There’s nothing more important than being relevant to your audience when it comes to sales and marketing. Even when you offer a single solution, its application will always have variances. That’s why your sales approach can’t be one-size-fits-all.
If you’re selling to doctors and hospitals, you likely segment your prospects in many ways already, but have you considered the differences between selling to doctors in big cities versus those working in rural communities? They have different needs related to almost any healthcare solution. Homing in on these differences can help guide your sales strategy and ensure your message fits their challenges.
City Doctors & Country Doctors: Differences that Matter
The first step in delivering a more relevant message to each group is to understand their differences and how they shape decision making. These differences include:
Country Doctors Face Challenges Because of Lack of Access
The challenges of a doctor in the country are that he or she doesn’t often have immediate access to the necessary equipment or specialty colleagues. The fact is that specialty doctors, in general, are scarce. A new report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates a shortage of up to 120,000 doctors by 2030.
Shortages are already impacting rural areas, where specialty doctors are hard to find. So, what can a GP do when they need a consult or help with a case? They likely have to look outside their network. It all comes down to access. The country doctor doesn’t have access like a city doctor may have, and they need tools that offer interoperability and the ability to easily consult with specialty physicians outside their community. That consult is critical to their patient and therefore critical to them.
Different Patients, Different Need
The doctor serving a rural community likely has a smaller group of patients. Depending on how small, this clinician may fill the role to see patients at all different ages and for a myriad of problems. The country doctor has to be versatile but needs help, which many times can come in the form of technology. Consider how your solution fits that need and helps country doctors serve their population better.
The urban doctor is less likely to need to be a doctor of all specialties, and they have patients that are busy and need convenience. The number one motivator for this doctor may be related to treating the patient more like a consumer. The more you can angle your solution to a benefit for their patient, the more likely you are to plant an idea that they need your help.
The Money Problem
The community hospital is on life support. As small towns across the country try to rebuild from job losses, the town’s hospital has become more than just a place for care; it’s become a huge employer. Dealing with rising costs and less coverage under Medicaid for many states, community hospitals are consolidating into larger networks or shutting altogether. There are two things to take away from the economics of the country doctor.
First, they need to cut costs without compromising care. If you can deliver this to them in any way—from helping them reduce the cost of purchased service to improving inefficiencies—they’ll listen.
If a facility goes from being independent to being part of a group, implies changing needs. The rural hospital still needs to work in a way to serve the community. Their processes and workflows may, which means they need new solutions. Your approach here would be centered on how the hospital can make the transition and not impact care.
The urban doctor worries about budgeting, too. Although, what motivates larger for-profit healthcare systems is different. They look at the scale and how that impacts costs. Can they successfully replicate efficient practices across the board? If you can deliver this, you’ll be someone’s hero.
What Motivates the Country Doctor?
This physician has to often be a catch-all for all medical needs. They need better access to collaborate with specialists. They are pressed to find any cuts to sustain the community hospital. They also care a lot about delivering great care and serving their community. Make sure your message emphasizes quality and cost-effective measures.
However, the rural doctor is much more likely to be an agent of change. A study in the Journal of Rural Health offered some comparative data about the country doctor and the city doctor. The study revealed that country doctors often have less exposure to training but are more likely to participate in quality improvement initiatives than their urban counterparts. Taking this nugget of information could help you in positioning your solution to this set. They may be more likely to be advocates for your brand and get others on board.
What Motivates the City Doctor?
The urban doctor cares about quality patient care as well. But their challenges are different, mainly because they do want to serve their patient better. They also have to look at things across all departments of the hospital. It’s not just a decision for their patients. This usually also means there are many more decision-makers and stakeholders. Be sure you can address each one.
These are only a few of how you to approach sales for urban versus rural physicians. There are many opportunities to leverage, and you can do just that with better search and targeting tools, like those from Carevoyance. When you partner with Carevoyance, you’ll enjoy workflows and tools that enable smarter healthcare prospecting.
About the Author
Carevoyance contributor Beth Osborne is a professional writer and content marketer with multiple years of experience in healthcare IT marketing. Learn more about her by visiting her website.