Agency Tips & Tactics

Home Care Sales: Your What-Not-To-Do List

See the 12 most common mistakes in home care sales. Avoiding these missteps can help you up your sales game—and grow your business.


Whether your sales team is a crew of experienced reps—or just you and your cell phone—it’s important to be aware of these 12 potential roadblocks. Ten of these reflect the same type of personal interactions we all have every day, while the other two are about your process and tracking your numbers.

1. No Elevator Pitch
If you’re not crystal clear about what you’re selling and why it’s better, then no one else will be either. So get your sales message down to a 30-second pitch. A great elevator pitch includes who you are, why your agency is different, your “big claim,” and who can benefit. To clarify your big claim, ask yourself three questions: What does your agency do better than others? What’s the most impressive thing you and your team consistently deliver? What’s the promise you make to clients and referral partners that you always keep?

Once you’ve got it down, get it memorized. And be sure to practice your pitch out loud in front of a mirror until it feels and sounds natural.

2. Not Listening Being a good listener gives you leverage. If you don’t take the time to hear and understand the needs and challenges of both prospective clients and their families, as well as current and new referral sources, you can’t offer appropriate solutions.

3. Being Too Pushy Forcing a conversation never works. Learn to read cues quickly—pay attention to body language, tone of voice, and people who avoid eye contact. If you’re getting negative signals, ask for a more convenient date and time when you can reach out again.

4. Not Being Pushy Enough Be polite, respectful—and persistent. If you consistently ask good questions and offer relevant, real solutions, you can move a “No, thanks.” to a “Not now.” to a “Maybe later.” to a new client referral.

5. Giving Up Too Soon Don’t know why you aren’t getting any referrals? Then it’s way too soon to give up on a potential referral source. Ask for a quick meeting to understand why—and to reiterate your 30-second elevator pitch in person.

6. Holding Out Hope Too Long If you’re not getting referrals, investigate and ask why. Are you talking to the wrong person? Has there been a miscommunication? Are they accidentally giving your leads to another agency? (It happens!) But if you’ve given it everything you have and it just isn’t working out—and never will—it’s time to accept that and focus your energy on other prospects.

7. Not Adding Value At every visit, bring referral partners something they can use and learn from—an interesting article, an invitation to a lecture or networking event, new data on your client outcomes.

8. No Follow-Up You’re building a relationship with referral partners—and that takes time. After every visit or meeting, say you’re going to follow up and do it, consistently. Some of our reps find it helpful to set aside time on their calendars each week just for follow-up.

9. Talking to the Wrong Person Don’t assume that you’re speaking to or trying to pitch the right person. Ask! (Especially if you aren’t getting good answers or any referrals.)

10. Talking to Only One Person Create connections with everyone you can at a referral source. You never know who could help drive a referral, who might be a future decision maker there—or who a social worker’s best friend might be.

11. Not Tracking Results Data makes everyone much smarter. Even the most charismatic sales reps can drive stronger sales by having a clear understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. Track the number and frequency of referrals that come in from each source, and how many of those people actually become clients. Notice where you’ve spent a lot of hours, with no positive outcome. When all the numbers are laid out in a spreadsheet, it often becomes clearer how and where you need to adjust your tactics or try other sources to keep growing your agency.

12. Delivering a Laundry List of Services You understand the importance of crafting a great elevator pitch (see Mistake #1). So after you’ve spent 30 seconds sharing that message with a referral source or potential client, along with a bit more detail about your agency, switch it up. People are often receptive to a personal story about a particular client’s experience or a caregiver’s commitment, for instance, that really brings to life what your agency can provide. Make it personal—and authentic—to show that’s how your agency does business.


Now that you know the 12 common mistakes to avoid when reaching out to referral partners, are you ready to learn more about how to grow your home care agency?

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