Friday, March 27, 2015

VICTORY!

When we all work together as a team and follow our fantastic leaders, we will win!

The first victory for us was getting HR 284 passed through the House. Now, we have to be sure that the Senate will pass S 148 so that we can return once again to building our companies. The reason we won this most recent battle was that all of us were working together with AAHomecare and VGM. That is why we were victorious!

Tom Ryan and John Gallagher provided guidance, and that is what we must always do: Follow the leaders! We are so fortunate as an industry to have so many great people like Tom & John to guide us. Our superb publications provide us with important information. Read every word they publish!

I repeat myself again: Every DME/HME dealer should become a dues paying member of their state DME association and AAHomecare ASAP. The cost is so minimal, but the ROI so fantastic.
 
I am sure you all recognize that when we stand alone we are not able to gain the approval and support of the politicians. However, by working together with the associations we have a great deal of strength.The clout we do have as individuals comes from simply telling our congressmen about our customers and clients. They all vote as we do, and a vote is often more valuable to them than money.
 
When you contact your representative, it is very important to know how to get your message across. AAHomecare and your state association will provide you with all the information necessary to deliver a winning message.

When you know what to say and how to present your message, success will follow. Never stand alone!
 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Showtime

There are very few moments more interesting than watching Kevin Gaffney cut the ribbon so that every attendee can enter the Medtrade exhibition hall! This has always been an exciting moment for attendees because they are all there looking for new ways to build sales and develop new profit sources. The exhibitors want to do the same, so Medtrade becomes the premier “win-win” meeting for our industry.
 
As you look back, you must recognize how this show really is the single most important opportunity ever for each DME/HME provider. You will see how every manufacturer has brought with them many new opportunities to develop profitable OTC sale items. You then have many choices.

Your task is to locate those manufacturers whose products are appropriate for your company. Spend time with the representatives and make arrangements for them to give “dog & pony” shows to both your inside and outside employees.

Many dealers with whom I have discussed this tell me what they do to maximize these sessions. They make arrangements for the company rep to make joint sales calls with their outside salespeople. Each of your team players should arrange meetings with their key accounts. They must be able to visit as many customers as possible. This is a big expense for the vendor, but this is how you build your business.

They have come to your office for a special reason! They are there to assist you in developing new sales and building additional profits. Isn’t that why you invited them?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Medtrade Spring - Las Vegas

Invariably when the Medtrade Spring meetings open, they become very exciting and constructive. The principals of the DME/HME companies who attend all come with one goal: To insure their company will discover new opportunities for the coming year.

All of the attendees, whether they are DME/HME dealers or exhibitors, have a similar goal. It is to locate and establish new ways to develop additional market share. They each know the value of continued growth. One can no longer sit by quietly, because further development will dissipate.

How best should you, a DME/HME provider, prepare for Medtrade?

Your employees will share interesting ideas with you when you ask them. I spoke to a dealer in a medium sized city about how his company prepares for Medtrade. He answered that each of his staff told him “what they thought would help them increase sales for their department”! Medtrade is where to discover how effective your ideas are and then how your staff responds!

I have known this dealer for more than 25 years. I have to congratulate him because every time we speak, he talks about how his company continues to expand. The competition in his market is strong and his growth has continued. His motto is that “there is no tomorrow.”

He uses the Medtrade annual meetings to help him plan for the future. When I asked him how, his answer was “every day is a new day and for every day he has to be prepared”. He attends the Medtrade expositions with a list of people, speakers, peers and exhibitors he wants to see. He tries to visit every exhibitor and returns home loaded with new ideas.

If you have not registered to attend Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas (March 30 - April 1, 2015), do so now! There is still time. Use the promo code SHELLY to get your Free Expo Pass!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Plan Ahead

What does the future hold for you?

Do you run your company on a daily basis or do you plan ahead? With the economy changing almost daily and some negative legislation hanging over our heads, it becomes very important to “plan ahead”.

Each DME/HME dealer has many ideas that could increase sales and profits. But do they put them to work? This problem is universal and I hear it from many dealers at the Medtrade Exhibitions. But nothing seems to happen! Far too often these wonderful ideas are not put to work. There invariably is always something more pressing and unfortunately these plans are never accomplished.

When you do plan ahead, you will experience many successes! This will also encourage your staff to share their thoughts with you. Often these are very good ideas.

An old friend of ours, dating back to when Thelma and I lived in Saint Louis, told me how he keeps track of ideas and how he puts them to work. He took a small book out of his pocket and on every page thoughts were recorded. He said this was his most valuable asset and guide. This was impressive!

By keeping track of his ideas, as well as those suggested by his staff, he has built a very profitable company. I was pleased to see that. The following are his words: “We work as a team!”
 
Every employee has ideas for improving what they do. When these are discussed he allows them to go forward. When giving the responsibility to do what they suggested and rewarding their success, the company grew quickly.

The many ideas for planning ahead that will come from your employees often are superb. When you encourage your staff to share ideas with you, you are the winner.
 
 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Medtrade Las Vegas

Invariably, when the Medtrade Spring meetings open, they become very exciting and constructive. The principals of the DME/HME companies who attend all come with one goal: To insure their company will discover new opportunities for the coming year.

All of the attendees, whether they are DME/HME dealers or exhibitors have a similar goal. It is to locate and establish new ways to develop additional market share. They each know the value of continued growth. One can no longer sit by quietly, because further development will dissipate.

How best should you, a DME/HME provider, prepare for Medtrade?

Your employees will share interesting ideas with you when you ask them. I spoke to a dealer in a medium-sized city about how his company prepares for Medtrade. He answered that each of his staff told him that they would like to help the company increase sales for their department. Medtrade is where to discover how effective your ideas are, and then just watch how your staff responds!

I have known this dealer for more than 25 years. I have to congratulate him because every time we speak, he talks about how his company continues to expand. The competition in his market is strong and his growth has continued. His motto is that, “There is no tomorrow.”

He uses the Medtrade annual meetings to help him plan for the future. When I asked him how, his answer was: “Every day is a new day, and for every day I have to be prepared.” He attends the Medtrade expositions with a list of people, speakers, peers, and exhibitors he wants to see. He tries to visit every exhibitor and returns home loaded with new ideas.

If you have not registered to attend Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas (March 30 - April 1, 2015), do so now! Don't forget to use the promo code SHELLY at registration to get your Free Expo Pass!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Aging

It does not make any difference, we all face AGING! Is this a problem? No, it certainly is not! I am now in my 88th year. I am still as active as always, the one difference being that now I work from home!

The truth is that we all will age. As this happens, we learn more and more. Many of us share our knowledge with others. Take a moment to think back to only ten years ago. What a difference! As we are aging, the world is rapidly moving forward. This is exciting!

Every day we read about opportunities and programs that are different. In reality, they make the world grow. Every day, in every way, things are expanding. We are all aging! But we also are learning how to make changes to benefit from this.

DME/HME dealers have developed from single person locations into an industry. This happened over a rather short period. Perhaps the first step towards that was the meeting in Atlanta some 30 odd years ago, which developed into the Medtrade Exhibitions. This is progress!

Medtrade has developed into the most important place to secure your future! Twice a year, once in Las Vegas, and then at the Atlanta meeting, we all gather together. Where else can you meet and work with both the vendors and your peers?

Then, of course, are the high caliber lectures and workshops. Every day is filled with DME/HME providers and dealers trying to attend as many as possible. It seems that more and more dealers today are bringing key employees so as not to miss any seminars.

Yes, we are aging, but I really think that what we are doing is becoming more aware of the many available opportunities. Take advantage of this, and watch your company grow!

This year at the pending Medtrade Spring in Las Vegas you will meet a great number of new exhibitors. Be sure to visit as many as possible!
 
Register for Medtrade Spring now with the promo code SHELLY to get a Free Expo Pass.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Motivation

The number one asset of any company is the staff! Are you getting the most from your employees? Are you aware of what helps employees reach their potential? The answer is usually “motivation”!

Do you motivate by encouragement, such as with a pat on the back, or by a threat? Do you often reward a good employee with a salary increase? Do you wear a glove over a tight fist and use that to drive your staff to higher levels? Remember, you are the captain of the team and the results you can obtain will make for additional profits and more sales.

The most effective way to do this is via holding a meeting with all employees, including your drivers and the cleaning crew. Do not use this meeting to criticize, but rather to ask each member of your team to participate in gathering more sales and profits. Indicate, softly, that salary increases and other benefits will reflect as profits and sales grow. When you get the most from each employee, they will share in your success with salary increases and other surprises.

A DME principal showed me his neat way of rewarding those who gave him extra efforts with a gift certificate for dinner at a local restaurant. He told me this comparatively inexpensive reward brought out the best in each employee. He holds a staff “coffee break” every other Monday morning and the competition to obtain this “reward” was great. The time he gave that reward to the cleaning man the entire staff stood up and applauded.

What a way to boost morale and generate motivation! This is really motivation by recognition. These “coffee breaks” are a chance for you to listen and record what is said. When your staff knows they are being heard, you will have opened a fountain of knowledge.

When every employee recognizes that all are valuable to the company and that their extra efforts end up with recognition you will have made a giant step forward. As your staff develops into a “team” you will have proper motivation.