It’s no secret that the home care industry is an incredibly competitive market, and with good reason: our aging population and the corresponding need for care providers ensures company longevity and the potential to not only enjoy a successful business, but to know that your agency is having a direct impact on quality of life for older adults.
But as in any industry, effective sales techniques are key to success. To help your agency stand out above the competition, it takes differentiating yourself to those who may have a need for your services – whether referral sources, potential customers, or family members. To help improve your home care sales experience (and results), keep this simple acronym in mind:
L – Listen. For consumers, ask a simple question like, “What made you contact us today?” And then listen. Really listen. Be sure you are employing active listening: paying careful attention to exactly what the caller is saying, taking notes of the key points you hear, and repeating back what you’re hearing to ensure you’re both on the same page. Try not to think about how you are going to respond. Most people listen to respond instead of listening to really hear what the person is saying. Listen for how they are feeling, what is causing them the biggest issues, what they are most worried about, etc. Then listen for where they live, what their support network is like, what health issues they have, what their financial support is like, what their mobility is like, etc. For referrers, also ask a simple question such as, “What is the biggest challenge for your clients/patients/customers?” or “What is the question you get asked the most?” Then, as with consumers, listen actively.
E – Echo. For consumers, echo back what you hear. Start with echoing back feelings and validating those feelings. Then echo back facts – in that order. Say, “So let me see if I heard everything you are saying…” For referrers do the same: “What I’m hearing you say is that your clients are stressed out when you are talking to them and they don’t seem to retain anything you’ve said. Is that right?” Or, “I hear you saying that your clients don’t understand how in-home services are paid for. Is that true?”
G – Guide. For consumers, guide them to the right services based on their feelings and their facts. For example, if you hear a person saying that she lives far from her mother who lives alone, cannot drive, and has been feeling lonely, guide the caller toward your companionship and transportation services. Maybe the person can’t afford your services. If that is the case, guide them to other local resources that can assist with their situation, such as a senior center, state-funded meal program, or mobility/transportation assistance service.
For referrers, the guidance approach is a bit different. Whereas consumers are approaching your agency looking for solutions, referrers are being approached by your agency, your sales team should have ideas about how you might work with them already. Perhaps there are questions they frequently get asked by their clients and they need to be able to give clients a written list to take home with them. Offer to provide that written flyer for the referral source. Guide them to the quality measures used by the home care industry, such as Home Care Pulse and Caring.com, so that they understand how to assess a quality provider. Most importantly, continue to advance and nurture the relationship to include ongoing discussions and a plan to work together. Your goal here should be to guide the referral source to a clear solution that prominently includes your agency in a way that will be mutually beneficial.
For more home care sales tips, tools, and resources, contact the aging care marketing experts at corecubed. We can help your agency stand head and shoulders above your competitors and ensure that you stay top of mind to those in need of your services. Call us at 800.370.6580 to get started!