Category: Adversity

The Biggest Healthcare Challenges Are Found in Us

 

It is impossible to say how many times I’ve delivered keynote speeches on Healthcare Challenges when an audience member might ask, “Scott, have you ever seen a greater healthcare challenge than the one we face?” Invariably, they are referring to a specific disease or a set of government regulations.

While I’m as concerned as anyone else about a disease outbreak or a set of government regulations, those issues are transient and they will get solved. What is often the bane of a healthcare system are those who lack vision, the determination to correct problems and the grit to pull together each day, every day.

A Quick Review of Longstanding Challenges

To illustrate the point above, I will review the major healthcare challenges as outlined by three top-notch organizations. Managed Healthcare Executive magazine lists those challenges as: the need for costs and transparency; improving consumer experience; delivery system transformation; data and analysis; consumer data access; and holistic individual health. Healthcare Success lists the challenges as: changing consumer behaviors; HIPAA marketing limitations; underinvestment in the healthcare market; reviews of doctors from online sources; and the overall product. Finally, Becker’s Hospital Review lists: controlling hospital costs; healthcare regulatory challenges; medical and technological advancement challenges; training and education challenges; and ethical challenges.

When comparisons are made with these and many other sources I gathered, what strikes me are the similarities. In fact, each list of challenges can be easily condensed to five or six common items.

Those with vision should anticipate the need for transparency, changing consumer patterns, and training and education. Those who are determined to overcome healthcare challenges will get ahead of healthcare regulatory challenges, HIPAA marketing limitations, and streamlining data and analysis. Healthcare professionals who develop the grit to overcome what is ahead will confront ethical challenges, improving the overall product and improving customer service.

Nothing that Can’t Be Accomplished

When I was recovering from my terrible accident, relatives, friends, teammates and hospital staff routinely visited or offered care. I was grateful for every one of them. However, I quickly learned that their opinions ranged from “Scott, don’t expect too much” to “Scott, you’ll be playing professional football before you know it.”

I realized that opinions, no matter how well meaning, were external to my situation. It was in rehab where I developed my philosophy of vision, determination and grit. I bring up this point as illustration of the larger healthcare challenges our industry faces.

We can all opine at industry meetings about continuing staff training and educational challenges, or how marketing will be increasingly affected by HIPAA issues. But there must be a plan in place whether a large clinic, pharmaceutical company or major teaching hospital. More specifically, the plan must include a vision as to how the challenges will be met, a determined effort to implement every step to overcome those challenges, and the grit to get it done.

I recovered beyond expectations not because I am special, but because I realized to overcome challenges, we must strive to be exceptional. Healthcare’s biggest challenges are in us, but you would be amazed just how good we can be.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Motivational Healthcare Change Management Speaker for your next industry meeting contact us through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

 

In Sales, Some Things Change; Resilience Doesn’t

 

As a motivational speaker on resilience and grit, I know that of the many qualities a salesperson needs, resilience – and the daily grit to remain resilient – are never mentioned enough. Perhaps it’s because resilience, the skill of being flexible, isn’t thought of as being cool. It is, and in fact, business resilience yields huge benefits.

Get Tough

I’d like to open these thoughts on resilience and grit by quoting Gary Galvin, CEO of Galvin Technologies:

“While salespeople will find success when they lead with empathy, they’ll find greater success when they respond with resilience.”

He is on the money. When I was in the insurance and financial services industry, I qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table through the resilient pursuit of my sales goals. Of course, I was sympathetic to situations involving my clients, but it was far more important to be flexible to their needs, and to put in the effort to immediately respond to questions and changes.

If I was going to be successful as a salesperson, I had no choice but to develop a flexible mindset.

Michael F. Kay, wrote an article for Forbes magazine (11/7/17) entitled: “Resilience Is A Mindset Of Awareness And Practice.” Kay listed several ways in which this mindset can be nurtured. Among the top methods for cultivation of resiliency are increasing our sense of control: you are not powerless when your sales plans change, you can change with it; it is important to maintain perspective in a changing situation; and you must develop a positive self-concept.

I would also add that if you are part of a sales team, associate with those who also have a flexible mindset. It is easy to be surrounded by negative or inflexible people. They cannot help you. The winners on your team will see opportunity even in adversity.

Get Gritty

However, to be resilient also requires the grit to keep going and to see the big picture rather than the immediate problem. Kori Miller, writing for Positive Psychology, presented a wonderful summary of grit as a component of resiliency:

“Grit is about sustained, consistent effort toward a goal even when we struggle, falter, or temporarily fail.

Resilience is our ability to bounce back after we have struggled, faltered, or failed. It is being able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, take a moment or two to collect ourselves, and then get back to the business of pursuing our goal. It involves optimism.”

We cannot be resilient without grit nor can we possess a “gritty mindset” without resilience. As any successful salesperson knows, in real life we may misquote an important benefit, miss an appointment or inadvertently park in the CEO’s parking space. Those things unfortunately happen. It is how we respond to those struggles that count, whether it amounts to making a detailed correction, profusely apologizing (without fabrication) or sending a dozen roses.

In the end, resiliency and grit are about the courage to stand up after you have been knocked down and to keep smiling.

 

To hire Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Resilience and Grit for your next industry meeting, connect with his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

Customer Service Opportunities Win Customers for Life

 

As a motivational customer service speaker, I’ve based keynote speeches on important lessons I first learned in the insurance and financial services industry, and later as a co-owner of an international export company. Customer service means we must always be prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty.

When I was in export sales, my company sold a container-load of a custom-blended fertilizer to a client in Singapore. When the product arrived, it was as hard as concrete, unusable. To save the relationship, we modified the product and shipped them another container load. No one expected us to do it. We lost money at first, but we impressed the client and kept what turned out to be a long-term client relationship.

When it comes to separating yourself from the competition, you must have the vision to see yourself delivering quality customer service and the grit to discipline yourself to customer service excellence.

An Amazing Experience in Dallas

Opportunities to deliver excellent customer service are everywhere. My next keynote speaking engagement may include the following true story.

Not long ago, I was honored to speak at two events at the Grand Old Opry Convention Center in Nashville. Following the second talk, my voice started to crack and it felt as though I was coming down with a chest cold. For a keynote speaker, losing your voice is catastrophic!

I had to catch a plane to Dallas that afternoon to speak at a huge conference the next day. By the time I exited the airport my voice was completely gone (“Oh, great, I’m going to stand-up 1,000 people!”). I used the ride-sharing app and the driver quickly picked me up. I wrote on my iPhone:

“Help! I lost my voice. Can you please take me to an urgent care center near my hotel?”

The hotel was about 30 miles away. It was just the start of an amazing adventure.

As he’s driving, he asked if I was sick. I nodded my head.

“Please sir, let me take care of you. I know what it feels like to get sick in a town where you don’t know anyone.”

He turned off the ride sharing system, so he went “off the grid,” so to speak. He found an urgent care center, then parked, and waited for me. I was diagnosed with a respiratory disorder and given a prescription. He then drove me another five miles to a pharmacy that had groceries. He asked me what I needed in addition to the medicine, then he went around the store and got me snacks plus salt for gargling, honey and tea.

He drove me to my hotel, parked the car, and helped me check in. He took me up to my room and carried my bags. On my iPhone I wrote, “From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you, for your kindness.”

I carry a $100 bill in my pocket for emergencies. He refused to take it!  I whispered, “I know you did this out of the courtesy of your heart, but I’m in a position to pay. I want to respect you for your time. Please don’t be insult me by refusing. I would feel terrible.”

He finally took it and gave me his personal number. He said if I needed any assistance whatsoever while I was there to please let him know.

He was originally not from this country. He wasn’t rich, but he was determined to give me what he had to give: himself. It is the essence of customer service. We don’t give customers our company mottos, or promotional pens, we give them ourselves.

I will never forget how he made me feel. You’d better believe that if I am ever in a position to help him, I will.

He sold me on himself.

 

Book Scott Burrows, Motivational Customer Service Speaker through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

Adversity Builds Character: What You Can Learn From It

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that you’ll find very few people who actually appreciate adversity. Why would anyone want that? No sane person would want problems. And often, people wish for the day they have everything they desire, no wishes left ungranted.

To many, that’s the very definition of heaven: a place of bliss and peacefulness without disease, war and want. So, who in his right mind would want adversity?

Adversity is the opposition to progress — or so it seems.

The idea that adversity actually builds character and a more meaningful life has been around for more than two thousand years. The first inkling of such an idea seemed to have come from the ancient Greeks, specifically the Stoics. We now think of someone as “stoic” if they face adversity with a positive attitude (or at least without complaining).

So yes, adversity can build character. But how does that work? Why do problems present an opportunity to build one’s person, one’s character?

Stoics would say the obstacle is the way. The idea is that in facing an obstacle, one learns important lessons about themselves — about how they approach and solve problems. It’s not such a far-fetched idea if you think of it this way: An obstacle isn’t just a meaningless challenge or an annoyance, but also represents your limits. The obstacle literally refuses for you to pass unless you find a way around it, over it or through it.

The very experience of meeting your obstacle head-on and thinking about where you want to go opens up new avenues of thought, new ideas, new perspectives. The mind is a problem solver. It desires to uncover any question, any challenge and any problem. And from that new set of thoughts come new beliefs about your abilities, about how you treat others and what your responsibility is to them and yourself, and about your purpose.

This belief gives birth to a new resolve about your purpose, your desires and your actions. It all comes together into a conviction that turns into a strength that is visible for everyone around you to see. When you embrace the challenge that adversity places in front of you and do your best to overcome it, you have literally taken on a new character.

If you let it, adversity opens you up to a new life where your thoughts, words and actions bear new fruits you never would have thought possible. That’s how adversity builds character, which, in turn, leads to a new life with bigger and better possibilities.

Take a look at real-life adversities people are facing every day. Real people are facing real problems. How can this adversity lead to character development and a better life?

For one thing, there are no guarantees in life. But as long as you don’t give up on yourself and on others, there’s always a possibility — and opportunities are still there to be had. The realization that you’re not powerless even in a tough situation is incredibly empowering and transformative.

The reality is there are people in the world today who have faced similar adversity to your own, and somehow they overcame them. They might say that there seems to be some luck or fate playing its part. But I would like to think more often than not, we create our own luck or at least set ourselves up to have a “luckier” outcome.

If you open yourself up and let the adversity you’re facing shape your perspective in a positive way, you too can find a path that not only helps you deal with the problem at hand, but actually changes your character for the better.

To contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Overcoming Adversity Speaker, contact his office today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

So, Doctor, when is the Best Time?

In delivering motivational talks on helping pharmaceutical sales reps get better results, I know all too well the dreaded refrain that many sales reps hear: “I think the drug has strong possibilities, I just don’t think that now is the right time.”

Procrastination

Of all of the sales objections, procrastination is one of the most difficult to overcome. It is a conversation stopper and delayer. In fact, it can delay a sale indefinitely to “maybe” next month, next quarter, next year.  It is a way to express an objection without seeming to hurt your feelings. The intention is to have you leave the office thinking they are nice people. In truth, they’ve delayed your sale and weakened sales results. But why?

Sales performance writer Bryan Gonzalez, in his January 2019 article for HubSpot entitled “The 7 Most Common Sales Objections by Prospects & How to Overcome Them,” lists procrastination as one of the most cumbersome objections.

“Prospects are busy. They will push anything off to tomorrow because today is swamped. Don’t let them! You have a solution they needed yesterday. Reassure them that this is not a buying conversation. You just want to show them what you do, and see if there’s value for them.”

If you have made it into the office, be determined to provide valuable education without being overbearing. You are there to educate as to what the drug can do and how it will help their patients.

Laura Tobias wrote an article for the Lincoln Health Network entitled “Bringing Pharma Reps Back to the Top.”

One of the observations Tobias made was:

“Some medical schools have entire classes devoted to teaching students how to encounter sales reps – doctors are essentially taught how to say ‘no.’ They are also trained to tell patients not to take highly advertised drugs and to instead opt for something that is more effective, even if it’s less known…” If a sales rep calls on a practice with the same information, the same approach and a lack of interest as to the HCP’s needs, it should not be a surprise if procrastination and a lack of interest are the result.

Last year, Michael Kirsch MD wrote an article for KevinMD entitled “How Should Salespeople Sell to Doctors?” in which he gave an example as to why physicians are often put off by sales reps.

He wrote that his practice was called on by two pushy salespeople who focused on the dollars the practice could make rather than the patients that could be helped.

“Not once did either of them mention, even by accident (that they) might help a human being,” said Kirsch. “These guys were so clumsy and so transparent that they weren’t even adept enough to feign an interest in contributing to the health of liver patients.” The sales reps missed the point entirely.

Unless sales reps are determined to give health care providers a reason to not push them away, many HCPs will revert to their training and conditioning that tells them, in essence, “This sales rep lacks the vision to see my mission of helping patients and to be the best I can be in my practice.”

The HCP may be telling you they want to put off the decision, but what they may really mean is that you are lacking the grit to form a meaningful relationship and to provide them with the knowledge they need.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Motivational Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker on Getting Stronger Results for your next meeting reach us through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

Who Needs to Care for the Caregiver? You. Me. All of Us.

 

Delivering motivational keynote addresses to the healthcare industry on managing change in the nursing profession, I am struck not only by the enormous changes sweeping across the broad nursing landscape, but by the renewed awareness of caregivers as people.

The new generation of nurses wants more for themselves than simply sacrificing for others, an unchangeable given, but they embrace the vision to see the importance of their own needs as well.

At the start of 2019, Jennifer Thew, RN, wrote an article for Healthcare Leaders entitled the “Top 5 Nurse Leadership Issues for 2019.” The issues identified included recruitment and retention, innovative technology, cultural awareness, employee engagement and promoting self-care. In the article, Ms. Thew interviewed Paula McKinney, RN, vice president, patient services at Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester, Indiana.

As I speak at healthcare conventions, “collecting stories” of change management challenges in nursing, I was struck by how McKinney’s observations parallel many of the current concerns I frequently hear.

For example, on the topic of recruitment and retention, she said: “I think [healthcare executives] need to look at being more creative in recruitment activities to attract people to their facilities…the generation of nurses that have been coming out [of nursing school]—and the ones that will be coming out over the next five to seven—want something different than what the baby boomers wanted. They want flexible schedules. They want to feel appreciated. They want engagement…The boomers ‘lived-to-work,’ whereas this next generation has a work-to-live mindset.”

The theme was further clarified under the topic of promoting self-care, where she stated: “For me, the thing I think we need to emphasize is getting nurses to take care of themselves. It starts with CNOs [Chief Nursing Officers]. What are we doing for stress relief? When we’re struggling in the personal world, it’s reflected in your professional world…as nurses, we do not typically take good care of ourselves. What are things we can encourage nurses to do right where they are?”

Who has the vision to Care for the Caregiver?

While healthcare struggles with important issues of managing change such as facility consolidation, major insurance issues, ever-changing computer platforms and technologies, are the nurses themselves being neglected? Are they neglecting themselves?

Study after study has found that “business decisions” that encourage higher stress levels among nurses result in nurses walking away, more forced overtime and higher burnout. Nurse anesthetist Nick Angelis believes “that by ‘taking steps to reduce burnout among the staff, [hospitals can decrease] turnover and expensive hiring and training of new nurses. The current shortage is regional and varied, so by encouraging employee loyalty with flexible, empathetic management, hospitals will find no need for recruiters or agency nurses.”

Carrie Silvers, MSN, RN, clinical instructor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing warned, “Nurses aren’t going to stick around if we don’t see some changes in their work environment.” As more nurses work overtime to fill this deficit, expect burnout rates to soar.”

It comes down to a collective vision. Do healthcare facilities have the vision and then the determination to reduce nursing staff stress, have meaningful nursing staff engagement, and do they have the daily grit to make sure that changes in the way we care for the caregivers matches the broader industry changes? The answer must be yes.

 

To Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Healthcare Speaker on Changes in the Nursing Profession for your next meeting or convention, reach us through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

Do You Know Your Members and Do They Know You?

 

As I frequently deliver overcoming adversity keynote and breakout session speeches to association executions, I was quite bothered by a recent poll taken by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

ASAE reported organizations were concerned that member expectations were changing and the organizations themselves lacked data about their members and even a capacity to analyze that data.

Can You Imagine?

We don’t often think of associations as “having customers,” but they clearly do. The customers of associations are their members. Numerous surveys — and I have witnessed this first-hand — warn of members going rogue; of members spinning off and either forming their own organizations or in some way, undermining the original organization. Unfortunately, all that this usually accomplishes is to dilute industry efforts, weaken messages, and confuse potential members about the true mission of the organization.

Peggy Smith, writing for Community Brands, April 2019, talked of several major association challenges. Her organization conducted its own survey and found “…the strategic focus has been on member acquisition and increasing revenue. Fewer have been or think they will be successful at increasing retention, although this is a goal…”

What this tells us is the association industry is doing a pretty good job of attracting new members and increasing the revenue from those members, but the industry doubts it will have much luck in keeping those members. It is widely known that attracting new members is not cheap. In fact, the industry standard shows that it can be up to five times more expensive to attract a new member than to retain a current member.

Here is where my idea of “association determination” comes into play. Combining similar findings of these and other surveys, it seems that many organizations are giving up meeting the expectations of existing members, they are unwilling to overcome adversity; to learn about their needs, in order to keep attracting new members. As it is more expensive to attract new members, many organizations go into a cycle of doing the same thing over and over and essentially marching in place.

Organizations that are determined to retain their members, to learn about them, to really listen to what they are saying are the winners in this scenario. One of the most effective ways to retain members is to continuously engage them. Certainly, we have the means to do so, either by personal calls thanking them for being members, or listening to their concerns and needs, or creating vibrant communities within the association community.

We can be determined to use a blend of modern technology as well as traditional methods to keep members engaged, using tools from mobile apps and websites, to online forums and online surveys, to personal thank you letters and one-on-one discussions.

When Associations Fail

Forbes magazine, in a 2018 article on why associations fail, stress at least three important things associations must do to remain vibrant:  build a strong consensus among the existing membership; make sure the membership supports what they have helped to build; and most important – listen more than you talk.

Are we willing to overcome the temptation to simply take in more and more “followers” rather than to engage, include and reach out to the committed members we already have? Let’s not forget that our “customers” are our greatest strength. Be determined to learn who they are, retain them, value them and listen to their needs. In turn they will be your greatest ambassadors.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Overcoming Adversity Speaker for Association Executives, contact him through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Why is Building a Great Team So Difficult?

 

In delivering keynote addresses and workshops across the country on teamwork and what it takes to build a great team, the common refrain is always, “Scott, why is it so darn difficult?” It is, and I might add it’s not your imagination.

Bill Green, writing for inc. magazine (March 20, 2018) noted: “The only way to build a winning team is to recruit and train people you believe can manage different parts of the ship without needing you to handhold them through every decision. This means thinking hard about how you can teach them to make their own decisions.”

Building a great team often requires the leader, the manager, or chief executive to lose ego and have the vision to allow her people to succeed or fail on their own merits.

The next question I usually encounter is, “Scott, suppose the team becomes so effective they no longer need the manager?”

That’s the point, isn’t it? How can a team develop the determination to rise above the task ahead of them if the leader always sticks in his two cents to auto-correct even the most minor detail? Assuming the manager has hired good people, why not have the faith that they will develop the grit to accomplish the task they’ve been given?

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Building a great team does not mean, of course, that there is no communication between the manager and the team. In fact, it is the opposite. There must be constant communication. The leader must have the determination to never let the team down in terms of supplying information and communication. In turn, every team member must apprise every other member (as well as the manager) of every development. This is where trust comes into play.

No team can function without honesty, without an understanding of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This is not a bad thing. Again, quite the opposite. Honest evaluation doesn’t make one team member “weak” or another “strong.” It makes everyone more effective and valued. It also helps the team to be more organized and efficient.

When a team has the shared vision to be successful, and to sublimate ego to achieve an excellent group outcome, it leads to a sense of mutual support and an amazing flow of fresh ideas. Ideas rarely spring to life from thin air. They build on other ideas. When a team is determined to work together, it is not uncommon for “creatives” to have excellent technical questions or for technical minds to suggest amazing marketing ideas. As a keynote speaker on teamwork, to me, one of the saddest things is when team members admit they were so disappointed in the group that they intentionally withheld ideas.

The shared vision of everyone on the team to be successful and to make a difference is self-fulfilling. When a team is successful on one project, they are highly likely to be successful on another.

Do you have the determination to build great teams in your organization? It may involve getting out of comfort zones, to work together to support rather than divide, and to celebrate honesty and efficiency over ego.

We should all build great teams because they lead to the greatest organizations. At the end of the day, that should be all that matters.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Teamwork today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Anyone Can Manipulate, Top Sales Producers Sell

 

In delivering keynote presentations on sales and in helping average salespeople develop their full potential to become top sales producers, I call upon my experience and passion. When I was in the insurance and financial services industry, I was determined to have the single-minded vision to go from a being a novice sales professional to a member of the Million Dollar Round Table. What’s more, I did it within five years.

Despite my top-producing sales success, I wanted more. I wanted to speak, motivate and mentor others. If I could have the determination to rise from my chair and achieve victory over my obstacles, so can you.

Stop Wasting Your Time

Permit me for being blunt, but if you want to be a top producing salesperson, stop wasting your time. Not all that long ago, they were preaching that in order to successfully sell, you had to earn the trust and respect of every prospect. While I would never think of being rude or disrespectful, I agree with what Jacque Werth said in his article, High Probability Selling:

“Most salespeople believe that their primary function is to persuade prospects to buy their products and services.  Therefore, they utilize manipulative persuasion tactics, which most prospects resent.”

Manipulation creates sales resistance and results in low closing rates. Prospects may chomp the doughnuts you bring, but they won’t buy. I’d go further and suggest that many salespeople waste their time on people who have no intention of buying at all.

In fact, I would go even further and suggest that many salespeople fail to correctly prospect or to cultivate the customers who will potentially buy from them. This often leads to disappointment where a salesperson might say, “I thought we were friends, and in the end, I was told they couldn’t buy from me. It was a waste of time.” Don’t blame the prospect in such cases, turn the spotlight on yourself.

You are Plenty Good Enough

It is not a matter of dressing for success or copying someone else’s style. Be yourself but understand self-discipline. Every top producer knows that there is absolutely nothing easy about sales which is why manipulation never works. It takes grit to develop the focus to get to the right prospects every day and to power through leads, calls and meetings. It is not a matter of developing a friendship with a prospect, though it sometimes happens, but learning your product, putting in the work, and being confident enough to start closing the sale the minute you walk through the door.

When I was in a hospital bed battling with quadriplegia, my toughest customer was myself. I had to convince myself that I had the ability to overcome the adversity that was in front of me, then I had to convince the medical team of what I could do to exceed their expectations.

Barry Farber, in his article for Inc. magazine entitled, 7 Reasons Sales Pros Fail, noted that salespeople who fail are typically unorganized, have negative attitudes and poor work ethics, and my “favorite,” don’t believe in themselves.

Salespeople who manipulate rather than sell, who are unorganized in how they seek out prospects, who develop a negative attitude during times when sales aren’t easy and who shy away from putting in the daily grind of selling, will fail. Don’t be one of them. Have the grit and determination to see the success of your efforts.

 

Contact Scott Burrows today, top-rated inspirational Keynote Speaker for Top Sales Producers, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169