Everyone Knows the Right Sales Approach

Sales-Guy1By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA

This blog is a bit of a whine, mostly because so many of my clients deal with this. Everyone is a referral development expert, and in healthcare our experts are often clinicians, operations and finance leaders who freely share their perspectives on the best way to grow referrals. (This is where, if I were really grumbling, I would point out that there are no sessions in medical school on referral development techniques, am I right!?!).

Why then do we take their ideas for referral growth as sales gospel?

You are the referral development expert. Just as we sell ourselves to the practices, it is important to earn the right level of internal positioning through a focused credibility strategy. Here are a few easy ideas to make sure you can implement the approach that you believe is best for your referral development.

  1. Don’t ask for opinions or ideas on technique. They will share regardless of expertise.
  2. Come to meetings with a plan and rationale. Taking the time to map out your plan and the expected response and the reason behind that approach goes far.
  3. Frame internal conversations with an approach that says, “ While there are many ways to do this, the most effective approach is,_________.” If you need to share background on past conversations in the practice, add that detail to enhance your position of knowledge.
  4. Use best practices, statistics, process and expectations when asked about approach. This requires that you have information, whether from readings, your own tracking tools, the data an CRM/PRM vendor, benchmarking studies and colleague insights.  In the sales world, these are proof  sources.  Have them ready before you need them.

The number one way to earn internal credibility is to say what you are going to accomplish and then do it, in a measurable way.   It’s the old, tell them what you are going to do, do the work and then tell them what you did to get the results.  And in this case, tell them verbally and in writing!


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