3 Ways To Maximize Your Time At The
March 27, 2018
We have attended the IDN summit twice per year for over 20 years. Here are a few thoughts to help you be more successful.
1. Do the homework
With over 80 provider systems attending the reverse expo at the IDN Summit, it is impossible to see the majority even if you have more than one person. So the strategy is all about focus. Review the attendee list. If you have a sales organization, send it to them and find out what they may have working at any of these Systems or individual hospitals within the systems. If you have current business within the system, give a quick review of:
why they are using your company versus the competition
the value you can provide system wide and
a champion within the system that can verify what you’ve said
In lieu of existing business, prioritize according to sales coverage; where are your most experienced reps or areas where you would like to grow sales. Your goal should be to talk to 20 targeted systems where you’re confident you have a story to tell. TIP: either start with your most viable targets or counterclockwise. Human nature turns left to begin. Remember, while there are long lines at the beginning, competition drops dramatically after 3 hours!
There are numerous opportunities to network starting with Sunday night’s reception, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and breaks, even during the presentations where you can learn about provider issues. Their problems can be your opportunities. And don’t forget Networking After Dark. In my view, all meetings are about Immersion not diversion. Leave the texting and emails to nights and mornings before breakfast. Immerse yourself in the meeting.
Yes, I’d rather be playing golf in Orlando or Arizona but you should use every opportunity to network with the attendees. You may not know anyone, but focus on the “blue badge” attendees (generally providers have a blue badge) and start a conversation about anything but business. If they are one of your targets, ask for a card and a chance to meet with them at their office. The five minutes you have at the reverse expo is not enough to do justice– your goal is to get a follow up appointment.
BONUS: you’ve just eliminated waiting in one line!
3. Follow up
“I emailed everyone I met but they didn’t get back to me.” Join the club! No matter what your relationship, we all get we are all challenged by lack of response. Understand that providers get bombarded with these emails the moment they return. Respect the fact that providers receive hundreds of emails per day, attend several meetings, scores of voicemails, along with the fires to put out. A very well-known VP of Supply Chain told me something I will never forget: “my constituency dictates my agenda.” In other words, they respond to internal emails and messages first. If possible find a champion within their constituency.
If you have built a relationship through a common bond or issue, overtime you will have planted a seed that can grow into a strong relationship ultimately, leading to sales. If you’ve been in sales any length of time you know it’s all about building relationships, trust, and providing value that meets that person’s goals.
Continue to work to push for a face-to-face meeting where things can get done. The IDN summits are a great opportunity to start the process. Immerse yourself and the opportunities will come.