Dear Homecare Agency Owner,
With over 3,600 subscribers, we are the largest Homecare-centric blog in the U.S. Having received your feedback, it seems that an overwhelming number of Homecare Agency owners want to learn more about how to develop working relationships with Local Discharge Planners.
In our October 14 blog we discussed the importance of those relationships and why to establish them. Let us now proceed with more details on how to establish and cultivate relationships with Local Discharge Planners.
Shift from marketing to relationship-building
The key to marketing in Homecare is to actually cut the marketing and selling out of it. We must look at Homecare from the point of view of relationships and, therefore, relationship-building. Without a major paradigm shift away from marketing and selling towards relationship-building, your Agency will always be struggling to establish relationships with Discharge Planners.
There is no room in Homecare for one-night-standers, quick-buck-makers — people whose #1 priority is money. Please keep these things in mind when you make your hiring decisions. However, there is plenty of room in Homecare for relationship-builders. Being a relationship-builder requires patience, devotion, sincerity, care, love of people, especially of the Elderly, love of the concept of Home, and, therefore, love of Homecare.
First give, then receive
When it comes to building and cultivating relationships with Discharge Planners, allow us to paraphrase the late Zig Ziglar and his wise words:
“You can have anything you want,
if you first give people what they want”.
Let us ADAPT this thought to Homecare, as it relates to building relationships with Discharge Planners:
“Your Homecare Agency can have as many referral patients as you want,
if you first give Discharge Planners what they want”.
We know this works. We did it. When we were in Homecare, we built and enjoyed many relationships with Discharge Planners.
First you give, then you receive. We love this analogy because it is so straightforward. We love this analogy because it has Biblical-like roots.
When you ask selflessly about what it is that Discharge Planners want from a Homecare provider, their answers come forth. Providing they have the time to speak with you, Discharge Planners will share exactly what it is they are looking for. The problem is that most Homecare Agency representatives behave like typical sales and marketing people, and do not ask those questions.
ADAPT to qualities Discharge Planners are looking for
Being around Homecare for 22 years, we have gotten to know many Discharge Planners. Here is a synthesis of the qualities they are looking for within Homecare Agencies:
- sincere, caring and devoted to serving the Elderly
- trustworthy and consistent
- dependable and punctual
- someone who makes and keeps promises
- organized and reliable
- resourceful and hard-working
Those are the key words. Those are the key qualities. Those are the qualities every Discharge Planner is looking for. Please keep in mind that every Discharge Planner is judging the book by its cover. She (most of Discharge Planners are Females) is judging the Agency by its representative.
Your Agency’s cover, in this context, is your representative. Make certain your representative is someone who is sincere, caring, trustworthy, dependable, punctual, resourceful, and truly devoted to serving the Elderly. If you do not have such individual on staff now, look for her. If your Homecare Agency representative’s heart is not in Homecare, find someone whose heart is. Your representative must be passionate about Homecare. Until you find such person, you may have to step up and build those relationships yourself.
Does your Agency and its representative posses those qualities? If you do, how then can you demonstrate to Discharge Planners that you have them?
In Part 2 we will present you with the answer to the above question and a step-by-step plan for developing relationships with your Local Discharge Planner.
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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