Saturday, March 31, 2007

Q. How many sales calls per day should a sales representative for an HME company make?

A. Many HMEs feel strongly that increased sales can only be obtained by increasing the number of sales calls per day. This type of selling is effective in many industries. However, in the HME industry, relationship-based sales are key to obtaining consistent patient referrals.
A key sales fact: People buy from people they like. If the HME sales rep is perceived as "the guy who runs in our office, drops off his card and brochure, and leaves," then the results may be an occasional referral. People respond to the way they are treated. That's why relationship-based selling is so important in the HME industry. If the referral source likes and respects the HME sales rep, they will want to refer their patients to that company to support their rep. This type of relationship takes time to nurture, so the "in-and-out" sales method just doesn't work.
A successful sales call is when the sales rep is able to spend 15 to 30 minutes interacting with a referral source. The sales rep uses this time to nurture the relationship and educate the referral source about his company products and services. When a sales rep engages in these types of sales calls, it greatly reduces the quantity of calls made for that day. In fact, a rep that spends quality time with his referral sources may only be able to make a total of eight sales calls per day. This philosophy is directly opposite of the 30 to 40 sales calls per day in quantity selling. Through the use of relationship-based selling methods, a sales rep should be able to make eight to 12 quality sales calls per day.
HMEs must decide which philosophy works best for their company and sales team. Relationship-based sales has proven over time to be a very successful approach for many HME companies and is highly recommended to maximize each sales call.
Bill Kleiman is the author of "Success Made Easy in DME Sales." Reach him at 800-460-1967 or log onto his Web site,