Let’s face it, when the economy goes south, medical facilities don’t utilize temporary medical staffing services as much. This leaves medical staffing agencies in an odd conundrum–selling to hospitals, nursing homes and medical clinics who keep saying, “We just don’t need temporary nurses right now.” As a healthcare staffing business owner, what should you do when you hear this?

Change how you sell. Stop selling your medical staffing agency and stop selling temporary nurse staffing services. Instead, sell the results of using a temporary medical staffing agency. Find ways you can show every prospect how you can reduce their current expenses (i.e. no longer having to pay full-time employee benefits, not having to pay overtime) and show how your temporary nurses can help them function to the best of its ability (i.e. filling the vacant shifts during holidays).

Instead of selling, start consulting. As a temporary healthcare staffing business owner, you have to help your clients see the risks of not using your temporary workers. While you can’t be overly negative or pushy, it’s important for nurse staffing entrepreneurs to explain how the money these healthcare facilities will spend on your medical staffing services will not put their business at risk. Conversely, agency owners should demonstrate to these facilities that if they do not make smart medical staffing investments, they are definitely putting their medical facility at risk.

Offer something in addition to temporary nurse staffing. In other words, make it irresistible for medical facilities to use your medical staffing agency. Creativity and negotiation goes a long way when bargaining with facilities. For example, a medical staffing agency owner could extend its financing terms, apply discounts for early payments, or cater to the facility by filling specialty allied health positions (i.e. respiratory therapist, x-ray technicians, pharmacists, etc.).

Identify your ideal customer and focus on reaching them. Work on developing and leveraging your referral network. An opportunity can present itself at any time, so nurse staffing business owners should always carry their business cards with them. Don’t be afraid to share a referral that is not an ideal match for your nurse staffing company. Everyone appreciates a good recommendation, and they will be more likely to refer you a customer if you are able to prove your willingness to spread the wealth. (THINK: I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.)

Address the fears of today’s medical facilities. In this deteriorating economy, your prospects are more afraid than ever to spend money. As the owner of a supplemental staffing agency, you need to prove the value of your services with real examples. Demonstrate how medical facilities can utilize your medical staffing services to reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage.

Be sure to keep these five creative selling tactics in mind the next time you hear: “We just don’t need temporary nurses right now.” Regardless of the shape of the economy, if you are able to prove your temporary medical staffing company’s value, it will reduce or even eliminate any fears that medical facilities have about utilizing your staffing services.