The doctor is in.
A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I wouldn't mind making his company the subject of Free Idea Friday. While I hadn't intended this forum to be anything other than a place to share some surplus ideas that had been rolling around in my head, I'm never one to shy away from a challenge. So, I read through his company's website and have been letting the information stew in my brain for a few weeks under the influence of eggnog, and now will take a shot at his specific request:
"How do I get more prospects in the pipeline?"
In a gross oversimplification, their product is health care software that tracks patient data to provide clinicians with the information they need to improve patient care and clinic operations. And their target includes chief medical officers and medical directors.
The first thing I'd do is simplify the message. Boil it down to a key phrase that they can own which encapsulates the benefit of their business. Something like "Knowledge Heals" or "Information is the Best Medicine." In my experience, physicians are a busy lot. It's hard to find much time to explain things to them. They're also pretty smart so you don't need too get to deep into the details to get them to see the benefits of a program like this.
The next thing I'd recommend is that they find a credible spokesperson and use him or her to help get their product in front of both the medical media and general press. As we all know, health care is front and center right now in the national conversation and two of the biggest issues are cost and quality. Develop a story that demonstrates how by using their product clinics have saved money and lives. Scale it up. If every clinic in the country adopted a program like this, we could save X thousand lives, and X million dollars a year. Pitch it as the private sector leading the way in solving one of the crises facing our nation right now. Use this spokesperson to get on television talk shows, radio news programs and interviews with leading print outlets like the Wall Street Journal to position the company as a leading voice in health care reform.
Concurrently, I'd revise the website to be less feature driven and more benefit oriented. And on a tactical level, maybe tie into the debate around health care. Have physicians who visit the site vote on specific parts of the reform package that relate to their product, and publicize the results. Or give them a way to easily communicate with their legislators. When they do this, they have to share basic contact information, email, geography, etc.
The key is to create a spark that gets people talking in a way that they see you as an advocate for their cause. Do that, and they might even be happy to share a little information with you.