PART 2 – Which Days to Prospect Street Accounts and
How to Prospect Hospitals & Nursing/Retirement Facilities
“I have 60-65% healthcare and 30-35% regular street business.” ~ Paul Gamziukas
Do you prospect on a particular day because it would be the order day in that area or is it because you were driving by that area that day?
Paul: I prospect in the area I’m working in for a particular day. I always make sure that I go in and see prospects, even though their order or delivery could be on a different day. We’re very accommodating to what delivery day they need.
DSR Dave: I always ask because some sales managers insist you go in the day that you’re going to get the order. That’s what my boss always told me. So, I had to leave my normal route and go there. But I ended up making Friday my new account call day unless I had an appointment that I had to be at on a specific day, like when a prospect told me to be there on Tuesday at 11:00 or not to come. For me personally, Friday was reserved for the real cold calls that I didn’t know anybody at.
I chose Fridays because I noticed that most of the sales reps were either playing golf or something else on Fridays. People were happier on Fridays, and it usually was payday.
Any tips on what to do next when you aren’t making any progress with who you keep talking with at a prospect?
Paul: I must find out who is the person making the decisions. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to know who the owner is before I even go in there. If I’m having a hard time getting to an owner, I’ll try to go in there at a different time. I can do it with who’s in the back of the house since many of the managers, chefs and others like that have the ability to place orders. I rarely find somebody in the back of the house that can’t make a decision.
On your profile, you list healthcare as one of your favorite types of accounts. Balancing your portfolio out is really beneficial. How do you call on healthcare (nursing or retirement, hospital upstairs or downstairs)?
Paul: It’s funny because hospitals and nursing homes are completely different. In the hospital, find the cafeteria, go down, find the office of the dietary director or simply ask where you can find that person (they do not hesitate to tell you), present your program and what you can do for them. I believe hospitals are much easier accounts to get into. Nursing homes will stop you at the front desk and you have to keep hitting them for appointments to try to get in to see somebody. However, some hospitals are connected with nursing homes, and you get one after the other.
Since hospitals are on contracts of some sort, they do not get to talk to sales reps anymore, if they’re lucky, they might see a rep once a quarter or twice a year so they may be happy to talk to you.
DSR Dave: They need samples of products and will be pretty happy to see you especially if you brought them a sample because they’re on some kind of group purchasing plan and whoever got the account really isn’t taking care of them like a good DSR would take care of an account.
Paul: I utilize brokers to show them products. When I approach a hospital, I know I’m not going to take the account over. I’m looking to be the best secondary backup to help them deal with their pain. And these accounts really helped me through Covid.
During Covid when the restaurants were closed or shutting down with limited seating, etc., the healthcare and institutional accounts helped out. They always have to feed them.
What percentage of your portfolio of accounts are Healthcare and Restaurants?
Paul: I have 60-65% healthcare and 30-35% regular street business.
With these accounts, you have no fighting for the contract to be renewed because you don’t have a contract, they have a contract with somebody else.
DSR Dave: Listen up, anybody that can call on health care, Go Do It! – Don’t drive by another one today. Stop in. Listen to what Paul said. In a nursing or retirement home, you stop in front to get to the Administrator.
In a hospital, you ask where the cafeteria is, and the foodservice director’s office will not be far.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!