Every year your home health agency will lose out on 20% of the accounts that were referred to you last year! Wondering why? It could be due to any one of these reasons – service failures, change of management or changed positions of the referring person. Because of this fact, you need to make sure that you have representatives that are continually adding new accounts that refer.
Ask any sales representative out there, and they will all tell you how much they love to do cold calls. They like to be out doing prospecting visits all day long. NOT!
Most sales reps hate to do prospecting calls, and sales managers fail to recognize this as a sign of failure. Prospecting is often perceived as asking someone to tell you no. No one wants to hear home care referral sources tell them “no, we do not refer” all day long! Sales representatives tend to avoid doing this, and most home care agency owners or sales managers avoid teaching this skill and fail to provide reps with the needed sales skills.
One easy way to conquer this necessary skill is to classify prospecting into two different types of sales calls:
Survey + Differentiating = Prospecting
By establishing these different aspects of prospecting and tackling each skill separately, agency owners or sales managers can develop a rock solid account building machine!
The survey visit must be done to ensure that the account qualifies as a worthy expenditure for your home care or home health agency’s time, effort, and attention. Take the time to establish the key measures that separate a qualified account from a non-qualified account. This can be based on metrics like how much they refer or the volume of Medicare patients they see.
Once you’ve developed the baseline for your qualified account, you need to develop your probing questions to discover if they are willing and able to refer each month. If your representatives would benefit from a script, provide a survey form with those probing questions to elicit the information they need.
Monthly survey visits should be practiced with each rep in role-playing scenarios for each account type that will be called on. Have the most common objections ready to roleplay with the rep to challenge their answers. Make sure that when they get done asking their five questions in 2 minutes that they are BAAFAAing. No, that is not a spelling error. That is an acronym for Book An Appointment From An Appointment.
For example, if you are surveying an account to see how they are currently working with hospice, home health, or private pay, you can leverage that visit to set up your next call. You could simply say, “I would love to share with you how other physicians (or insert any account type here) answered their survey. I will stop by next week to review those results with you, and it will only take about 2 minutes.” It is incredible how curiosity about what’s happening with the competition makes them want to speak to your sales representative.
The first time you go back to an account after you did your survey visit and confirmed that they are willing and able to refer to you is called your first prospecting visit, or differentiating visit. The purpose of this sales call is to provide them with a reason they should refer to you. This is where your representative shares your company’s unique selling points that set you apart from your competitors.
You can have a list of 10 unique selling points ready for each rep to reference and use as needed. If you do not have those unique selling points ready or have trouble identifying them, you can utilize our High-Performance Sales Academy and quickly discover what separates you. Remind your rep not to brochure vomit all over the account at this visit and to always establish a reason for you to come back to see them next week!
Spend time with your team and have a defined expectation of how much time each representative should spend on prospecting new accounts each week. Ensure, by checking their calendar for next week that they have identified targets to go out and survey. Confirm that they can verbally articulate both the sales call and differentiate sales call!
And, if you find yourself struggling, we have your solution. The High-Performance Sales Academy is the answer! To explore group pricing, email Home Care Sales at Cheryl@homecaresales.com.