Recently HealthySimulation.com started a discussion regarding the business of simulation with our article the “Language of Sales – How to Increase Your Simulation Budget”. In the article we explained how we as simulation champions must be prepared new skillsets to help advocate, expand, and finance the growth of our programs to higher levels of our institutional organizations.
Today we are going to share some must-read books that will help you gain valuable insights into communicating the opportunities of simulation to administrative leadership and c-suite executives.
The three key areas to focus on are selling, marketing, and networking:
- How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling – A classic book endorsed by Dale Carnegie, this resource will help those new to the process of selling learn personal experiences and key principles developed and perfected to increase sales.
- Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time – This book shares the importance of creating and sustaining relationships with key stakeholders to expand your program’s network and access.
- All Marketers
Are LiarsTell Stories: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works – Marketing your simulation program is an essential requirement for expanding your presence in all aspects of your institution. This book provides excellent strategies for building simple yet powerful campaigns.
To expand your simulation program you will first need to build a network of support, from community members, educators, innovators, managers, administrators, and executives. The work of building and maintaining a network should not be overlooked by the leadership of your simulation program. Connecting and building relationships with internal and external stakeholders will provide you the opportunity to gain support for your eventual expansion.
Marketing campaigns will be required to attract and educate those within your network about your services, needs, and achievements. Simulation program leadership should recognize the short and long-term value gained from physical and virtual tours, special events, speaking engagements, conference attendance and the like. Read our article on “How to Add Multimedia To Your Simulation Program Website” to gain more ideas here.
Next, you will need to learn how to convey your message of need in a way that successfully gains support from all stakeholders involved. A strategy will need to be created with tactics that utilize the strengths of your team and your supporters.
Not only do key individuals need to be identified, but their priorities and pain points as well. Who speaks to stakeholders, and how, is just as important as what is said. The priorities of a dean of a nursing school will be different from the priorities of a CNO. Having previous networks and relationships established is only the first step to gaining support for program expansions, and learning how to “sell” the concept of simulation is a core requirement for you and your team.
Lastly, you will need to be prepared to deal with eventual “Simulation Discomfiters, The Anti-Champions Who Frustrate Our Programs“. Having a plan for ways to communicate, and overcome, those that will avoid or discredit your program should be in place as your program plans to grow. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Of course, this is just the beginning of work necessary to create and maintain simulation expansion programs. Obviously you will also need some kind of business plan.
We will continue deeper dives into all these areas over the weeks to come, but for now — check out those additional books and articles!
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