Selling Sales to your Staff

Tips for getting HME provider staff to warm up to the sales process.

Ty Bello, founder and president of Team @ Work, which provides sales coaching, training and professional education to HME providers across the nation, offers four tips for HME providers about to convince staff to beless tentative about sales.

Select the right salesperson from the get go

Bello advises providers to look for someone who has a propensity to really engage people, someone that enjoys engaging with people and enjoyshelping them.

“I think we made a mistake in the industry early on when we first got into retail that any old person would do, and that’s not really true,” he says. And make sure your salespeople have both product knowledge anddisease state knowledge.

“Knowing the right products that go with the right disease state, and then the clinical can come second. Another thing is this—clinical people and non-clinical people alike should have the same passion to serve the customer and to give them what they need, not what we’re trying to sell,”Bello says.

Have an incentive plan

Incentive programs work well in other types of retail settings, and theycan be a good idea for HME providers as well.

“Most of the retail items that we sell in the HME industry, they’re pretty low ticket items unless you’re getting into power mobility that might beon the floor, lift chairs, etc. so there’s got to be some sort of point system for incentives that accumulates and therefore as I do sell incontinenceproducts, as I do sell barrier creams and wipes and other things, I cangain points and then I can achieve certain levels,” Bello explains.

Help customers without being pushy

When customers walk into your retail site, you want your sales staff to communicate with them and ask them some key questions.

“I think we need to help our staff, as good as they may be in selling, to script some of our questions about just the initial engagement, ‘Welcome to our store,’ ‘Glad that you’re here today,’ ‘How can I serve you?’ ‘Is there something that I might be able to help you with today?’” Bello advises.

Then the salesperson needs to understand when there’s push back from customer to just leave them alone and let them shop.

“Some people don’t like to be sold to. They just want to be pointed in the right direction,” he says. “It’s a complete read on the salesperson side of that individual that’s coming in for products or service. And we’ve got to be able to read them well and not be pushy. This is not a car salesmanship mentality by any means.”

Hold weekly staff meetings

These weekly meetings should be motivational, where providers go over the items that were sold the previous week. If there is a point or incentive system, then this is the time to reveal who’s ahead. If there is a contest for the person who sells the most of a particular product during the month, then reveal who’s leading in that contest.

Meetings also offer opportunity to educate staff about products, diseases or news in the industry.

“Every week you need to talk about another product or disease state or reimbursement situation inside of your facility. Things change, some things that are now reimbursable by insurance will become a cash item in the future and periodically we see some cash items, very rarely, but we do see some cash items now being reimbursed by certain insurances,” Bello says. “We should be up to speed on that as sales team member that’s on the floor.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of HME Business.

About the Author

Ty Bello, RCC is the president and founder of Team@Work LLC, which offers more than 50 years’ combined experience in assessing, developing, and coaching sole proprietorships, sales teams, C-suite executives, individuals and teams in a variety of industry settings. Bello is an author, communicator and registered coach, and can be reached at for sales, customer call center, and management coaching needs. Please like Ty on LinkedIn and visit for more information and join The Coaches Corner at

HME Business Podcast