Selling to Doctors: Dan Rodrigues

Kareo CEO and Founder and seasoned healthcare entrepreneur Dan Rodrigues shares his tips on selling to doctors and bootstrapping a healthcare startup.

Full Transcript

I’m Dan Rodrigues. I am the founder and CEO of Kareo. Kareo delivers cloud-based software to help run small medical practices.

There are a lot of pundits out there saying that the small practice market is perhaps in decline or going the other way and we see quite the opposite. We actually see a real resurgence in small practices. If you can provide them with the tools, support and technology to run their practice in the year 2014, you can help those small practices remain independent and build thriving businesses.

When working with doctors, there’s definitely a range of technical skill sets. What we’ve tried to do at Kareo is provide a solution that makes it very easy for them to adopt the technology and makes it very seamless for them to onboard. It’s not just about their technical sophistication—doctors are very busy. They’ve got an eight to ten hour day just seeing patients and so they spend time on the weekends or after hours trying to adopt things like new technology.

So what we’ve done very effectively with Kareo to get doctors’ attention is leveraging online marketing to get in front of them at the time that they’re really interested in buying a solution. It started very early on for us and we got really good at search engine marketing and really being discovered at the point that they had some pain point—whether it was a problem with their billing they needed a solution for or they were looking to adopt electronic health records. We make sure we are in the stream of the purchasing cycle and then invite them to our site and really provide a website that makes it very transparent and easy for them to understand what we offers. That means they’re able to access demos, sign up for a free trial, and get started really quickly online without a lot of engagement with the sales team.

Kareo started out very practically. It started in a previous business that I ran, a software consulting business and we were contracted by a company in the healthcare industry that did outsource billing for small doctor practices. It was very practical at first—we had this client that needed a solution so we developed a custom solution for them. As I got into the space I really learned what was going on in healthcare: a huge market space, still a ton of problems to be solved and technology that was about 10 years behind the rest of tech.

I got really interested in it and so I segued from the consulting opportunity to starting Kareo, acquired the IP
from our client, signed them up as our first revenue-generating customer, and bootstrapped for the first year off that initial revenue.

The advice I would give to other entrepreneurs is if you can find situations like that where you’re you’re solving a very practical problem, a real-world problem that someone’s willing to pay for, you can use that as a segue to actually creating a really big and interesting business. It definitely helps you get started.