Change can be scary, and not everyone easily embraces new ideas and new products, particularly small businesses with limited funds to spend.
The marketing world has changed a lot in the last couple of decades, shifting the playing field between businesses and consumers. It used to be that the purpose of marketing was to push advertising out to your audience to “inform” them of the things they need. Now, however, consumers have much more control over the messages they see and don’t see, and the power to seek out the goods and services they need and want lies mostly in their corner. This shift has created what Harvard marketing professor John Gourville calls “eager sellers and stony buyers.” In his recent essay, Gourville noted that people have a tendency to overvalue what they already have and undervalue what they might gain from trying something new. Thus, getting a foot in the door can be quite difficult unless you have a plan.
Home care has become one of the most highly competitive markets within the healthcare industry, and many agencies are, themselves, struggling to both differentiate their companies from the competition and sell their services to a market that often doesn’t even know it has a need for them. Therefore, adopting new and different services or technologies isn’t often high on the list. However, it’s those very services and products that can often help agencies accomplish their own marketing goals.
Here are some tips on how aging care companies can get a foot in the door and better sell their services to home care agencies:
- Accentuate the positives of your services: As Gourville notes in his essay, “New products often require consumers to change their behavior. As companies know, those behavior changes entail costs.” Adding new expenses isn’t high on many agencies’ to-do lists, so when selling your services to home care agencies, your challenge is to showcase the benefits of your services and how they will outweigh the costs. In other words, how do your services solve a particular problem for agencies?
- Acknowledge any potential negatives: This may seem counterintuitive, but being upfront about potential drawbacks of your services and encouraging open communication about them keeps your company from coming across as one that doesn’t see the big picture or seeming as though you have something to hide – both of which can potentially damage your business’s credibility.
- Tailor your marketing message to your audience: What do home care agencies want to hear? Perhaps that you can help them reach more referral sources or that you can make their services more attractive to area seniors, or maybe they’re hoping you can help them streamline their business operations. Listen to your target audience to understand what they care about and what their needs are. Attend home care conferences and really listen to the issues on the table and find out how to present your products and/or services so that they provide meaningful solutions to those issues.
Marketing to home care agencies takes time and effort, and perhaps even some help from the experts. At corecubed, we know home care and have helped companies across the aging care industry successfully market their services to agencies. Contact us to learn how our team can help yours!