"Tell us what you do in one sentence"
As a podcast junkie, I am always interested to pick up on great ice-breaking questions during interviews. In one of my favorite podcasts, The Art of Charm, Jordan opens each interview with the question, "Can you tell us what you do in one sentence"? If you have been doing MTM consulting for any amount of time, you know that it takes much longer than one sentence to even explain what MTM is in the first place. That is why I almost NEVER use the term "MTM" unless when talking with another pharmacist.
First, if a consultant was cold-calling a patient, a consultant would begin with a brief explanation in very simple terms as to why you are calling, what medication therapy management is and what can do for them.
For example, when speaking with a patient unfamiliar with the process, it may be easier to explain your services as an annual medication checkup with the pharmacist or even as "another set of eyes" checking to make sure your medications are being used properly. Depending on the intended target, I will somewhat alter my elevator pitch based on their knowledge of the subject, level of interest and health literacy.
Pitching your services (over the phone or in person) is an area that some consultants struggle with at first; by having an "elevator pitch" ready to use. Craft one filled with actionable, comfortable wording and you will be able explain your services quickly and without boring your target to death.
Some tips on pitching your services:
1. Have your elevator pitch thought out. It should be short concise and less that 20 seconds. Hold it to less than 2 sentences if at all possible. If you need to take another breath to get it all out, it is TOO LONG.
2. Tailor your message. Think of how you would explain your services first to a patient, then to a doctor, then to another pharmacist who may want to hire you.
3. Do not try to impress your target with confusing acronyms and medical jargon. It can feel condescending and may alienate the person you are trying to connect with if they do not understand your message.
4. Alter it based on the receiver's interest. You can easily gauge a person's interest after the first few sentences, if they are not interested thank them for their time and move on. If you are in person, leave them a business card or over the phone leave them with a call back number if they need some time to process your message.
You will probably have to alter your message "early and often".
For example, if you are speaking with a patient that is interested in cutting down their total daily doses, you may focus on the benefits of long-acting formulations or topical patches.
If pitching your services to another pharmacist or pharmacy owner, you can focus on the benefits of MTM and other clinical services such as increased Medicare reimbursement, increased number of fills due to adherence programs, or increased patient loyalty.
Do you feel that you have a refined "elevator pitch" that works well for you?
Shoot us an email and we will send you an example elevator pitch we use when cold-calling patients!
We would love to work with you on your elevator pitch!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent clinical consultant pharmacist living and working in the Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. Dr. Thielemier is committed to helping advance the practice of pharmacy through providing training and guiding implementation of new clinical services in community pharmacy. You can visit the BT Consulting website at http://btpharmacyconsulting.com