HHT #175 - Selling Home Health to Physicians
Selling Home Health to Physicians
Seven Steps to Better Relationships with Doctors
December 9, 2009, 2009
In this issue...
-- Seven Steps to Selling Home Health to Physicians
-- The Doctor Will See You Now!
-- Building Relationships with Physicians Audio CD Program
-- Join Stephen Tweed in Florida on January 22, 2010
-- The 2009 Private Duty Home Care Benchmarking and State of the Industry Study
-- About the Author
-- Permission to Reproduce
Welcome to this issue of Home Health Care Today, the leading electronic newsletter for home health care and hospice executives who want to grow their business and get ready for the future. Every other Wednesday, we bring you strategies and insights that will help you take your agency to new heights.
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Seven Steps to Selling Home Health to Physicians
In our last issue, we shared with you the results of focus groups we conducted with hospital discharge planners, and discussed "Freedom of Choice." We talked about how discharge planners are obligated to give patients the right to choose their home health agency or hospice.
I did get one rather nasty email from a home health marketing person from New York calling me a "liar," and saying I didn't understand the reality of his marketplace.
Well, sir, perhaps not. We know that there are some hospitals and some discharge planners that do not abide by the hospitals Conditions of Participation (COPs) on the Medicare Program. However, we were reporting to you on what we learned from talking with a group of discharge planners, and from looking at the regulations.
What it means is that it will be much more difficult going forward to influence hospital referrals by making sales calls on discharge planners.
So what does that mean to you as a home health or hospice executive or marketing professional? Well, it means that you have a new opportunity to grow your business by focusing your sales and marketing efforts on physicians.
When we work with a home health agency on Sales & Marketing Planning & Training, our colleague Dr. M. Tray Dunaway joins us to discuss in detail how to apply the seven step relationship selling process to physician offices.
Here are the seven steps you should be using in your home health sales process:
- Prospecting - find new referral sources
- Making the Approach - get past the gatekeeper
- Developing Rapport - build a relationship based on trust and confidence
- Determine Needs and Wants - find out what your referral sources really want
- Present your Programs - describe in detail why this physician should want to refer patients to your agency
- Handle Objections - develop a simple process for diffusing objections and stalls
- Close the sale - too many home health sales reps are hesitate to ask for the referral
To successfully apply this seven step process to selling to physicians, you need three things: knowledge, skill, and willingness.
Knowledge comes from clear, concise, focused sales training on the process of home health sales, and in-depth knowledge of the programs and services offered by your agency. It's also critical to have knowledge of your agency's competitive strategy. What makes you different from your competitors?
Skill comes from frequent practice through role plays and sample presentations. We really like using video feedback to help sales professionals polish their skills through role plays. There's nothing like practicing a sales call to a physician using a real physician to play the other part.
Willingness is an attitude. It's a habit of thought. Willingness and passion for selling home health and hospice comes when you overcome your fears. When you master the knowledge and skills of selling, and you really understand the potential for helping patients, then your willingness to get past the gatekeeper and have a meaningful dialogue with the doctor increases.
The Doctor Will See You Now!
Dr. M. Tray Dunaway, MD, FACS, CSP, is a physician, a surgeon, a Certified Speaking Professional, and our friend. He works with us every year on the Home Health & Hospice Business Builders Workshop. More recently, we've been including Dr. Dunaway in our Home Health Care Sales & Marketing Planning & Training Process.
Dr. Dunaway comes with us to the second day of sales training, and we focus on selling home health to physicians. He also serves as the doctor when we do role plays and practice presentations for video feedback.
Here are some insights we've picked up with working with Dr. Dunaway for a number of years:
Dr. Dunaway's Mantra
Physicians are motivated by four things:
- Make 'em money
- Save 'em time
- Reduce their stress
- Increase their recognition and appreciation
What can you, as a home health care executive, do to make those four things happen for your physician referral sources? What can your home health or hospice sales professional do to make those four things happen for your physician referral sources?
First of all, you need to get in to see the physician so that you can have a meaningful dialog. That means getting past the gatekeeper.
Dr. Dunaway teaches sales professionals how to treat the gatekeeper with respect in order to build rapport. Then, he suggests asking that gatekeeper to help you get what you want . . . an opportunity to speak with the doctor.
Next, you need to develop rapport with the doctor. Rapport is that harmonious relationship based on trust and confidence. We've seen that rapport is 90% of the sales equation. If you can develop rapport, you can get referrals that turn into admissions. If you can't develop true rapport, you'll get lip service but no referrals.
Rapport with physicians is about developing common language, finding common interests, and exploring common values.
Finally, you need to find what the physician really needs and wants from a home health agency . . . really! When the sales professional has mastered the art of developing rapport and asking great questions, you'll find that he or she will be able to really understand how the doctor makes decisions about referring to home health. Then you can influence those decisions.
If you would like your sales team to have the experience of spending a day with Dr. Dunaway learning how to sell home health and hospice to physicians, go to our web site and look at the information on Home Health & Hospice Sales & Marketing Planning & Training. Then call Julie Raque at 866-209-5101. She'll set up a telephone appointment to discuss this process in detail.
Building Relationships with Physicians Audio CD Program
One of the most effective ways you can grow your home health care business is to build relationships with physicians. Research shows that the number one source of home health referrals is hospitals, and #2 is physicians. If you want to grow your business, learn to effectively connect with physicians. In this interactive audio learning program, you will hear Stephen Tweed and Dr. M. Tray Dunaway discuss in detail specific techniques you can use to grow your business. Recorded live during a series of audio teleseminars, each CD gives you 60 minutes of valuable information, followed by a question and answer period with Dr. Dunaway.
The four programs are:
- Special Skills for Communicating with Physicians
- Marketing Techniques that Work with Physicians
- Building Relationships with Physicians' Office Staff
- Marketing Specialty Home Care Programs to Physicians
Order the audio CD program today, and we'll tell you how your nurses and other clinicians can earn Continuing Education contact hours for participating in this program.
Join Stephen Tweed in Florida on January 22, 2010
There are three choices:
January 22, 2010 - Sanibel Island, FL
Come to beautiful Fort Myers, Florida, and the Sanibel Harbour Resort. Put your feet in the sand, relax in the sun, and then spend a full day getting ideas and insights to grow your private duty business.
We're also putting the finishing touches on The Academy for Private Duty Home Care in Seattle, Washington on April 8, 2010, and Dallas, Texas on May 5, 2010. Stay tuned for more details.
Here's what some of our attendees from the December 2, 2009 Academy had to say:
"It is a great seminar! Well done, time well managed and all topics covered are relevant to running a good home care business. Stephen is fantastic, a great speaker, relevant examples and statistics were used. He is so trustworthy and I know that I am getting the latest on home care from an expert in the field. Not a minute too short or too long. I would recommend this seminar to anybody who wants to do well in leading a home care business. "
John Huynh, Home Care Solutions, California
"I learned a lot in Louisville! It was good to be around others in the home care business. I did a lot of listening and discovered that there is a lot of opportunity for my new start up business. I appreciated the quality and the amount of information that Stephen presented. It was a great learning experience for me. I was impressed that Stephen told me to call him in the future with any questions. I appreciated his positive feelings about the home care business now and in the future. His presentation gave me a lot of confidence in my start up, and sharpened my skills on managing my business."
Roger Jenkins, Home Care Helpers, North Carolina
"It was an excellent investment of my time, money and brain power. Thank you all for doing a great job and doing it with efficiency and effectiveness. "
Heather Doss, Xceptional Home Care, Louisana
The 2009 Private Duty Home Care Benchmarking and State of the Industry Study
Want to know how your private duty home care business is doing compared to other home health agency based private duty businesses?
Complete our 2009 Private Duty Benchmarking Survey. Then get a huge discount on the final report giving you detailed facts, data, and insights on the growing opportunities in private duty home care. Learn about best practices of the fastest growing, most profitable companies.
Click on the link below and watch the video explaining this benchmarking process. Then follow the three easy steps to participate.
About the Author
Stephen Tweed, CSP, is Chairman and CEO of Leading Home Care ... a Tweed Jeffries company. For over 25 years he has been a recognized leader in strategy and leadership development for home health care & hospice companies and associations. He is the author or co-author of seven books, five of which were written specifically for the home care industry. He has served on the boards of directors of three not-for-profit home care agencies, and has served as interim President & CEO of a $25 million home care company.
Stephen is a past-President of the National Speakers Association, a 3500 member international society of experts who speak professionally. He is also the father of a 38 year-old son who is physically disabled and uses the services of home care on a daily basis.
Permission to Reproduce
Permission is granted to healthcare publications, associations and companies to reproduce this article in your publication, or to distribute copies to your leaders, on the condition that you reproduce the credits and contact information as follows: "Reprinted with permission from Home Health Care Today. Copyright 2009 Stephen C. Tweed. To receive a FREE subscription to this newsletter, log on to www.leadinghomecare.com."
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