An email that starts with “I hope this finds you well” is nice, but you know what’s even nicer? Making the person’s life on the other end of that email just a little bit easier.
That’s been our sales team’s MO these past few months. Less empty talk, more empathetic action.
It’s yielded some surprising results. You wouldn’t think that, during a crisis, the clinicians and hospital executives we work with would want us coming to meet them face to face. But in initial conversations with potential customers, we asked the question, “Would you want to do this live?”— and a significant number said yes.
Not for lack of caution, of course. They agreed to meet with us in person because they knew our team was certified in the use of PPE – which masks to use, how to remove gloves and gowns properly, etc. In fact, we’d undergone this process way back in March, after holding two weeks of virtual training with our customer relations team detailing new messages, resources, and value propositions in light of the pandemic.
By the time we met up face to face, our increasingly busy customers also knew that we were sincere. This is in large part a testament to the reputation of our Field Sales Trainers, Marketing and Sales Managers for providing high quality education and support, as well as the life and limb-saving importance of our products.
But we’d also skipped the first push of emails that seemingly every company sent in the virus’ early days. When we did start reaching out, we eschewed the small talk and stressed our flexibility – that we could easily meet next month, or the one after that; that, like the emergency department, our staff was available 24/7, and on weekends if need be; that we could meet virtually, via FaceTime or Zoom or Microsoft Teams; or even in person, in the halls of the ED or outside in the hospital parking lot.
We offered to send our CroFab® customers VR goggles with which they could explore the antivenom production process, from Utah to Wales to Australia and back. And helped to launch a new online tool – MTXPK.org – to monitor and predict delayed methotrexate (MTX) elimination.
When we arrived on-site – whether it was in the ED itself, in the pharmacy department, infusion unit or an in-service in a boardroom or an office – we gave our presentation and then got out of the way. Having quickly learned how difficult it is to speak engagingly with a N95 mask on, we spent hours practicing so as not to come off breathless and lacking in energy. In this and other ways, our educational sessions changed: but as always, they centered around what clinicians absolutely need to know to treat patients.
What we strove to make clear again and again is that we’re here to support these clinicians, whether we’ve been working with them for years or whether they’re just learning about our products for the first time. After all, they’re the ones on the frontlines every day dealing with this pandemic.
As they continue their life-saving work, we’ve continued to deliver products that are too important for patients not to have. A number of new hospitals, for instance, have reached out in response to the rise in snake bites this summer. And just as heart disease and cancer won’t stop for COVID-19, neither will the toxicity associated with some related medications – toxicities that our antidotes address.
Our products can save patient lives. That doesn’t mean we can’t make the lives of our customers easier when connecting with them in these uncertain times.