The ability to influence others is a critical factor in business development and the work world in general. Journey with Chris as he supports sales executives chase after their sales pipelines and bring new technology and processes to healthcare organizations.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m part of the Business Development and Sales organization. I like analogies, and in a very simplified way, I say my team works similar to a restaurant. I’m assigned to multiple sales executives that act as the waiters; They take the orders and are ultimately responsible for presenting to the customer. I’m the chef in the kitchen. My job is to interpret the orders, find the best ingredients in the market, and then piece everything together into a final product.
Since healthcare is evolving so quickly, I have to constantly keep up with changes from legislation and technology to be sure my client’s problems/requirements and the solution we develop will be sure to fit their needs now and in the foreseeable future. Our sales cycles can take up to a year in some cases. I spend a lot of time talking to customers and different vendor partners that we leverage in our solutions. Ultimately, we help health systems and hospitals across the U.S. connect and share health information with doctors in their markets.
My job requires travel up to about 60% of the year. I’m not assigned a direct quota, but I do get a commission on top of my normal salary.
WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING?
I think the art of persuasion is essential to learn early in your career. How to sell and gain people’s trust is a key part of everything I do every day. I have to sell my ideas for the solution upstream internally for approvals, and once I’m successful with that, I do it again to the customer I’m delivering it to. Every individual has a different set of ideas, needs, and requirements. It's important to figure out how to navigate around all of that.
One thing that I’ve observed recently, is how to position yourself in conversations through questions. I’ve found that you’re not very successful if you’re the one doing all the talking. Inserting the right questions helps you guide the conversation, put your audience in the right mindset, and ultimately help people reach specific conclusions with their own words. It’s an art, and it’s very useful if you know how to do it.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
6:30 AM – I wake up to my alarm clock and hit snooze…
7:00 AM – Now I’m finally out of bed and swing over to my laptop. I respond to some emails sent to me late last night. I have a contract to review and some pricing I need to negotiate with a vendor partner some time today.
8:00 AM – After scheduling a couple quick meetings, I pack up my suitcase for a quick trip to a prospect in Mississippi. I’m only staying over for one night so I grab an extra set of clothes for tomorrow and my usual toiletries for the road.
8:30 AM – One last check of emails and meeting invites for the day and I’m out the door to the airport.
9:30 AM – I swing by Starbucks and jump on my flight to the “Hospitality State”. I’ve printed out some new articles and the draft presentation to read on the flight. I want to make sure I solidify my talking points for the meeting this afternoon.
12:00 PM – I land and pick up my rental car and drive to the hotel to check in. The Sales Executive is meeting me at 2:00 PM to go over the details of the proposal. I review the cost models I’ve put together and verify everything is in order before our meeting. I fire up the laptop in the hotel and get back to answering emails. I dial into the conference calls I setup in the morning. I’m always one of the first to dial in, so I end up talking about the weather again with people in California.
2:00 PM – We meet up with the VP of one of our vendor partners. We’ve asked him to join us in the meeting and fill him in on some last minute details and the general ideas of the decision-makers in the room. We walk through the presentation together and re-hash the key points that we want to highlight.
4:00 PM – We start our two-hour meeting to go over the proposal and walk through the details of our solution with the customer. There is the CIO, 2 physicians in the room, two office managers, and the IT director.
5:30 PM – We start discussing next steps with the client. The CIO really likes our solution and wants us to help draft some slides for their board meeting later in the week. They’re very interested and start inquiring about our contracting process. We’re good to start as soon as their board approves.
6:30 PM – Our team heads out to dinner. We debrief and unwind over a couple beers and some food.
8:30 PM – I’m back in the hotel room and catch up on my never-ending inbox of emails. I setup a few meetings for other accounts and review the contract I received in the morning.
10:00 PM – I call the front desk to set up my wake up call. I’ve got the first flight back to Dallas in the morning. I’ve got a few important meetings back at the office in the afternoon. I grab my Kindle and read a bit before hitting the sack.
11:00 PM – Lights out.