Building HME Referral Networks
You want more referrals? Of course you do! Every owner and sales manager is thinking the same thing: “How do I drive more revenue? How do I generate more referrals? How are we going to survive on lower margins? Even if we win competitive bidding, how do we sell enough to make it worthwhile?”
One thing that we learned from Round 1 of competitive bidding is that small companies that won the bid with little or no market share in an MSA got absolutely no increase in referrals or revenue because they didn’t market. They didn’t have a sales strategy. The midsize to larger companies that won the bid kept their market share but didn’t grow, and actually saw margin erosion on their existing business. So they’re making less on the same patients that they’re serving. Again, they won the bid, but they lost money. This mentality of “if you win a contract, the patients will come” is just plain dumb.
Today you must make sales your number-one priority and your sales team’s skills your primary focus. Industry experts predict that 40 percent of you reading this article will not be around in two to three years. For you to make it, you need to be a lot more aggressive. You need to take market share away from your competition, and it all starts with this simple formula: more appointments equals more referrals equals more revenue.
The Future is Calling
“The future is calling” was actually the name of a program I launched years ago at Triad Medical, where I implemented a telephone prospecting program against the wishes of a kicking-and-screaming management team. Triad was pulling in about $5 million a year at that time. Within six years of this new program revenues skyrocketed to about $65 million, and we’d cut sales and marketing overhead by about 11 percent. What advertising alchemy or marketing magic accomplished this magnificent feat? There were no tricks, dear reader. We just took a journey along the original information superhighway.
Behold the Telephone
Many things have changed in the world, particularly in communications and business. However, the fact remains that in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell patented the most influential and powerful sales tool the world has ever known. Yes, computer technology is wonderful, and all the sleek advances make it easier than ever to share ideas, crunch numbers and swap crucial data, but without the telephone your bells and whistles fall silent.