Four Primary Goals to Managing Hospital Key Accounts
1. Own Your Hospital
Your primary task right out of the gate is to establish yourself as the primary sales/clinical contact with all the keyaccounts in a given hospital. Your goal is to be the face of your facility/company within that account. This may sound simple but it takes focus and planning.
Here are a few suggestions to get started:
- Be visible on every floor, at every nurse`s station; let them get to know you as the face of your company.
- Be available and responsive. They need to view you as the easiest person to find quickly.
- Be helpful; to the hospital staff and physicians this means one thing – Get it done and with the least amount of confusion.
- Be a problem-solver by always taking ownership and never placing the blame on your company, your center or others.
It is important that primary account responsibility be assigned to the nurse liaison. They act as the coordinator of all clinical and sales contact activity within that account.
2. Integrate Horizontally and Vertically
Separate yourself from your competition by expanding the number of contacts you have within each key hospital account. Move beyond the routine “discharge planner” rounding and move to a higher level appointment selling to both key departments and physician selling. Once you have accomplished (owning your hospital), it is easy to slide into a comfort zone of a day to day routine with those who know and like us. The most successful liaisons take this step to heart and move easily up and down throughout their hospital. Here are a few recommendations:
- Set aside a designated amount of time for this step each day. Begin with 30 minutes and work your way up to an hour. If you do not plan the time, it most likely will not happen.
- Create a customer list of all the potential customers within the hospital. That means everyone; movers and shakers, department heads, managers, physicians, staff nurses; even the receptionists. Prioritize them by importance.
- Find them and make an initial contact; use your IMPACT Selling skills and begin to build relationships.
3. Become the Community Resource
Work hard at learning your product, your competition and your community. By providing your key hospitals with an expert knowledge of all facility products, payer sources, clinical expertise, and community resources, you become indispensible. By being the expert, you move yourself to a first call status when your community hospitals are looking to discharge all levels of patients, placing you in a position of increased value as the community resource to your hospitals.
4. Be the “Great Communicator”
Provide hospital oversight to ensure the flow of patient, admission and clinical information between hospital and facility, anticipating problems and intervening as necessary. Being the eyes and ears in the hospital provides you both a selling opportunity and an opportunity to anticipate challenges, both upon discharge from the hospital and admission to the facility. Effective oversight and coordination with the facility and delegation of challenges to the facility team, allows you to bring value, and maintain focus on your hospital sales opportunities. Here are a few suggestions from successful liaisons:
- Develop strong relationships with the Director of Nursing, Administrator and Admission staff at your center. Learn what they need from you to feel comfortable with an admission coming to them.
- Be pro-active. Never let a small concern lie; it will become an enormous problem rapidly. Try to uncover the situation quickly; do your best to solve it and take responsibility if you can not.
- Be accurate and comprehensive. The trust you will build on both sides by being absolutely above board can not be under-estimated.
The role of the liaison is one of the most critical positions in healthcare today. It should be understood by the people in the role, the center management team and the managers of such positions. It is truly a sales position with one goal; generate revenue. However, its` success is accomplished through networking, marketing, salesmanship, communication and knowledge.