As a Home Health / Home Care / Hospice marketer, it may seem important that you spend your conversation time telling your referral sources about your services, but what is more important is to develop the ability to ask good questions.
What is the purpose for asking good questions?
- Differentiation of services provided
- Reduces resistance
- Identifies strategy for marketing to the specific referral source
- Demonstrates interest in the referral source
The foundation for developing effective questioning skills
Prepared and crafted open-ended questions pave the way for successful marketing conversations resulting in referrals for your home health and in-home care services. Relationships always begin with conversation and, to secure referrals, you have to develop relationships and trust.?? Excellence in questioning skills can result in more profitable conversations. Open ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with just one word) will allow you to obtain needed information about your referral source without making it feel as if you are draining them of information. The conversation will have an easy flow when effective questioning skills are utilized.
Limit situational questions
Questions that a referral source can answer in a simple yes or no and does not entertain conversation would be considered a situational question.? These questions have little value to an individual.? These are more closed ended questions which usually begin with the following types of words:
- Did you…
- Do you want to…
Specific questions, which would be of a closed ended type regarding home health care services, include
- Do you make home care referrals?
- Do you have any patients who would benefit from Home Care?
- Did you think of anyone since I was last here?
The answer to these questions are simply a word or two and do not encourage more conversation ?- STOP asking questions THAT DO NOT WORK!
When we teach the sales and marketers, we work with the ?Open ended Specific Home Care Sales Trigger Questions? that get you the referral YOU WANT!? – Melanie Stover
The return on use of open ended questions
The skill to prepare and ask open ended questions will produce referrals simply by developing relationships based upon quality conversations.? …AND that is what a sales call is ? a CONTINUATION OF A CONVERSATION!
Feel and think are concepts and words that center around open-ended questions. Open-ended questions tend to start with the following words:
Open ended questions includes these types of questions:
- What are your top 3 diagnoses?
- What types of patients have you been seeing in the office this week?
- Which COPD patient is struggling with SOB when they walk down the hall and you are concerned about their safety?
Do you see the difference? You are REACHING INTO THEIR CASE LOAD and PLUCKING out a specific patient that you want to serve!
This style of questioning encourages the referral source to provide information about their facility or office and themselves. In addition you will discover some of their real feelings about who they refer to and why they have specific referral patterns.
We all understand that great conversations include great listening skills and using open-ended questions allows you the opportunity to use your listening skills to increase referrals for your home health and in-home care services.
This technique can be tested very easily with your next referral source conversation regarding your home health (or In-Home Care/Hospice) services by taking just a few moments to craft your next weeks ? ?Sales Question of the week?
Need more questions to get you the referrals you WANT?
Join the Roadmap to Referrals and get 52 Weeks of questions that have been PROVEN to deliver referrals for other agencies ? they can for you too!
Melanie Stover, OT, MBA, IS/ISM
Co-Owner of Home Care Sales