Tis’ the Season-For Healthcare IT

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Monday, 28 November 2011 21:06

What does your company do?
Where do you fit in to Healthcare IT?
What is your focus for 2012?
What can we do for you?

All are questions that have been ringing in my ears the past few weeks as it is the season for IT conferences. HIMSS, ALHIT, Tri-State EMR, Tech Thursday, New Economy New Rules and Innovation Summit are all groups that anyone familiar with the Healthcare or the IT can relate to. These are all organizations that in the past few weeks have held their annual/monthly/weekly conferences and have rolled out the red carpet to Healthcare IT firms. Although the conferences can be numerous, overwhelming, and sometimes time consuming, they are a great use of your time and extremely helpful when taken seriously and the time used correctly. The three things to remember are simple; ask questions, listen to the answers and most importantly take good notes.

Asking questions can sometimes be the hardest part. Simple open-ended questions will typically clarify whether or not a mutually beneficial business relationship is in the offing. The most obvious but commonly forgotten question is; “what is it you do?” This is straight the point and often opens up further discussion which that can result in a good understanding of how two parties can move forward. It is amazing how people will open up and share information about themselves and their companies. Remember these are typically sales and marketing professionals that love to talk about their business and what they can do for you. Let them do just that. Remember, they paid a lot of money to be there and network with you.

Listening to answers, in theory, is simple but in practice can often be hard to do. It is human nature to jump in on an answer and start talking about how you may or may not be able to work together. Try to resist and let them finish. Continue to probe the conversation to try to find out how you may fit as a partner moving forward. You may have clients in common, employees in common, or just business thoughts and practices that you can build on. The worst-case scenario is that you’ve met someone that down the road you can refer business to or have business referred back to you. Partnerships, no matter how they fit, are a great source of future business and referrals. Don’t ever count anyone out no matter their background. A good solid working relationship is invaluable and can only result in future business but don’t forget the words, ”good relationship”.

Taking notes is the easy part of all. It is as simple as trading business cards and making simple, quick and appropriate notes on the back. Show them you are interested in them and in learning more about their company. Most importantly when trading a business card, always read them. Acknowledge their name, their title and know who it is you are talking to. Ask questions about them or what it is they do for their company. You will be amazed at the conversation you can generate from just reading a business card. The name may ring a bell, maybe their title is unique, or maybe you have even heard their name before. Whatever it is, use that business card as a great learning tool.

All in all now that the dust is beginning to settle, it has definitely been a busy and educational time for me personally and one that I gained a great deal of knowledge from. I have many, many cards to follow up on, several calls to place, and lots of appointments to make and reply to. What a great industry this is that so many organizations offer opportunities to gain valuable knowledge from our peers all in the same room at the same time. We have all had the same opportunity, now let’s see who can make the most of it and remember to, ask questions, listen to the answers, and take notes, you just never know what may come of it.

~Trevor Stephens