Episode: 339 |
Joe McCann:
Healthcare Market Research:


Joe McCann

Healthcare Market Research

Show Notes

Joe McCann is the CEO and Co-Founder of Slingshot Insights, a healthcare-focused research firm with an interesting model: they allow you to interview leading experts by splitting the cost with others.

Joe also runs Truth on Call, a firm that conducts custom surveys of physicians and other healthcare providers.

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Will Bachman 00:01
Hello, and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachman. And I’m here today with Joe McCann, who is the CEO of slingshot insights, which is a market research firm that focused on the healthcare industry. And they also acquired a truth on call, which is a platform many listeners know, which is another firm focused on the healthcare industry. I’ll let Joe explain it all to us. Joe, welcome to the show.

Joe McCann 00:37
Well, great to be here. appreciate you having me on. And I’m excited to talk to your listeners about what we can offer. So Joe,

Will Bachman 00:44
let’s start with an overview of the different types of research products that you offer.

Joe McCann 00:51
Yeah, sure. So I’m, as you mentioned, we acquired truth on call at the end of last year, and we now have a nice rounded suite of products for healthcare partners and professionals. Our core products really are two different things. One is traditional phone interviews where, you know, medical consultant or an individual will request from us a type of thought leader expert. They’re traditionally physicians, but we also work with hospital administrators, patent lawyers, all sorts of people in the healthcare space that are important, and very similar to kind of the traditional competitive landscape out there. And these calls go from 30 to 60 minutes, typically, and one thing that’s nice about our product is that we offer a recording and a transcript at no additional charge of each of those conversations. We have a small team here that only thinks about healthcare. And so we provide a lot of guidance on what we think the right relevant person is we can do custom recruiting through PubMed searches in university databases, as well as just individuals in the field who have the right number of patients or types of patients to make the conversation worthwhile. Then the other complementary product we have now after this acquisition is a large physician panel where we can go out and run surveys and 24 to 36 hours, usually, we work with the team on really fine tune, the best answer, and then run the report for them and give them back both individual and summary level information. And then going back to that call type product, we can follow up with individual respondents. and dig a little deeper on why they said what they said on the questions, really providing a nice, multi layered research product for people to go back to their clients with. And then this is nice in a lot of ways because you can you can kind of use any one part of those tools in your process, whether it’s pitching a client or hearing on an engagement, we really can work with you at any level with no minimums.

Will Bachman 02:49
So and that’s so helpful. If you’re on a project, it’s it’s difficult to get physicians on the phone, or they obviously consider their time very valuable. What are the different ways that someone can, you know, specify the specific type of person that they want to talk to? I imagine they could clearly do it sort of by specialty. You know, but can you also say, Well, I want someone who works at an academic hospital or more of a general practitioner or smaller town? Or could you say I want someone involved in this specific study? What are the different ways that you can specify the population that you’re interested in?

Joe McCann 03:28
Yeah, well, those are all great ways. You could definitely do any of them. We work with teams, and individuals to really target the screening questions before they get on the phone. So we’ll screen for things such as trial environment, involvement, data awareness, or willingness to review number of patients. And that’s kind of more in the broader type of request, you know, Hey, have you ever used this software before you’ve got that type of thing, but we also do and I think we can we really stand out on is targeting physicians or researchers that are really thought leaders based on their published literature or their positions at different universities. And so we’ll reach out to them directly and, and engage them in either, you know, work with a prior relationship that we have, or explain to them why we think that they’re particularly useful for the call. And we really try and think of our experts like clients as well as our clients. And we found over the years that kind of showing that respect to them, being mindful of why you’re emailing, not over emailing, things like that, that are really kind of just my behind the scenes things for for network like ours, make a big difference in the relationship unable to get these guys and women on the phone when you need them in a pinch. Because, you know, they know that our emails aren’t sent to 1000 people just scattershot. There’s actually somebody who has been really thinking about it. A lot of times, even someone from management will reach out on our end will reach out and say, Hey, you know, Dr. So and so we’d really like to speak to you on this specific paper. Here’s the link to it. Our client has a PhD themselves, they’re always well prepared in those types of little minor. Just good engagement practice. says make a long a big difference in terms of how we get these people to to spend some time with us.

Will Bachman 05:07
Could you walk us through the process sort of end to end? Once somebody wants one of your clients submits a request? I want to talk to, you know, this specific type of specialist. What’s your process? Like? of? Like, do you? You know, first, I mean, do you guys have a quick call with that expert to just validate that they’re interested in it, or just walk me through all the different steps that are involved?

Joe McCann 05:36
Here? Sure. So we’ll have a, once we have a relationship established with a firm or individual will, you know, share with them that that’s what a contract was, basically just send us an email outlining the scope of the project. If it’s extremely straightforward, we’ll say we understand if it’s not, we’ll, instead of a, maybe a one minute call might be very helpful to to the requesting partner, and just understand what needs to be done. And then we’ll put it into our process where we look at our existing database of experts that we have relationships with, we’ll look at kind of arm’s length relationships we have. And then if we don’t think that there’s anything that really fits exactly what this project needs, we’ll do some custom recruiting even go out and say, you know, maybe the sexual Academic Center is the right spot for this disease, or this particular mechanism or something like that. And so we’ll look at kind of that full approach of where we can get the best person, and then engage the experts on our ends that way, and you will usually have some dialogue back and forth with the expert about whether or not they feel like they’re comfortable, and they can meet the client’s needs. And once we have that done, we do a basic onboarding and training. I know a lot of your clients probably aren’t public market investors or members of this network on public market investors. But that is kind of our heritage, we have a lot of that. So we have really strong onboarding, compliance documents, and just going over confidential information, all that type of stuff is done before any expert gets on our network. And so we handle all that behind the scenes. And then it’s really just about finding time when both both parties can get on the phone and talk about the topic that usually those calls can be as short as 30 minutes, but 30 to 60 minutes can cover a lot on these types of issues.

Will Bachman 07:15
Okay, how do you recruit new members into your into your database of talent?

Joe McCann 07:23
Yeah, so we have the ability, and we get new people to sign up every day, we have a platform where physicians that are looking to be participants in surveys and other things can sign up. But a lot of it’s really been driven over the last six years, panned handmade, basically where somebody comes in with a request and we identify the need, and we proactively go out and say, Hey, would you like to be part of our network, this is the project project we’re working on. And we’ve really found that to be the way to get the highest caliber people, you know, we’re looking at their backgrounds and BIOS and somebody on our team is, is proactively reaching out to them. And so after six years of that, now, we have 150,000 contacts in our database of people that we think are relevant. And that’s either from them being excited about doing surveys and sharing what they know, or kind of identifying them and saying, Hey, you know, people that could discuss this with you?

Will Bachman 08:11
Yeah. Now, I understand that you have a product, I tell me if you still have it, where you, if it was a hedge fund or an investor interviewing an expert, that there was, in some cases, you would actually make that so you could have subscribers who could just listen into those calls live? Could you tell us about that product?

Joe McCann 08:34
Yeah, well, that was the original inspiration for starting things on insights, I had been on the buy side at a hedge fund, SAIC capital, which is now point 72, really covering global healthcare on a small team. And I was doing hundreds of these calls a year spending like a million dollars a year on experts and surveys, just because I was a finance person with no background and really found them invaluable when it came to understanding whether a press release was good, or there’s really a market for this new pathway, or new delivery mechanism for a drug. And so when I left the firm and was kind of waiting to start a firm with my partner, I realized how much it was missing. And so we had this I had this resource that I was using every day and really relying on and then was going out kind of on my own and looking at the world of Twitter and Seeking Alpha and all these people who were writing about stocks and realized that none of them had access to it. And so the idea that I kind of tried to marry together was, well, if some of these people who were so passionate about the stocks could split the time and the cost of the expert, and one of them could take the lead because they you know, writing blog post about it and putting real money behind the names. They could take 1000 or 15 $100 call and bring it down to under 100. So our original platform that we launched in 2015. And really to them 16 was all about trying to find like minded stock trackers to chip in and just get the real story from a physician or somebody on one of these calls. The kind of interesting thing about that business is that I never really thought it was going to be used by large professional investors, I kind of thought they would always want to spend the money and have the private conversation. But over the years, we’ve we’ve actually found many who do more comfortable in an open format for compliance reasons, or do want to save 50 to 75% on the call that they lead. And so we actually now have a repository of 1000s of calls that anybody can go on our website and purchase and read the transcript of or listen to the recording of on their own time. And then calls that are happening every day. And we have two scheduled for today where you can go on and look at an update in the dlbcl landscape after at or after the latest conference or some new site drug that’s coming out whether your house physician prescribing it all that’s available in our database, and you can like you mentioned, you can access it as a subscriber for $50 a month you get to join one of those calls, or you can chip in on any any call that you like for usually 60 to $120.

Will Bachman 10:57
Well, that’s amazing. So he for for 50 said for $50 a month, you can listen to as many of these calls as you want.

Joe McCann 11:04
Or you get one live call and you get three calls that are over four weeks old for $50 a month.

Will Bachman 11:10
Yep. Okay. That they actually be a pretty fascinating way to develop your own interviewing skills by listening to some, you know, experienced investors doing these things. Yeah, a

Joe McCann 11:22
lot of our investors are PhDs or MDS themselves, many of them run significant money, professionally, and us as a nice, safe, easy way to access these experts and get their insights.

Will Bachman 11:36
And then for the experts who are willing to be an interviewer, for one of those public calls, I get you said that there’s some compliance benefits, because it’s not considered, you know, in private data, they’re trying to learn it it but they’re, they’re saying like, if the rest of the world wants to hear this, then it’s open to them as well.

Joe McCann 11:58
Yeah, they think. So we actually had a white paper written by a former sec branch chief and enforcement officer prior to launching where he basically extolled the virtues of an open transparent platform over these private calls. And I don’t know if you recall, but the industry had some issues, eight or nine years ago with some conversations that went over the line of what maybe should be said to a public investor. And so kind of coming out of that, that period of everyone trying to get on the right side of the law. Again, in the expert network world, we engaged a former FCC officer to really just talk about how, if you’re going to be playing it safe, it’s private calls are always bad, we actually offer private calls, and we’ve never had a problem. But if you really want to go as safe as possible, having something that anybody in the world could access for a set price, having something where, you know, other people on the line might be listening and kind of keeps you honest, all those things go a long way to kind of having the safest, most productive conversation. If you’re, if you’re to look at all the different options out there. And so we’re really proud of that product and how people are able to use it to put in kind of their own level of effort to get the information they need, you can just listen, you can come and propose a project yourself and have it all set up, you can really kind of engage with these expert calls any way that you’re comfortable on this on this type of product.

Will Bachman 13:16
You know, we’re kind of used to the idea of long tail and some real breakthrough blockbuster type things in just about everything, from music, to books, to salaries of celebrities. Have you had any recorded calls that were sort of blockbuster that got way more downloads than anything else?

Joe McCann 13:38
We definitely had a few over the years, we actually had a great one with with a reporter who’s pretty well known in the healthcare space where he was going through ways the press releases can mislead you. And they actually it was one of our first calls that was of any scale, and we had over 300 people try and try and pay and join in, it crashed our sales within the very first days of our thing, and it really just out outperformed anything that I anticipated. And years later, we’re actually now official partners with with his publication and we do an event every month with with him and his team. So we got past that initial excitement. But every once in a while, a call will catch on and really get people’s attention. But in reality, most of our calls are three to 12 people that want to chip in and they’re saving 90% when you get 12 people and yeah, it’s it’s it’s a niche niche topic that sounds really interesting. And it’s in your portfolio. So you want to hear what somebody has to say about the market potential of whatever’s going on.

Will Bachman 14:33
Let’s talk a little about the truth on call product. Tell me about the surveys that you run.

Joe McCann 14:39
Yeah, the truth on call products been terrific for us this year. They really rounded us out as a market research product. You know, being able to offer that survey complementary product, it’s been good. I think a lot of people as they start to understand really what it can do have started to use it more. So if you want to do one caol call on a topic. That’s interesting, but if you did 20 with the five or 10 key questions in writing, and you can get that back in 36 hours, it can really tell you a lot about what’s going on out there, and you’re not getting, you know, a small end of information. So the truth on call products has been a really nice way to get a little bit more structured data around the questions that people have, and has worked well for us. I think both in terms of new new customers, we didn’t really have many management consulting type customers or formatted customers before. Now we do. And so that’s been a great rounding out of the business.

Will Bachman 15:35
What have you learned about what works well, or best practices, when creating a survey that’s going to be filled out by physicians?

Joe McCann 15:46
Get the biggest thing that we see a lot is, is the narrowness of the question. So physicians are busy people as well as anyone else is. And while they are very good at reading and putting in careful thought, asking a specific question that is very hard to misinterpret is the real art of the of the survey business. And so having either two things where you’re not sure what you’re talking about, or having a vague question where all the answers aren’t necessarily getting to the same point, those are the biggest snafu that we see. And so when somebody comes to us with a survey, we have our team review it and basically create a little bit more of a formalized document saying, Okay, this is the exact type of answer you’re going to get, whether it’s a drop down, or multiple choices, or an open ended, and then also some, some tweaking of the words to try and explain, well, maybe we should do these two screeners instead of one things like that. We get we get a real firm agreement on it beforehand, and having that document correct and well thought out, is really the secret to getting the kind of results you want.

Will Bachman 16:48
So can you give me an example of a serve of a survey question that is worded awkwardly or ambiguously, and then how you might change that to a much more tightly focused question.

Joe McCann 17:02
Yeah, a lot of times it’ll be around vagueness in terms of how much someone you think you like this, this type of side effect? Or do you like this type of efficacy? And so you’ll, you’ll read the question, and they want to be to be an open ended answer. And what you can do is create a little bit more structure around it and say, Well, why don’t we not use a Why don’t we use a more specific word that really makes the person understand what what you’re trying to get here. And then let’s get buckets for them to pick from because they might read back to you? Oh, yeah, it’s much better, oh, that’s not as good. And in reality, you’re not going to be able to understand what each of those people mean. So putting, like a standardized scale that people have to pick from maybe five buckets and add a one to 100 is a lot better tool to get back then having somebody read open ended, you know, kind of adjective based words. And so anytime we can get more of a number base or a selection of four, much better, greatly improved, not improved, something like that, rather than trying to leave it to the to the responder, we get a lot more useful data that you can actually then charted and think about and constructed with,

Will Bachman 18:12
I’m always wary of including open ended questions and surveys that I send out. They seem like a good idea. And like you’d love someone to write something. But then it’s often really hard to get people to write very much on those. Where do you are there ever cases where you do recommend an open ended question? How many open ended questions in one survey is the right number?

Joe McCann 18:40
Well, I think it depends a little bit on how big the survey is. But there are certainly times that are that are good and useful. So we’re running a lot of surveys around drug launches. So okay, well, how many patients have you started this month? How many patients have discontinued this month? Things like that. And then then, like one of the questions will be, do you plan to increase your usage or not? And so yes, or no? And then, okay, why did you say yes or no. And you could actually get some really good insights in those types of situations, when they’ll say, Well, you know, it’s not in the Compendium, or it’s tough to get reimbursed, or actually having really bad side effects of this drug. And I’m not gonna use it unless I absolutely have to. And so doctors can write little short things like that, particularly when they’re explaining a previous answer. Right, we go in and to say, hey, explain to you what your views on this data are, you’re going to get probably pretty lazy responses and have a really hard time understanding what the doctors think if you just say, which they got phase three data, we find that even in phone calls, that’s something like ready to fire off. And a lot of times, it’s helpful to have very targeted questions, obviously.

Will Bachman 19:43
I’m even surprised, though, that you’d say open ended after that, you know, why did you continue the survey or what why’d you continue the program or not? I would have thought that on that one, you’d say like, it’s better to have a set of we sort of we know 90% of the answers are going to be one of these Six. So give people those six or seven choices, and then given other block, and maybe people do a force rank or only pick like the top three reasons that you that you left the study or something like that. But as opposed to making it an open ended response for that

Joe McCann 20:18
one. Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s a lot of ways that every person will, I guess one of the things I’d say is that every person that we work with we we would want to meet your, your expectations and best practices that you’re comfortable with. So we’re always willing to be creative and come up with something that is more of a four strike or whatever you’re thinking of. But we have had a lot of success, I would say on the short kind of explain yourself type things after you’ve already understood what their, what their main viewpoint is. And so that’s something that we’ve we’ve had worked for a lot of small, certainly, these are still surveys that are under 10 questions. At the end of attendance, at the end of a two or three minute question survey, or two or three minutes survey people are willing to write something out shortly, usually. Interesting. So

Will Bachman 21:01
you said under 10, quite are most of your server surveys under 10? Questions is that.

Joe McCann 21:07
So for the finance side, it’s definitely pretty common, you know, the client will have five to 10 questions. And usually, it’s around volume, or how the expectations for a drug or something like that, I think that they’re more in the world of short type surveys. And then for the pharmaceutical companies, and the management consultants that we’ve worked with are much larger, you know, 20 3040 questions. And obviously, that’s much more involved and a little bit more difficult to get the experts to sit through. But yeah, physically stuff that we do as well. Alright, I’ve seen it more as a break across, kind of customer type, then topic type,

Will Bachman 21:43
interesting. How are physicians typically filling out these surveys is it on their phone, typically, or on a computer.

Joe McCann 21:54
So when we look at it’s a pretty, it’s pretty easy to break down, particularly for a short phone first short survey, I think a lot of physicians are doing them on their phone. But when we look at kind of some of the analytics on our end, we can see that, you know, it’s a mixture. Still, I think a lot of particularly physicians are still desktop based and spend time in their office. And you know, at the end of the day, they look at their emails and say, Oh, interesting opportunity. I’m actually amazed sometimes at the level of kales, who do agree to participate in these surveys, because I know how much they cost and how hard they are to get on the phone. But I think when they see this easy on your own schedule, type opportunity, they almost want to put their information out there into the into the survey. So we actually see a lot of really great names, kind of taking these anonymous surveys. And you can it’s reflected in the patient numbers that they disclose and other things. But you can just see that there’s certain people out there who want their information included in the dialogue,

Will Bachman 22:44
which is nice. What’s the best time of day to email a physician if you want that person to respond?

Joe McCann 22:52
You know, I don’t know if there’s a there’s a perfect time. But I think the thing that I would say more than the time of day that’s perfect is how immediate it is. So we get a real influx of of responses quickly. And if we you know, if an hour goes, if more than an hour and a half goes by, the responses really trickle off. So it’s less of a time of day thing and more of a I got this email, I have a minute. Okay. And so we’ve been I’ve actually been a little bit surprised, you’re kind of find that curious. But there’s ways for us to reengage them in the future. And we can get the results done. But it is really a quick see that see the opportunity to take the opportunity to type situation typically?

Will Bachman 23:33
Have you seen many trends over the last year two, or three of the what consultants are, you know, interested in in the types of surveys that they’re running?

Joe McCann 23:51
I don’t know if I’ve seen a hard trend. I do know, in the spring when when this all was kind of unfolding the COVID pandemic, we had a real influx of people trying to understand what’s going on in the ground, advocacy groups government kind of awareness groups and different states trying to say, Is there enough PP? Is there enough? ventilators in my hospital system and things like that, and really trying to use us as a way to to ascertain what’s going on in the world. So I’d say for the first six months of the year, we have a lot of that type of work. And we have some some nice published blog posts where we powered physician surveys, skilled nursing, nursing homes, surveys, with some partners, and things like that, just trying to then go to the government and hey, you need to actually address this, like there isn’t enough beds or ICU beds or whatever the issue is, or there is actually we can feel a little bit better about it at night. So that was definitely a trend for a while and it was I think a big drop off in terms of some of the more traditional market research type work. You know, these decision dissenters were down and people were maybe necessarily thinking about what the national landscape looks like for the next 10 years. But that’s all coming back now. And I’d say since August, we’ve we’ve seen a real return to to traditional market work, and people trying to understand where their drugs fit in the landscape and all that type of stuff. So it’s been nice to see a little bit of a normalization even as everything’s so crazy. But that’s really probably the only market trend we’ve seen over the last year.

Will Bachman 25:16
What are the different categories of projects or reasons for doing this kind of research? You’ve talked about one of them, or a couple you mentioned, you know, for public investors trying to understand how a study might play out an impact on that pharmaceutical company. You’ve talked about pharma companies doing research about a drug launch that they’re planning? What are some other common use cases that you see for investors or pharma companies or consultants for using your service?

Joe McCann 25:54
Yeah, so I think I think an interesting one we’ve been having a lot of traction with lately is someone, a company or consultant is working with a firm that has a technology that let’s take a drug delivery technology or some sort of approach? And they want to understand which which companies? Or which drugs or which indications would benefit from that. So whether it’s a different route of drug delivery, or something along those lines, and they can go very quickly with, with our type of product and say, Okay, well, let’s talk to 20. neurologists. And let’s talk to 20 nephrologist, really quickly and just say, Would you temperature check here like this? So maybe that would be interesting. And so then internally, they have the ability to put real data behind the decision making process of, you know, well, should we spend the time to do the preclinical studies and all that type of stuff, before we put any real bench work into into work? We should just try to understand Is it is it something physician would want 10, five years from now, if we were able to pull it off. So that’s been a really interesting thing to watch and see more seeing that both from consultants that are pitching clients, as well as pharma companies kind of internally saying, hey, I want to go to my board with real insights, I don’t want to be going to my board saying, Hey, we got this new idea this month. And so that’s been a great thing we’ve been working on. And then also just, you know, as people are trying to partner in the US, that’s another big area that we see today maybe have a really interesting technology in their home country, of Europe, Japan, other China, other other areas, and they want to understand whether there’s a demand in the US market for it. And so before they go to their partner in conversations, or before they really try and engage the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, will come to us and say, Hey, we want to get a nice capture of why this is interesting and compelling. So that when we go and talk to these business development type people, we have a real substantial conversation, not just them saying, it doesn’t sound too exciting. So just really putting firepower behind the decision making processes at these firms. And when clients are, you know, whether it’s consultants trying to help them or bantering teams themselves, these these types of insights can be really useful, quickly and affordably paint, the affordability of being able to just spend a few $1,000 and have a really clear data set that you can lean on for maybe years, is a really powerful tool for people.

Will Bachman 28:19
You mentioned earlier that when people come to you with a survey, you’ll help review it and give them some feedback for someone who hasn’t done a lot of surveys before. If they sort of know what question that they’re trying to answer. Will your team help them craft the survey? And do you have a library of kind of standardized question types?

Joe McCann 28:41
Yeah, we have both. We don’t really disclose the libraries, a lot of them are from clients. And it’s, you know, it’s a little bit proprietary. But certainly the institutional knowledge of what makes a good question allows us to guide any team, I would say there’s no reason to be afraid of, I don’t know enough to run a survey that you think can be done wrong, but they’re not such a unwieldy beast that, you know, once you shy away from it, and our team here is very comfortable writing them ourselves. I mean, part of the reason that I am happy that I chose to start this company is I spent five years running hundreds of surveys on all types of things I was interested in and had a great mentor teaching me that and so coming at it from that position, and then having a whole team here kind of think about it the way that I was trained, and then also having the past founder of food on call teach us as well. She was a management consultant, with a great background at McKinsey and all other firms. She spent 12 years doing these surveys So between the people that are here we can be can take any project under our wing and get it to where the client needs it to me.

Will Bachman 29:48
What’s your guidance to folks on when is the right time to do a survey? How much qualitative research Did someone do first going a few interviews or so forth? Just to make sure that you understand the broad parameters or the terms of an industry or specific area before launching a more quantitative survey.

Joe McCann 30:11
Yeah, I think that comes with a lot of the person’s background. And so if a person has spent years in the field, and you know, they’re really good oncology specialists, and this is just a new product with a slight tweak, tweak, I would say something like one to two calls might be enough to make sure just a temperature check that you know, there’s anything in this that you don’t understand already. But if it’s something that maybe is a little bit new to the to the person, and they’re saying, Well, you know, I’ve done a lot of work on drug formulation, but I’ve never thought about, you know, Lipitor before or something like that. I usually recommend three to five. And it depends on the budget, but you know, you just want to make sure that you’re hearing the right things over and over. And usually by the third call, or the fourth call and saying it’s 80% or 75%, as long as the first call, and you’re kind of just like up, yeah, okay, that makes sense. That makes sense. That’s when you kind of know that you’ve got it. And there, you’re going from googling words and making sure that you’ve really read all the literature to having conversations about nuances in the drug. And it’s like, Where do you think of that? I didn’t even realize that that question in the experts, you’ve been saying, saying things like that to you, because you’ve learned it on the prior call. And you’re kind of having a real dialogue, that’s when you know, you, you really understand what you’re what you’re looking at, and you’re ready to go get some robust data, like you said, more quantitative stuff behind your your project.

Will Bachman 31:28
What do you think motivates the physicians to participate in these? I mean, obviously, the money is a big help. Do they have other reasons beyond that? I mean, are they just intellectually interested in what consultants or investors might be curious about? Or are they trying to get their point of view out in the world, like what what gets physicians willing to spend time filling these out?

Joe McCann 31:52
I think that the money helps, obviously, that’s kind of the the cost of entry. But I think there’s a lot more to it, like, like you mentioned, I think some of them are just altruistic and want good information in the world. Some of them, I think, enjoy being asked, you know, there’s a certain pride in being a person who’s who’s being engaged on a call and can share their their intellect, and a lot of people just enjoy talking about what they spend their time on. And now, and there’s only so many places in the world where maybe you can talk about the nuances of type two diabetes drug, against the drug that doesn’t exist yet. And so I think that there’s just a kind of an intellectual curiosity, like you said, but also just, you do it for a reason you spend all your time and life on it, I think a lot of people really get a kick out of out of the conversations. And actually, a lot of doctors, like I said, you know, by the third or fourth call, you might be bringing a lot to the table yourself, whether it’s talking about some other paper that they hadn’t thought about before, or you’re kind of pushing them on a topic. So I think that they view a good conversation, we actually get a lot of emails from experts that say, that was a great call, I really enjoyed that. And so I think that when you get to that point, in your own research, that can be a rich, textured conversation that the expert enjoys as much as you do. And so I think, by being involved in this whole field, they’re getting some different insights. And they’re getting to hear from these people who are putting a lot of time in researching, and a lot of times are directly engaging with the company. And even sometimes it can result in a relationship with the company or, you know, kind of being involved in clinical trials and things like that. Because, obviously, these companies are trying to make inroads with the thought leaders in the sector that they’re working with. And trials need to be run by people in the field with good patient populations, and that are set up to do it. So we’ve made those kind introductions over the years. And so I think it’s just a really nice, mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and everybody kind of trying to work to the same goal right of curing whatever the illnesses are making the patient’s lives better. And the way that makes sense.

Will Bachman 33:47
How do you identify key opinion leaders? So that’s a term that I hear a lot you’ve mentioned a few times, is it, you know, just kind of the prestige of the medical school that they teach at? Or the their seniority? Or is it people that have been the author on a really important paper? Like, how do you have the, you know, hundreds of 1000s of physicians, how do you determine what counts as a key opinion leader?

Joe McCann 34:17
Yeah, so it’s a little bit of an art more than a science. But there’s definitely some some key attributes that we look to. And you mentioned, a couple of a couple of them, they’re one of the biggest ones is publishing, and that they have a kind of a rich publishing history and the disease or the topic that you’re looking to talk about. And then it’s current, you know, didn’t stop publishing in 2002. Another one is, the university that they’re at, but that’s not an end all be all just because there’s also a lot of great universities in the country in the world. So it’s kind of a cross of those. And then also just the number of patients that they see and how much of a speaking engagement they have, if they’ve been on panels and things like that. You can kind of look at this whole snapshot and say This person is someone who others look to, for for guidance hearing, whether that’s because they helped write guidelines or you know, have been presenting on on stages at major medical conferences for the last 10 years, you can kind of understand it. And again, that’s something that we work with the client on to make sure they’re happy with it. But we take we take a look at that, and make our recommendations on those factors among some others.

Will Bachman 35:25
Great. So if someone wants to find slingshot or truth on call, where should they go online, if they wanted to think about, you know, getting your help on a project?

Joe McCann 35:39
Yeah, so I mean, if you want to go on, if any of the listeners would like to go and check out these open calls that we have, you can create a free account and see what the interview goal is the experts bio is what kind of questions are being asked the companies that are going to be covered, just by going to slingshot insights, calm, that’s our web platform, where you can find everything truth on call, you can also go to B, that’s a little bit more for physicians to sign up and get part of our survey product, the easiest way to reach us reach us is just to email support at truth on call calm, and that’ll get you write into our sales funnel. Or you can email me personally, I’m always available to talk to any new clients. And it’s Joe JO, he at slingshot insights, calm, and really over email, we’ll just set up a phone call, get to know each other a little bit, and get started on a project and we can get things in the field. Same Day, if it’s that type of a turnaround, we’re doing that for a client actually right this morning. You know, this Monday, and we’re in the field right now, hopefully getting results by tomorrow morning at 9am. So we understand that sometimes these pitches come in, in a pinch without a lot of time to maybe do all the things you wish you could do on and so this is a way that you can engage with us really quickly and get something really substantial and robust to your to your client in a matter of hours or days.

Will Bachman 36:59
Fantastic. Well, Joe, thank you so much for joining today. We’ll include those links in the show notes. And if you’re doing some market research in the healthcare industry, definitely check out slingshot insights and truth on call. They’re quite affordably priced, great service. I’ve heard really great things about your firm. And thanks for joining.

Joe McCann 37:23
One last thing you mentioned the price at the end, I almost forgot to mention this for Umbrex. Members, we want to get this relationship going we’ve had some great experiences with Umbrex members over the the first half of the year of owning truth on call. But we’d love to expand on that and meet more teams that are part of this great network. And so we could offer a 25% off your first survey with us or call package if you want to do just cable calls we can offer you 25% off on the first one, and then hopefully start a very long relationship and helping you with your clients. Fantastic.

Will Bachman 37:53
So so for listeners who are I think that I trust Joe, that also extends to folks who are not Umbrex members if you’re listening to this, reach out to Joe mentioned that you heard him on the show and and ask for that discount to to get you started. Yep, just mentioned that you heard us on the show. And we’ll we’ll get you set up. All right. Fantastic. Thanks so much for joining. All

Joe McCann 38:14
right. Appreciate it well above the buck 30 again, anytime. Thanks a lot.

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