Many owners of organizations will reach out to me and ask the exact question. They all want to know how long it takes to get that first referral in the door. So instead of just making up a number or taking that number from someone else’s article, I decided to study the data from sales representatives that I had managed over the years.

Many of the sales representatives have used a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and because of a great working relationship with Playmaker Health, I was able to work with many of their clients. 

This gave me access to over 100 sales representative’s data, which included their calendars and completed sales calls to each account. I was able to study the data and by sorting the account types into the following segments, could get some unbelievably valuable information from the data. 

Keep in mind, this was data from brand new accounts that had never referred to the agency that I was tracking. The segmented account types were the following:

  • Hospital Systems
  • SNF/Rehab Centers
  • Physician Offices

When I looked at the data to see how long it took to get the first referral I was surprised. 

Hospitals took the longest to give their first referral, the average was one year and 50 sales contacts to build that relationship. 

SNF/Rehab Centers took 26 sales calls on average and 6 months of time to finally get that first referral. 

Physician offices/Clinics had the shortest close rate. 

The average was 6.5 weeks and between 5 and 8 sales calls.

At the end of one year of working these accounts the average number of referrals by the account types:

  • Hospital System:  0 (ZERO)
  • SNF/Rehab Centers:  27
  • Physician Offices:  9

By the end of year two of working the same account types

  • Hospital System:  86
  • SNF/Rehab Centers:  43
  • Physician Offices:  13.5

During the first year, your rehab facilities will probably be your A accounts. But by the second year, your Rehab Center accounts are bumped down because the hospital account finally starts referring. I have seen this happen repeatedly and like I said earlier, data does not lie. Invest the time to see the hospital accounts.

Many sales reps will tell their owners it is not worth visiting a hospital system because they have their own home health and private duty providers. However, if you look at market share data, you will find that the hospitals typically only serve about 50% of the patients that are discharged with their own service lines. That leaves the other 50% to go to the providers that have put in the time.

Last week I told you I would give you an account list. You can download it here

Now, tomorrow, our Mastermind Members are having a special presentation “The Secret Confessions of a Hospital Executive – How to fast track yourself in the hospital!”  We are bringing them an expert that has over 43 years’ experience and she managed Home Care/Hospice division of the 2nd largest hospital company in the country for 6 years.

If you would like to learn more about how to join our Mastermind Group, go to  We would love to see if you would be a good fit. Have a great day!