Today’s sales environment is more complex than it has ever been.  We are forced to perform phone calls and follow an inside sales process.

We are not crazy about this!

But? Maybe we should be!

You see, you can do a lot more calling over the phone than you can in person. The problem is that our contacts and our prospects are busier than ever.

Being always connected, customer’s and prospect’s time is constantly threatened. Our prospects and customers are constantly being barraged with endless emails.

Their to-do lists are a mile long. They are stifled by unplanned patient/resident issues and countless interruptions. Reports are due, patients/client’s family are calling, projects are unfinished, etc…

There just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.

Our prospects are crazy busy. Because they are so busy, they guard their time with a determined tenacity. Our customers and prospects are NOT going to give up their time easily. They are already overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for us. As salespeople, it’s our job to get our customers’ and prospects’ attention. It’s our job to get them to pay attention to us. Our success depends on our ability to get customers and prospects to call us back, to take our calls, to give us their valuable time.

To gain your prospects’ attention and get them to give up their time, you need a trigger. Something that will have them pause and say “I want to know more.”

THIS TRIGGER: Curiosity!

What is it?

Curiosity is when we disrupt our contacts’ or prospects’ way of thinking. Our brains spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years establishing patterns of those things around us. As we do our jobs and live our lives, our mind scans our daily surroundings and maps our patterns. These patterns then become predictable.

Our subconscious mind embraces these patterns as the norm. These patterns are captured by our minds. By embedding these consistent patterns in our subconscious, our conscious mind focuses on the bigger more pertinent information coming in. In essence, by identifying patterns the brain allows our conscious mind to work more efficiently, ignoring the little, redundant information we are inundated with every day.

Let me give you an example.  How many of you have been so deep in thought when you were driving somewhere, that when you arrived at your destination you are like, “How did I get here”?  This is your brain using patterns of the norm that is captured in your mind and puts driving on autopilot, so you can think through issues and not about driving.

What’s happening is we are programmed to tune stuff out.  I am sure you have heard of the expression “Talk to the hand.” Well, giving the hand to salespeople and other needless distractions help us to be productive. This human tool has a negative effect on our salespeople. Our Sales executives get tuned out!

To capture a prospect’s attention and avoid getting the hand, we have to disrupt their pattern of thinking. You have to get their subconscious to say, “Hey! That’s not right. That’s not what I am expecting.” When this happens our subconscious sends a message to our brain that says “hey, this isn’t right. You need to take notice.” Surprise is a killer tool to get the mind’s attention.

When our expectations aren’t met, when our patterns are disrupted, our brain cells fly into action. This process begins in a tiny region of the brain called the anterior cortex. When we expect something that doesn’t happen, the brain creates a unique signal called the error-related negativity signal or as neuroscientists call it, the “oh, crap!” circuit. I like the “oh, crap!” name best.

As salespeople who make cold calls (or just need to get prospects and customers to listen), we need to figure out how to trigger the anterior cortex. We have to get to the “oh, crap!” circuit. The way to do this is to be intriguing.  I know many of you are thinking, Cheryl you have gone crazy. But folks, I have spent hours studying neuroscience, and this stuff works so well, I use it on my own family! Don’t tell my husband! But you can get yours to do the dishes using this stuff correctly.

Intrigue or curiosity is created through the unexpected. It’s created in our ability to trip up the predictable pattern our contacts and prospects have. In other words, provide information our clients and prospects didn’t expect.

Have you ever found yourself watching a stupid TV show because you just want to know what happens in the end?


Have you ever stayed tuned to the 10:00 PM news, even though you were tired, because the lead was “When we return, see how the man eluded the police by scaling a 50 story high building!”

The reason is that we want to know something we don’t already know. We become curious and WANT the answer. It is like getting an itch, and we want to scratch it. To scratch the itch, we will invest our time. We’ll stay up later to watch the news even when we are tired. We’ll sit through a stupid TV show, and we’ll even return a salesperson’s call.

This gap in knowledge is called the “Gap Theory” and it is a salesperson’s best friend.

Gap theory is when there is a gap in our knowledge that can’t be filled. It creates pain. The pain won’t go away until we gain knowledge or fill the gap.

You want to get more prospects to call you back? Fill the gap. Shift your thinking from: “What information do I want to convey?” to “What questions do I want my prospects to ask?”

Our High-Performance Sales Academy teaches behavioral neuroscience tips to get past the gate keepers and more.  To get started right now and learn how to become a high-performance sales executive for only $497 click here:   Earn More Referrals Now.  You will gain immediate access to our High-Performance Sales Academy as well as our new updated version being released soon! 

Our upcoming version will include our inside sales training. Buy the High-Performance Sales Academy training, and Cheryl will give the first 5 to buy a free pass to also receive the inside sales training!  Just email to receive your gift! Next week my blog will share more tips!


“If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

– George Bernard Shaw.

Reason 1: New Business Ideas 

One of the biggest challenges of working in your business is holding on so tight to the rung of the “ladder” that you are on you can’t even let go to reach up to the next rung and go higher!

CAM is designed to give you a different perspective. Allowing you to reach up and grab that next rung!

To be in the same space with all this superior brainpower leads to your best new ideas!


One of the most significant benefits of CAM is “seeing” yourself next year! When you see another agency owner making great strides or launching a new service and KILLING IT! You will want that for yourself and KNOW IT IS POSSIBLE!

Reason 3: When you’re the boss…

Well, you work on what you “have to” – not perhaps what you need to move your business forward.

As a business owner, distraction is stunting your growth. You need clarity and FOCUS! CAM offers you the ability to come back to your purpose and focus on the agreed-upon next steps!

Reason 4: Follow Through 

How many times have you said to yourself, “I am going to do ____________ for my business.” And it slips month after month – well… NO MORE!  You always get more done when you commit to others, and you show up to the next meeting with the action item COMPLETED!

Reason 5: Encouragement and Self Care

As owners, it’s all on you. Having a “team” a “peer group” encourage you and support you in self-care is just the “shot” you need to “Keep Going” during those times when you are “down.” It’s like having your own “fan club” of other agency owners!

Reason 6: Contribution

Helping other agency owners. You didn’t get this far without learning some lessons, and you could save one of your colleague’s years of struggle and thousands of dollars!

Reason 7: Connection

Whew, it’s LONELY out here as an agency owner! The best part about CAM? The CAM FAM! Agency owners and executives just like you who understand the pain and frustration and the JOY of caring for staff and clients!

COVID put the spotlight on us in home-based services now; let’s leverage that attention!


Serve more Seniors!


P.S.Do you want this for you? We invite you to have a conversation with Cheryl and me to see if this is the right fit for you! 

Click here to fill out the application, and let’s start the conversation! 


As the calendar year draws to a rapid end, many of us are eager to have 2020 be in the rearview mirror. This is the time of the year that sales teams start to plan for the upcoming year. 

If you are like most sales executives, you are focused on using the precious few selling days between now and year-end.

Unfortunately, you are also being tasked with creating your 2021 business development plans. Hopefully, this guide will help you create it with a little more ease.

The most important thing to know before anything else gets done is to know what you will be responsible for next year. What is your mandate? What are you responsible for accomplishing? Are your bonuses structured for 2021?  What will make your boss pat you on the back and proclaim you are a rock star? 

First things first, nail down what your VP, CEO, CFO,  or COO (…or whatever the title of the individual you report to) that you understand what they expect from you!

  • What growth goals have been set for the company?
  • What part of the growth goals are you and your team responsible for?
  • What services will be emphasized?
  • What markets will be targeted?
  • What major sales initiatives will be started in 2021?

Ideally, there is a well-structured plan or system in place for setting and hitting the company’s goals. A strong plan provides you with the direction that you need to build action steps to hit 2021 goals. Once you have the goals set, you need to think about the overall framework for planning.

Start building your Strategy!

Strategy: Strategy is all about HOW. It is HOW you are going to achieve those goals that are largely dictated by your leadership. They could include things like:

  • Key Accounts to target
  • Growth percentages
  • Growing Gross Margins by seeking certain client/patient types that have higher reimbursement
  • Improving public image by doing more community events
  • New product/program launch

Structure: Structure follows strategy. Structure describes the pieces related to how your sales resources will be organized, distributed, layered, and compensated.

  • Territory management and expansion
  • Inside sales development
  • Sales Budget
  • New and expansion business (hunters/Farmers)

Sales:  This is where you want your most valuable resources (your clinical team) to benefit from the new business coming in the door. This is the time of year to have your sales reps have a virtual meeting with the caregivers providing services in their market space and discuss details such as:  Which doctors do they want more patients from? What is the best facility for them to work with? 

When you support growth where the clinical teams what to do business it is a win-win for everyone.

You can also suggest that the sales executives take the clinicians out to meet the accounts!  This can be remarkably successful.

  • Training needs for 2021:  consider new product training
  • Resources for 2021 such as promo items, marketing materials
  • Compensation and Quota setting for 2021
  • Reward and Recognition for 2021

People:  Your organization will succeed or fail based on the strength of your people. You need to plan on recruiting and retaining amazing clinical talent. In order to hit growth projections, you need additional clinical team members in order to grow!

  • Recruitment Process Improvement Program
  • Retention Program and Committee
  • Allocation for budgeted funds to include additional recruiting
  • Orientation programs that produce highly qualified staff
  • Ongoing personal development, training, and coaching

Process:  Process is at the heart of getting things done. A good process removes friction! Process is not a bad word. Having a solid process makes getting to your goals easier. (and honestly… who doesn’t want that?)

As you begin to think about next year, start looking around your organization and ask:

  • Are the current processes making things easier or more difficult? 
  • Could we make changes that would save us time? 
  • What needs an upgrade? 
  • Is the current process going to help you achieve your goals or create another problem that needs to be fixed? 

BONUS: Could you onboard 40 new employees a week?  Owners: If you can’t answer that with a resounding yes, then you need to fix your onboarding system.

Time to Build Your Roadmap To Hitting Your Goals

Step One:  Start by listing each category, Strategy, Structure, People, and Process. Under each category list the appropriate measures that apply in your organization.

Step Two: Scan down the list of measures and identify what components are currently out of alignment with your 2021 goals.  You need to allocate more of your time to get them in alignment or you will set yourself up for failure.

Step Three: Now it is time to assess each of the problem areas based on some key metrics.

  • Complexity: Challenges are associated with timing, resources, scarcity, or cultural barrier from within the organization’s leadership. Use a ranking system 1 – 10 (where 1 is an easy fix, and 10 will require specific efforts and buy-in from all levels of the organization)
  • Impact:  This refers to the positive effect this initiative would have on attaining your goals if time and energy were invested. Here you are trying to assess how much benefit you would gain by focusing on this process issue. Again use 1-10 scale where 1 means focusing here would barely move the needle and 10 means it would significantly impact your year.

Step Four:  This is the toughest part of the planning. Since we all know there is never enough time or money to do everything we want, it’s time to prioritize all of your potential initiatives. Start at the top of your list and assign each potential initiative a letter grade of A, B, or C.  An “A” means this initiative is critical to your success and you will unlikely reach your goal if this is not addressed.  “B” means important but not essential, and “C” refers to something that, in all likelihood will have to wait for another year.

Be careful here – the usual tendency is to rate most or every this as an “A”

Unfortunately, for this to work, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. You may need to go back over the list a couple of times, but you should aim for an even distribution of As, Bs, and Cs.

I made you a quick spreadsheet that you can download and make your own.

Download 2021 Business Development Guide Here!

Step Five: Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing how and what, questioning, tenaciously follow through, and ensuring accountability. It includes making assumptions about the business environment, assessing the organization’s capabilities, linking strategy to operations, and the people who are going to implement the strategy. 

During this final step, you’ll be synchronizing those people and their various disciplines and aligning rewards to outcomes. It also includes mechanisms for changing assumptions as the environment changes and upgrading the company’s capabilities to meet the challenges of an ambitious strategy.

In its most fundamental sense, execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it!

Be successful in 2021! 

Have a plan and execute on it! To make this easier for you we would love for you to consider joining our new Caring Agency Mastermind!  (CAM FAM, for short) Not only do we cover business growth planning, but we include information on all 5 pillars of success.

To learn more, go to  We have only a few spots remaining to get you started for the 2021 year!

This week was our Home Health and Home Care Marketing Mastermind week with one of our clients.

This is a specific format we run with the teams we consult for to collaborate on growth strategies.

In 8 mins, the Agency team member gets solutions to challenges from Marketing and Operational leadership.

The closer you are to the work, the more tangible the solutions are.

This week the #1 challenge that was brought to the table: staffing


Perhaps you are in this position too.

One office reported over 25 referrals could not be filled.



How are you, as a salesperson, going to make a quota?

How are you, as an owner, going to make revenue goals?


This is the current situation with many of our clients. Their marketing is “dialed in,” and now they are struggling with staffing.

…And COVID is NOT helping this situation! Agencies are constantly dealing with staff on quarantine and others out sick.

This agency is hiring but not fast enough to “plug the hole” of staff placed on leave.

This challenge is not new to us. Recruiting and retention is a big part of our new owner’s program: Caring Agency Mastermind (CAM).

How can we improve our recruiting and retention?


The focus of this Marketing Mastermind for this agency we serve as facilitators for their marketers was “How do we help” as sales reps. How can we be part of the solution?

CCRC – LOL Not the BAND or Continuing Care Retirement Community – but it’s an excellent way to remember!

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Community: Marketers are super connected – let’s use it! Time to give them jpegs for posting, emailing, and texting out into the community where they have contacts.

Current Staff: Yes, we all have referral bonuses but have your highlighted them lately? Often our staff forgets because they are so busy picking up shifts or visits due to colleagues being out.

Referral Sources: Our referral source, some of them are looking for work. Yes, it’s true.

Just this week, one of the nurses at the hospital reported she doesn’t have enough hrs for full time because her unit is shut down waiting on COVID overflow. She is HUNGRY for work and has worked with Home Health in the past. This might be a perfect fit. Just don’t assume everyone has the hours they need or want.

College: The college “job fairs” might be on hold but not the virtual job boards and advisors are still looking to help students. It’s an excellent time to look at your “school” strategy.

Nothing is more frustrating than not having enough staff. From a marketing perspective, I just want to cry!


But your Marketers can help!

In our Caring Agency Mastermind program, we give folks all the tools and ideas they need to engage ALL staff to contribute to help them find a team.

If you want more tools and ideas to solve your staffing challenges, join us

Apply here to see if you are the right fit!

Keep Serving Seniors!


P.S. Your Marketing Team IS part of the SOLUTION for recruiting and retention – Want to discover how? Click here to apply and have a discussion.


I love my clients. Helping home care agencies, home health, and hospice organizations service more patients is the most rewarding work I have ever done! 

Home Care Sales has done such a great job at helping organizations grow that we create a new problem. Not enough staff.

Not enough staff can be caused by 2 different problems.

  1. Recruiting Process not producing candidates.
  2. Losing current employees

Last week, I wrote my blog about the recruiting process. (<- Click to see the blog)

Today’s blog post is about retention. I just got done working on a brand-new recruiting and retention program for Home Care Sales Mastermind clients, and I spent hours reading and practicing strategies at my own organization.

Fact: Replacing a minimum-wage-earning employee costs the average business about $3500 every time it happens. 

On average, a retail business replaces 59% of its workforce each year. Many home health, private duty, and hospice organizations have a 59% workforce turnover in aides each year. Companies can’t afford this level of employee turnover.

Retention really comes down to 5 key responsibilities of management plus one shot at making a great first impression for a total of 6 responsibilities. When a company handles these 6 responsibilities well, employees stay with the company longer. 

Management needs to provide employees with:

    1. Thorough orientation to the job at the start and continued opportunities to learn.
    2. Consistent communication every day.
    3. Respectful discipline and fair treatment when they make any mistakes.
    4. Sincere recognition when they do something exceptional
    5. An annual performance evaluation that offers a clear path to future professional growth.
    6. And my final recommendation is a First day that makes a great impression.

Today I want to share with you just a few strategies that can help you retain the staff that you just spent tons of money and time onboarding. I am going to just share a few that I absolutely love and that I’ve been able to implement.

1. WOW them on their first day! 

Announce them to the entire company with a Welcome To The Family Poster. We use a chalkboard, and when a new employee enters our agency, they see a welcome message and their name on the chalkboard. We also like to continue to WOW them with lunch on their first day with their manager whenever possible.

We also send to each new employee (at about day 21) a goodie box of snacks. Just when they think we forgot about them we sneak in this surprise, and folks just love it.

We send it to their homes where their family gets to see how much we appreciate them. Employees love to tell their friends and family about their first day, and how great they felt. This is a wonderful (and proven) recruiting tool!

2.  Provide them with a mentor! 

Many agencies I’ve worked with (and even my own) use an amazing preceptorship program. We team up each new employee with a buddy. This buddy is an outstanding employee who has proven themselves and is respected by all. We pay them a small preceptorship bonus, and they are trained on how they will preceptor new employees. 

I will share with you that all the new employees love having someone on the inside. The preceptor reaches out daily for the first week and just offers to answer any questions and be a great resource. 

We love that the preceptor is a peer and can give the new member policy and procedure guidance. We also like the preceptor to take the new employee to lunch the first week. When we interviewed new employees to ask them how to rate our orientation system, we score extremely high in satisfaction. We attribute this incredible success to using the preceptorship program.

3.  Employee Newsletters! 

Newsletters can take a lot of work and they never make everyone happy… but when you ask employees what is important, they love communication. When we do our annual interview with our staff, we ask them what is one thing that we do that you love about working at our company. The answer that receives over 80% or higher scoring, is our employee newsletter.  It is basic. 

Our newsletter includes the following:

    • New Employee’s names, titles, and a few sentences about them.
    • Employee Anniversary’s, Birthdays, and special employee news (births, graduations, and celebrations)
    • Monthly Health Observance information
    • Crossword Puzzle about key terms related to the holiday, Unique Selling Point, or monthly health observance
    • News about new things going on at the agency.
    • Opportunities to join the company!

4.  Annual Agency Report: 

We call our annual report, the State of the Organization. We have an annual meeting, usually a holiday party, that we take about 15 min to deliver the highlights of the company in-person. We also mail this annual report to each employee’s home.  We cover quite a bit in this report. 

Here are just a few of the highlights:

    • Patients Serviced and report on year-over-year growth
    • Insurance contracts accepted
    • Employee Survey results
    • Performance Improvement Project
    • Complaints and Resolutions
    • Annual Goals and progress towards hitting them
    • Survey results
    • New Contracts, technology, learning opportunities
    • Any changes coming for the upcoming year

Employees love being in the know!  When they can share information about the company they feel like an insider!  They feel like they are part of the company and that makes them feel a sense of belonging to the organization.

Final Thoughts…

I hope all of you are doing a great job of retaining your staff. I really do.

Just remember: other organizations will be trying to get your best employees to join their team. You need to act now to keep them!  

Small things, such as a monthly thank you email or a moment of recognition can make your staff hang up on a recruiter trying to win them over. Whenever the unemployment rate is below 6% headhunters are quite active.

Beat them at their game by keeping your staff loyal to you!


If you would like to read more about my agency and its culture, you can download my first book: The Five Steps To Sales Success to Grow your Private Duty, Home Health, and Hospice Organization at

If you prefer a printed copy you can find it from the link below.

Buy Book Here!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”