As a home care or home health agency, you probably have had to struggle to break through barriers that exist between the individuals you need to see to generate home care referrals, and your agency. In fact, our research has shown that the following represents the two biggest marketing areas home care and home health agencies struggle with:
Why do these two challenges seem to have prevailed over the years? The answer lies in an interesting response we received from discharge planners that participated in a Focus Group on home health and home care services we conducted a few years back. When questioned about how they respond to home care and home health marketers requesting access, we had a focus group member respond, “Oh, I don’t allow much access. What they (home care marketers) have to say is not relevant to me, anyway.” The rest of the group nodded their concurrence with this statement. We were floored! And let us add, that this particular individual’s title in her hospital was “Home Care Coordinator”. How could information about home care and home health services NOT be relevant to a person who functions as a Home Care Coordinator or as a discharge planner? It did not make a lot of sense, until we prodded and probed a little further and actually found out what they specifically meant by this statement.
It seemed there was consensus in this Focus Group that home health and home care companies did a poor job of communicating how they were any different or any better than their competitors. Rarely, we learned, did a home care marketer communicate this difference or provide any real “value” to the discharge planner. As one discharge planner put it, “They come in and recite a menu board of services. I’ve been a discharge planner for 12 years now. Don’t you think I already have a pretty good idea of what a home health agency provides?” They dismissed this type of information delivery - and the marketer that delivered it-as “irrelevant” to them!
In modern use the word relevant has come to mean that something that should be dropped as old fashioned and insignificant. The etymology of the word “relevant” comes from the Latin words “re=again” and “levare= to lift up”. So from its Latin roots the word means to “lift up again”, and captures the notion that things often need to be freshly represented, that is, presented in new and fresh ways and ways that bring value to the listener.
So let’s think back to those discharge planers that were in the Focus Group.
If you were able to do accomplish this as a home care or home health marketer….how do you think you would be received by referral sources? It is a safe bet you would be welcomed and viewed as a valued referral partner.
Our Relevant Home Care Marketer is a sales and marketing program that is provided along two tracks; one for skilled home health services, and one for home care services. We look at different types of referral sources in each track and what types of information is most relevant to them. The Relevant Home Care Marketer is the only program that incorporates sales training with marketing tools customized to your agency.