Build referrals to increase sales

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Q. With the reductions in reimbursement, from a sales standpoint what’s the best way to make up the revenue shortage? Should I hire a new sales person?
A. There are only two ways to increase referrals in any given territory: First, increase the number of referrals from each referral source. Second, increase the number of referral sources.
To increase the number of referrals from a given referral source, you might not need a new sales person, just more people selling — people already on the payroll. For example, commission the service tech who delivers a bed to Mr. Jones and notices he uses a nebulizer, but still goes to the pharmacy for his bottle of Albuterol. With one quick call to the doctor, Mr. Jones is now having his meds delivered — all because of a head’s-up service tech. The same incentives work when you want to ensure your intake team is offering the services necessary for the total aspect of the patient’s care. In a perfect world, this would be accepted as of their job responsibilities. However, for a bump of $10-$20 for an RT med or concentrator patient, you’d be surprised how observant customer service reps and service techs can become.
To call on more docs, you might need an additional sales person. As a minimum, full time sales people should be making 50 calls per week, calling on 100 referral sources and have an extra 20 referral sources they call on from time to time. So if your rep is making the calls and your territory is still under-represented, then it’s time for a second pro.


Eric Kline is president of ELINT Technology & HME SalesPro: or 850.433.2514.