When I first arrived in Charleston, SC for the MESC conference I was feeling a little overwhelmed. Medicaid industry experts, in addition to representatives from CMS, would be in attendance and were all eager to share their ideas and solutions. Most of the consulting companies present were significantly larger than netlogx and have been working in the Medicaid/Human Services industry for many years.
As I walked around the convention center on day one, I listened to the representatives from these companies try to sell their services or product to the many State Medicaid Agency employees that were present. My first impression: sleazy car salesperson. Now, I have nothing against used car salespeople and many that I have met are very nice people who are trying to make an honest living. But then there are the car salespeople who will try to sell you a car that you do not want and probably cannot afford simply because they want the commission. I heard a lot of talking by these representatives, but I did not hear them listening to what the State’s needs were.
The more time that I spent at the netlogx booth, I realized just how different we truly are. I observed my colleagues having conversations with State employees and also other company’s representatives (I mention that we were talking to other company’s representatives because at most booths that I walked by, when they realized I was not a State employee, they would not talk to me!). They were listening to what their needs were and even offered advice. Sometimes, they would suggest another company’s services that could potentially help the State. The conversations that we were having with our guests were not sales oriented; but rather they were people oriented. We were building relationships with people by listening to their successes, failures, concerns and problems.
On the next to last day of the conference, I had lunch at a table where I did not know anyone. I started talking to a woman who just happened to be from a State Medicaid Agency. She told me that she has been coming to the conference for many years, but this particular year she felt that the company representatives were extremely aggressive. She asked me who I worked for and I told her netlogx. Before she left the table, she leaned over and whispered to me, “netlogx is one of the few companies at this conference that I would work with. Keep doing what you’re doing.”