It’s easy to get caught up in a conversation and fall for an EHR software solution with a smooth talking sales person. But, after signing the contract, are you sure that you got the EHR software that you need?
To combat the slick EHR software sales pitch, you need to take ownership of the conversation by asking the tough questions you really need answered.
3 Tips for Asking EHR Software Comparison Questions
Ask Open-ended Questions
Journalists know to ask open-ended questions to get as much detail as they can from their subject. Their simple rule of thumb is to ask questions that start with who, what, when, where, why, and how. This is also known as the “Five Ws and One H” rule.
Open-ended questions that start with any of these six words put the recipient of the question on the spot and demand a more detailed answer. However, you can take this even further by asking more specific open-ended questions such as:
- Fundamental Questions: These questions pick at the product's main process by asking, “How does your product work?”
- User-scenario Questions: Get a better feel of how the EHR software will work with your practice by using real-life examples of challenges you’ve faced. Or, if you really want to stump the sales person, ask an out-of-this-world question to see if the product can handle even the rarest of occasions.
- Justification Questions: Justification questions can help you understand what the product designers and developers know about the eyecare industry. Asking the sales person, “Why did you create the feature like this” will help you decide if the company has enough inside knowledge of the industry to continue to build the features that you need.
Follow-up to Dig Deep
It’s easy to get intimidated and not want to ask too many questions or take away from the seller’s time, especially if you’re just “window shopping.” However, sales people enjoy conversation and would rather have you walk away with all of your questions answered than letting you base your decisions on assumptions.
After every question you ask a sales person, always have a follow up question prepared. Follow up questions help you dig deeper into the subject and will build clarity. An example of a follow-up question is, “What do you mean by…”
By asking a follow up questions, you also take away the sales person’s chance to take control of the conversation.
Silence can be uncomfortable. For many, when the person we’re having a conversation with remains silent, it forces us keep talking and deliver more information than we may have wanted to dish out. You can use this tactic when you gather information for your EHR software comparison.
When you use silence to gather more information, be cautious of pauses in the conversation. If a pause goes on for too long, it may signal to the seller that you’re not paying attention or that you don’t have anything else to ask. If you think that a pause is going on for too long, then it may be time to use a follow-up question.
Sometimes, a good product design and smooth sales pitch can be enough to purchase software that isn’t right for your practice. Don’t let this happen to you. When you’re talking with an EHR software sales professional, make sure you ask open-ended questions, use follow-up questions to dig deeper, and remain silent while the person is talking to help you avoid walking away with a solution that doesn’t meet your practice needs.
Want a head start on creating your list of questions to ask an EHR software vendor? Then download the guide to The Essential List of Questions to Ask Any Vendor Before Purchasing Practice Management and EHR Software.