Posts

One of the biggest challenges your organization faces is in getting enough referrals to remain profitable. That is a simple truth. Many times, organizations think they can get enough business from just websites and word of mouth, and I will tell you, these are the agencies that typically don’t succeed.

If you look around at the top 5 agencies in your market, I guarantee you that they have a sales representative or a team of sales representatives.

If you ask them, “what is the biggest challenge that your sales representatives face today when out trying to gain new business?” the answer is usually the same.

Getting past the gatekeeper in the Hospital

 

Today I want to share with you a few tips so you can get past the gatekeeper and gain more private duty, home health, and hospice referrals. Let’s start by talking about getting into the hospitals in your service area.

Hospitals can be a real challenge to gain access to. In fact, we teach a whole class on how to access the hospitals in our High Performance Sales Academy and spend time role-playing out the situations every month on our group coaching calls and really take the sales reps through all the what-if scenarios.

You may also need to get a vendor clearance and your organization may also have to share in referral exchange EMRs. However, one way that almost always works and doesn’t require any special referral software is to have your sales representative go visit any of your active patients that get admitted to the hospital.

The sales representative can go visit the patient and after they see the patient, stop at the desk and ask them to page the discharge planner that has your patient’s room assigned to them.

When the Case Manager arrives, you now have a chance to do your qualifying sales call and find out if this hospital discharge planner has both the willingness and ability to refer to your organization.

You want to be prepared to ask several questions so you can then easily position your organization to obtain referrals.

Here are a few examples of what I would ask:

 

    • What is most important to you when selecting a hospice to care for your patients? This question typically gets an answer that is something like: We offer patient choice, or we provide the patient with a list.
    • Can you show me if my organization is on your list? If you’re not on the list, you can write a letter to the hospital corporate compliance officer to request to be on the list. If you are on the list, you can say something like “Great, I’m so glad that you offer freedom of choice.
    • Could you share with me how you help your patients receive guidance on how to use the list? How do they know what providers are great at wound care? Or How do they know what providers take their insurance? Or how do they know who can provide 24-hour care at home?
    • Can you share with me the last time that you had to give a referral to a different agency other than the hospital’s own?
    • What types of patients do you refer to hospice?
    • Do you have trouble getting services provided quickly in any of the counties?
    • Could you share with me 3 things that you love about referring to your preferred agency?
    • Could you share with me 3 challenges that you have experienced in working with your preferred provider?
    • Would you be willing to try my organization if I can solve any of your challenges?
    • Is there someone else that is going home today that is just like my current patient, Mrs. Jones that I could also provide care to?
    • Who else should I speak to regarding hospice referrals?

 

If they do refer, great job! If not, thank them for allowing you to collect the data. Tell them that you will be back next week around the same time so you can share some brochures and a price list, or an insurance list.

If they say a different date and time, document their request and let them know you will see them next week!

Important: Leave nothing behind but a business card.

Do not give them any brochures as this is a reason to see them for another sales call.

Document your answers to all the questions that you asked before you forget them. Remember to review what they shared with you and plan your next sales call content based on their answers.

Remember to be prepared on what you will say next week!

Besides visiting active patients that are hospitalized, you can also get past the gatekeeper by partnering with someone who has access. Look for another sales rep that you see that is getting in. Maybe they offer oxygen or DME or maybe they are a hospice vendor, and you are selling private duty services.

Ask the rep to help you gain access in exchange for introducing them to your favorite account(s).

A third way to get past the gatekeeper at the hospital is to go into the hospital with a physician that is willing to introduce you to the discharge planners. We just had great success with this strategy.

I walked into a hospital that was almost impossible to get past the front desk. They wouldn’t let in visitors unless you were family. You had to be an approved vendor to go in with another rep that had access.

I asked one of the physicians who makes rounds at the hospital if he would be willing to introduce me to the case managers. He said, he would be happy to introduce me to the head of case management. It worked!

Today we are getting overflow referrals from this hospital.

 

If you need help with strategies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Cheryl@homecaresales.com or directly to our sales manager Mike@homecaresales.com.

We know patients need help at home and we are on a mission to get all of them the care that they deserve.

Have an amazing day!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Co-Owner of Home Care Sales

Sales representatives often ask questions about trying to attract patient types that they know their organization is great at treating.

Today, I got an email from a new salesperson who works for a large private duty organization. Johnny asked if I knew how he could capture more diabetic patients. He explained that the admission coordinator was a diabetic and that she really felt that she would be able to create a plan of care to support diabetic patients.

I suggested that he go to speak to the local Certified Diabetic Education Coordinators (CDE) that are having classes in his service area. Then I gave him a roleplay example to help him understand the very “words to say” to gain a diabetic referral.

Here is the role play that I provided Johnny to follow:

 

In this scenario, Mike is the Clinical Diabetic Educator (CDE), and I will play the role of the salesperson.

Cheryl has made an appt with the CDE to learn about his classes and how they support their students.

Cheryl: Hi, you must be Mike – good to see you – thank you for making time to meet with me.

Mike: Yes sure – how can I help?

Cheryl: As I shared on the phone I am interested in learning about your offerings – we have clients and a number of them have diabetes and I am interested in learning how I can better support them and how I can get them to you.

Mike: Ok yeah great – so I hold classes for folks with diabetes – and then one on ones with patients who are struggling to manage their diabetes. I hold them here at the office and the hospital. I would like to hold them in other places too, but it seems like there is never enough time.

Cheryl: Wow you really do a lot for the community – this is great. May I have a few brochures?

Mike: Absolutely, please let me give you at least 20.

Cheryl: I am curious – what do you see as some of the challenges that your patients face?

Mike: Oh, you know – they don’t eat well – they don’t check their blood sugar – they like to sit on the sofa and not move. Many of them are overweight and they don’t want to come to see me because they don’t want to get weighed. Folks report that they feel like they are going to “get in trouble”.

Cheryl: Wow – It sounds like they sure do need help at home. The good news is that my agency can help with all those issues. Our coordinator is a diabetic herself. She meets with each of the diabetic patients and builds a plan of care to support their diabetes, that’s why I wanted to meet with you. I know we are the company to service diabetic patients!

Mike: Yes, I know a little about home care services. However, most of my patients are on Medicare and you don’t take insurance

Cheryl: That’s true we do not take Medicare, but we still can help. We work with the patient and their families to build a plan of care to support them at home and that plan of care helps keep their diabetes in check. If folks don’t have the money to pay for a caregiver, we try to connect them with resources.

Mike: That’s nice. But I don’t know, I must think about how we might work together. I haven’t been referred to in-home care before. I just think about the cost for the patients. I am not comfortable talking about private pay expenses.

Cheryl: I can understand that and that’s exactly why I am here. To take that burden off your shoulders. How about if I come to one of your classes and as you go to break give me 5 minutes to share about my agency and what we do. Then we let the patients decide who would like to talk to me afterward.

Mike: Yeah, I like that better. Let’s look at a date – how about (insert date and times)

Cheryl: Perfect I will see you then. Before I go. One of the things that may not have thought about our patients that can’t get to your classes. Which patient has missed their appointments with you?

Mike: Oh I have a couple. We just keep calling them and rescheduling for another date.

Cheryl: How about if we offer a free in-home assessment to see if we can help get your patients here?

Mike: Oh – you would do that?

Cheryl: Yes, we would love to call them – ask if we could help and see where it takes us.

Mike: OK, I am open to that idea. I have one patient I would like you to connect. Let me get his info for you

Cheryl: Perfect – got it and I will let you know what they say – what’s your cell and I will text you

Mike: 333.333.3333

Cheryl: Great ok now you have mine too. Talk soon!

Now let’s review this roleplay.

First, I love to provide you with new referral sources (the CDE) to call on. I also love that this expands the CDE’s vision on how you can support private duty patients.

In the roleplay, Cheryl removes the stress of discussing costs, by offering to do the selling directly to the attendees.

In this example, the salesperson has access to direct consumer selling to the diabetic patient population.

I also love to show you how asking questions is more important than the rep telling the account about the agency.

Here in this example, the brochure vomiting is illuminated and replaced with specific information to differentiate the agency by just stating, “Our Coordinator is a diabetic herself”.

If you want to learn more about how you can sell by a diagnosis, we can help. We have a program called the Road Map To Referrals, 52 weeks of sales calls that expand the referral sources’ knowledge on whom to refer.

What to learn more? Simply email mike@homecaresales.com to set up a time to discuss or simply go here and chose a time that works for you: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

 

Have an amazing day!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Co-Owner of Home Care Sales

 

PS: Here is a link to a diagnosis-specific selling process video done by my business partner Melanie Stover. Be sure to click the Like and Subscribe button while you are there!

Click HERE to see the video on YouTube.

I think we all have an idea of what gratitude is, but we often only practice being grateful in moments of rescue (where someone saves us from a problem) or in times like the holiday, Thanksgiving.

What is interesting (and how it applies to us in-home care) is that the practice of being grateful has been proven to elevate mood, battle depression, and even promote better health.

As home health, hospice, and in-home care workers know, there is a physical and emotional toll that this career requires.

 

Sometimes its saying goodbye, sometimes it’s dealing with difficult patients, and sometimes it’s just plain hard to do the work! Staying positive can be very hard.

Gratitude is more than an “emotion.” It’s also a mood. The reason that is so important is that there are moments of gratitude and a lifestyle of gratitude. The moments provide a temporary boost, but the lifestyle has been proven to improve the overall well being of people who have practiced a regiment of daily gratitude.

This practice creates a positivity that you will bring with you to work, family life, and extracurricular activities. Also, a significant component of gratitude is that it makes us recognize that forces outside our control contribute to our lives’ goodness. This makes you forgive and offer praise quicker and easier. It helps to eliminate culture-killing negativity and, over time, will draw positive people into your life.

In light of all the challenges going on in our world today and the overwhelm you may be feeling, I challenge you to take a few minutes to write down what you are thankful for and give thanks for those amazing blessings in your life. After all, people in your life have made parts of it better. Having a positive impact on your patients, clients, residents, and referral sources have brought joy to others and yourself.

In one of my darkest moments, a good friend once told me,

“The night is always darkest before the dawn”

(which I know is a slightly modified quote from Thomas Fuller). I have steadily gotten back my footing and learned to be grateful. It changed everything for me, and I believe it can for you too.

This pandemic, politics, the state of our country, and regulatory changes can tank your mood or put you through an emotional rollercoaster. That is entirely understandable, but we have people counting on us.

So this week, write it down and consider what you are thankful for. Thank a person in your life who deserves it. Provide a note, gift, card, or any other form of positive outreach to a person in your life telling them what you appreciate about them.

These small acts of gratitude can unlock a title wave of joy in your life and the lives of those you contact each day.

Have a great(ful) week,
– Jason

About the Author:
Jason Lewallen is Vice President of Marketing
for Home Care Sales

He can be reached at:
Email: jason@homecaresales.com
Phone: 615.815.7907

Gamification: Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. (via Wikipedia)

The idea of gamification goes back before we even had video games or the internet. It’s the idea of making a task easier by shifting one’s perspective to make the process fun. It can be as simple as a contest to see who gets the most referrals to a complex leader board with monthly successes measured and tiers of awards given as goals are reached.

Various research studies on gamification have been conducted, and the overwhelming response is that (very specifically in behavior modification and learning) gamification helps capture and create a more profound interest in a topic or behavior.

So what does that have to do with both your agency and Home Care Sales? Well, first, you have some effortless ways of creating a gamification environment. This can lead to a very motivated staff who feels like they are part of something enjoyable.

Here are some examples:

  • Census Goals w/ Office-wide Rewards (pizza party, make your own margarita, or any fun experience)
  • The Classic Spiff (example: First one to get 3 referrals where COPD is the primary diagnosis)
  • A Year-Long Leaderboard with a grand prize at the end
  • Title identifiers for reps that hit a specific goal (Senior Sales Associate, Director of Sales, Regional Area Representative, etc.)
  • Quarterly or Yearly Awards (Most Referrals, Best Attitude, Most Likely to Sing Barry White after too many cocktails, etc.…)

Most would call these “awards” or “bonuses,” but their effect on an office can be substantial.

Another essential part of the process is to include sales and operations together in these events. The division in personality archetypes often puts sales and marketing in a natural state of discord. One follows the rules rigidly while the other thrives on overcoming objections and challenging the status quo. They need each other, but they don’t always like each other.

Opportunities like this type of gamification can help bring together all the different colorful personalities and form closer bonds.

While that is an example of gamification to modify behavior, what we do at Home Care Sales is an example that applies to learning. You want your team (or yourself) to acquire the knowledge to be successful quickly and easily. You have the power to do it here.

Over the last two years, we have been working to implement a learning system that would be more than just videos and assignments. With various programs, we implemented role play, video games, and now success rewards and certifications.

When you log into the Home Care Sales Pro Learning System, you will find 16 different courses, the largest library of training videos in the industry (over 125), two unique interactive video games, hundreds of downloads, and now a gamification-designed reward system including badges, tiers, and certificates of completion.

Images from the Home Care Sales Pro Learning System

What does that mean to your team? They will be engaged in the learning process. They will be eager to show you and their team the completion and their ranking. They will be able to quickly grasp and implement the content provided so that you take the quickest path to gain the success you desire.

With your agency, you can make work more fun and engage with the elements of “game theory” or gamification. Stacking up badges, certificates, and ranks as your rep “levels up” and “upgrade” their skills! The High-Performance Sales Academy or any unique Home Care Sales Pro learning programs allows your reps to have fun AND get new tactics so that you can get more referrals and serve more seniors!

Want to see it in action? Email mike@homecaresales.com and tell him you want a demo.

Have a great week,
– Jason

About the Author:
Jason Lewallen is Vice President of Marketing
for Home Care Sales

He can be reached at:
Email: jason@homecaresales.com
Phone: 615.815.7907