‘Find the right customer’ may seem like obvious advice but many clients don’t even realise they’re heading in the wrong direction with who to pitch to when they come to us for support.
In this blog we take a look at how to identify the right people to speak to, what challenges they face and new client bases to consider so you can start landing your drugs, device and technology projects with ease.
Primary Care Network (PCN) leaders are busy people…
As leaders of Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Clinical Directors (CDs) may be the most obvious people to go for when looking to engage with your local PCN, but they have limited time – around a day a week dedicated to this part of their role – and a significant volume of work, responsibilities and tasks to discharge in this time.
To put it another way: they are swamped. Consequently, even when they are open to hearing your pitch, you are unlikely to find they have the time to meet and actually engage with you.
So, who should you be trying to engage with?
PCN and GP Federation engagement checklist
- Who is your key contact? Your first port of call will be to establish who represents the PCN constituent practices, or the GP federation of which the PCN is part, if they have one.
- Is the PCN and/or GP federation business-ready? Do they have a track record of project and service delivery and examples you can point to that suggest they will engage? Have you completed your research and checked the Companies House record for the GP Federation (please see earlier article on this topic) and looked for their own website to build a clear picture of why this is the right group to engage with?
- Test engagement. In our work, we then test their engagement using very simple and basic service changes, which are all in their own gift, to ensure the engagement is real and they can deliver. This is an easy way to get a foot in the door and start building relationships. Then once you’re on the radar and established, it becomes easier to move onto bigger projects.
- Consider the current climate. The other thing to bear in mind is that, Covid-19 apart, the majority of PCNs contain practices who have not had to work together in this way previously and are getting to grips with their own internal relationships as well as having to decide how, which and what new additional reimbursed roles they want to deploy within their networks. Many Integrated Care Systems (ICS) are literally just in the process of forming and have only just got into the starting blocks.
- Are they putting up barriers? Are you dealing with the ones that ‘get it’, that recognise the opportunities, that are open to innovation and will do everything they can to make this happen? Or are you facing a PCN that’s not capable of moving forward, that has the wrong mindset and is more likely to put obstacles IN the way, rather than embrace the solutions?
In a nutshell, each part of the country has parts of the system that are at differing levels of maturity and business-readiness, and you need to do your homework to establish that in the areas in which you work to ensure you approach and engage with the right people. Otherwise you waste time and resources chasing the wrong leads.
Are there opportunities for a new client base?
For those working in secondary care there is a completely new client base to pitch to in the business development, contracting and finance teams. They will look at your projects and approaches in a very different way. There will also be Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and ICS leads you can target.
We have numerous examples of hospitals coming together with their local PCNs, federations and super practices to develop their integrated approach. This is an agenda that is ripe for your input, but only if you understand it and can connect with the right people. And they are unlikely to be the clinical leads.
For more tips and guidance on landing your great projects with ease, you may find my free download 5 Pharmaceutical Sales Mistakes That Will Sink Your NHS Deal useful. In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions at all.
Scott McKenzie helps pharmaceutical, medical technology and device firms increase revenue by getting their products and services in front of the right NHS decision makers. If you want to get your products fully embedded into treatment pathways, we can help you. We’ve doubled revenue for our clients and can share these processes with you too.
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