How to Build Trust with Hospital Buyers



As workforce issues, financial pressures and market changes prompt hospital and health system leaders to revisit their strategic playbooks, they need tools to support quality, innovation and to control costs. Health care solutions providers can earn their trust by understanding these challenges, and by providing them with long-term, sustainable solutions that are strategically positioned to solve problems.


Read on for Helpful Tips on How to Position Yourself as a Key Partner to Hospital and Health System Leaders


Understanding Your Customer

Hospitals are fast-paced environments where the stakes are high. As hospital leaders grapple with the aftershocks of the pandemic, many are facing limited resources, both in terms of finances and time. Budget pressures mean that purchase decisions will undergo additional scrutiny and might be delayed to match fiscal year timelines. Hospital leaders seek customized solutions that can enhance patient outcomes, streamline operations and optimize returns on investment.

Hospitals also grapple with stringent compliance regulations, compatibility issues among existing systems like electronic medical records (EHRs), lab software and billing systems. Cybersecurity concerns and the need to train busy staff members on new technology add to their challenges. Technical approval processes typically involve system-wide evaluations.

In today’s competitive market, vendors who understand hospital and health system leaders’ unique challenges stand out. Addressing those needs can be the difference between a long-term contract and a missed opportunity.

Building Trust

The health care industry is fundamentally a people business. To establish relationships with key decision-makers of hospitals and health systems, whether in the C-Suite or within departments, you need to understand their challenges.

To do this well, consider your prospects’ primary goals. In the health care industry, these typically include:

  • Enhancing Outcomes: Decision-makers always want better results, whether that means faster patient recovery rates, more effective treatments or more efficient hospital operations.
  • Improving Patient Safety: Any solution or strategy proposed should prioritize patient well-being. Whether your solution addresses operations or clinical care delivery, emphasize features that enhance outcomes.
  • Improving Quality of Care: This can encompass everything from patient experience to clinical efficacy. Suppose you’re introducing a new patient feedback system, for instance. In that case, you can stress how it will help the hospital get real-time insights into patient satisfaction, allowing them to immediately address any issues and thus enhance the quality of care.

Customizing Solutions by Hospital Size and Needs

From patient demographics to geographic location, every hospital is different. While a large metropolitan hospital might offer access to sophisticated specialty medicine, a smaller rural clinic may prioritize basic preventive and emergency care.

By segmenting customers by their challenges, you can customize products and communication. You’ll need a different value proposition for a large academic medical center versus a 25-bed community hospital.

Problem-centric Selling: How-to

Problem-centric selling is about genuinely understanding a prospect’s challenges before offering solutions. By asking in-depth questions and empathizing with the issues your prospect is facing, you can clearly show the value of your solutions. In other words: Listen actively, see problems from your customer’s perspective and focus on addressing real needs.

For instance, if nursing leaders are your product’s main users and you find that they’re burdened with administrative tasks, you might recognize that the value of your product shouldn’t be expressed by only describing its data management or AI capabilities. Instead, convey how it can ease their workload. Highlight how your software lets leaders concentrate on core responsibilities, which can have the broader benefit of possibly reducing staff burnout and turnover.

Doing market research helps, too. Knowing that hospitals contend with compliance, compatibility, cybersecurity and complex approval processes for new technology, consider how to best frame the interoperability of your solution before pitching it. Engage with system administrators from the outset and align your pitch with leaders’ strategic goals. This positions you not just as someone seeking to make a sale but as a partner attuned to the hospital’s specific needs.

When in doubt, try this step-by-step guide to problem-centric selling:

  • Be detailed, credible and empathetic.
  • Show empathy by acknowledging specific challenges faced by the hospital.
  • Connect solution features directly to these challenges.
  • Back claims with data or case studies.
  • Explain benefits, not just features.
  • Emphasize adaptability based on feedback.
  • End with an invitation for questions, underlining your commitment to partnership.

Using these strategies makes your pitch resonate and shows the hospital the true value of your solutions.

Beyond the Sale: Engage, Support and Adapt

Your work is only partially done when the sale has closed. To ensure a lasting partnership, provide consistent, post-sale engagement.

This looks like:

  • Offering Support: Hospitals cannot risk potential patient care disruption. For example, if a hospital purchases a new EHR, staff will need continuous technical help to ensure the system runs smoothly.
  • Soliciting Feedback: Existing clients offer crucial feedback on product performance and areas for improvement. For example, after introducing a new software system, seek nurse input to enhance workflows. Addressing this feedback not only improves the product but also will solidify the relationship.
  • Being Readily Available to Address Needs or Concerns: When care delivery is at stake, there can be no “downtime.” If a critical piece of equipment or technology malfunctions, staff will need assistance at any hour. Being consistently available builds trust.

Data-Driven Strategies for Hospital Engagement

Using data on hospital trends and service line performance helps identify market gaps and hospital needs, laying the groundwork for problem-centric selling. This approach allows for targeted sales opportunities and deeper engagement with hospital leaders.

Take, for instance, telehealth utilization data that shows a disparity between urban and rural hospitals. With this knowledge, you can initiate insightful dialogues with C-level executives, especially from rural areas. Instead of just promoting a telehealth platform, you can offer solutions suited to rural hospital challenges, like low-bandwidth compatibility. This approach focuses on your clients’ unique situation.


Connect with us

Want to partner? Let's talk.

Looking for ways to get involved, engage with our members, and share your stories and solutions? Please provide the following information and someone from our team will be in touch.