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What is your most persistent problem over the past year?

Cheryl and I are conducting market research, and one of the questions we are asking is:

What is your most persistent problem over the past year?

The overwhelming response COVID.

Like any great clinician who is an active listener, we know that COVID is the big overarching problem (like Diabetes is the disease process). How it manifests in your business will impact you in different ways (What are the symptoms? )

The follow-up question:
“Tell me more.”

Gives us more information on how this “disease” process is impacting your agency

We heard 3 categories.

Perhaps you have experienced this too.

Recruiting. The “other side of the sales and marketing coin”

When your marketing is dialed in, you will need more staff. Or when there is a surge in referrals. And that leads to recruiting. Many owners shared that they are struggling with having enough staff, caregivers, and skilled professionals. Recruiting a “bench” of caregivers and skilled per visit staff allows the agency to grow and scale quickly. (It also gives you the ability to “test out” a staff member before hiring them full time)

More referrals. Many owners were struggling with gaining more referrals or the “right” referrals. Referrals that produce a high-value patient or client. One that not only can we serve well but one that is profitable for the agency.

Community. Everyone’s social network is “broken.” As owners, we are taking on the role of pulling our companies and our staff together. Providing them a space to connect and collaborate and have a positive experience during a time of psychological “Corona Fatigue.”

We have all struggled during this pandemic.

We have clients – and your agency may have experienced this too.
Who saw a nosedive in the numbers in March and April?

We created tools and formulas to help owners and marketers skill up and become virtual overnight. So that they could rise and thrive in this environment.

COVID may have stopped referrals for a month, but it was not going to keep them down.

Today I am thrilled to share the clients we work with closely are above pre COVID numbers and keep GROWING!

I am super proud of our teams skilling up, and we have modified programs like Road Map of Referrals to give marketers the scripts and templates to take on this new challenge of remote marketing so that you can impact more patient’s lives AND make more revenue.

It’s doing well while doing good!

If you want to see how we are modifying the Successful Roadmap of referrals to “remote marketing,” jump on a call with Mike, and he can “tour you around” HomeCareSalesPro.com.

Melanie

P.S. If you are an owner who is looking for answers to recruiting, more referrals, and community development? We have the solution for you – go to www.homecaresalesmastermind.com, fill out the application, and let’s have a chat to see if this group of owners is a good fit for you and us.

What Sally the hurricane taught us about setting expectations in sales and marketing

We live on the gulf coast.

It’s a beautiful place, quiet; I have written about the 200+-year-old live oak tree in the past.

We have lived in south FL too – Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We are no strangers to hurricanes.

But Sally was my boy’s 1st hurricane. I have twin boys who are 7, and while we just had Marco and Laura in the gulf, they didn’t bring us hurricane wind.

Don is particularly concerned with “natural disasters.” He doesn’t like the drills at school, and he says it “freaks me out Mama. I just think about hurricanes for days after the drill”.

Sally was coming in at a category 1 – my husband Chris and I have a pact to not stay for another 4 again, so at a category 1, we were sheltering in place.

We talked to the boys about “being ready.”

We set out

  • Flashlights & Lanterns
  • Generator
  • Gas
  • Non-perishable food
  • Water in the bathtubs to flush the toilets

All the furniture outside was put in the garage or tied down.

We had everything in place to ride out the storm.

We set the expectation with the boys that we were going to lose power. The first 72 hrs are on “us,” and then the line workers and everyone else will come to help.

Don and Dylan were ready.

The rain came first – a lot of rain. Water was being pushed in from the ocean and from the sky. The live oaks root system is pretty shallow, making them vulnerable to being toppled over when the ground is soaked and loose.

The wind started to howl.

Don said it sounded like people screaming on a rollercoaster. It did.

The windows rattled. He was scared but not “too scared, Mama. You told me this would happen”.

The electric went out next – we turned on the flashlights and started up the generator. We don’t have a big generator but enough to plug in the frig, so we don’t lose the meat in the freezer, plug in our phones and, of course, the most important – MAKE COFFEE!

We watched the storm blow our trees, move the furniture that was “tied down,” create new leaks in our roof, but the boys handled it all with calmness. They got buckets and pails to catch the dripping water; Dylan was on “mop duty” to wipe up the water we missed.

Everyone had a job, and we all got through it together!

Once the storm passed, we ventured out into the yard. LOTS of trees down. 100ft pine trees snapped in half, tons of live oaks toppled over. Dylan said, “I have always wondered what the tree’s bottom side looks like now, I know!”

Trees were blocking the ability to leave our neighborhood.

We live in an older community where about 50% of our neighbors are over 65. I got out my phone and started calling our older neighbors to make sure they were ok.

Chris grabbed his chainsaw and started cutting through trees that were blocking our neighborhood roads.

The boys got their toy John Deere tractor with the wagon, and we went behind Chris to help move limbs.

All the neighbors came out to help cut up and move trees off the road in case of an emergency that someone needed to leave, or the first responders had a way into the neighborhood.

We spent the day cutting, carrying, and piling branches and limbs. We stopped when it was starting to get dark. On the walk back to the house, Don said. “Mama hurricanes are bad, but the good part is everyone comes out and helps each other, so that is the good part of a hurricane. But I still don’t like Sally! She is terrible!”

Very astute, my little 7-year-old. Yes – everyone does help each other.

Lessons learned from Sally:

  • Set expectations – if your agency needs time to evaluate COVID patients – tell your referral sources why and how long.
  • Be Prepared – If you lack staffing in a specific area, make sure you know and be prepared with your communication message.
  • Help each other – Sales and Marketing is a “team sport” you and your ops team together are stronger and can move “trees off the road together!”

We are all Stronger Together!

Make it a great week!

Melanie

PS. If you want to “be together with us,” The RoadMap to Referrals is a great way to be “Stronger Together” Click here to jump on Mikes’s calendar to see a demo of how we help each other!

 

*Image from NBC News. All Rights Reserved.

Sharing my nearly thirty-thousand-dollar lesson, so you don’t have to learn the hard way too

I am a student at heart.

My Mom was an elementary school teacher for 32 years with two master’s degrees. I am sure this is why I value education. I, too, have two masters degrees and continue to try and expand my knowledge.

Every year I engage in training, coaching, and masterminds all to upgrade my skills. My husband pokes fun and says I should be “improved” by now! My goal in each of these programs is to find the “one” tactic, tool, or a person who will help me move the needle in my business and support my clients better to give them an advantage in their agency.

Cheryl and I have been completing market research to prepare for our fall offerings to craft a program that is “just the right fit,  right now.” We have been interviewing owners of agencies, and it has been so fun to connect and, of course, enlightening (more on that another day).

One of the discussion questions was how they evaluate if a “program” was for them or their team. Because at one point or another, we have all taken programs that disappointed us.

I want to share with you a $28,500 program that disappointed me and how I make decisions on which programs to take after that experience.

In 2017, I wanted to create an online program that would serve Home Care Sales, Home Health Marketera, and Hospice Liaisons. I wanted to create this fantastic experience for the sales reps, which would make them thrilled to complete the next section. This would become the industry standard for new hires and experienced representatives to needed a refresher or teams who wanted to be on the same page.

I was introduced to an online course developer who had a course that was very successful. She promised a lot, but her program was rigid. She didn’t have any flexibility in her program or consulting. She was not personable, and she didn’t relate well to me or my business. She was great on video, where she could script everything but not in person. She was not able to generalize her business and make it applicable to my business.

At the time, I was SUPER frustrated.

Maybe you have been in this position – your expectations were one thing, but the outcome was another. I spent 12 mos in her program. It was rough. So rough and so many people did not get the result they wanted, she offered another 12 months for free! I know she tried. It just didn’t work.

At the time, I was mad and sad that I spent all that time AND money AND precious hrs away from my family.

But I can say now I am grateful for that experience. It made me appreciate our clients more – the trust they put in us when they allow us to “be on their team” through training and consulting.

When we develop our programs, we are very cognizant of the expectation and the tremendous drive to deliver value.

From the experience with her, we have created a framework for working with clients that I would like to share with you so that you can use it to evaluate your next training program.

S E O (not the web stuff, but that is how you can remember it!)

Success:  How will you know if this program is successful?

Experience:  Are the instructors actively engaged in your business line (working “inside” a HH, Hospice, or In-Home Care)

One:  What is the one thing you want to “learn”?

I bet you want to know about the online program that we created. It’s a High-Performance Sales Academy. In 2017, we offered it as the first industry-specific online sales process program.

It gives you the exact steps to take to move an account through the sales process to deliver you the 1st referral and support your referral sources throughout your relationship with them.

Giving you a repeatable process, so you NEVER miss a referral opportunity again!  We continue to evolve the program to reflect the current landscape.

We have upgraded the High-Performance Sales Academy experience and all our programs on our learning system HomeCareSalesPro™ to drive performance and course completion!

Want to discover how you can win Achievement Badges and Ranks?

Click here to jump on Mike’s calendar for a demo on how your sales reps will want to learn more – perform more!   

Impact more lives!

Do well while doing good!

Go, do great things!

Melanie

What to do in a short week

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Welcome to a short week!

It is often we find ourselves in this position. We have a four day work week coming up, and we have to prioritize our marketing efforts.

I have felt the “crunch” of a short week. You have too much to do and not enough time. Perhaps you have had that feeling also where there is just so much to check off your to-do list that you feel overwhelmed.

The answer to overwhelm is prioritization.

In setting up our teams for success, we follow this simple cadence that has delivered results.

It will work for you too.

  1. Monday: Prewritten “open for the Holiday Blasts” emailed out for the holiday. (make sure you have staff and are “open” for referrals)
  2. Tuesday: Follow up on the Focus 50 accounts from your Inside Sales Remote Marketing Program. Topic: Current availability of care.
  3. Wednesday: Step 3 of the High-Performance Sales Process – “WIN” The referral generator – follow up and report out on any referral from Friday- Tuesday. Make sure to use this as a patient vignette in your follow up “Ask”.
  4. Thursday: Sales Message of the week to generate conversations for high-value patients or clients.
    *52 Week RoadMap of Referrals members September 7th week on your calendar: Home Health and In-Home Care – use your Monthly Health Observances as handouts or digital assets. Hospice – use your “Did you know cards” on your marketing calls.
  5. Friday: Clean up anything outstanding. Follow up on any referrals from the week. Finish your week strong! Make one extra call today!

A short week is your opportunity to compress time and maximize your productivity in 4 days!~

Happy Labor Day! Celebrating You and the contributions workers have made to our country’s strength, prosperity, and well-being!

Take Action! And Serve More Seniors!

Melanie

Want to see numbers of another agency remote marketing for 2020?

Recently I was on a panel of experts and asked the question.

“Does Remote Marketing Work?”

Which is interesting because I was asked the same question over the past 2 weeks by a Home Health and Hospice Owner and a National Sales Director for In-Home Care

Clearly, there is some uncertainty around “Can a marketer “work from home” and get results?”

The answer is a RESOUNDING YES!

 

Of COURSE, you get more “feedback” in person. And as SOON as we can get into accounts, the teams absolutely will!

I want to share with you results from offices that will make you say, “YES! REMOTE MARKETING WORKS!”

Here is a Case Study from an agency using a few Home Care Sales Programs:

Agency Details:

Admission Results 2020:

Office 1 – Urban

LIMITED access – 90% remote


Office 2 – Rural

LIMITED access. Parking Lot Meetings started 2 wks ago. 80% Remote

Office 3: Small city covering rural counties too.

LIMITED ACCESS – 90% Remote

Office 4 – Urban

NO in-person Access. 100% Remote until last week started “Parking Lot” meetings

 

You can see in all the offices; April took a hit. But not for long. I am incredibly proud of this team! Here is what they did to minimize the risk for this owner and how they came back STRONG!

GOT REAL – REAL FAST.

Yes, there was “shock,” but they took the directive to set up their office and get back to work! Just because the marketers were home – didn’t mean they “stopped” marketing, they had to do more connections, more education, and more relationship building.

*My personal Belief is our message is diluted by 50% when we are not personally in front of our target referral source.
 
All the Mastermind Members get access to all our training for their staff. This agency implemented High Performance Inside Sales Process, AND the Patient Call Me program at the same time.

NEVER TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE GAS! There was a question in the beginning – Should we stop marketing? NEVER stop marketing. Relationship building is the key to success! Connect to the HUMAN first, then the AGENCY!

If you are not seeing ABOVE PRE COVID-ADMISSIONS AND HOURS, it is time for you to ACCELERATE OUT OF THE TURN!

You, too, can have the numbers of your dreams! You DESERVE to have the AGENCY you want!

We can build it together!

Interested in discovering how?

Email Mike@HomeCareSales.com for a tour of the industry’s most extensive library of training and tools for marketing and growing your agency – Home Care Sales Pro™

Want it ALL? See if the HCS Mastermind is a good fit – Click here.

What to do when your staffing availability changes EVERYDAY

We have several clients (pretty much everyone at this point) who don’t know day-to-day what their care availability looks like due to COVID policies.

A team member wakes up and has any signs or symptoms of COVID – fever, cough, etc. They are “on the bench,” leaving the schedulers to scramble to find care coverage.

This is a nightmare for our ops teams.

This is a CRAZY zone for our marketers.

Each day they wake up, and they have pray they have availability to market.

Yesterday we had this discussion on our Monthly Mastermind call.

And the discussion was fascinating – from some members who reported “we have an influx of applicants” to “we are struggling to find caregivers because we are growing so fast!”

Each member had a turn to share their experiences, and as always, the community was so supportive and shared really great ideas with each other. Cheryl and I were SUPER impressed with their creativity and out of the box, thinking that was delivering results!

(Want to be part of the Mastermind Insiders Advantage – click here)

We have an acronym:

ABC

Always Be reCruiting

One of our Mastermind members Austin reports he tells all of his leadership team – Always Be Recruiting and Hiring and then make it “Sales” problem!

He means – get to a point where they have so much staff they “don’t have enough to do” and then its “sales” problem to go get more business!  LOVE that Austin!

We have heard staffing challenges from other agencies outside the Mastermind.  Maybe you are experiencing it too.

In one of the agencies, the owner shared they had to turn down 26 referrals last month – it makes me want to cry.

It made the owner of that agency actually cry.

All the time and effort you put into marketing and staffing is an issue.

Staffing has always been an issue. Most of the time, once you get the marketing plan dialed in – and marketers following the High-Performance Sales Process, you will have this problem.

You will NOT HAVE ENOUGH STAFF. So in someway you were meant for this time. We have been here before. But before we could go into the community and recruit staff.

Today not so much.

Most of your Marketers are behind desks, so what do they do, and how can they help?

  1. Mention you have openings when you are doing your Remote marketing weekly sales message – in case anyone knows of someone who would like extra hours or visits
  2. Hold a virtual job fair
  3. Use their social media reach to share the message of recruiting

While you are recruiting, here is how we tell our teams to manage the gap.

  1. Every morning call the office to understand availability and openings for home assessments or SOC.
  2. Market to those areas in which have availability
  3. Your top referral sources – give them a heads up if availability is low in their area. (Several agencies we work with update daily to Care Access or Care Navigation at the hospital on the number of opens they have for the week to be a good partner saving the Case Managers time)

 

This is a VERY dynamic time in the world of HC, HH, and Hospice.

You are UNSTOPPABLE!

Use these tactics in your agency to Bridge the Gap and Serve More Seniors!

Melanie

PS – We just did a webinar today with MyCNAJobs.com and they have great staffing resources – go check them out – www.MyCNAJobs.com