Fire Hose Referrals
Covid is retreating. We're getting back to the way we used to sell. It feels pretty good...no?
Over the past few weeks I've had this same conversation with a number of reps that I'm coaching....and it goes something like this:
Rep: Michael, referrals are picking up, but a lot of them are from insurances we can't or won't take. I need to get in there and let them know what we're looking for.
Me: Hold on. You're out making the case for getting referrals, are you not?
Rep: Yes, of course.
Me: Then you have succeeded! When they call with a referral they've done exactly what you've asked them for.
Rep: But we can't take all of them.
Me: No matter. The key is this cause and effect. You asked them to do something and they did it. That's a win right there.
Rep: But what's the point if we can't take it?
Me: The point is, you are creating a stream of referrals right now. Sure, they won't all be admissions, but some will. Reinforce the ones that get admitted and be thankful and gracious about the ones that will not. It's much easier to "turn off" a few referrals than it is to turn on the flow if it stops.
Rep: So you're saying I should celebrate every single referral, no matter what?
Me: That's exactly what I'm saying. There is plenty of time to reeducate your referral source about the types of patients you CAN help, but if you "turn off" too many referrals now, you may never get them turned on again.
Rep: You're so wise Michael.....
And there we have it. If referrals are coming in, KEEP them coming in. We want that phone ringing like the water from a fire hose. We want a huge supply of referrals coming in that we can refine into the patients we're able to accept. If you go out to your referral sources too early and shut off some referrals you risk shutting off ALL referrals....and they can be very difficult to turn on again.
Remember, a potter starts with a big lump of clay and by spinning and shaping it....removing what isn't needed a little at a time....they reveal a beautiful work of art. You....should do the same.
Michael Anthony Giudicissi