753: How to Use Reverse Expo Events to Generate More Leads w/ Josh Fuhr

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Josh Fuhr, Managing Partner at Finix.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

 

A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any BEDB company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more. At Sweet Fish Mediacom you're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vannerd truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BDB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweetish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well? Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob grows show. We're here today with Josh for, managing partner at Phoenix. Josh, how you doing today, man of prety? Good are you Logan Come? Doing really well? And Josh, thanks for joining us, especially because we needed to reschedule the last time we were going to have you on the show. So we really appreciate you taken some time out of your schedule to come onto the show and we're going to share with our audience a strategy that you guys have used to devote more leads for your business over the last year and a half. But before we get into that topic today, Josh, I would love for you to take a second and share with our audience what you and the team at Phoenix or up to these days. Yeah, so, as you mentioned, I'm a managing partner of phinnix and one of the...

...founding members of the organization. My focus is primarily on the sale side of the organization and working with our sales and marketing team. Phinis is a auditing and supply chain consulting company, and we work primarily with healthcare organizations. So the auditing side of our business looks for overpayments that hospitals have made to their vendors and the business model on that side is to take a contingency percentage of the savings that we can recover for the hospitals. On the supply chain consulting side of our business, we're doing large scale supply chain transformation projects for some of the biggest healthcare systems in the US. So it's things like implementing a new yarp system, setting up a new inventory model or transitioning to a new group purchasing organization. Nice. So you guys have of landed on the ink five thousand list here last year, so obviously you know, enjoying some some nice growth over recent history. Josh, and one of the things that we talked about as we were inviting you to be on the show was the way that you guys have used reverse expos to generate more leads. You know, you mentioned that you are selling into the healthcare industry primarily and obviously you guys are growing, so you're finding ways to connect with your buyers in that industry. So, for our audience that doesn't know, tell us a little bit about or reverse Exbo what you guys have seen and what those events are typically all about. Yeah, so the typical conference set up, I'm sure that most people are used to. As as a vendor, you have to go to a conference and set up a booth and stay in there all day and hope that the buyers come by and you can attract enough for their interest to have a conversation. So there's some really cool events out there called Reverse Expos where the buyers are actually sitting at a booth and you have the opportunity to walk around for a few hours and approach them and give them a five minute...

...elevator speech on Your Business and and how it might be a good fit for them. So they're really locked into, you know, talking to you and you really have a certain amount of set opportunities at each expo to have conversations with your buyers. And and you guys kind of happened upon, you know, this in your area and by, you know, a conference coordinator or someone reaching out to you guys about a year and a half ago, right. Yeah, they reached out to us with a marketing email and a marketing phone call. We are a little bit skeptical because it was a new model. We hadn't really gotten into the conference space because it was a pretty big investment for a small company like us and it just didn't seem like there was the Roi on getting enough conversations out of a traditional conference. So we decided to get one to try down in Miami and it went really well. So we kind of shifted our marketing, our wholesales and marketing process to really focus around these events. Hmm Nice. And in that you know, as we were talking offline, Josh, you mentioned you know you guys have learned some lessons in how to really take advantage of these. You know since the first one that you kind of tested the waters a little bit to see if this was going to be a good business development strategy for your team. You guys learned some lessons, specifically in in preparation, not just showing up to these events, but going through some some steps to to prepare for the event. So what are some of the things that you guys do when you're sending your team to these reverse exposed to make sure that it's going to be valuable for your team. Yeah, so after the first event we kind of went to on a whim. We came back with a lot of ideas and how to properly prepare for our next ex Bo. So one of the big things that we like to do is research the attendees that are going, both on the hospital facility and the actual attendee. So we have a marketing analyst that does a lot of preparation for each conference, probably starting about two months in advance...

...when the attendee list starts becoming pretty firm. So what he does is he goes through and research is the facilities that are going and checks their news stories or on Linkedin or on our data sources to see if there's any triggers that relate to projects that were experienced in so are they merging with another hospital? Are they thinking about buying a new ARP system, so that when our staff goes up to have that conversation, they can specifically talk about a trigger that's going on in their organization and start from there. I think that's probably pretty powerful right, because you know these buyers are standing there prepared to get multiple elevator pitches like. That's the framework that this event is set up in and if your sales people are coming up and not just giving kind of a blanket elevator pitch, especially in this environment where the buyers getting one after another, they're asking some good questions and then kind of tailoring their their message around it. I imagine you know that's been a big part of where you guys have seen more success and started to to attend more of these and kind of invest in this route some of the other things you mentioned. Kind of on that same research point, Josh, you had one of your sales people who started to do some some specific research consistently or around the buyers he was going to go talk with. Tell us a little bit about the strategy and what success is he's seen there. Yeah, so we have a sales up that that lives in SEC football country. So he likes to open a lot of his conversations by talking about SEC football or basketball or any sort of college sports to some more connect on a personal level before he tries to connect on a business level. So a lot of the research that he does ahead of time is what college did these people go to? What are some of their interests or hobbies so that he can open that conversation with a more personal touch. Yeah, and finding you know that. I see a lot of people, you...

...know, checked out linkedin profile and maybe try and in make a vague connection of Oh, my uncle went to that school or something like that. That doesn't seem to be very effective, but in sec country, you know, college sports are very much near and dear to a lot of people's hearts. So I think that strategy and that scenario probably makes a lot of sense. The next thing you wanted to share, Josh, was, you know, the performance you guys have seen, what sort of results you guys have seen at the event or certain things that you guys have done while you're there to get better results. Tell us a little bit about you know, when you send your team to to the event, you know what's going on, what things are they doing, what sort of als are they getting? Yeah, so one of the important things that crosses over from preparation to performances we actually create packages for each of our sales reps, either on paper digital format, that that has an outline of each hospital facility that's there, what their triggers might be, statistics about the hospital. So we've meet typically a day or two ahead of time and go through that booklet and kind of talk about how we're going to approach each facility or approach each trigger. It's really important to understand how to talk about each specific trigger and turn that into a conversation about how Phoenix can help them. One of the issues that we've had in the past recently we tried to go to an all digital book research book and the day of the show we couldn't get connected to the Wi fi and there were some significant issues and it caused a little bit of a panic to try and get started on the xbo because the technology wasn't working. So one of the big lessons that we learned in that is let each sales rep determine what kind of technology they want to use, what kind of research they want to use. Like I mentioned the SEC football research. If that's important to him and he wants to take that route, then we need to give him that that...

...information so that he can execute when he's at the expo. Right you don't want to send all your team out and say hey, this is our strategy, go talk sec football and you have a bunch of sales ups they don't care about football trying to fake it and make connections with prospects right. Yeah, and I think some of the other key points around the execution. While you're at the x Bo, we like to schedule a halftime break. These are typically two to four hour sessions. We like to set a meeting place and a meeting time just for five minutes where we can all get together and just do a quick discussion of what's working what's not. You know, how is the market changed in the last six months? Are there certain projects that seem to be a hot topic that people are responding to? So that's that helps us pivot within the conference and make sure that we're hitting the key points. Yeah, I think that's a great strategy, especially as you know, you kind of spread out these events and you're planning going into them. You have an idea in a strategy, but you know there's there's a good bit of time between when you start doing that research several months out and when you're actually there. So I think that probably has led to a lot of great results for you guys as you can, as you mentioned, pivot and tweak your strategy, you know, the day of the conference. I love it. The last thing you mentioned that has been really key for you guys in taking advantage of these events and these reverse exposed. Josh, was the follow up. Tell us a little bit about what you guys do there to make these effective. Yeah, so while we're speaking with these prospects, or after we speak with one and we're waiting in line to approach the next prospect, we take notes within our booklets, are on our tablets or wherever we can take notes, and just really you know what was important from that conversation, what were they interested in, so that when we go back in the next forty eight to seventy two hours and reach back out to these prospects, we...

...want to hit it on exactly what we talked about during that conversation. We don't want to send out a generic email that says thanks for talking, it was great to meet you. We want to really jump right into the conversation that we were having. So taking good notes and immediately following up with the prospects is very important. There's a they talked to dozens of other companies within the healthcare space. They might talk to a few consultants like us, but they're also talking to hip implant vendors and sterile processing vendors. So there's a lot that happened on their side that they may not remember who we are and they may not feel like the conversation that we had was as valuable as we felt that it was. So following up with some customized messaging around exactly what we talked about is very important for us. Yeah, I think you know that could be the double edged sword of these sorts of events, right you you get access to these buyers, but they're also giving access to a lot of other vendors at the same time. So you know, how much are they they walking away and keep keeping so I think that follow up strategy has got to be really key. Anything you guys have done in you know, varying up or kind of staggering that communication or maybe connecting on linkedin versus following up with an email or peering those or anything you guys have done from a multiple channel communications to follow up with with those buyers from these events that you guys have found particularly effective. Josh, yeah, immediately following the event we typically follow up with an email, like I mentioned, a specific to the conversation, reach out to them be a phone and try and continue that conversation on the phone, connecting with them on Linkedin, connecting with others and their organization that we've we met with at the event. Typically you might talk to two or three people from the same organization, so really getting them all together and on the same page is really important. Yeah, yeah, that's good...

...stuff. Well, Josh, we really appreciate you coming on the show today. If people want to reach out to you follow what you and the team at Phinix are doing, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, so if they want to reach out to phenix and understand a little bit more about what we do, our website is use phinixcom. That's Fi and ix. You can also find me on Linkedin and anybody that wants to reach out to me via email and talk a little bit more about reverse expos or the sale strategy of being more than happy to have a conversation. My email is Josh Dot fur us, phinnixcom. All right. Well, Josh, we really appreciate it. Will have a link to your linkedin profile in the show notes as well for anyone that wants to connect with you. A lot of great sales conversations these days happening on Linkedin, so highly suggest folks connect with you over there. Thanks so much for being on the show man. Yeah, I appreciate it, and good luck to anybody going down the reverse x bill route. All right, there are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be tob growth dinnerscom. That's be tob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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