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Episode 123 | Creating a Selling Culture with Nikki Rausch

nikki rausch


  • Episode 123 | Creating a Selling Culture with Nikki Rausch 00:00


Hi Group Practice Listeners! In this episode, I’m talking with Nikki Rausch all about creating a selling culture in your group practice.

In this episode we cover:

  • Tips for creating a selling culture
  • Learning to talk to your team about selling
  • Converting calls to clients

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

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Maureen Werrbach

Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of the group practice exchange podcast. Today I have someone on her name is Nikki Roush. And she’s gonna be talking about creating an authentic selling culture in your group practice. So hey Nikki, how are you?

Nikki Rausch

I’m good, how are you?

Maureen Werrbach

Not bad. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Because I think many group practice owners might not know who you are. And tell us a little bit about you and why this topic is one that’s in your wheelhouse.

Nikki Rausch

Well, I am a sales expert. My company is Sales Maven, I have had I’ve 25 years of sales experience. In addition to that I am a master certified practitioner of neuro linguistic programming with quite an extensive background in that as well. I started Sales Maven in 2013, really working with people who have service based businesses, and teaching them this the selling conversation. How do you move somebody through the process, and do it in an authentic way that allows for your own personality to shine through and is more impactful? And over the last, you know, seven and a half years, I have had the opportunity to work with quite a few people who have their own practice and is doing exactly what your listeners are doing and want to create this culture that it isn’t just relying on them to be the person who has to you know, go out and find all the new patients or clients.

Maureen Werrbach

I love that. So, tell us an initial tip, like what? Because I think one of the big struggles and you might know this in working with practice owners is that our strength tends not to be in marketing, because we don’t want to feel like we’re selling, you know, seeing clients. And so oftentimes, group practice owners especially because, you know, with, with group practice owners, they’ve typically successfully, you know, grown their own caseload, but then it’s a whole kind of new beast to convert clients, or convert callers into clients, with their other therapists who the community might not yet know.

Nikki Rausch

Well, one of the things that I have found around this is is because you have built this practice and for the, you know, the primary part of it has been built around who you are and your expertise. And then when you’re bringing on a team member, and now you want to help fill their schedule, because your schedules fall, or you want to take a step back from seeing as many clients or patients, the idea is of learning how to really highlight your people on your, in your group in the practice.

So one of the conversations that I get a lot from group practice owners is they’re like, well, everybody wants to meet with me.

And a lot of times, it’s when we dig into that initial call. They’re, they’re talking a lot about themselves and their expertise because they think that’s what, and they’ve known that that’s always what’s going to sell them. But the idea is learning how to talk about your team. That’s one thing instead of just talking about, well, here’s what I do. And now I’m going to refer you to this other person. It needs to be here’s what the team does, and I have the perfect person based on what you’ve shared. That will be a great fit. For what your challenges are, what you’re wanting some support around. So making sure that you’re really talking about the team and not just you.

Maureen Werrbach

Yeah, I find that one of the first things that I talk with group practice owners about once they have a color that they’re trying to convert into a client is that oftentimes, you know, clients will call and say, you know, I want to see you and then they say, you know, I’m full or, you know, I’m not taking new clients at the at the moment. And then it sounds like they’re getting the second best thing, which is the worst thing, right? Just like but I have. I do. I’m so sorry. I am actually really, I’m full. I can’t No, I can’t take anyone else. But I do have someone else. And it sounds almost like well, doesn’t sound like I’m getting a good thing. And you’re getting the consolation prize.

And so I one of the things I like to say is, you know, one I like to hire people who I think are better than me one because then I feel like, I’m going to be excited about sharing this resource other therapists with the community.

And so I’ll say, you know, I just matter of fact, I’m not I’m not taking new clients, but tell me a little bit about what your What drew you to me. So I can see if there’s another therapist in my practice that actually might be a better fit for you. And it’s just in how you phrase it Really?

Nikki Rausch

Exactly. It’s always in how you phrase it. Yeah. And that’s really what I specialize in is working with people on the way they’re phrasing things to make it so much easier because I was I call it pouring love, like you want to pour love all over your teammates all over the other people in the practice, so that people are super excited. When they get that appointment with them. They’re like, Oh, I’m getting I am getting the best, like the best person for me.

Maureen Werrbach

So how do you if we take a step back from the client is calling how do we step back to getting The clients to call for someone else. That’s not you, the business owner.

Nikki Rausch

Well, one of the ways to do that is to highlight those people, if you’re putting out a newsletter, if you’re putting stuff on social media is to make sure that you’re highlighting the members of your team and talking about their expertise and, you know, sharing whatever is appropriate to be shared, that really, again, paints them in the most positive light, so that people are excited.

And also to know that it is the team probably like talking about it, like it’s a team.

Like we’re a team. This is a team practice, versus we’re all individuals. Because then it’s like, well, who’s like, Who would I possibly want to meet with, right? Like, people shouldn’t be confused. They should feel like coming in, like this is the person or I’m going to get the right person because there’s this myriad of choices and expertise to pull from.

Maureen Werrbach

So it’s interesting what you are saying is Maybe focusing less, you know, yes, focus on the individual person highlight that person. But, you know, maybe focusing a little bit less on each person as an individual and more of the team as a whole. Because I think about this a lot in group owners bring this up is like I do all this work, you know, marketing this therapist, and then they leave. And so I see like a kind of a gray zone, where you’re, you know, marketing that person and letting the people know that this person exists. But you know, not to the point of where you’re putting all your eggs in that basket so that if that person does leave, then you’re almost like reinventing the wheel and starting over again. So almost like it sounds like you’re saying a nice blend of highlighting that person but also highlighting the team and going circling back to the team.

Nikki Rausch

You know, when you start talking about the expertise of the practice, and it isn’t so focused on the one person, like you said, because you know, people do leave. And you don’t want to have invested all of this money and, and resources and energy around somebody who isn’t going to stick around. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring somebody else into the, into the practice that has a similar skill set that’s going to serve those clients. So again, you want them coming in feeling like this practice can serve all of these things. There’s that there is expertise here for me. So it doesn’t necessarily have as much to do with the actual person that they’re seeing as much as that the practice is capable of handling this this particular challenge that the person’s looking for support around.

Maureen Werrbach

I really like that idea. So what is your suggestion? For a practice, a group practice that’s just starting to figure out how to separate themselves from the business I see this happening a lot where They still highlight themselves. It as the owner, which I think has just subtle undertones, for the community as like, that’s who I should be going to even if you’re fearful. I remember, I don’t know, maybe five or six years ago, I like took myself off of everything, because I didn’t want to even be associated with it. Because if there was a moment where I felt like the business is separate from me, it’s its own entity, you know? But what what suggestion or first step would you give to someone who’s trying to figure out how to, you know, get the community to be aware of their business and the specialties as a whole versus they themselves as an individual, or maybe even the first few therapists that they have, who maybe they’ve been spending a lot of time marketing individually.

Nikki Rausch

So the idea of today then taking that step back again, just kind of goes back to what how, what kind of information are you putting out into the marketplace? And then when you’re Are you still taking those initial calls? Because if you’re the person who is taking the initial calls, again, not even offering yourself as an option, right? So instead of saying like, well, I’m full, and I’m not taking clients, that shouldn’t even come into the conversation in that in that what I consider as a selling conversation, like it should just be, let’s find out what’s going on for you. And and then I’m going to recommend the person that’s the best fit for you like, you have to you really do have to start, you have to, I guess I should say, you have to stop talking about yourself and your expertise and you as the business owner, it really has to be about the practice. So I think even as a solopreneur your business should be have somewhat of an entity outside of you. Because if at all wrapped around you. Well, that makes it hard for you to step away, it makes it hard for you to take vacation, it makes it hard for you to do a lot of things. If they’re if you’re so wrapped if everything is so wrapped up.

The other thing too and and so I mean this with a lot of care because I know this can be hard to hear, but you have to let go of the ego, the ego around like you want to be known as the best therapist at the practice and you want to be known as the person that everybody wants to come and see.

Like that is going to keep you limited the amount of time that you have available to meet with patients or clients. And that isn’t going to help your practice grow. So and if you’re not able to do that, then you shouldn’t be the person who’s taking those calls those initial calls with people and recommending who the person is that they should be meeting with. Because it’s it’s hard to like not want to, to shine right especially if that’s that’s something that feeds your soul, which That’s me, by the way, like, I love recognition. And so there would be a time for me to be able to take a step back as my business grows and let other people shine. And so that I could have that ability to bring in more revenue to the practice without it being totally wrapped up in me.

Maureen Werrbach

Yeah, I really like that. And I think, you know, a big part of why some practice owners have a hard time letting go is is is the ego piece and I think it’s important to be able to feel proud of yourself for having started and grown a business while simultaneously being okay with not everyone, you know, else having that as their highlight reel, you know? And so yeah, that makes that makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. With I was Thinking as you were talking with just the selling culture piece, how can a group practice owner create a selling culture that doesn’t feel icky? I think this is a maybe unique to just like a wellness group of people and might might not be as much of an issue for other areas of work, but definitely something that we hear a lot about in our industry.

Nikki Rausch

One of the things I think is really important to train your staff on is that a lot of times people who are coming into the practice, they don’t they know they need something, they don’t necessarily know what exactly they need. And they want you to be the expert, the person they’re meeting with the person who’s working the front desk. They want you to be the expert. And so teaching people, I think, I would say and I teach around sales like Relationship first report always. And one of the things that’s a rapport breaker is for people to leave conversation with you or leave an appointment with you and not understand what the best next step is for them. And so sometimes people are hesitant like, ah, I’ll let them decide if they want to schedule another session and I’m not going to suggest it or I’m not. I’m not going to suggest like a three month plan or whatever the plan is, because I don’t want to come off like I’m being salesy or icky. But unfortunately, when the person leaves, they leave unsatisfied because they don’t understand what the next step is.

And so teaching people that, you know, relationship first and rapport always, in order to keep and maintain rapport with your existing client base.

They should understand what your recommended next step for them is. And that does often mean there needs to be a next session scheduled or multiple sessions scheduled. Over the course of you know, the next couple weeks or the next couple months, so that they know that the patient or the client knows what their next step is. And it’s super satisfying to them to have a plan to have an action plan. It’s like we’re making momentum, we’ve got something going on here. I know what I’m supposed to do. And if you leave it up to them, like, you know, well, you can decide if you want to schedule another time or not. It kind of sounds like, I don’t know, I’m not the expert, like, should I schedule another session? So making sure that you’re making it really easy for them to take that next step in order to get what it is that they’re saying they want, right? Something resolved or or some type of help? Like it is your job to make it really easy for them to get it and that means laying out a plan and a next step for them.

Maureen Werrbach

Yeah, I think that’s such an important point that you make in something that we’ve worked on in our own group practice. When Looking at retention, and seeing where the issues in retention have been with certain staff, nine times out of 10, it wasn’t a skills issue or a clinical issue. It was the initial session rapport, report rapport building and like next step issue, because they felt because they’re either more passive therapists like they do their work is a little more client centered or less direct, and as a therapist, in their style, or they just, you know, want the clients to, you know, a therapeutic kind of notion is that the client needs to be be invested in in their therapy and needs to be active in the decision making of continuing therapy. Because, you know, people who make decisions around things tend to follow through more than, you know, other people, telling them.

But we found a huge shift when we trained our staff on that initial session, and the idea that, you know, you’re an expert.

And when you go to a doctor’s office, they tell you, okay, you know, based off of what you’ve come in for today, I want you to take, you know, this medicine for, you know, everyday for five days, and I’m gonna call you back on that fifth day. And if the symptoms haven’t resided, this is what’s going to be next, you know, they’re very clear and direct, and that’s what we expect from our providers. Right? And, you know, you don’t go to a doctor and say, and they say, Well, you know, this medicine could help, I mean, but you you didn’t you decide. For this, you know, this kind of movement, if you’re going to ot can can help but like, you know, I don’t want to be too forward with this. So I’m just gonna lay this sheet of paper with the movements on the table and you know, you you decide if you want to do that, and so similarly, in mental health, I think a lot of therapists have a hard time seeing themselves as an expert, which is a whole, you know, another issue to kind of talk through with your team. Because when you feel like an expert, you, you know, this was this is going to be the best next move for you. And I’d love to be that person to, to go on that journey and make that next move with you with. Yeah,

Nikki Rausch

yeah. And, you know, in any sales situation, whether it’s group practice, or it’s anything else, you know, you’re selling to adults. And so they’ll make their own decision. Like, if you make a recommendation, if you lay out a plan for them, and they’re like, No, I’m not invested in it, then they’ll make that decision. But if you don’t lay out the plan for them, then they don’t really know what to do. And the other thing is that if you don’t give them the plan and the option of moving forward, a lot of times, you know, our brains are really lazy. And we just won’t make a decision unless it’s posed. Right? In front of us, you know, sometimes the decision needs to be here, you know, here’s the here’s the plan, would you like to move forward with it? And they can say yes or no. But if you just say like, Well, here’s a plan. They don’t ever get that, would you like to move forward with it, which I would consider as the invitation to move, you know, to move to the next step. And if you don’t issue that invitation, their brain oftentimes will not make a decision. And then they’re in limbo, and they’re exactly like where they were before they even came in for that initial consultation or that initial session with you of not knowing how to solve the problem, or get the need met.

Maureen Werrbach

Yep, exactly. So if you have a one tip you would give, to get someone started at shifting their kind of selling selling culture here. What would that be?

Nikki Rausch

Well, the biggest thing is to make sure there’s conversations around it, and whether that’s in team meetings, that there needs to be a, I think it has to be a constant conversation like, every part of the team meeting or every team meeting, there should be some part that resides around, are we making it easy for our patients to get the next steps with us? And that means, you know, everything from the front desk of you know, I often say like, Don’t play a go fish, you know, with a client, when they call in and say, I’d like an appointment, and you go, great. When would you like to come in? And they say, I want to come in on Thursday. And they go, Oh, I’m sorry, that person’s not available on Thursday. Is there another time? You want to come in? Go Fish? Yeah, don’t do that. You know, like having those types of conversations, how easy are we making it for patients to get what they say they want? And so when somebody calls and says, I’d like to make an appointment, you know, your front desk should say great. We have the next available appointment is this time and then let the person saying No, that doesn’t work or Yes, it works, but don’t ask them to like pretty Like they see the schedule, right. And so having those constant conversations and every team meeting, just again, it’s it’s really about making it easy. And the easier you make it for people to get what they say they want, the more likely they are to continue to give you their business.

Maureen Werrbach

I love that. That’s a great, that’s a great piece of feedback. If people are interested in working with you, how can they find you?

Nikki Rausch

Well, the easiest way to find me is to download my ebook called closing the sale. And you can find that by going to your salesman Ford slash t GP for the group practice podcast. So TTP, and you’ll be able to download that you’ll be on my website, your sales Maven calm. And I’m happy to hear from anybody who has some questions or have some feedback about the episode or something I said that you’re like, I want more about that. I’d love to hear from

Maureen Werrbach

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on. Thanks for having me. Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard. Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. need extra support. Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours live webinars and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into. See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

therapy notes

*Need a good EHR for your group practice? TherapyNotes is it. I’ve been using it for years in my own group practice, and it does really well when it comes to having the features group practice owners need. Try it out for FREE for 2 months by clicking here.

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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