Is your marketing rep productive? How can you tell?

We have clients call us regularly who complain that they can’t tell if their rep is productive or not. Obviously new referrals would indicate productivity but what do you do in the meantime, before referrals begin to come in, to determine your reps effectiveness? After all, you could waste six months of income and benefits on someone who’s not really cut out for this job.
As a seasoned sales manager I regularly hired, trained, and managed new remote personnel so I became accustomed to looking for certain “guide posts” in assessing a new reps activity and effectiveness in the early days of employment. Unlike home office personnel that you see and interact with every day, a remote employee can be difficult to assess without knowing what to look for.

I won’t get into the recruiting and hiring process as that’s a topic for another day. I will however state that “motivation” is the key factor when hiring remote personnel. You can’t be there with them every day so you are dependent on their personal motivation to get them out the door and producing for you. In looking for motivated people I look for “those who come after me”, not those I have to chase and convince to take the job. Look for those who call you, write you, email, stop by…In short, look for folks who need the money or any other type of reward that excites them. Folks who don’t really need your money, or reward, can be very difficult to manage!

Once your rep is hired and trained, they should go into the field with a plan or strategy of how they will approach the target market. Reps who go out and call on everyone without a plan are simply looking to throw “mud against the wall with hopes that some will stick”. Ask them why they are planning to visit each office before they go out on a weekly basis. In other words, what is their strategy? Do they even have one?

Once your rep is in the field they should be sending you a weekly report which shows: 1) Practice name and location 2) Who they spoke with, including titles 3) A summary of what was discussed 4) Any results or action items as a result of the call.
You should review this report with your rep every week.

The weekly report is your only real communication tool with your rep and it helps you to assess them while demonstrating to them your commitment and involvement in their activities. If they think you’re not involved, they may lose the motivation and drive necessary to “knock down doors” for you!

In reviewing the report be sure to look for verbs and dialogue where they ask the tough questions that uncover opportunity for you. For instance; I asked why they send to practice X….. What do they like about practice Y….. What can we do to earn some of your referrals? Reps who are going through the motions will usually tell you that everyone knows your practice and everything is fine. They will tell you that the client said they will send….without much dialogue leading up to such a proclamation.

Below is actual dialogue from one of our reps reports:

“I asked how we can earn their referral business”

“I asked that they consider sending to us as well”

“I asked her to please help encourage referrals our way”

“We discussed growing referrals beyond Dr. X. How can we earn referrals from the rest of the practice?”

“When I dug for why she said…”

“The staff said that they do send to us. I looked at our referral sheet and saw nothing from them so I pressed for the real reason they do not send”

The truth is you want your rep to be uncovering problems, misconceptions, and concerns about your practice. This is how you “earn” more referrals by fixing these perceived problems. The last thing you want is to hear that everyone knows you and everyone loves you. That means your rep is not digging hard enough to uncover growth opportunities for your practice.

Digging deep and asking the tough questions can take courage. This is why this job is not for the inexperienced or young friendly member of your staff. You need a seasoned rep that is able to stand their ground while uncovering opportunities for you and your practice.

We can help. We’re experts in managing field marketing reps. Give us a call at 610-310-1621.

The importance of consistent messaging.

We have a relatively new client who commented recently that he sees the same messaging on many of reports and he didn’t understand why.

This large cardiology practice has a very active, marketing savvy, group of physicians and administration who routinely go out into the community to meet with their referral sources.  One physician in particular seems to enjoy this role and he regularly takes his chief administrator with him to conduct lunch and learns and referral meetings in general.  Despite this participation they brought us on to augment and enhance their field efforts.

Recently we submitted a report detailing our efforts with on a particular day where we detailed the capabilities and unique skills of our client including their ancillary services and pre certification support to several practices in the local catchment area.  Many of these practices responded with surprise and interest when we mentioned a particular service surrounding PET scan imaging and the required pre certification process.  In fact we heard this time and again that day where most referring offices were unaware of this service from our client.

When we reported these findings to the administrator he seemed quite surprised and did not understand how these providers were unaware of these services as he himself had recently discussed this with many of the same offices we saw that day.  “I met with this practice myself just three months ago and told them about our Pre-cert support and yet now they claim they were unaware of this?” asked the administrator.  “How is this possible?”

I reminded our client that behavioral science studies prove that it takes 7 points of contact, at a minimum, for most people to hear and absorb your messaging.  Repetition is key in advertising and marketing and you need to reiterate your message many times over to the same person before they truly hear, absorb, and appreciate what you are trying to say.  Now multiply this by numerous providers and staff in a single medical practice and it’s easy to see why we need to reinforce, reiterate, re-position, and repeat the same message several times before referral sources truly “hear us”.

I joke with clients and tell them it’s similar to telling your spouse that you love them.  You can’t say it just once, you need to repeat it and reinforce many times in multiple ways for the message to be truly received and appreciated.

This is what we do.  We get your message through so that referral sources know just how great you are!  Give us a call at 610-310-1621

Practice-Reps recently signed two new agreements with clients in Southern New Jersey.

A four man neck and spine practice signed an agreement for part time marketing throughout south and central New Jersey with a focus on field referral marketing to the medical community and attorney’s offices.  “With 5 offices from Princeton to Sewell we expect to have a significant impact in clinical referrals as well as legal referrals related to automobile accidents for this important client”  Said Michael Ranson, Managing Partner of Practice-Reps.  “We do have good experience in the workman’s comp arena with other clients and we expect that these skills should easily transfer to the legal community as we strive to drive new referrals from this Lawyers involved in court cases related to auto accidents and slip and fall” commented Al Romanoff, Senior Advisor to Practice-Reps.

“The administrator for this client made it very clear to the board that she had no experience in recruiting and managing remote sales people and the task fell directly into our skill set”.  We’re glad to be of help as we strive to see that patients get the clinical benefits of this well trained and committed group of local surgeon” said Ranson.

A large 22 man Cardiology practice also signed on in October after months of discussion’s and consideration by their board.  This is the largest privately owned Cardiology practice in all of south Jersey.  While they are associated with five hospitals here, they realized that the local hospital liaisons were focused more on the hospital service line of cardiology rather than individual practices.  Hospitals often give the impression that they are marketing your practice but in fact they are marketing all groups associated with that service line in the community.  “In this scenario the hospital wins regardless of which practice grows.   You need to ask yourself …who is looking out for your practice?” Commented Romanoff.

Many of our clients experience a 40% growth (avg.), after just 12 months with our services.  We recently concluded another engagement with a local practice where we saw a 17% growth in the first four months alone before the practice was purchased by another entity.

“Our success is the result of decades of experience in this industry.  We know exactly who to hire, how to recruit and train them, and most importantly how to manage them to gain the best return on investment for our clients.  Yes we have turn over just as any employer but we’re responsible for that.  It’s our job, at our cost, to make sure you have the right rep making the right calls in the right area that result in new referrals for your practice” says Ranson.

For more information on Practice-Reps turn-key marketing or their new “train your rep” program contact Mike Ranson at 610-310-1621 or see them on line at www.practice-reps.com.

Referral Rep Training for your employees

After multiple requests from many of our clients we’ve finally developed a field marketers training program designed specifically for your employees!

1) Training. Now we’ll take our 20 years of knowledge and experience in referral marketing and train your employee in the best practices in field marketing. This person remains [...] Continue Reading…

Avoid these costly marketing mistakes

We’re starting to see more and more providers adopt the concept of direct to referral field marketers for their practices across the country. We’re pleased to see this as it confirms our early belief that direct marketing was the best return on investment for most medical specialty practices.

We’ve been [...] Continue Reading…

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We recently experienced a significant increase in referrals for one of our clients, a fertility practice in central New Jersey, and we began to look at what might have changed in our marketing efforts to spur such an increase.  As you might suspect we could not identify a single [...] Continue Reading…

Practice-Reps signs agreement to market Balance Centers in New Jersey

Practice-Reps signed an agreement today to begin marketing a balance testing center in New Jersey to nursing homes, rehab centers, assisted living facilities, etc.

In the past balance testing involved a series of movements and motions which providers assumed were predictive of a patient’s propensity to fall.  These test were [...] Continue Reading…

CASE STUDY 0025 – Hospital Owned Cardiology Practices

In October of 2012 we were recruited to market two large cardiology groups which were purchased and merged by a health system in southern New Jersey.  These practices had been highly successful for decades prior to purchase by a large regional hospital chain and they cared for nearly two [...] Continue Reading…

Practice Liaison, Marketing Rep, Physician Liaison, Practice-Rep… Should you hire your own employee for this position?

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Medical Practice Marketing from Practice-Reps

Simple, low cost patient service tips that you can implement today.

• Track all referrals so that you can acknowledge new referrals and measure existing ones
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