Solve for X: Creating Relationships in an AI and Data-Driven Climate

Published in Complex Rehab on October 13, 2023

Solve for X: Creating Relationships in an AI and Data-Driven ClimateBy Jeff Kessler, Sales and Customer Service Representative, VGM Market Data

With the official dissolution of a global health emergency, in-person business meetings are becoming the norm again, just like how we left them in 2020. Or are they? Now, there’s a new seat at the table. It’s called artificial intelligence (AI), and it’s changing the way business is conducted everywhere and in every industry.

But can AI replace a smile or a handshake, or is the art of face-to-face encounters diminishing? Mounting pressure to continually incorporate data-driven business solutions is forcing us all to adapt to the new player or risk being left in the dust.

Forming Effective Relationships

The need to create human relationships exists in all of us. And businesses are no different. Relationships are the common thread in all successful companies, where the same story is woven throughout each of their beginnings; everything hinges on relationships. Solid relationships and network development are the keys to unlocking our potential to showcase and execute what we do best: patient care.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who is building these bridges, but that the relationships are being built. Creating brand awareness and trust for your organization remains vital to remaining relevant.

Breaking Down Time Management

Time is finite. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. This may be obvious and cliché, but it remains true. In a culture where everything fights for our attention, time is a valuable currency.

In his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey describes four quadrants of time management. If you are unfamiliar, I suggest you spend some time in Quadrant Two, which deals with quality and personal leadership. I’m not going to fully unpack it here, but take a glance at the image for your reference. The concept is not overly complicated or esoteric. At any moment and without a thought, our daily activities fall into one of these four quadrants, influencing our direction and determining how efficiently, or inefficiently, we get to wherever we’re going.


With some awareness and intention, we can begin spending more time in the often-neglected Quadrant Two. This is the quadrant responsible for moving the metaphorical needle of our personal and professional lives, as well as our businesses. Quadrant Two is where we sharpen the axe.

Sadly, this is also where we typically spend the least amount of time. Even if we manage to avoid Quadrant 4, the dreaded quadrant of waste, we are still consumed by urgent and important matters that demand immediate attention. Before we know it, the workday is done. The hours we can't get back are gone. And we are on to, hopefully, spending time where it really matters—with our family and friends and the pursuits that are important to our lives outside the honorable daily grind of personal preservation and provision.

So, we resolve to do better and spend time in Quadrant Two. But whether you work in sales, marketing, operations, customer service; or whether you are a CEO, owner, director, IT officer, support specialist, or billing manager; or whether your company is large or small—we are all trying our best to manage a high volume of work that requires time to complete. By saving time, the ultimate currency, we are free to spend that currency where we can get the best return on investment (ROI).

Finding the Time

Opportunities to create efficiencies are investments worth pursuing. We recognize the importance and value of creating positive relationships with our referral sources, but time is limited. How can we be sure the little time we do spend developing relationships is going to pay dividends? For example, say you spent considerable time showing an office how you can be a great partner with them in patient care and everything goes well. Can you be sure that you spent time where it matters most, or could you have spent the same time elsewhere resulting in a bigger impact? After all, time is money.

Aggregating and assimilating data like this on your own can be time consuming and expensive, which is counterproductive to our goal of creating efficiencies and saving time. Thankfully, VGM has a solution for our members that can be trusted to provide industry-leading medical equipment claims data. VGM members invest in VGM Market Data to quickly and confidently understand exactly where they need to be spending their valuable time.

Market Data ToolMarket Data

The above images represent a view of what the VGM Market Data tool can display.

Strategically Allocating Your Assets

Investing in a quality data resource will help you quickly identify high-volume referral sources, define market share capture by practitioner, and understand the competitive landscape—all with accuracy and confidence. VGM has built a reputation of delivering high-quality, reliable resources that give our members a business edge. VGM Market Data is no exception.

Where does the rubber meet the road? How do we create the efficiencies necessary to accomplish our wildly audacious business goals? We all want the opportunity to tell our business story, but to whom? Are we telling our story to the right audience? Are we spending the appropriate amount of time in front of the right people?

For 10 years, VGM members have been investing in claims data that answers these questions. These sources tell an extremely simple, but powerful story. For those of you ready to get serious about creating a go-to-market strategy, you must develop a plan or, as they say, plan to fail. And to those of you wanting to dial up your efforts, we would love to hear from you about those plans. We always welcome the dialogue and look forward to growing together.

Leaving Your Legacy

Business growth, market capture, and ultimately increased revenue are all goals we strive for and are pressured to achieve. There’s nothing inherently wrong with maintaining a book of business, but most of us strive to leave a positive legacy, and not simply a financial one.

Each of us, regardless of our role, leaves a legacy. We all impact the lives of patients, employees, and their families. We impact the communities we serve, the offices and suppliers we work with, and the lives they touch. We are part of something bigger than ourselves with the work we do. It’s not a matter of leaving a legacy, but the kind of legacy we are leaving.

From the humble person in the role wearing every single hat and keeping the train on the tracks to the laser-focused individual who has spent years honing their skills and blazing a trail of referral-producing relationships, we can all benefit from a data-driven, strategic approach.


VGM Playbook Business Solutions to Optimize Success in DMEPOSThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Business Solutions to Optimize Success in DMEPOS. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the playbook today


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