When hours are trending up, referrals are coming in at a higher rate than customer attrition, and revenue is steadily increasing, it’s tempting to coast on referral partner relationships. But is that sustainable long-term? Or is it possible that you could be just one review away from losing a stable referral source? One surefire way to mitigate risk and avoid revenue plateaus is to consistently drive new referral relationships with thoughtfully-targeted sources.
Why Agencies Often Don’t Focus on Driving New Relationships
If your agency has formed strong relationships with a variety of referral partners like physicians, hospitals, and short-term rehabilitation facilities, and you’re happy with your growth, it can seem more productive to rely on existing relationships to build your business than to invest time in building new relationships. It is common for care companies to fall into the trap of becoming complacent with current community relationships for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Existing referral relationships are good producers that bring in a steady stream of revenue, which feels comfortable (at least short-term).
- When there is a steady stream of new inquiries, sales agents may not feel pressure to forge new relationships.
- Maintaining existing relationships takes time, often with a slow ROI.
- Locating new targets and driving new relationships is time-consuming and may not seem like a high priority.
- It can be difficult to get past the gatekeeper to access a newly-targeted referral source.
The Importance of Driving New Home Care Referral Relationships
Anything can happen, and your steady stream of referrals can dry up quickly. For example, a client may give your agency a negative review, and the referral source may slow the flow of referrals while they explore if other providers can fill the need with a higher level of service.
It is essential for care companies to prioritize driving new referral relationships on a regular basis. Here are some of the reasons it’s a mistake to avoid building new relationships:
- Your revenue will decrease or, at best, plateau if referrals slow down.
- In a highly competitive market, reviews are essential and can be negative.
- Competitors trying to take your business may get a foothold with a referral source that you depend on. If your care company gets a negative review, you may lose the #1 referral position. If a competitor has the opportunity to receive a trial referral, your company may soon slip into becoming their #2 provider choice.
- New referral relationships take time to build and should be a constant investment. If you wait until referrals start slipping, you can expect a lag in revenue. It’s like forging a new road — you want to pave the way, so the relationship has a clear path for the future.
Put Your Care Company in the Driver’s Seat
It takes time, strategy and effort to research and build new referral partner relationships. If your care company is looking for new target opportunities to help increase your referrals and boost revenue, reach out to corecubed. We offer a wide range of care marketing solutions to help your care company advance including:
- Sales training. Our senior care and home care sales coaches can help you choose which of our affordable and highly effective business-to-business (B2B) sales trainings is the best fit for your goals.
- Custom sales consulting and coaching. Our sales consulting team can help you develop a strategic sales plan that includes both existing referral sources and new targets to help your company grow. We are available to help you develop and implement your sales plan with coaching and training along the way.
- Reputation Management. Our online review management system helps care companies generate customer feedback, manage and promote reviews, resulting in an improved business reputation and enhanced search engine optimization.
Need help creating a strategy to grow your referral base? Contact corecubed at 800.370.6580 to learn more about how our elder care marketing solutions can help you identify the new referral relationships that can keep your care company growing for years to come.
About the Author
Erica Horner is the Home Care Sales Consultant and a Project Manager for corecubed.