Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 2 years ago

Pandemic Silver Linings: Relationships, Selling, and Adapting w/Bryan Graven


Most often, people, businesses, and economies are shaped and changed over time through a gradual process of cause and effect. And sometimes, things like COVID-19 happen — which throws everything we know about early adoption, selling, and marketing out the window. Instead, it demands we adjust, adapt, and pivot, or get out of the way of those who can.


In this episode, Bryan Graven, CEO of HiLite Health, throws his company’s window wide open and allows us to take a glimpse into their positioning when COVID-19 hit.


He speaks candidly about adjusting marketing and selling processes during the chaos of a pandemic. Bryan also speaks about the importance of recognizing the opportunities your company may be able to capitalize on and what health innovation, sales, and marketing might look in a post-COVID economy.


Bryan touches on:

  • The effectiveness of video in digital outreach and its ability to build trust and credibility, all while offering clients convenience and better comprehension of the messages you’re communicating
  • The challenges of running a start-up business and how that plays into the COVID economy
  • When the time is right to sell your innovation vs. building relationships
  • Positioning your company to be in the right place when the chaos calms down
  • And the hidden opportunities this pandemic has created to:
    • Build and strengthen business relationships
    • Enhance and fine tune your innovation
    • Tighten your brand messaging, and
    • Pivot into a stronger position to hit the ground running when the dust settles

Guest Bio

Bryan Graven is CEO of HiLite Health, a company that creates tailored digital solutions platforms for the medical community. He spent 20 years in the healthcare IT arena, including 10 years as CEO of National Physician Services, before turning his energy and passion into developing Hilite Health and its digital health platform HiliteMD.


Driven to seek out solutions through innovation, Bryan leveraged those two decades of IT expertise to develop and deliver the best possible solutions and resources and empower the healthcare community to offer better business and patient experiences.

To learn more about Bryan, HiLite Health, or HiLiteMD, visit or email him at

Welcome to Coiq, where you learn how health innovators maximize their success. I'm your host, Dr Roxy, founder of Legacy DNA and international bestselling author of how health innovators maximize market success. Through candid conversations with health innovators, earlier, doctors and influencers, you'll learn how to bring your innovation from idea to startups to market domination. And now let's jump into the latest episode of Coiq. Welcome back coiq listeners. On today's episode we have Brian Bravin, who is the CEO for highlight health. Welcome to the show, Brian Roxy. How are you today? I'm doing great. I'm bored to having this conversation with you. Thank you. I'm excited to be here. So maybe, just to get started, tell our listeners who maybe aren't familiar with you or what you do, just a little bit about your background and what highlight health is all about. Sure. So, I've been in the healthcare it vertical Brover, twenty years now and prior to highlight health ice I was CEO of a company called national physician services, and that company predominantly provided it solutions to independent physician practices. We would work with hospitals as well and support the ambulatory side of their their business units. So I did that for about ten years and about a year and a half ago, you know, I broke off and started my own company called highlight health and developed a platform called highlight M d. So I didn't want to be a guess, a one trick cony. So, you know, there were some core comptencies that, you know, I was very familiar with, such as it and Revenue Cycle, and we still offer those through partner channels, but my primary focus has been developing and starting up a digital health platform, which is highlight m V. Okay, excellent. So you know, and I think what we talked about. You know, the conversation that we have today is very different than what we would have had a month ago when we first got acquainted with each other. Right, everything's like all things covid now. So I think that, you know, be good just to kind of jump right into that part of the conversation. What's changed for Your Business? Right like planes are grounded, a lot of practice doors are closed in many ways. You know, just a lot of things have changed. So which change for you and your business? So right now, you know, we are looking at this as a potential opportunity and, you know, being a digital health platform, you know, our specialty is patient communication and being the best that, you know, providing digital communication and outreach the patients. So what we've done is we've worked with our clients, you know, it to strategically, you have go over the content and the information that they're sending out to their patients to communicate, you know, specific information about covid nineteen. So patients are now, you know, receiving communication that if they're showing any symptoms, they have been in contact with anyone who is, you know it, either out of the country and they an area that could be an issue or been in contact with somebody who has potentially symptoms of covid nineteen to either reschedule their appointment or give us a call. Will try to figure out some options. So, you know, it really cool that, you know, we were able to do our part,... know, it in this pandemic and help our clients, you know, it through some of the challenges that they were having. You know, will patient communication. In addition to that, we also have digital surveys. So, you know, we have the survey information that is sent to the patient that actually goes through and itimized questionnaire asking if they have any specific symptoms. The practice this would get that information back and be able to determine whether or not you need to speak to somebody on the phone before you come in for that visit. So really looking to protect the patients and also protect the providers that are seeing the patients. Yeah, sure. So I can only imagine for the customers that you currently have, have your have their usage rates got gone up or like, oh my gosh, I'm so glad we have this communication channel, let's use it. It's been insane. It's been in sane. So one of the value add with their platform is the fact that we use video. Yeah, and I had our video production team come in on a Sunday, yea to create, you know, a branded video media, you know, regarding covid nineteen, so that you know, we could be ready to send out patient communication. You know that that night? Yes, patients were coming in for that Monday. Sure, it was literally a crisis on our side to figure out what we need to do to support our clients. But you know it, when you have a crisis, good company step up, good people step up, and we made a happen. Yeah, that's great, absolutely, and you know, so one of the things that I, you know, talk to clients about and it sounds like you know this is already part of your value proposition every day. You know, and I think it's been a really big gap in healthcare, you know, when companies are wanting to communicate really with any stakeholder group, whether it's a patient or whether it's, you know, in a sales process. But you know, other industries have been using video for decades, right, and and so you know, like normally, healthcare is, you know, have been a laggered with the adoption of digital health and we know that video converts more than any other higher more than any other piece of content. And so as you think about Covid, I mean I don't know about you, but I am getting inundated with emails regarding covid. I mean brands and people that I never even knew had my email address right like it's like a thousand emails a day of like everybody trying to tell me what they're doing with covid. And there's not been one, not one that's been a video. Well, everything is in text base. And so how do you rise above the noise. How do you or break through the noise? Right, sure, sure, so, you know, that's obviously a business challenge, you know, and the way we've positioned our product is, yeah, we can send out emails like everyone else, we can send out text messages, like everyone else. But if you want the medium that you know patients and you it, I guess, to humans in general, you want to view it's video. Yeah, well, want to see video, video, creezet. Emotional connection increases, you know, patient here it's comprehension and you just much more willing to pay attention. Yeah, and when I receive a video and you know I'm looking at it, I'm like, okay, now I know what to do. Right, first reading a big longwinded email, which you know I probably won't. We're doing right, right. Yeah, absolutely, and I like how you had mentioned, you know, when we were talking before, especially...

...when we're talking about health care and and patient care. You know, depending on the particular situation, you know, a lot of times, you know, they just got a diagnosis that really wasn't so good, right, or we're giving them instructions on how to take medication for the first time and, you know, communicating that digitally via video is really powerful, but they get to watch it multiple times. Right. That's correct. I think it's a look at video. You know in itself that you know you can watch it over and over you to raise your comprehension. You can watch it anytime, you know, so in the convenience of your home, on your mobile device, you know, whenever it's convenient for you, and instead of you looking, let's say, online or looking you somewhere else you have to try to find information, you're getting now video information from the doctor and we trust. Yeah, yeah, Yep. So I imagined, like we just talked about that, there is kind of a increased need for content, dynamic content, video content, for your existing customers. So kind of paint a picture of what's happening with new prospects. Are you are? Is this, you know, covid crisis and you having a digital health platform? Is this opening doors that maybe we're closed? Is this expediting sales cycles that were maybe kind of in the process, but you know, they were normally six to twelve months, and now they're like, I need it now. Let's just talk about that a little bit. Sure, sure, so somebody, or let's say a healthcare organization who has nothing. Yeah, it is just looking to get something in place as quickly as possible. Healthcare organizations that already have something, you know it, they are we need it right now. Yeah, and just trying to get through you at this healthcare crisis. But what we are doing, and I think you know this, is the approach that you know what I think is probably best case scenario right now. If we're going to come out of this healthcare crisis at some point. Oh yeah, and everyone is going to look back and they're going to say, what could we have done that? And and I want our solution, our company, to be in a position to say, yes, you know it, we can help you, we can give your patients, you know, at the ultimate digital experience and help you through the next crisis like this. You know it, if it ever happens, and you know you will be in a much better position to communicate more effectively with patients. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So you touch on something. So you know, the the guests that we have on the show and in the people that are listening are really all kind of faced with the same thing. Is, you know, we're kind of at this crossroads with this covid crisis and thinking about what's our next strategy right, because whatever our strategy was kind of pre covid is in many ways null and void right, like the the the sales strategy, the marketing strategy, a lot of that needs to be adapted to what's next. And so, as you're thinking about how do you address what you just talked about, like how do you make sure of that when we come out of this covid crisis and your target audience is is kind of having that enlightenment one, how do you help them have that enlightenment and and and then how do you make sure that they're all aware of your solution when that's comes to be? Is that strategy and a plan that you are thinking about now, or is it really just,...

...yeah, I wish roxy, but not know, because we're actually just trying to turn on the dime to meet our customers most immediate needs right now. No, no. So I think you, being an entrepreneur, you always want to be one step ahead. Yep, and you know it. Our rationality thinking in this kind of goes handinhand with really the focus of our product, as well as been to communicate with video. You practice what you preach. So we're sending a video communication to our to are so impressed. Yeah, we're saying out video communication. You know, it's, you know, leads that we've been talking to, letting them know what we've been doing. You know, we even give them sample covid nineteen videos. You know, it better in play right now for other organizations to give them ideas, you know, if they want to incorporate something like this into their current messaging. It's so we're trying to help the current situation but also, you know, look a couple steps ahead and position of our product. You know, it's so that when the time is right, and and right now may not be the right time for anybody right right, at some point it's going to be. I want them to give us a good look. Yep, Yep. So, so what are some of the challenges that you're facing right now as a as a you know, digital health innovator? Yeah, so I think it's the basic business challenges of a newer company, you know, making sure that you know your your leads are you know, adequately's that you're messaging, you know, is properly position. You have a know, good funnel of new opportunities and you're closing deals and you know what's all of that happens. You know it everything else. You know. It just kind of comes together and if you already have a solid commercial solution that's been proven, now it's time to focus on the cells and marketing piece. Yeah, and you know what I've seen. You know historically, even you know with some of my previous ventures. If you can't get the cells and marketing piece together, you know it's really a struggle and you need to get somebody and your organization. You know who is really good at that. Hey, it's Dr Roxy here with the quick break from the conversation. Do you want your innovation to succeed, to change lives, to shape the future of healthcare? I want that for every health innovator, which is why I invented see Y Q and evidence based framework to take your innovation from an idea to start up to full market adoption. If you're not sure where you are in the commercialization process, take the free assessment now at Dr Roxycom. backslash score. Don't miss out on impacting more lives just because you have a low co IQ score. The free assessment is at Dr Roxycom. backslash score. That's Dr Roxiecom backslash score, and now let's jump back into the conversation. Yeah, yeah, you know, and I think that that's I mean, it seems like that's really obvious, right, but it's a missed opportunity. So often, I mean, I talked to innovators all the time that they're so passionate about solving the problem that they have come across right, and they've probably dedicated their life to addressing, poured all of their resources into. Very often they have a tendency to pour all of that money into the solution and race is like, you...

...know, we spent five million dollars on the platform and now we've got, you know, tenzero to go to market. Like what, what happened? I mean it's a very jolly king balance, no mistake of about it, because you know, as soon as you know you develop something, you have a competitor out there, you know who went up to you, and you like, well, I guess we have to do something similar or we have to win up them with that you know, specific feature. Sure, sure, but you know having, you know, some early adopter clients, you know, is critical to your success. Yeah, you know it having, and I'm not saying they you're gonna you ride those clients into the sunset. Know, these are your early adopted clients and they give you some revenue coming in so that you can pay for some of your development cost yeah, you can pay for you know, maybe you know, to go to a conference, or you invest some money toward towards marketing. Maybe not the way you want to, but you know, when you're a start up, when you're a newer company, you know it. You have to make every doll account. So you have to spend it wisely and you have to stretch everything. That's well and so that, you know, brings up another question that I think you know, entrepreneurs are facing right now. Do I spend money or do I save it? Do you know, like how do I know whether I'm going to lose business or not, you know, not keep the clients I currently have or, you know, this pipeline that I had in place that was really healthy. But you know, so all of my projections are not come into fruition right because covid's, you know, kind of, you know, changing that. So do I invest money and continuing to try to grow and like fill the pipeline with new opportunities or close new business, or do I just save those reserves to make sure I could look go through the end to the light of this tunnel? Sure, and I think it depends on, you know, what your business is right. So if I have a hand sanitizer company, you know I'm going to be marketing right now. All in all, in a ventilator company, you know. You know we're cashing in right now. But you practically speaking, you have to look at what the the current appetite is, you know, for the the product that you have in your selling right now. Yeah, you know it. I think we have a fantastic solution, but it is incredibly difficult to get the right people on the phone to talk about it. And and I don't know how long that's going to last. I think it's you know, if I had to say, it's probably going to drop off in a couple weeks. But you know, at that point you know it. That's that, that's our green light to go again. Yeah, this is is may have have a longer runway, you know, and may have to wait this out a couple months before you know a the their prospects. You know it. Come back to the table and want to have those discussions. Yeah, you know, I think that's so true, where every business is going to be in a different situation right for like the market will be different as well as they're like current business situation will be different and what they can and can't do. I was talking to a client last week and they were sharing with me, you know, they're they're probably a couple of years and and and just it's a med device company and there, you know, they just invested probably a good twenty thirtyzero dollars in some major trade shows and the last month and some of them were even like pitch competitions and you know, and everything just went and and so, you know, she's not he's not getting that money back.

You know what now, and I'm part of that that group. So, yeah, we're supposed to actually meet at the hills kind of Frience, which I'm thankful that it was canceled now, but looking back, that was, you know, money that we had invested in hotels and flights and, you know, the vendor feast to attend that. Yeah, exactly, that that's money that you don't get back, right, you know, but if I were in entrepreneur, let's saying another vertical right now. You know, I look at what we're doing. We're doing video, you know it, invest your money, you know, and creating a great video that you can send the people and say, Hey, I know that you're busy, that you have a lot on your plate, but when you get like maybe four or five minutes, you know it, take a look at this and if it's something that you're interested in, yeah, I'll give you a call. And it doesn't need to be tomorrow, doesn't need to be next week. It could be a month from them, you know, but you know, when you have things under control, let's talk and lease, you know, about your what of pitching versus you would come in in two months later and having to start that entire cycle all over again. Yeah, yeah, and you know, I think you also touch on something else. I think the messaging is really important now and how something is being framed. So I think that there's a way to frame something that seems like it is interrupting that, you know, the target audience from the fires or the chaos that they are experiencing, and there's a way to it. If it does, you know, obviously it has to truly need to meet need, but there's also a way to frame that from a messaging standpoint of I know you're experiencing this right now and you really want this to happen, and here's something to help you right as opposed to I'm going through a crisis right now, call me back in a couple of months. Yeah, so it's always important, you know it, to respect, you know, the the clients and the prospects, you know, especially now, yeah, tering that you know, we're in the middle of the pandemic. So respect their time, respect you at the the stress and the pressure it that everyone's going through. But keep that once in a while, you know it, and let them know that you're thinking about them, and I think that that's fair. Right there. That is fair. But, you know it, to give somebody a full blow marketing pitch or the corner someone to do a demo, I just think that that's an impractical exttiction. Yep, yeah, and I think that that's worth mentioning to, you know, for all of our listeners. In many instances, right now is not the time to try to sell your solution. Like you said, if it's hand sanitizer, sell it. If it's a been a later sell it, if not, you know, use a video just to say, Hey, I'm thinking about you, right, you just that building. Rapport you know, you might not at you for the next couple of months, you might not talk about your solution at all. It's just like from one human to another. I'm cultivating that relationship, I'm empathizing, you know, I'm just connecting at the at the heart and mind and and I think that if people, if we continue to do that, when the dust settles, and this, I think, is what you're alluding to, right, is that when the dust settles, who do they think of? Now? Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And Look, let's we have covid nineteen, and you know that is, you know, a major focus. I mean we can't get away from it right now. You know, that's just...

...our reality. What you thrown on the TV, you open up a newspaper, you go online, you go with social media. I'm trying, briant, I'm trying from it. I mean, none of us can. And you know it's just our current reality. Yeah, and you know, we all want to sell, we all want to provide innovation, we all want to do great things with their companies, but you know, right now is at that that pause moment where we pause. Now's a good time to regroup a little bit. Make sure that your marketing messaging, you know, it is on point. You know, make sure that you know your vendor relationships are where they should be. If you have you know it's something that you need to do with your product, like an upgrade or enhancement, you do it now. Do it. No, focus on building a better solution so that you know, when the gates open again, you know you are in the ideal position you to take advantage of you at that that relationship. And Yeah, yeah, and I think that's that's just great wisdom. You know, as we start to wrap up here, is that, you know, as entrepreneurs we wear a thousand different hats, right, and so we have this mental list of all the things that we want to do when we have time to get to it. And so for some people now's the time. Now's the time to, you know, kind of create that product strategy for Post covid you know, or finally get all the paperwork together for the taxes, or when the star you know, all kinds of different things that we just really been meaning to get to. You know, if we can and if it makes sense, that that's definitely a good idea. So, Brian, this has been such a great conversation. As we wrap up, knowing that you know you're speaking to our listenership, who is, you know, fellow entrepreneurs and innovators who are in the trenches right now trying to find their own way through covid nineteen and what that means for their business, is there any other advice or suggestions that you have for them? Well, I mean, hang in there and just because, you know, we were all down now, it doesn't mean that that's, you know, a forever thing. There's some great incentives out there that even I'm looking into with the the stimulus package that was just released as different programs. Yeah, you know, I have you at a good feeling that, you know, when covid starts to die down and you know, everything starts to get back to normal, you know our kindomy is going to skyrocket and you just have to be ready to come back into the fire and get after it again. Yeah, but but right now you take advantage of this time and, you know, make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. Absolutely well, thank you so much. So, if any of our listeners want to get in touch with you. How do they do that? So you can easily send me an email. Brian B our way and at highlight health. So that's Hilte h e altcom, or you can go on our website, wwwalcom. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening. I know you're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market and I value your time and your attention. To save time and get the latest episodes on your mobile device, automatically subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast APP like apple podcast, spotify and stitcher. Thank you for listening and I appreciate everyone who's been sharing the show with friends and colleagues. See You on the next episode of Coiq.

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