One of the most frustrating things that I have seen repeatedly from Sales Representatives is that they continue to call on accounts that have never referred. According to Ziglar, that is the definition of insanity! 

Over the last 10 years, I will share with you that I have studied my fair share of data. Sales representatives are taking about 5-8 sales touches before they get their first referral. Today, I wanted to share with you an exercise that I learned to help sales representatives get in touch with their sales messages. 

When sales representatives understand how important the sales message is, they can use it effectively to finally bring in the referrals.

Here is the assignment that I give reps to improve their sales results. 

First: I ask them to list 5 reasons that describe why someone refers a patient to receive care. 


The way to do this is to look at the last 5 referrals and go ask the person who referred them for services:  Why did you refer this patient for services? 

Here are the types of comments that I receive back:

  • The patient had multiple hospitalizations
  • The patient had multiple falls
  • The patient has cognitive deficits
  • The Patient is non-compliant
  • The patient cannot get to the doctor’s office
  • The patient has a problem with blood sugar
  • The patient constantly is calling the MD with problems.

The next part of the assignment is to have them create “one marketing message” related to each reason why the patient was referred for their company’s services.


  • We can prevent multiple hospitalizations
  • We have a falls prevention program
  • We treat patients with cognitive deficit’s
  • We educate patients on disease management
  • We can help you by doing a telehealth visit search

(Note: Tie into Call-To-Action for your product/services)

Now I have them turn this into a trigger question and a “what is in it for me?” statement to bring in the referrals. 

Quick Example: “Which patient might end up in the hospital this week? I’d love to make sure you don’t have to worry about him or her this week.”

There are many variations of this, but over the years, we have unlocked several that almost always work.

The follow up to this is to build a year of weekly sales messages and provide handouts that support the questions. 


This part can be daunting, but you don’t need 52 DIFFERENT topics! You won’t simply talk about heart conditions once a year. You are more likely to talk about it once a quarter, but if you focus on your key diagnosis and reasons for referring, you can build out a strategic plan like the one we provide in the Roadmap of Referrals.

Once you’ve compiled that, We need to talk about gatekeepers (window witches, window wives, dragons at the gate, etc…)


You need to figure out how to get through the gatekeepers present at all your account types. We can’t spell out EVERY strategy here, but there is a good chance you can predict the kind of gatekeepers you will meet. Having an effective strategy past these people obstacles will put you on target to build the referring relationship you need. 

Finally, to truly knock it out of the park, you need to roleplay your sales messages.


This will let you figure out what you will say when you will meet objections like:

  • We don’t refer
  • You need to have a Lunch and Learn
  • The hospitals handle all our referrals
  • I have a provider that I use for my patients
  • My patients can’t afford your services
  • My patients don’t need your services

Once you have mastered all of this you are finally done.  You have completed your very own 52-week sales plan.

If this is too difficult for you, do not worry, we have done this for you. 


Our weekly sales messages can produce up to 5 times the number of referrals you are currently getting from an account. We also provide the handout (PDF) to email, and phone script to use to build the number of referrals you are getting from your current referring accounts.

The real secret sauce happens when once a month the agencies get to join Melanie and I in our virtual coaching room and hear us roleplay:

  • How to use the trigger questions,
  • How to deal with the most common objections that your sales representatives will face
  • How to use trigger questions when asking for specific patient types

Why this works so well is this…. Your sales representatives get to build up their confidence.  And folks, confidence sells.

Want to see what this looks like? 

Go to to learn more or just email and you can have your own private demo. This product can help you close the prospecting funnel. This is THE TOOL to stop no value sales calls. 

Don’t just let your sales team wander aimlessly without a Roadmap of Referrals. 


Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

PS – You can also claim some of Mike’s time directly on his calendar here: