If 2020 were a yogurt, it would be rotten trout flavored. It’s been one crazy thing after another and for many liaisons/marketers, it’s become increasingly hard to get referrals hospital referrals.
That should come as no surprise, as the hospitals and many of the Skilled Nursing Facilities are still on lockdown six months since this pandemic started.
For many seasoned marketers whose “bread and butter” is their hospital relationships, the issue is not that they don’t have the skill to get referrals, but that they don’t have the access to their referral sources to use those skills.
Then there is the flip-side. Many markets are seeing a huge uptick in referrals. Many marketers are smashing their numbers. Why? Because they knew they were going to have to leave their comfort zone, and they did.
What was an in-person, impromptu visit, is now a phone call, email, or text. What was an in-service lunch is now a social-distanced one-on-one meeting across a car or in a coffee shop. The way we did things in 2019 may not work in 2020 – And that’s okay.
It’s not time to obsess over the problem. Let your competitors get caught up in all the ways they are unable to get referrals! You need to focus on what will work TODAY.
Here is what we know:
Your referral sources are more open to phone calls, text, and email now than ever before. What used to be a frowned upon method for sales outreach, is now expected. Well, they expect to get calls from reps…you have an opportunity to do something unexpected that can increase your referrals over 5x what you are getting now.
It’s time to provide them with the tools they need to identify potential patients for your services and elevate the conversation from “hey, you got anyone I can take care of?” – to – “Which client have you seen this week who is unable to manage their diabetes?”
By providing them a reason to refer, you increase the likelihood that they will. This doesn’t mean that the classic, un-inspired sales pitches are going to drive referrals. Instead, we need to help marry the great service they provide with the needs we meet with our agencies though diagnosis-specific education.
Here is what most sales reps have said in the past:
Do you have any homebound patients who need a [insert your choice of – SN, PT, OT, ST] that currently have Medicare? (hitting close to home, huh?)
In-Home Care (non-medical):
Do you have any patients who are struggling with [insert your choice of – bathing, dressing, grooming, meal prep, toileting, transportation]?
Do you have any patients that are going to die in the next 6 months? (Blunt, but fair)
These are just sharing the functions that you do. When re-framed in the outlook of a diagnosis, they look entirely different.
Don’t say: “Do you have any patients struggling with transportation?”
Instead say: “Which of your COPD patients are missing visits due to their lack of energy?”
Of course, we would preface this by telling them about the in-home struggles with the COPD diagnosis and sharing how our services would benefit a COPD patient. This question simply shows the difference in approach.
You have to ask yourself: Are you telling them the same broken record message as your competitors or are you bringing them valuable insights that can improve the lives of their patients?
We know that many agencies have struggled to marry clinical knowledge with the ability to go out in the field and market. I’m sure your clinical staff has told you that they could go out and market anytime they want, but when they do make that transition, most fail in a very epic way.
That is why we developed a program that can take non-clinical marketers and quickly give them the tools and knowledge to sell via diagnosis. If you’d like to learn more, go here: https://homecaresales.com/52-week-roadmap-to-referrals/
About the Author:
Jason Lewallen is Vice President of Marketing
for Home Care Sales
He can be reached at: