I love the holidays! Candy canes, sugar cookies, and Hallmark Movies NONSTOP.
That’s right, Mr. Manly Man, Jason Lewallen, loves watching sappy Christmas movies for the entire month of December. Try to get me to watch “The Notebook” or “Titanic” and you’d better be ready for an uphill battle…but turn on “Mrs. Miracle” or “Love and Mistletoe” and I’ll have the popcorn ready and sleep pants on faster then you can blink.
It’s amazing how the holidays can do that to a person. Here is the thing: It’s not the holidays. It’s perception. I am willing to let my guard down during the holidays, but I perceive these movies not as “drama” or “romance” but heartfelt holiday movies.
When we change our perception, it changes OUR reality. Think about that for a second. If you think that you will be a successful salesperson, you will work at it. You will most likely become that salesperson. Need more proof? Consider this great story:
In 1964, Robert Rosenthal did a very unique experiment in a San Fransisco school. He disguised a regular IQ assessment test as “Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition.” After the teachers administered the test to students, Rosenthal randomly selected students regardless of their scores and informed the teachers they were gifted. He shared that the gifted children would see tremendous growth in their IQ over the upcoming years.
The results of this study tell us quite a bit about the human mind. Over the next two years, the kids who were considered “gifted” but who were, in fact, randomly chosen, all preformed higher than the others. Rosenthal determined that the day-to-day interactions the teachers shared with their students were different from those they shared with the “average” classes.
The moral of this story is simple. If we believe in something, we will (either aware or unaware) try to influence our situation to match with that which we believe in. That applies to more than just us. It can also apply to our referral sources.
If your referral source BELIEVES that sending you a patient or client will lead to an outcome they are looking for, they will focus more on referring to you. However, there is a catch. To mobilize referral sources, you will have to put together a reasonable foundation of education.
Building a solid foundation
When you build a foundation of education, what you are really doing is laying down the groundwork for identifying patients. Think about this: Most office managers, front desk workers, and even many referral coordinators don’t know the most optimal time to pick up the phone and call your agency.
Sure they know when a physician says to order care or to reach out to a home care or hospice company, but they rarely look into their patient mix and say, “this patient would definitely benefit from home care.” Uncovering how patients are identified for care is the key to getting the most out of your services.
How will your referral sources learn to identify possible clients or patients for your service? You have to show them!
So, here is the tough question. Can you identify a potential patient/client? Does your sales team know the signs to look for to know when it’s time to call you for (as an example) a COPD patient?
Too many salespeople in our industry are lacking in this key piece of knowledge. They may know the benefits of referring, but do they really know how to paint the picture of the right patient type? If not, you are missing a major component.
Laying down a foundation for “The Best-Fit” Client/Patient
Yes, we need to educate our referral sources on when to call for our services. The question now becomes “who” are trying to get services too? The answer is more nuanced than a simple EVERYONE who needs them.
There are certain conditions and diagnoses that require therapies and treatments you may not offer. There are some that your company may specialize in. Some conditions will drain your resources so that you will be unable to care for as many patients as you would like. And of course, there are some diagnoses that simply make more sense financially for your agency to take care of.
This is not about compassion and care, its about strategy. We will try to get care to everyone! However, if you are a marketer, how you educate your referral sources should be in line with a strategy of the types of patients your agency is best suited to provide care for.
For those who need to know where to begin:
Look, you actually are just a few clicks away from a program that will help your team have the tools, targeted diagnosis, education, and monthly training to ensure that you are set up for success. It’s called the Roadmap to Referrals. In it, you’ll have personalized handouts, quick reference guides, and access to Home Care Sales on a monthly basis to ensure you are fully prepared to go out every week with a message that drives referrals (and revenue).
About the Author:
Jason Lewallen is Vice President of Marketing
for Home Care Sales