Last week I wrote about how opening your own company is hard work. You get through setting up the organization and now you have all the pieces in place but one.

Where are the clients?

Where are the referrals? 

Last week I shared the first two steps to success that I wrote about in my first book called The Five Steps to Sales Success. We covered Step 1- Study your data and Step 2 – Accounts, you can find the blog post HERE.

Today, I am going to cover the next 2 steps…

Step 3: Lead

What is leadership? More importantly, what leadership means to me. I wanted to be a leader who could remove all emotions from managing employees and yet be quite close with my staff. Books that I read said this is not possible. Do not be friends with your staff because it is too hard to discipline them if they are not doing their job.

No matter what the experts out there had to say, however, I could not change from being Cheryl. So, I had to find a way to be their friend, boss, leader, teacher, and disciplinarian Cheryl style. I have had to fire a couple of people over my twenty years in management, and it is never fun, but I have found a way to make it tolerable for me and my leaders. 

If you have clearly defined your expectations, give them the knowledge and tools to meet those expectations, and then measure and share their results with them, it is much easier.  When I meet with a sales representative or any employee to review their performance at work, I would pull their expectation document or job description and review the results. 

They either met my expectations, or they did not. It is not about liking them or not! There is no partiality because it is about numbers and hitting expectations for how many sales calls were completed. How many new accounts did they qualify each week? Data removes emotions, and at least every three months the manager needs to meet with each sales representative to evaluate the numbers.    

We would update our admission goal every month at the quarterly business review. We also worked to keep each employee at the organization aware of census and goals for census.  biweekly, we would publish a newsletter that went out to every employee and subcontractor that worked with our organization.

That newsletter would include all our sales stats for everyone to see. Tracking admissions sent a message to try to get every qualified patient admitted. It let everyone that worked at my agency that all non-admits were being tracked.  You can see more about lead in the full book version.

Step 4 – Expectations and Excellence

How did we set expectations is a question I get asked almost every time I am speaking on a stage?

I shared with you under “Step 3 Lead” how I used expectation documents to make management easier. Now I want to share with you how to get employee buy-in and utilization of sales process and CRM.

One of the failures of leaders when delegating responsibilities is not making the desired outcomes explicit. You need to bring your team together and devise expectations, goals, and rewards. 

If they help create it, they want it to succeed! 

A quote attributed to Michelangelo says, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim so high that we miss it, but in setting our aim so low that we reach it.” So, I brought the team together and asked them to help create expectations, goals, and rewards.

How many face–to-face visits a week can your sales team do? Ask them! 

How many accounts do they want to manage?

How many you want them to manage? 

They may say they can handle a hundred accounts without any problems, but then you bring them back your way by saying, “You know what . . . studies show that building a relationship and getting an account to like, know, and trust you is how you get referrals.” 

Studies say you need to see accounts each week to build a relationship. Have them fill out their daily call schedule to see just how many accounts they must see each week. Once you have all their currently referring accounts scheduled, you can see how many prospects can be added to fill up their schedule.  

Now they can do their schedules because we only want a rep to handle up to forty accounts, which means they should only have thirty because you need to have room for them to qualify and prospect. Knowing this information is how you can determine how many representatives your company truly needs. 

I caution you to also know your staffing levels in territories before you go and get a sales rep to go out selling your care. Nothing is worse for a sales rep to get a new account to refer for the first time and you have to tell them you can’t take the referral because you only have one nurse that does that area and she is on vacation.

Next, we discuss what types of accounts I wanted them to pursue. *Remember that if you just send them to rehab centers and hospitals you may not get a referral for six months. 

Again you can find more information about this in my book available at:

Next week I will share with you a list of account types and how long it typically takes for each account type to refer their first patient.  If you would like to learn the High Performance Sales Process, or check out of 52 Week Road Map To Referrals, go to or email and he can set up a time to review all of our business development products to get referrals pouring in the door.