Dear Homecare Agency Owner,
As much effort as we place on your web design, your blog, your brochure, your business card, we want to make it very clear that those tools, because that’s what they are, are tools to help you communicate and build relationships with current and future Clients.
We used the phrase “build relationships” on purpose. Too many Homecare Agencies hire marketing, sales and business development people to get more business.
Doing so is the wrong approach. Why? Because Homecare is dominated by Females and as such, Homecare is all about … relationships.
Nobody — especially a Woman — likes being marketed to, being sold to. Women are extra sensitive to those issues because they appreciate sincere relationships.
We are encouraging you to completely change the paradigm regarding “marketing and selling” in Homecare. We are asking you to stop marketing and selling, and embrace the conceptof relationships and relationship-building.
There are many relationships that we would like you to build. One of the most important relationships we want to help you build is a relationship with your Local Discharge Planner.
As you know, Discharge Planners are busy professionals, especially those within large hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In order to build a relationship with your Local Discharge Planner, you need to understand Her job, Her needs and Her expectations of an Agency She would prefer to work with.
Some Discharge Planners are more accessible than others. Some, being barraged by sales people, have hidden themselves away — rightfully so. You would do the same thing, wouldn’t you? They have hidden themselves because they are sick and tired of all the selling and marketing they are being bombarded with.
Here is a step-by-step process to help you establish a relationship with a Local Discharge Planner(s):
• Research and locate all hospitals and rehabilitation centers within and up to 20-mile radius from your office.You have to be Local to them. If you are not Local, you will not be a good resource for that facility. Discharge Planners do not want to discharge their patients into a care of an Agency that is 40 miles away. Distant Agency cannot provide and closely supervise Local care. Plan this process carefully and point out to the Discharge Planner that you are in their backyard.
• Find out how many Discharge Planners there are within each and every one of those facilities and what are their roles. In smaller facilities, there may be only one part-time Discharge Planner, who also serves as a part-time Social Worker. In larger facilities, there may be an entire team of Discharge Planners.
• Learn the first and last name of each Discharge Planner and their respective positions. Learn their personalities. Some prefer to work very closely with Homecare Agencies, whereas some prefer being more distant. Some of the more distant may prove to be most valuable in the long run. You will cultivate all those relationships and we will show you how.
• Learn their rules. Do they have a list of Homecare Agencies they give out to the Family members? The average Discharge Planner may have 20-30 Homecare Agencies on Her list. Ask what is important to each and every Discharge Planner. Ask how you can add your Homecare Agency onto that list. Ask if they have a brochure display rack and if you can leave your brochures there.
• Learn their schedule so you can work around it. Most Discharge Planners are extremely busy on Fridays. Why? Many patients want to go Home for the weekend. You should avoid visiting with them on Fridays. Many Discharge Planners are least busy during the early to midweek. Tuesdays and Wednesdays may be good days to visit with them, but do learn the preferences of each and every Discharge Planner. We have seen so many sales and marketing people barging into the office of a Discharge Planner when it is convenient for them, and then complaining that they do not get any business. Discharge Planners hate surprises and emergencies. After all, it is their job to avoid surprises and emergencies. Discharge Planners are usually organized and methodical in their work. They, therefore, appreciate such behavior from others. Be organized and methodical. Actually plan to visit with the “Planner” — and do so when it is convenient for Her.
Please view the above steps as a prerequisite research assignment that will build the foundation for the next step, which is the How-To cultivate a successful working relationship with a Local Discharge Planner.
Stay tuned. In future blogs we will discuss the best practices for actually cultivating a relationship with a Discharge Planner. Here is a link to an article that will help you better understand the important job and process of discharge planning.
Thank you for being willing to serve the Elderly!
Your Homecare Agency website and content must please your Female visitors. They account for 85% of your online traffic. We build websites that appeal to your Female viewers.
Did you know that your website has only 32 seconds to attract Her attention?
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I have worked with hundreds of people, but never with someone more passionate about Homecare, more dedicated to his client, more focused than Christopher. (…) Those qualities, and his unlimited energy, make him a very sought-after partner in the field of Homecare. He is definitely someone you want on your team!
Bruno S. of Los Angeles, California