A Streamlined Approach to Building Referral Sources – In Seven Steps

Posted on in Growth Strategies

MarketDataThe HME marketplace has changed drastically, forcing businesses to streamline their marketing strategy to maximize every referral opportunity and do more with less. Enduring the changes can be difficult at first, but there are many proactive steps business owners can take. Finding more efficient ways to pinpoint referral sources that prescribe the products you sell is one way to streamline efforts and increase revenue. One VGM Member, Target Medical, Inc. has had phenomenal results doing just that, with the help of VGM Market Data. The results for Target Medical were astonishing. They implemented a shoe-leather approach to sales, receiving orders from 100 new referral sources and increasing revenue by $750,000. With hard work and a solid marketing and sales strategy, you can do the same for your business Below are seven steps to build referral sources efficiently.

  1. Define a Target Market: Begin partnering with Market Data to identify and rank high-value referral sources. Once identified, determine which of those highest-ranked referral sources (those that prescribed the most product in your area) are working with your competitors or where you are losing market share. Those physicians become your sales targets. They are high-volume facilities where you know you are not wasting time and effort.
  1. Set Goals: Set goals for each physician. If you’ve already worked with a targeted physician, make a goal to increase the average number of referred patients by a specific number. If the physician relationship is new, seek to set baseline numbers early, so you can work to improve the numbers throughout the year. Setting timetables for strategy and measurement are also key to evaluating success. (i.e. Increase patient setups by 10 percent over the next six months).
  1. Create a Plan of Action: Next, segment your prospects and create a sales and marketing plan to target those referral sources and help bring in sales. Assign sales routes to your team and develop best practices to cover the most ground in the least amount of time. The team should begin with a standard practice that includes talking points, advertising materials, business cards, leave-behind materials and a contact strategy. The team should then meet regularly to discuss what is working and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid to adjust the strategy as you go.
  1. Write an Elevator Pitch and Strategy: If your sales team doesn’t already know your business talking points, now is the time to prep them and make sure you have a consistent brand presence. Begin with a 90-second or less pitch that introduces your business and helps you to stand out from the competition. But as any good sales person knows, it’s about finding what the physician needs and providing a solution. Work with your team to develop the right probing questions. Utilize the information included in your Market Data to determine specific pitches to certain types of physicians or those working with a key competitor. Take notes to remember who the key decision-makers are for follow-up visits and sales efforts.
  1. Provide Advertising Materials: We all know that physicians are busy. So make sure to provide quality marketing materials they can review in their own time. Prepare an informational sheet or brochure that includes your talking points, information on ordering and contact information as a leave-behind. Develop your follow-up plan that may include email messages to the person you connected best with at the office. Consider recapping conversations, confirming needs and developing your plan to keep in touch.
  1. Meet with Physicians or Their Gatekeepers: You know who the gatekeepers are. They’re the ones who have the ability to invite you in for important conversations or push you away before you get through the front door. They also hold the key to your success. Work hard to work with gatekeepers to discover physician pain points and needs. Approach them with a solution to their issues, and before long they will be the ones calling you.
Breaking Down Sales Barriers: How to Get Past the Gatekeeper
  1. Evaluate Success: Having set a baseline for what each physician target could potentially be worth to your business, it’s important to evaluate your process and success. Track and evaluate whether you are moving the needle with key physicians and which marketing pieces and sales messages worked the best.
Target Medical worked hard and obtained fantastic results. And, you can, too. For more information about Target Medical’s success, and more tips to harness the power of data visit