conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

How to Pitch a Medical Device Company #3: Don’t Pretend

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Language is telling.

In Quebec City not so long ago I tried my lame bits of French when ordering or to strike up a conversation. Naturally, there was no hiding that I am an American. And this: if some Francophile took pity on me and answered in French, I was immediately on a slippery slope of wordlessness. Maybe one word in French? Oui. Two words? No.

Language says a lot about what we know the moment we open our mouths. And the game played by medtech firms involves a very firm grip on the language used to explain how their therapy works and the medical problems it solves. These language skills are honed through long discussions with physicians, clinicians and researchers. One doesn’t just pick up such a vocabulary. In some ways, it’s a kind of birthright of people who’ve grown up in the industry.

But just like the Canadian French speakers, they melted (well, a little) to hear my butchering of their language. It meant I was trying. In the same way, medtech firms want to know you are ready to learn. But mostly they don’t expect you to be ready. You’ve come with something else: a track record of ideas and executions that someone imagines refreshing their brand.

So don’t pretend to know the details of their business. Better to be a learner with a solid track record.


Image Credit: via Frank Perry

Written by kirkistan

June 15, 2012 at 5:00 am

One Response

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  1. […] Being an outsider is a huge plus. Your track record outside of MedTech is a huge advantage in the pitch. It creates a platform for you to speak from. A reason for your audience to listen. They’ll be listening for something new, but their antennae will also be up for familiar words that indicate basic levels of understanding of their problems (of which I advocate not pretending). […]

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