Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

This week I had to focus my blog on answering a question that I get asked of me over and over by our home health friends. That does not mean that our In-Home Care providers should stop reading. In fact, it means the exact opposite.

Evaluation and Management of the Plan of Care is all about home health managing unskilled care providers that are caring for a complex patient that no longer has a skilled need.

Many home health providers have avoided Evaluation and Management patient types because before the Jimmo settlement patients were denied care because claims were rejected because Medicare said the patient had reached their maximum potential. 

Once CMS had reached a settlement, of the Jimmo Agreement it required manual revisions to restate a “maintenance coverage standard” for both skilled nursing and therapy services under these benefits:

Skilled nursing services would be covered where such skilled nursing services are necessary to maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration so long as the beneficiary requires skilled care for the services to be safely and effectively provided.

Skilled therapy services are covered when an individualized assessment of the patient’s clinical condition demonstrates that the specialized judgment, knowledge, and skills of a qualified therapist (“skilled care”) are necessary for the performance of a safe and effective maintenance program.

Such a maintenance program to maintain the patient’s current condition or to prevent or slow further deterioration is covered so long as the beneficiary requires skilled care for the safe and effective performance of the program.

There are situations in which the patient’s potential for improvement would be a reasonable criterion to consider, such as when the goal of treatment is to restore function. This would always be the goal of treatment in the inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) setting, where skilled therapy must be reasonably expected to improve the patient’s functional capacity to be covered by Medicare. 

However, Medicare has long recognized that there may be situations in the SNF, home health, and outpatient therapy settings where, even though no improvement is expected, skilled nursing and/or therapy services to prevent or slow a decline in condition are necessary because of the patient’s special medical complications or the complexity of the needed services.

I am going to be doing a webinar for Medicare Training and Consulting on April 14th and invite all of you to grab a spot if you want to learn how to provide these services and how to use this as a way of building your business.  

Patients that are frequently receiving Evaluation and Management services often have multiple paid caregivers supporting the patients to remain in their home. Learn who could benefit from the services and how you can be a referral partner and grow your business-to-business referrals. 

To sign up for the webinar email To learn more on how to grow your agency go to You can also have a personal tour through our products and services by emailing  

I am always reading something to help me understand how to help sales representatives become all they can be. 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

In my quest for knowledge, I started to read about a theory called “Motivational Perspective.” The idea discussed is why does a student with an average IQ bring home “A” s.

“Motivation is defined as an internal drive that activates and gives it direction. The term motivational theory is concerned with the processes that describe why and how human behavior is activated and directed”.


What does all this mean? Well, salespeople are just like students. They are not born to be A students.  Salespeople are human beings that have Grit.  You see, doing well in school has nothing to do with IQ and everything to do with Grit.  

What is Grit? To make sure that we’re all on the same page, here is a basic Grit definition developed by Angela Duckworth, the psychologist and researcher. She coined the term: Grit is passion and perseverance for the long-term and meaningful goals.


Gritty Mascott

“Gritty” is the Flyers Mascot (Hockey)

Why is Grit important?


Grit is essential because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. 

Being naturally intelligent and talented are great, but to honestly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without Grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. It is only with effort that talent becomes a skill that leads to success (Duckworth 2016).  


A sales representative that has Grit demonstrates the following:

  • Sticking it out, making up to 5-12 prospecting sales calls to every qualified account before they get their first referral
  • By doing the 5-12 prospecting sales calls, they outlast the competition.  Many reps quit calling on prospecting accounts after two sales calls.
  • They prepare for their sales calls like they are training for a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Gritty reps have a mindset that failure is only temporary


That is why exist. We have the tools to help sales representatives born with Grit turn into High-Performing Sales Superstars!  

If you are ready to help your Gritty sales representatives hit their next level of success, look no further than Reach out to and get a private tour of our products that will push your sales up to the next level.



This past year, I spent a lot of time learning how vital recruitment and retention directly correlate to the agency’s success.


I have found that home health, hospice, and in-home care providers have more and more seniors to service.


With our population of aging adults increasing by over 11,000 new seniors day, WE WILL BE fighting over caregivers.


In a Gallup study, they found that 50% of all Americans have left a job because of their manager. That means we, as owners, need to make sure that we are building a team of leaders and not just bosses!


I’ve said it before, and I will repeat it here, “employees leave managers!”


A good manager needs to be a leader. Someone who can teach others. Someone who wants to make a difference in the world with other people. The real power of leadership comes from what we can do with and for others.


The value of leadership doesn’t come from having a position.


It comes from just being passionate about a cause; you can work with others to achieve a worthy goal. We all need great employees!


Home Care Sales believes so much in our agencies that we built a Caring Agency Mastermind for administrators and owners to learn what strategies are working right now. We call this our CAM FAM, and one member just signed on 55 new clients last week! You can do it too.


Learn what works and also get a chance to contribute by sharing your success stories to help other agencies grow while avoiding wasting time, money, and resources. As an agency owner, I want you to be able to support your administrators and executives.


Give your leadership the CAM FAM membership to have executives run challenging situations by experienced leaders and gain an accountability partner for taking action to move your needle. Sometimes leadership can be lonely. The CAM FAM has your back!



[Click HERE] Join today for a brighter tomorrow!  



Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”





This week I’m back on the road doing sales training with live audiences!  

Wow, it is incredible! 

I truly missed the connection with an audience. Over the last several months, I had a lot of time to dig through data. 

My mission was to study A accounts that sales representatives lost to identify if anything different could have prevented the sales rep from losing the account. I learned quite a bit and wanted to share some of this new data in my sales training. 

It was a massive success, so I decided to share it with all of you!

Ask yourself this question. Are any of your “A” accounts vulnerable? You may think they are not. So did the next four sales reps.  


Sales Rep #1

Account Type:  Whole Life Community

Service Line:  Private duty, Home Health, and Hospice

Length of time “A” Account:  5 years

Sales rep #1 was maintaining this account for five years. The sales rep visited the account at least twice a week, and he knew all of the leadership. They liked sales rep #1.

 Sales Rep #1 had a monthly bereavement service for hospice patients, family, and staff and a monthly education talk and invited the community to attend.  

Change occurred. The clinical director of the personal care facility retired. The position is filled by a nurse who works per diem for a competitor hospice, home health, and private duty company.  

The new nurse manager complains and mistreats Sales Rep #1’s staff. New Nurse Manager goes to the administration and complains repetitively about Sales rep #1 and every aide, nurse, therapist, or social worker that walks into the building. 

Everyone from Sales Rep #1’s leadership gets involved in trying to fix the problem. Within eight weeks, the account is lost. The new nurse manager now gets paid from her full-time position in the building and gets per diem pay for doing nursing visits from patients on home health services.  

What could have prevented this from happening?

I do not think anything could have prevented this from happening. Maybe the sales rep could of help with finding a replacement nurse?  



Sales Rep #2

Account Type:  Hospital System

Service Line:  Private Duty

Length of Time “A” Account: 7 years

Sales rep #2 visited this account twice a week and sometimes more often based on referrals. He was getting about 5-10 referrals/week from the discharge planners. 

Change occurred.  Hospital has a press release on the local news channel to announce that the hospital will close in 30 days. 

What could have prevented this from happening?  

The sales rep would have known that the hospital was closing if the representative had read the hospital’s annual report on their website. It was documented a year in advance that the hospital would be closing in their annual report.



Sales Rep #3

Account:  SNF/Rehab

Service Line:  Home Health

Length of Time A account:  3 years

Sales Rep #3 worked closely with the physician who was the medical director of the rehab center. The relationship was a fantastic one that resulted in consistent referrals each week.

Change occurred. The physician was offered a job as a consultant from a competitor home health agency on reviewing charts of patients that had readmission to the hospital within 30 days from discharge. The physician accepted the job and then diverted all his patient’s referrals to the new company he was consulting.

What could have prevented this from happening? 

There are several ways that this change could have been diverted from this “other agency” to sales rep #3’s company. However, without also offering a potential legally questionable relationship with that physician, the solution may not have ultimately worked.

The point I want to drive home is this:

If you are not continually prospecting for new business, you will lose referring accounts and not hit your goals. 


If you don’t work towards goals, you simply won’t reach them. Getting comfortable and relying on previous relationships to propel your business forward is the downfall for many top producers. It’s critical to long-term success that you consistently focus on non-referring or minimally-referring accounts during your weekly visits to referring accounts.

I know prospecting is hard. 

You hear “no” all the time. I also know that our High-Performance Sales Academy Certification Course helps you become a fantastic prospector. We teach you how to prepare for your prospecting calls so you can convert prospecting accounts faster, gain more referrals, and hit your admission goals. To learn more, reach out to or go right to our website and buy directly to get started immediately! 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”


This week I got to spend time coaching one of my most favorite owners of all times. We first met when I was speaking at the annual nurse entrepreneurs conference two years ago. 

I remember him quickly standing and walking towards the side of the stage, waiting for me to wrap up my presentation to about 1000 nurses. 

I was thinking:

“What did I say that motivated this man to make sure that he got time to speak to me.”

To my delight, he was a wonderful gentleman who was an owner of a private duty and wanted to open a home health and hospice organization. 

His first words to me were, “How did you learn to provide direction and delegate work to remove obstacles to let you open multiple businesses, and work as a consultant? 

I immediately recognized where he was in his leadership journey. He had reached that major career transition point when a person needs to shift from doing the work to getting work done through others.  

This transition is difficult for many. It means giving up direct control over the work which involves more risk. More need to trust and equip others to get the work done and a shift in focus. 

Changing your view from personal achievement to enabling and empowering others to achieve. I invited him to be mentored by me for a few weeks to see if I could help him push through the change.

Over the next few weeks, I coached this owner. I uncovered another difficult transition that he and many owners face as they remove themselves from the daily grind of running their organizations. A major transformation happens when the owner stops being the expert in a particular function, area, or discipline and instead starts to lead others to become the experts.  

Personally, this was the hardest transition for me to experience.  Having to give up being the person most in-the-know felt like giving up a child. I could see that this was also a challenge for the owner that I was mentoring. 

Leaders who succeed at these transitions start developing new skills and know when it is time to stop relying on the old ones. 

They learn to set clear expectations, track progress, and communicate information that people need to do their jobs. I was able to help this owner shift his focus to helping others develop their skills and gain confidence.  

If you are having a hard time letting go of work, maybe you feel like no one else will do this the right way. You may even be correct, but this will undoubtedly lead to burnout. Instead, change your focus from doing the work yourself, to one of guiding, delegating, and trusting others to do the job. 

Shift your focus to helping others develop their skills.  Navigate these leadership rites of passage and you will not only help other people be successful in their roles, but you’ll be also on your way to becoming more successful in yours.  

If you are ready to evolve as a leader.  You may want to join our mastermind group. 

Members have worked on skills like:

  • Providing clear direction and accountabilities.
  • Delegating and distributing assignments and decisions appropriately.
  • Monitoring progress of leaders by maintaining the flow of work and results (don’t worry…we provide the steps)
  • Providing appropriate guidance and direction based on people’s capabilities.
  • Intervening as needed to remove obstacles.

I enjoyed seeing this leader evolve. He created his leadership training manual. He implemented standards on patients on service for each clinical leader to manage. He mapped out a monthly calendar of expectations for the leaders to be prepared for the survey. Then he automated the process and just followed the calendar.  This lead to him to open new companies the same year!  Both Medicare-certified home health and Hospice.

When he needed to jump in and remove obstacles, he did but just by offering consultants to support leaders. This meant him not taking on the work himself. 

The result? 

He has several phenomenally successful businesses and a very happy life which gives him time with his family. 

It is exactly what most agency owners are looking for. That is what a mastermind group can do for you!

Are you ready? Apply Here!  Your transformation awaits you. 

Want to try to go about it yourself? Check out a great read Harvard Business Review Blog Network, Stop being a people-pleaser.  

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”


It doesn’t matter if you are a marketer, sales representative, or clinical liaison, you will face many objections when you are out selling services. As a matter of fact, I struggled with what objections to write about here!

Each of my clients has shared so many with me. 

When I coach sales representatives or sales managers, I always assign a homework assignment to compile a list of objections.  

Here are the most common objections:

  1. We offer Choice (list)
  2. We have a preferred provider.
  3. We do not refer.
  4. We need someone to take x insurance patients.
  5. You need to do a lunch and learn.
  6. We have our own agency and for ease we just use them.
  7. We let the patient pick from our brochures.
  8. We use different providers based on where the patient lives.
  9. Our patients cannot afford your services.
  10. We let the hospital or Skilled Nursing Facilities place the referrals when a patient is discharged.

What I found during the past few years consulting is that a lot of the organizations that hire Home Care Sales to be their sales consultant have worked with other sales consulting companies first.  

Some of them have shared that they spent $20,000 on coaching for one rep. That is a lot of money! Sadly, these representatives come to Home Care Sales because they just could not succeed. They join home care sales and purchase the HPSA for under $500 and our weekly sales messages for under $6000 for the year, and they finally hit their dream results. Why? 

What is the key difference?  

I believe the key difference is teaching the sales representative how to deal with the most common objections for all the account types that they are calling on. I also believe that the sales representative should be able to learn from their peers.  

When our clients purchase the Weekly Road Map to Referrals, it includes monthly coaching on overcoming objections with a group of over 100 reps that show up for the coaching calls. I believe a lot is learned by attending these sessions. Hearing how one of your fellow sales comrades is getting past objections is truly one of the best ways for someone to learn. 

In addition, during these calls, Melanie and I provide email templates, voice mail scripts, and do several live roleplaying sessions to demonstrate to the reps that are in attendance how to get past objections.  We then invite the sales reps to bring up any objections that they had to deal with that week!  

After the coaching session, the sales representatives can log into their learning platform, Home Care Sales Pro and access the recording with the transcript so they can practice and refer to it before they walk into any account, they would like to finally gain access to referrals!   

I think many other consultants are either completely missing the boat or they are just not capable of offering coaching on overcoming objections in this format. I am not picking on any other sales consultant as many of them are excellent, genuinely nice people who with the best intentions to help your organization grow. 

I also know that many just do not have the life experience that Melanie and I bring to selling services. I do not believe there is any other consultant company out there that is like home care sales.  

I am an RN and agency owner for over 26 years. That is a long time to have to maintain a collection of successful businesses! I started in 1995 and built (from the ground up) an extremely successful home health, private duty, and hospice organization. 

While still helping run and manage my agency, I was the full-time salesperson for all three service lines and named “Sales Manager of The Year” in 2013.  

My business partner Melanie was first an OT who wanted to service more clients. However, the agency that she worked for did not have enough patients. So she had to go find them. She fell in love with sales and has been incredibly successful at selling services for the last 20 plus years!  

Sales Representatives must know the steps to take, and you must be aware of where to find the data you need to overcome sales objections. Once you find the data, how do you then turn that data into a sales call that gets you in front of the decision-makers who have the control to win you a hospital account?   

So here it goes. In today’s example, I’m going to focus on a home health provider that really wants to get referrals from hospitals in their territory.  

They have one hospital referring to them and now they want to build on to that list. Right now, their sales reps are hearing the following objections from the hospital d/c planners.  (The prior sales coach got them this far.):

  • We offer choice
  • We have a list.
  • We have preferred providers.

I asked the rep, “What did you learn from the other sales consultant that you worked with?”  

The sales rep responded, “he helped get me to have the courage to approach the discharge planners and introduce my agency and provide them with information about what we do to help patients going home.”  

My response was, “that was where you made your mistake. 

The hospitals’ discharge planners do not need other agencies’ brochures placed in their hands. They need agencies that can solve their most pressing problems. To do that you have to know the right information and use it in a way to ask the questions that will allow you to identify what they need help with!  

Imagine if you responded to the objection of:

“We have our preferred providers,”

…by saying:  “How do you help a patient navigate through the list of providers?”  

Listen, to the response closely and ask a follow-up question. Now we teach our sales representatives to go deeper in Step 1 of the High Performance Sales Academy: Identify. If I’m speaking to a cardiac floor discharge planner, the rep that follows the sales process would have already investigated the hospital’s readmission rate for CHF and identified what cardiac diagnosis’s the hospital has selected for their bundled payment initiative program.   

We also instruct the sales representatives to know who their top competitors are. The Sales Reps need to be aware of the current market expectations in order to be able to cause an opportunity to shift the market expectations. 

Being prepared gives you the confidence to push past through the objection and ask an important follow-up question. 

Would you like to learn how we are helping other hospitals in the area by keeping their CHF patients out of the hospital? 

If they are working on bundled care for CHF patients, you should hear a resounding yes. Then you can respond with your facts.

If that sounds too complicated for your team, don’t get overwhelmed or afraid! We have what you need to build accounts. We show you (and your sales reps) how to grow new “A” accounts and get more referrals.  

We also can support your leadership with recruiting and retention issues with our CAM FAM mastermind group. If you want to learn more about how we can help your organization grow, just email or go here to set up a consultation where he can share what’s working.  

As an agency owner, I hate to waste money. I am always looking for products that have been tried and proven to be successful over and over again. I bet you feel the same way. Well, good news: You just found it. From one owner to another – This can help your team become what you need them to be. 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”


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 or sign up with Mike to see the program in action:

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”


Thankfully 2020 has come to an end, but the pain from the last year has lingered on. I wanted to share a look at how one agency owner, who owns a home health, hospice, and private duty organization, survived the year.  The owner I am speaking about is me, Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”.  

Covid came into my awareness I believe in December 2019, but I did not see it having much of an impact. Boy was I wrong! 

In March, all hell broke loose. 

It all started at my corporate headquarters when 50% of my operational team all came down with Covid at the same time! We had to operate the organization with 50% of our team. It was insane. I became intake for home health, hospice, and private duty as well as the initial authorization nurse, and nursing supervisor taking all the reports on all new admissions. It was 18 hours days for 2 weeks straight. Insane does not come close to describing these 2 weeks.

Next, my consulting business, Home Care Sales, had to completely change the way we do business. We had to deal with all our clients reaching out to say hey what do I do now that my reps cannot get in to do sales calls or pick-up referrals?  

We quickly pivoted and in March launched our Inside Sales Course, which rocked the industry. Our clients were gaining more referrals than ever before! My personal sales representatives that work for my agencies were all placed on the inside sales training program.

Hospital referrals were significantly cut. We had on average about 178 admits from hospitals a month, and that was cut down to under 40. 

Trying to keep my businesses above water, we reached out to all our physicians that have referred in the past and told them we can help with telehealth visits. We would go into their patients’ home and complete an assessment, review their meds, and help get the patient with face to face virtual visits with our iPad.  

If problems were identified that would meet the requirements for admission for home health to monitor how the patient is responding to changes in the patient’s plan of care, we would do the admission that day. With the sales reps using the inside sales training, our home health census boomed! We made up for all of the referrals that didn’t come from the hospitals and more!

Now we had a new problem… 

We needed more nurses and at the same time, 3 full-time nurses quit, saying they do not want to care for Covid patients. Now what! Okay, brush off the dirt, and get recruiting. God must have a plan for all of us because I had just been working on an amazing recruiting and retention program, so I quickly used what I created and got busy hiring.  

First, we put in place a new retention program to prevent losing any other staff. Success! Now, during this time of onboarding new staff, we had a shortened length of stay on services. We were discharging patients sooner than necessary to make room for new admissions.  

This is why one of the things I say all the time during webinars or workshops to owners is: 

“Grow your census, not just your admissions.”  

If you want to grow your census by 25 more patients on census you will need another full-time nurse.  You cannot grow without hiring more staff.

Of course, private duty began booming. After all, adult daycare centers were closed and now those patients were at home and left alone. 

We were already a waiver/options provider so we could provide the additional patients with private duty services paid for by the waiver program. Soon, AAA was referring more than ever before to our organization. We needed to hire more aids. By the time we got that done, private duty hours had grown (by over 2500 hours a month by end of June).

In hospice, we experienced no growth. In fact, fewer and fewer referrals. As if that wasn’t enough, our hospice Medical Director gets Covid and ends up in ICU on a vent for 28 days.  Skilled Nursing Facilities were preventing access to buildings and keeping patients on their version of palliative care to capture higher reimbursement.  

This led to fewer patients going to ER or urgent care centers for fear of contacting Covid. So we hired some new sales representatives for hospice, only to find out they had a non-complete and they can’t work for 18 months selling hospice services.   

So here we are back to the drawing board. Does anybody else relate to this 2020 story? Well, don’t worry. You can’t keep a Philly Girl down for long!

Our hospice Medical Director released from the hospital and admitted to home health services. OT and PT work with him and get him back on his feet within 6 weeks. During those weeks, I worked with my current team to leverage the inside sales process with the message of the Roadmap to Referrals Hospice. Calling about specific diagnoses was the key. 

After closing out the year, we conducted a review of the year of stats for 2020, and would you believe it?

We shattered every goal we set for growth in 2020!  

What a year of ups and downs. I do not think I worked this hard for quite a few years! My agency, family, and Home Care Sales learned so much from 2020! We saw what worked at my agency as well as the many agencies that we consulted for. The good news is this: Vaccines are going out! We will conquer this.  

We have all learned so much from this tough year. The beautiful thing about facing adversity is it gives you a chance to push through and battle on! Once you accept your situation and decide that you will conquer the challenge, you can push through and win your battles!  

It gives you the ability to tap into strengths that you may not even know that you possess. Look back over your 2020. It was so hard, right?  Well…you made it through it.  If you can do that, what can’t you do? 2020 taught us all that we are stronger than we realize.

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

PS: Need more help with your conversion to “remote” marketing. Check out our High Performance Inside Sales Program or sign up with Mike to see any of our programs in action:

Last week I wrote about the frustration that our sales reps deal with every day.

Getting a hand in their face. Being ignored. Why because our contacts and prospects are just too busy. They don’t want anything to stop them from being productive and they just want us to leave them alone.

I shared a little about using something called the Gap Theory.

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 when 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?” An example, I learned the number one thing that doctor’s offices can do to prevent vulnerable seniors from falling.  I would love to share it with you!

Another way to grab attention from our contacts and prospects is to Surprise them

We are surprised when we didn’t expect anything. It makes us stop for a moment and sit up and take notice.   As I said earlier, our brains are dialed into changes in our surroundings. They can be anything from how you communicate to what you communicate. 

You want them to have this response, they stop and think and then they say to a co-worker after they read an email from you, “Hey, did you know that……”?  Or they jump on the internet and immediately start reading about a stat that you just shared with them.  Maybe they go home from work and say to their spouse or children, “Guess what I learned today?” Now, you will probably get them to read your next email too!

One of the reps that we work with, sent a letter to all the doctors’ offices that she was prospecting at invited them to tea.  The Sales rep got a free zoom account, and she made an invitation and sent it snail mail with a teabag in the envelope.  She invited 10 different offices and 50% of them showed up to talk about the top 3 daily frustrations about working in a doctor’s office!  She has now moved 4 of those prospects into referring contacts.


A mystery is a story that makes no sense.  It’s when we’re presented with a “Huh?” Mysteries exist wherever there are questions without obvious answers.  Why do 30% of people using an inhaler use it improperly?  Why don’t patients like our new project?

Mysteries are powerful. They invite the client to solve the “huh?” with you.  Mysteries create a need for closure. We (our contacts and prospects included) do not like to leave things open.  We will “hang around” for the answer to get closure.  Creating mysteries for prospects and clients will lure them into discussions and on a journey. By creating mysteries prospects will stick with you until they get the information you hold. 

For example:

Voice Mail Script

Hi Betty,

You don’t know me yet, but I wanted to share with you what Dr. Smith’s office is doing down the street from your practice to make his patients safer at home.  Call me at [] or email me at [] and share with me a few days and times that you can speak to me for just about 5 mins.  Can’t wait to share…..

To get more prospects to call you back and to get a better return from cold calling, you have to create intrigue. You have to be unexpected. The way to be unexpected is to leverage curiosity, intrigue, or a knowledge gap and surprise.

The “Surprise Call”

Surprises break up a pattern. Prospects and current contacts get sales calls every day.  They are the same old, boring, cold calls from everyone. There is little to no difference from one cold call to the next.

Example of an expected cold call:

Hello, my name is Cheesy Sales Guy. I’m calling for just 5 minutes of your time. I’d like to talk to you about our Piggly, wiggly. It’s helped many of our customers save money, improve efficiency, and create happier employees.

If you would please give me a call back at (555) 555-1212.

I look forward to talking to you. Thanks!

I’ve gotten more of these calls than I can count. I tune them outright from the get-go. There is nothing here to make me want to give up my valuable time to call back. The ones that don’t get tuned out, surprise me. They break my expected pattern of a cold call.

Like most of us, our prospects and contacts have learned to tune out these messages too. To avoid getting tuned out, surprise your prospects, break their pattern, be different.

Use humor, a few off the wall, and surprising facts about your product or service. Share some unique and unknown facts about your clients’ industry. Make a silly promise, be humble by acknowledging you know you’re an annoying cold call, do whatever you can do to break the cold call pattern your prospects are already used to. If you can’t break your prospect’s pattern, you won’t get their attention. They will simply hit the delete button and poof your message goes into the cyber a bias.

Create surprise, avoid being gimmicky, keep your message germane to your prospects and contacts. I’ve found, the best way to get prospects to call you back is to know something they don’t about their industry, their business, the products they use, and more. When we know something our prospects don’t, we create a knowledge gap.

A knowledge gap creates curiosity. Curiosity creates intrigue.

Our job as salespeople is to sell products and services that improve the existing condition of our prospects and current contacts.  If we are unable to improve their situation, we have nothing to sell. For us to demonstrate we can improve a prospect’s work environment requires knowledge and information about the industry, the market, their business, and their competitor’s business.

If you want a prospect or current contacts to take your cold call, find the gap in their knowledge by knowing things they don’t. Do research on what matters now to hospitals, SNF’s, ALF communities, and doctors’ offices.  

Look for obscure information that could positively affect your prospects such as learning about MIPS, merit bases incentive payments for physicians. Do the research for them. Become a treasure trove of data and information for your referral sources.  They will love you for it!  They will be loyal to you!  You will move your prospects into new referring accounts!


Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

PS: Need more help with your conversion to “remote” marketing. Check out our High Performance Inside Sales Program or sign up with Mike to see any of our programs in action:

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!