It is not uncommon for scientists to come up against challenges when they are trying to sell their scientific products and services to the UK’s National Health Service(NHS).
And it can be not easy to know where to start. That is why we’ve put together a list of tips for writing a marketing plan for the NHS.
If you struggle to sell your products and services to the NHS, this post will help you overcome the obstacles.
Top Tips on How to Sell to the NHS
You’ll soon realize that to sell to the NHS successfully, the quality of your product is more important than sheer dumb luck. You may have come across or identified a problem in the medical field, and you think the NHS should capitalize on this solution, but if you can’t guarantee the quality of your brand, you probably won’t land a deal with a buyer.
While it’s not impossible to sell your solution to the NHS, it can be very difficult for companies to market new products to this institution, especially those that require the use of advanced technology.
One needs to be patient because decision-making processes may be slow and complex. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of success?
1. Do Not Sell
It may seem a bit contradictory, but the truth is, don’t sell. Instead, focus on building connections and relationships with people and informing them of the solution you are offering. Be keen to identify areas or sectors that would most benefit from your product.
Pay attention to the different types of problems that the NHS is facing at the moment and adjust your marketing approach to speak to this need—whether your sector of interest is primary care, community well-being, or mental health.
Learn more about the NHS’s ecosystem to gain more knowledge about how it operates.
After you know what the NHS needs and how it relates to your business, start shaking hands and reaching out to the right people. Attend seminars, workshops, and conferences that are in line with your product or service.
Get in touch with the right audience both physically and through social media platforms. Branch out your networking to include platforms that support new businesses, as you never know who is connected to the people you need to meet. It would help if you consider using the Academic Health Science Networks when trying to network locally.
3. Be Flexible
You are still new in the field; therefore, it would be best to listen and heed advice from those who have been in the game longer than you have.
Even though your product seems like a sure-bet, it may not be what the NHS is looking for at the moment. Alternatively, not every solution you come up with will be a game-changer. Be prepared to adapt.
Bear in mind that the NHS is not only focusing on emerging healthcare technology, but also on providing high-quality care to British citizens. The NHS’s budget may not be as friendly to new technology as other investments right now.
4. Learn About the Struggles in Healthcare
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the NHS isn’t without its flaws or problems. Lack of funding, for example, has really been put under the spotlight in the last year. And these problems existed long before the NHS was being watched and reported on every single day.
What other problems is the NHS continually facing? What deep-seated structural issues has the pandemic uncovered that your product or service can solve? Decision-makers may be more open to investing in solutions that solve the system’s immediate and most pressing concerns. This is where being flexible can pay off.
5. Build Relationships
The majority of businesses are successful because of their relationships. You will realize that most NHS organisations do business with other NHS organisations before they consider looking elsewhere.
If you have any contacts in the NHS, make use of them. Whether they’re buyers, administrators, doctors, or nurses—someone may be able to connect you to the right people within the NHS. Your potential buyers will be willing to give you time and an ear if your requests come from someone they know. Therefore, focus more on building relationships before you do business.
Getting to sell your products and technology to the NHS is not an easy task. From the above tips, you will learn that it is important to build relationships, network, be flexible, and not directly sell to them. In this manner, you will have a greater chance of success.