I have been working now for 26 years in post-acute care, specifically home care, home health, and in-home care, and over 10 years using my operational experience to support business development. 

I have done so many sales calls with reps, and coached or managed thousands of reps around the country and I have made the list of the things that sales executives do that just drive me crazy.

#1.  Just Don’t Go. 

They identify an account that could be a leader and they just don’t make a sales call to the account. They’re too busy organizing, searching the CRM, looking for a script, thinking about what you’re going to say, trying to find what Cheryl or Melanie said…


48% of all salespeople don’t make the call. ALL you have to do is make the call! And then you’re at least better off than the 48% of people who don’t. They put it on their call log, and yet at the end of the week, they didn’t get there. 

When I ask reps why this is the reason I hear over and over again. “I didn’t know what I exactly wanted to say”  Well folks, if you show up at an account you have a chance to at least get a referral if it’s top of mind. If you never go, you will never get a referral. JUST SHOW UP! If you don’t know what to say, just buy The Roadmap to Referrals and you will gain a valuable reason to walk into an account every single week of the year!

#2.  Not Enough Sales Calls to an Account!  

Not enough contacts with an account OR frequency OR not often enough volume… You get the idea. All of these describe the second most commonly made mistake in sales: not enough calls.

80% of all sales are made between the 5th and the 12th contact. The average salesperson doesn’t make enough sales calls to the same account. The data is ridiculous.

You see I have spent time researching through tons of sales reps’ call logs, and I see it all the time. Not enough visits to get them the referrals. You see sales reps need to make at least 5 sales calls all that include requests to make the sale.

If you think it’s going to be one, two, three, or even four calls you aren’t going to make it. Trust the data! Know that you are going to have to do the 12, to really know if you have potential.  Follow the High-Performance Sales Process, and you will get the referrals you long for! 

#3.  Calls that ARE NOT on a regular basis. 

Your calls need to be on a regular basis. Randomness, one call now…another call in 30 days, 3 months now, another one-you need volume and you need frequency.

It’s like dieting. You can stick to your diet once a week, different days every week, skip weeks-who cares? You aren’t getting results you’re just getting fatter. Just stop saying you are on a diet and eat cookies.

The way for the diet to work is to do it every single day. You’re going to feel better about yourself, create a discipline, it’s going to create a different self-esteem. The same goes for follow-up, the calls the emails, and the contacts must be regular. Be consistent and regular, there all the time.

When you call people back with regularity, you will start to build your persona in the marketplace and take you out of obscurity. You become dependable, trust­worthy, and become the contact to give a referral to. In order to do this, your reps need to focus on a smaller number of targets and really give them that week to week visibility to put them through the 5 step selling system.

Remember folks, this system has been tried over the last 10 years, and over and over again has proven to work! All you have to do is follow the program.

#4.  Run out of reasons to call.

Lacking variety in reason to follow up is a major mistake. In a transaction, you can’t just keep repeating the same thing over and over to get a deal.  You need variety or you’ll get bored or worse the contact your calling on will start to dodge you when they see your car pull into the parking lot. 

You can’t be dependent upon one mechanism. It doesn’t matter if you like handwritten notes. It doesn’t matter whether you like phone calls. It doesn’t even matter if you like leaving a message! This is for them, not for you. Use all that is in your arsenal, but don’t use it all at once. 

I have seen reps, do a qualifying sales call, and they provide the account this amazing branded folder filled with every flyer they have about all their different programs. Folks, you just gave away the reason for you to walk in there for the next 11 weeks. 

Now I know some accounts you need to do what I call a personal visit. Rapport building visits are a must with some of our accounts for sure. I hate personal visits. I hate getting into the car, driving across town,  and walking into chit-chat. However, I do them because personal visits are so powerful. You have to make that investment.

You have to be willing to do the things you don’t want to do and use the full variety of sales call types. That is what will show your client that you are there for the long run. You’re creative, you have solutions, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes – whenever it takes – however it takes – to get the job done.

Use variety. Don’t get too comfortable and too reasonable with the same old mechanisms. Add variety to your reasons to follow up.  If you are struggling you need to get the 52 week Road Map to Referrals! It schedules out a variety of sales calls for you!

It can also 5x the volume of referrals from accounts that are already referring to you! (Check out this link to the 5x Your Referrals Without Breaking Your Budget Free Webinar)

#5.  No purpose sales call. 

I have been on so many ride-along sales calls to observe patient care liaisons (fancy name for sales representatives in the private duty, home health, and hospice sales space) in the field visiting accounts and I see this all the time. They use this phrase, “I just was stopping in to check on you.” 

What!? I don’t want someone just stopping by to check on me! Instead, I want to feel that someone comes to see me with a purpose.  So folks please announce, in the first 30 seconds, why you are there.  

“Hi Donna, you look amazing today. The purpose for my call today is to discuss patients that are at risk for making a mistake with taking their medications.” 

Now that is a reason to call on any one of your accounts. My intention wasn’t to be there to ask about the kids and how everyone is doing. Some people like that. Maybe that’s good for your client. If it is, do that but make sure you are there with a clear intention and purpose. Was your clear purpose or reason to find out about the kids? If it was, don’t present your services…

Do you see what I’m saying? If your purpose was to make contact and teach them something about how you can help their patients in hopes to get a referral then why don’t you make your attention clear up front?  Just be honest and forthcoming on what your intentions are.

If you make a call about their kids, you are a visitor and not a salesperson. If you make it about a benefit a patient can receive when they are getting cared for by your agency, it is a sales call. This is why we teach the TADA sales call!  Because it works. If you need to learn how to do it, then go to www.homecaresales.com and purchase the High Performance Sales Academy. It costs less than $500, and it will teach you this plus a repeatable sales process that is used by the best in the business!



Go change lives and be a solution to someone’s problem, TODAY.

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”