How to Evolve from a Sales Associate to a Health Care Consultant for your Referral Sources

Training Sales Representatives has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.  One of the first things that I learned about sales in private duty, home health, or hospice, is that I am not selling anything. I am doing the work of a superhero. 

Many of you have read my blog posts and often have seen me write about how a salesperson must adjust their perception of themselves from that of a sales representative to a problem solver. 

I love teaching this. I show an image of a used car salesperson and share with them that is how I felt at the beginning of my post-acute sales representative journey.  

So what made me change my perception?

Well, one day when going to do a strategy sales call at one of my A+ accounts I ran into the chief of cardiology at the hospital that I was visiting. He happened to get in my elevator. I sheepishly said, “hello” and he saw my badge. He said, “oh your that health care consultant that stops in my office and provides our patients with information.” He reached out his hand to introduce himself with a big smile. (Pre-Covid). 

I reached out my hand and introduced myself. I said, “I’m happy to meet you, but you must have me confused with someone else.”  He said, “No, it’s you, Cheryl the consultant. Unless you have a twin, aren’t you the girl who brings me information on advance care planning and CHF program for our patients?” He went on. “Every month you put new educational flyers in our exam rooms for our patients.”  

…And that is the moment it really hit me.  

I was not a sales representative to this important physician, who (despite my best efforts) I never even got to meet. He perceived me as a “health care consultant.”  

Many years have passed since that great 2-min elevator moment, but the impact was significant on my sales career. I was, a health care consultant. I remember thinking about what I did at his office practice location that obviously put me in good standing with the Chief of Cardiology for one of the nation’s largest hospitals in the U.S.  

Today, my company, Home Care Sales teaches these successful strategies to sales representatives across the nation. This simple exchange has helped to further impact other soon-to-be superheroes to realize the impact they have on the lives of care providers and patients across their market.

It’s not the educational flyers you deliver to a doctor’s office or at senior fairs. It isn’t the promo items that you bring them once a month that cost you a dollar. It is how you service your accounts. It all comes down to how you approach your account as a business partner or, more importantly, as a problem solver. Not someone doing sales emails or sales voice mails, but someone who helps solve their problems.

I went back into my CRM to look at the sales notes from my stops at the Cardiologist’s office. I read in my documentation that they were trying to capture more revenue by adding additional services to patients visits. (Before you read too far into that, we are talking about handling more in-office…not referring for un-required MRIs or anything of that nature)

I did some homework and found out about advanced care planning. I made up an advance care planning book of forms and delivered the books to that office. I trained the billing person on the “how-to” and prepared a recording of me talking to the doctors at the location about what was in the 1-inch binder book and how they could maybe use them to add an additional up code for advance care planning to their routine visits. We teach these strategies in our Master’s program for High Performance Sales Representatives. 

If we break down what I did it would be something like this:

  • Changed my self-perception to be “The Solutionist.”
  • Approached my account as a problem solver.
  • Asked questions to identify what this doctor’s office is trying to get accomplished right now.
  • Provided the necessary resources to solve the account’s problem.
  • Collected patients referrals and delivered incredible customer service

Now it may seem complicated, but it really isn’t. I used a weekly sales plan that had me consult on patient types that required more of my accounts time (and therefore resources). I provided educational materials that my accounts could share with their patients/residents on how to live a healthy long life.  

It is the same weekly sales plan that has been upgraded every year to get results for our sales reps, our Weekly Roadmap To Referrals.

I believe that sales representatives may need help to become or evolve into a sales consultant. 

Fortunately, I have had an advantage. I am a nurse and worked as a full-time case manager in patients’ homes so I could easily speak of the benefits that the patient and the referring account would receive when a patient was on my agency’s services.  

Now we know many sales consultants need to be taught these things in order to really produce high-value accounts that consistently refer. That’s why Home Care Sales, lead by two clinicians, built our “Weekly Road Map To Referrals Program.”  It infuses all the clinical knowledge you will need to become a community health care consultant without having to be clinically trained.

The Road Map To Referrals is a weekly plan that allows you to be all that you want to be to your accounts.  You gain clinical insights and the exact questions to ask to uncover what is really important to your accounts. 

It also comes with an hour of coaching every month with Melanie and I to have you overcome any objections you are facing while you are trying to sell your services. If you aren’t using our Weekly Road Map to Referrals you should be.

The fastest way to get started is to reach out to mike@homecaresales.com or sign up with Mike to see the program in action: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”