Going Further, Faster
Featured Guest: Jillian McCarney
For today’s show, I caught up with Jillian McCarney, Foundations Recovery Network’s regional manager of business development for the West Coast. She joined me at the Innovations in Recovery conference in San Diego, where she also gave a presentation about growing a sales team that goes further to offer solutions for clients, while doing it faster than the rest of the marketplace. She explains how she learned the keys to teambuilding from her football coach father and shares how having the mindset of a go-giver, instead of a go-getter, can help you form relationships that last.
David Condos: Hello and welcome to another episode of Recovery Unscripted. I’m David condos and this podcast is powered by Foundations Recovery Network. For today’s show, I caught up with Jillian McCarney, Regional Manager of Business Development for Foundations. She joined me at the Innovations in Recovery conference in San Diego, where she also gave a presentation about building a sales team of go-givers, rather than go-getters. She explains how she creates that culture at Foundations and shares how these seemingly antithetical concepts of selling and healing can actually work together. Now, here’s Jillian.
I’m here with Jillian McCarney, thank you for being with us today.
Jillian McCarney: Yes, thank you all.
David: Let’s start off by having you tell everyone about your own personal story and the journey to doing what you’re doing now and how you got started in the world of health care and now specifically behavioral health.
Jillian: Well welcome to San Diego.
David: Thank you. So this is your home base?
Jillian: This is my home base. It’s weird to call it that considering that I’m from the Midwest. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, I moved to San Diego for the job with Foundations Recovery Network. I started my sales career in orthopedic surgical sales, and so I was actually in the operating room every day doing sports medicine. Anything from ankle fractures, to total shoulders, to knee replacements, amputations, and it was really exciting. I got to learn science and biology, it was I was going back to school because I hadn’t taken a science class since the 10th grade.
It was exciting. I got to work with some of the most world-renowned surgeons out there. I got to a place in my career where I realized I just don’t care that much about what I’m selling anymore. For me knowing that growth is such a motivator for me in the work that I do, I felt like I had gotten pretty stagnant in the position that I was in. What I did is I started informational interviewing all kinds of people. I was meeting with non-profits, I was meeting with professional sports teams, I was meeting with CEOs. What do you like about what you do? What don’t you like, and how did you get into it? I spent about six months doing that and then came across Foundations Recovery Network.
Was put through a pretty rigorous interview process. The person interviewing me at the time said, “Listen, we’re going to fly you out to LA and we want you to set up some meetings. I am going right along with you.” I thought to myself, “What do you mean? What meetings? What are you talking about?”
David: That was all the direction…
Jillian: That was all the direction I got. I came out to LA and this Minnesota girl was driving around this manager that was interviewing me in LA traffic, and going to hospitals and treatment centers and therapist’s office. At the end of the day was taken surfing. I was really put to the test. In all of that, felt like Foundations was a real fit for me. Through my own personal recovery story, had a real passion for wanting to get people help.
Through my own story, I was able to realize that there was someone in my life at one point or another that had said, you just don’t have to live like this anymore. I thought if I could be that person, just one other human being on this planet that would be a really awesome opportunity. When I moved out to San Diego for Minneapolis and I didn’t know one person, and I was told go out there and drum up some business. Here’s a cell phone, here’s a laptop, you can do it. I did once again what I’ve always done, which is I just started going places and talking to people, and saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing will you please help me. Who do I need to know?”
From there grew a pretty big network and spent a lot of time traveling all over the country and earned rookie of the year in 2015. Now I sit at the table today as the West regional manager of the business development team. I say all that that in a short amount of time over the last three years I’ve developed a lot and I’ve learned a lot. It’s because I’ve asked a lot of questions and had a lot of great mentors along the way.
David: Could you tell us a little bit more about your current role as the West regional manager with Foundations?
Jillian: Yes, I manage a team of nine sales reps. We have a team of over 30 across the country and we call them business development representatives. In that, we are representing all of the facilities that Foundations has to offer…residential outpatient programs across the country.
We know that what gets measured gets done. My job as a leader of this team is to make sure that our business development reps are getting out there. If you came and rode with any of our reps on any given day what you might see is a rep driving and meeting with five different accounts face to face. Then they’re doing 15 follow-ups, calls, emails. They’re doing 20 activities a day, that’s in their basic requirement. What you don’t see, are all the calls that they’re making to patients and families for follow-up calls in the admissions center, to get patients the help that they need.
The way that Foundations has been set up is that we oftentimes tend to refer out twice as many people as we actually take quality referrals out. There’s a lot of calls that come into the admissions center. We get anywhere from 15 to 17,000 calls a month. It’s where we stand apart in the industry, I think or what we have is that we actually have a specific referral team within our admission center. Their sole job is to take anyone that we bring in as the business development team from the marketplace that isn’t a fit for us and to find their appropriate placement for them. That’s where they rely heavily on the business development team who’s out in the local communities and marketplace to know what are the best resources.
David: Then I wanted to get into a little bit about your presentation. You gave a session here at this conference called going further faster, how to build a sales team of go-givers rather than go-getters. First, could you define what a go-giver is?
Jillian: Well, let me give a little context to the go-giver. The “further faster” is an expression of Foundations Recovery Networks purpose statement, building lifetime relationships for long term recovery. The idea is that we’re going to build more relationships and we’re going to do it faster in the marketplace than anyone else.
The concept of the go-giver is drawn on a book called The Go-Giver. If anyone hasn’t read it, I highly recommend it. Their concept is that if you are constantly giving and bringing resources to the table, and providing information, providing different opinions in the marketplace, you are going to have bought in customers for a lifetime. The conversation as a sales person sitting across the table from a potential customer isn’t, here’s what I need you to give me, I want your business, I want, I want, I’m going to take. It is here’s what I have to offer you. It’s drawing on the idea of karma, that the more I give the more will come back to me in the end. It challenges a lot of the stereotypical sales mentality of hit the ground running and pound the pavement and smile and dialing. It’s really saying what do you have to offer? Really creating a culture of, how do I build myself as a resource, to the customers that we’re providing?
In the behavioral health model and the way that this industry we look at that is when I’m meeting with different CEOs, or Chief Marketing Officers, or clinical directors. I’ve always tried to have a mentality of what can I bring to the table that’s going to be useful to them. Is it industry knowledge? It’s hey, here’s some problems that you may not have foreseen in your business. Here’s some things that I can share with you to help alleviate some headaches that you might face. You may not know you have this problem. Here’s how I offer a solution to that. The idea is that rather than coming to the table and asking what keeps you up at night. The mentality is I’m going to tell you what should be keeping you up at night. It’s also based on the book called The Challenger Sale.
Another great read that categorizes sales reps in the most successful companies into five different profiles. Historically, we might think that the best salesperson is the relationship builder, someone who can shake hands, kiss babies, get people to like them. They actually are the lower performers compared to the other four profiles. The profile of the sales rep that was the highest producer and they studied over 35,000 sales reps was actually the challenger. The profile of the challenger is the sales rep who is doing a lot of that go giving, who is coming to the table, who’s willing to push their customer, willing to have a little bit of debate. Actually, invites a little bit attention into the conversation. Knowing that if they can push their customer to a point of discomfort and still get their buy in, they’re going to have customers for those lifelong relationships.
David: The reps aren’t just telling people what they want to hear, they’re pushing them in that process helping everyone get better and then offering solutions.
Jillian: Yes, it’s debunking that idea of what have you done for me lately. In the book they talk about, you creating a product or a relationship that your customer is willing to pay for. In order to do that, you really have to bring some value-add to the table. A lot of that presentation I talked a lot, about what are you doing as a person whether you are holding the seat as a company owner, or a CEO, a sales rep, a director, or a clinician. How are you professionally growing? How are you pushing your bounds? If you’re not doing that, the people around you aren’t going to grow either. Most people really basic human needs want that connection and they want to feel challenged to grow. In the sales role that we have because we’re touching so many different people we can really live out that expression for the mantra we have.
David: See you touched on this a little bit. What are some misconceptions about the sales force and their responsibilities? Then what is the reality of what that role should be?
Jillian: When I was talking in the presentation about myths and misconceptions of the sales person, especially in the health care industry and even more so in the behavioral health care industry. Nobody likes to use the term sales rep. Historically, you’ve seen things like marketing outreach, community outreach. What we’ve done is over time we’ve created this role of business development. We’ve never wanted to say, this is our sales rep which really at the end of the day across all those lines that’s what the person is doing. We’re trying to drive more sales for our company and bringing the right qualified patients, we’re trying to bring help.
The misconceptions I think have been that a sales rep is out there playing golf during the day, trying to drum up new business and they just get to go out there and schmooze. I asked this question to the audience a lot of people said, fake they might just be talking, schmoozing these were all terms that they were using. What I challenge everyone in the room to really understand and to think about, is the idea that what if it wasn’t that. What if the sales rep wasn’t that person that was just there to throw some brochures on your desk and try to get some business. They were really helping solve some of your organizational issues, they were bringing value to you and your staff. It was interesting to have the audience talk about what their thoughts of sales are, and then what are they now, or what could they be.
I had everyone line up and on one end I said, “Come over to the front of the room if you think you’re the most experienced sales rep in the room. If you’ve been doing this your whole life and it is you live and breathe sales. I want you to go to the back of the room, if sales is the last thing on your mind you couldn’t get paid enough to have to do a sales job.” Right? It’s interesting because most people are somewhere in the middle. Then you’ve got more people at the back of the room who don’t want to associate with sales. What I challenge those people to think about– and there were therapists, there was a lawyer, clinicians. What I said is, in any given part of your day or in the role you have you might be selling some form of the work you do. Whether it’s trying to draw clients into your private practice. Whether it’s selling the services that you offer, working with colleagues or potential referral sources. These are all things that you actually are doing on a daily basis. What if we thought of sales as being an empowering platform, rather than a really hairy scary and annoying used car salesman type of environment.
David: Then so how do you build that culture? Then what are some ways you found that you can keep your team engaged and moving in that direction?
Jillian: A lot of the presentation I drew on the philosophy of my dad who was a division one head football coach in the Midwest and all over the country. I grew up with this mentality of really trying to overcome your odds, watching the underdogs try to rise to the top. Really getting everyone’s buying and building and team and how do you build a team of winners? Everything I know about sales I learned from my dad is what I drew on in my presentation. I still think a lot of the sports analogies just hold true in the sales world.
The biggest thing that I have with my team is being really clear on what the expectations are. Providing the training and resources that they may need to achieve those expectations, and then holding them accountable to that.
What I see in a lot of the behavioral health care industries, is that we may have a sales person or an outreach marketer but there’s no guidance there’s no leadership, It’s just go drum up business. What I really try to teach everyone on my team or infuse in them is that, we want everyone to be the mayor of their own territory, their own community, be the resource. You are a leader within your organization whatever platform you have, whether it’s your first day on the job or you’ve been doing it for 20 years. You have something to offer you’ve earned your seat at this table.
David: Yes. One term that I saw you mentioned in your presentation is strategic collaboration. Could you tell us a little bit about that? Why is that important?
Jillian: When I was selling surgical implants and instruments, there wasn’t a whole lot of difference from one product to the next and the competition was really high. When I came into the behavioral health world, it was really odd to me that some of our biggest referral sources, our biggest customers, were people that were also providing residential treatment or outpatient treatment for co-occurring disorders. What I came to find is that, when you’re in the role of a sales person or you’re working from a mentality of trying to grow your own business, you have to have the mentality of collaboration. We can’t have the mentality of scarcity. We have to have the idea and the thought process that we are living in a very abundant place. There are enough patients and people and family out there that need the help and services that we provide. If we do right by the patient, if we do ethical work even if it’s not going to grow our census or our numbers, it’ll always come back to us and we will always win.
I really encourage a lot of the people that I work with, if I called you and I had a profile of a client would you know where to place them. Really relying on those people around you. I relied heavily when I moved to San Diego on the people that I met with, of who do you know? What should I do? Here’s the situation I am in, can you help me? I think for any professionals, sales professional or not it’s important to have your trusted advisers. They may or may not be in your own organization and you have those people you can confide in and grow from. If you come to the table with the idea and the mentality of collaboration, you’re only going to grow and momentum follows.
David: Did you mentioned earlier that you’re in recovery yourself?
David: Would you like to tell us a little bit about that journey and how that has influenced how you’re working, in today?
Jillian: I’m happy to. Like I said, I grew up in a house with a football coach of a dad who was amazing and competitive and worked really hard and I gained a real sense of work ethic from a really young age. What I also realized– I was an athlete in high school and college– and what I realized is that I have a very addictive personality. There is no middle ground that takes a lot of practice. I am zero to 60 black or white which has served me really well in certain areas of my life like sales and not so well in others. My path to recovery looked like I was a good student in high school, I had good grades, I had lots of friends, I was popular, I was captain of my sports teams, I went to the University of Iowa, joined a sorority, had all kinds of friends, and loved to party. Saw a lot of value in and meeting people and socializing and growing my network if you will. With that, there was a black hole inside of me that I was trying to fill for a long time. I tried all things to fill that hole. It was getting good grades, it was performing in sports, it was working and making money, it was drinking alcohol, it was doing drugs. It was having relationships with boys, it was having more friends, it was traveling trying to reinvent myself. The reality is none of those things stuck. I couldn’t do enough of anything to fill the hole that was inside me.
A series of events had happened. At the end of my college career the day after I graduated college, there was someone who sat across the table for me and I had woke up I was bruised and bloody. I didn’t know what had happened the night before in the state of a blackout. I had someone sit across from me that said, “You just don’t have to live like this anymore honey.” They offered me an opportunity to go relieve some of that pain that I had been feeling. At that point, I look at that as really being some spiritual experience for me. What happened is that everything in my body told me not to listen and that I could do it different and that I would be able to make a change. There was the tiniest voice in my head that said, “I just don’t want to live like this anymore.”
I decided to seek and go with the help that was provided to me, and I went to treatment in Minnesota, a 30-day treatment program. I haven’t had a drink since and that was eight years ago. My recovery process has looked bumpy, and there’s been a lot of good, and there’s been a lot of really hard times, there’s been a lot of healing. I just know I live and breathe recovery in my life today some days are way easier than others. I can’t imagine my life any other way than it is today. I’m really grateful. I’m humbled. I just appreciate that I get to wake up and try to make the world a little bit better and the scope of the recovery lens.
David: Thank you for sharing that.
Jillian: Yeah of course.
David: Congratulations on eight years.
David: All right. I’ll wrap up with this final question. You could be doing sales in any number of industries. Why is helping people find recovery important to you?
Jillian: I think that so many people I come across in all walks of life have on some level some black hole. What I look at is that there are so many people out there that just don’t even know that recovery is a possibility. They don’t know that this other life even exists. I think why I’m so passionate about the behavioral health care industry about helping people find recovery is that it was so meaningful to me and that there are so many people out there that might not be struggling with drugs and alcohol. It may be eating disorder, it may be relationship and attachment issues. It could be money issues, body image. Whatever it is, that there is hope and there is an easier, softer way. What keeps me around is knowing that, even in this field, there’s more work to be done and we’ve got to raise the bar yet again. Again, I said at the beginning, but, for me, it’s really providing the space to hold for someone, to say, “You just don’t have to live like this anymore.” It is just completely changed my life and that’s what keeps me going, yes.
David: Thank you for being with us today and for sharing all that.
Jillian: Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.
David: Thank again to Jillian for sharing that with us. If you’d like to speak with someone from Foundations Recovery Network about treatment options for yourself or a loved one, please call anytime at 855-823-2141. Now, I’m happy to once again welcome Will Hart to the show. Will is part of the Life Challenge team and he joins us each month to give us and update from their community. Last month’s challenge, was to find ways to get outside and enjoy the season’s weather. Will is back today to share the new challenge for this month. Welcome Will.
Will Hart: Thanks for having me.
David: All right, how are you doing today, man?
Will: I’m good, how are you?
David: Excellent, so what do we got on tap this month?
Will: We’re going to challenge everybody to come up with a list of five things they’d like to do this summer.
David: Nice. Any ideas? Any suggestions? What would be on your list?
Will: I’m actually well on my way, in the next two weeks, to completing some things I’d like to do. For one, I’m going whitewater rafting in Chattanooga and then I’m going to Boston at the end of June too.
David: Well, that sounds like a great way to get people’s summer adventures off to a good start.
Will: Yes. Talking with my team, we were thinking that so many people have so many things that they’re like — talk about wanting to do throughout the summer and then never end up getting to. We figured, if you actually come up with a list, try to make a plan, get after it, you’ll get some things done. It’ll be a lot of fun.
David: Then, as always, they can share those on your website?
Will: The Bragging Rights page on our website at LCaccepted.com. We love to see photos from all our members and just anybody out there in the public. You get a free T-shirt out of it, so it’s a good gig.
David: Awesome. All right, free T-shirt, that’s another good thing for the summer.
David: Thanks for sharing that with us.
Will: Yes, thank you for having me.
David: This has been the Recovery Unscripted podcast. Today we’ve heard from Jillian McCarney, Regional Manager of Business Development for Foundations Recovery Network. To learn more about their care, visit foundationsrecoverynetwork.com. Thank you for listening today. If you like what you hear, please leave us a review. We’d love to find out what you think. See you next time.