"Chasing Norm":The Business Development Productivity Killer
In Home Care, Home Health, Hospice, and medical practices, an average business developer (also referred to as a marketer) will conduct approximately 100 to 150 "calls" or visits a month. While this level of effort, when done properly, can yield great results, there are a few common missteps that could slow or derail your progress. One of the most common, and least productive, is when your marketer starts "Chasing Norm".
We all know the basics on how it works. In order to get referrals, the referral partner must grow to know, like, & trust. We do the appropriate leg and make 100 to 150 calls/visits a month and with the proper effort, we get in front of the right people and the magic happens.
During this time, we might not make progress as easily as we would like, and that can be frustrating. After all, we want to be liked and made to feel welcome, especially when trying to create a relationship. Think about it....visiting one account after another and getting the brush off can get a bit demoralizing, it can even make some give up on a rewarding career.
Imagine doing this for weeks and then it happens...you find your spot, the place where you feel like you belong....your very own version of "Cheers"....after a while, you feel like the character Norm, because "everybody knows your name". You feel comfortable and begin to visit the account regularly, sometimes spending an hour or more on each visit.
Then it happens...
You review the account and realize that you have been going there for months and have not gotten a single referral. You ask yourself how is this possible, they love you there....
Why is this an issue?
Going to an account for the good feelings is just inefficient. The purpose of visiting accounts is to build a business relationship that will lead to qualified referrals who will convert into clients. Chasing Norm accomplishes the relationship portion, but never puts you in a position to get that referral. Also, if allowed to continue for too long, a situation could be created that could potentially alienate the referral source when you do finally ask for business. This is comparable to suddenly getting into the habit of asking your friend to hang out weekly and asking for money. Some friends won't be bothered by this initially, but once the dynamic of the relationship has been perceived to change, it could get awkward.
How do we get back on track?
Take a hard look at how you got here in the first place. You should begin by asking yourself:
Did I properly qualify the account?
Have I made my intentions clear?
Did I set the proper boundaries?
Do I need additional help?
If you aren't sure if this is the right account, go through your qualification process again. Sometimes, the account might look nice, but you just aren't the right fit because of primary payer source coming out of the facility or you might not provide the proper solution for the referral source. There is no shame in this, just move on to a better qualified account.
Were you clear about your intentions on your first meeting? One tip I give my coaching clients is to avoid vague language. Don't walk in saying you are there to help, say you are there to help by providing xyz service. Also, let them know that you want to work with them as a referral trusted partner. If you aren't clear in your messaging, don't get upset when you aren't getting the results you would like.
Take a look at your technique. Many times we just need some help. Don't be afraid to look for mentor-ship or coaching. Briones Consulting Group offers a comprehensive coaching package that can be customized to your specific needs.