Using Marketing to Increase Referrals for Home Care Agencies
Part one: Howdy Doody Visits
Over the years, I've worked with literally hundreds of home health agencies, and I'm very fortunate to call many of them my friends. I doubt most of them remember our first meeting, but in most every case, our initial conversations end up with me asking "How do you get (or plan to get) patient referrals?"
Shockingly, the answer I get most often is "We have a marketing person and we make sure that she/he visits all of the physicians in our area and leaves them our brochure so that they think of us when they have a patient that needs home care." I cringe when I hear this and immediately think.....another "Howdy Doody" marketing program.
I refer to these marketing efforts as "Howdy Doody" because these agencies typically have hired someone to drive around town all day, stop in Physician offices, drop off a brochure, and say "Hi" or "How do you do?" (Howdy Doody). This is not good marketing and it is a waste of time!
Marketing should be done by a true marketing professional, not someone that would take a minimal annual salary set aside as an experiment. Someone who will develop a well thought out and measurable strategy/plan to differentiate your agency and ultimately get referrals. This professional can set your agency up as a resource to the Physician, versus just another "Howdy Doody" agency, and the referrals will come.
I love to visit with agencies about the proper way to attract, hire, measure and compensate marketing professionals that can get these results. It is not difficult to grow your business, if you take the growth of your business seriously.
If anyone is interested, I'll write about some of the most successful marketing programs I've seen used by agencies. Is anyone interested?
Read Part two: Finding the Right Home Health Marketer