There’s a reason people make resolutions; a new year is a clean slate, a fresh opportunity to make the improvements necessary to reach your goals. For home care businesses, a new year is the perfect chance to improve your services, recruit better caregivers, and most of all, increase home care sales.
In our ever-evolving and fiercely competitive industry, growing home care sales can seem like an uphill battle, but with planning and purpose, your agency can thrive this year and in those to come. As you evaluate your home care business during the early months of 2018, make sure you’re doing so with intention and an eye toward increasing sales. Our home care sales and operations consultant, Shelle Womble, foresees the following as the top five ways to increase home care sales in 2018:
- Improve Inquiry Management: First impressions are everything, and in home care sales, the first impression of the quality of human interaction that your agency provides happens during the inquiry call. Properly managing inquiries from the start is crucial for turning prospects into clients, so it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is answering the phone? Do you have an intake person who has been trained properly? Are inquiry calls a team effort, where anyone who is available takes the call?
- How is the phone being answered? Is there a professional greeting (i.e. “Hello. Thank you for calling Home Care Agency. How Can I help you?)? Are tones upbeat and positive? Are inquiries being rushed off the phone as soon as possible?
- Are we good listeners? Is the person answering the phone listening for clues as to what types of service the caller needs? Or does he or she use a canned spiel with every caller? Active listening is an essential part of a positive inquiry experience and it’s something everyone who answers inquiry calls should implement.
- Do we sound like experts? Whether you have a dedicated intake person answering phones or not, everyone should be trained to answer questions about your agency and its services. Potential clients and referral sources are looking for experts to help them meet their needs. Make sure everyone who answers the phone at your agency is a home care expert!Wondering how your agency or how your competitors manage inquiry calls? Our Mystery Shopping services can help you find out where you need to improve so you can master the intake call process.
- Get Past the Gatekeeper: In any type of sales scenario, there is always a gatekeeper – the person responsible for keeping a decision-maker from being bothered by irrelevant callers. Research and preparedness are the best ways to make headway to get past the gatekeeper and meet with the decision-makers. When making a sales visit, have a purpose for being there other than bringing more of the same brochures and tchotchkes. Find out what information matters to each referral source and bring marketing materials that the decision-maker can use to do his or her job better. Additionally, use other opportunities outside of the workplace, like public meetings and networking events, to meet and interact meaningfully with your targets
- Target LTCI & VA: Achieving success in private duty home care does not always mean only selling directly to consumers. Reaching out to 3rd party payors can help agencies capture more clients and grow their sales. In 2018, consider targeting long-term care insurance companies and the VA as these organizations offer you opportunities to secure more long-term client cases.
- Perfect the Sales Call: Cold calls shouldn’t necessarily be cold. Approaching sales targets cold can leave your sales targets unenthusiastic about your services and leave your salespeople demotivated. Planning and practice are the keys to perfecting your home care sales calls. Knowing your sales style, understanding the buying styles of your targets, and ensuring that you are using your keen sense of emotional intelligence to communicate in a way that will be received well is critical in having a sales process go well.
- Create a Strategic Home Care Sales Plan: A goal without a plan is just a wish. Too often, agencies leave their home care sales success up to chance, assuming that sales will happen with persistence or if an experienced salesperson is hired. But even persistence and experience can’t beat a strategic plan. Creating a strategic home care sales and marketing plan will allow your agency not only to target the right people, but to help measure what tactics worked and which ones didn’t so that you can refine your strategy moving forward.
Ready to boost your agency’s home care sales numbers this year? corecubed’s Home Care Sales & Operations Coach, Shelle Womble, can help you meet and exceed your goals with her Online Home Care Sales Training courses and coaching tools. Combined with corecubed’s award-winning home care marketing services, our team can help you reach new heights in 2018! Contact us to learn more.