as healthcare simulation champions we are comfortable with learning a new language, of being early-adopters and challenging the status quo with innovative practices, equipment and programs. We too must also challenge ourselves to also learn the “language of sales” to help those around us see what we see: that simulation improves efficiency and quality, while ultimately reducing costs.
Each week over the next month I will share a book, website, movie, or other resource that can you speak this “language of sales” in an effort to increase your opportunity to expand your simulation program. Topics will include why and how to craft “an elevator pitch”, how to identify key stakeholders and their priorities, sales messaging, and relationship building.
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