It’s the 27th of June and the hospital’s fiscal year ends at the end of December. You have completed the trial and the product worked flawlessly. All the clinicians loved it and the feedback from all three shifts was better than expected. Another plus is that you have critical support from all of the key physicians. The Biomedical Engineering and Information Technology folks were initial detractors but now they have voiced their approval on the solution. You even caught a break. Since this is a re-order of existing capital equipment that has already been authorized by the Value Analysis Committee it does not have to go back through the process.

The department director mentioned that the $250,000 purchase was in his budget and that the hospital’s capital budget was approved earlier this year. You’re feeling pretty good about getting the PO before year end. Although you are almost through Q-2 in your fiscal year, this order will put you at 106% of plan thus ensuring that you make your yearly goal. Already you’re making plans for a well deserved vacation to Hawaii.

As you stop at Starbucks for your Monday morning double espresso you pick up the daily newspaper and read that the hospital is:
“Cutting up to 400 jobs immediately, which represents a 2-3 percent workforce reduction for the system,” according to the report.

The job cuts will occur in two phases. The first group of employees received their notices last Friday and the next wave of layoffs will occur in 45 days. The staff cuts will affect all departments and includes all eight of the health system’s hospitals.

The health system said it will also reduce staffing through attrition, the elimination of unsustainable programs and delayed capital spending, according to the report.

The system will, however, continue to move forward with the $300 million expansion and renovation program of its flagship Regional Medical Centre already in progress.
The $50 million for a health information system to manage and integrate clinical, financial and operational information is still in the works, the purchase is set to be completed next month.”

As you continue reading you learn that the layoffs represent the largest workforce reduction in the Health System’s nearly 100-year history.

As the double espresso begins to sour your stomach you immediately begin to think of the following:

For most of us in healthcare sales, this situation has happened at one time or another.

What Lessons Can We Learn From This Nightmare Scenario?

How Can Sellers Improve Their Position?

This article was originally published on our website on May 28, 2013. It is still as relevant today as it was then. This is the first time we have published it on LinkedIn as a post.

As always we welcome your thoughts and input. Let’s start a discussion and elevate the sales profession with a thoughtful, civil and informative discourse.