Not getting the referrals you were hoping for? In today’s episode of Coaches Corner, Jen Gasper talks about 10 Things To Ask Yourself When You Are Not Getting Referrals.
My name is Jen Gasper, and I’m a coach with Hurricane Marketing Enterprises. Today on Coaches Corner, I’m gonna be talking about a question that I get asked frequently when I’m delivering my coaching calls, and that is, why am I still not getting referrals, even after I’ve delivered the lunch and learn in-service?
Have you ever delivered a lunch and learn in-service and thought, that went fantastic, and you know for certain that the phone is going to start ringing for referrals at any minute? And then, you sit around and you wait. And wait. And still, not a single referral? Trust me, it’s happened to the best of us.
So, let’s go back and evaluate some of the reasons to make sure that your accounts were appropriately set up to send you referrals in the first place. Think back to that initial tour that you took.
1. Did You Find Out Their Referral Potential
When you were on the tour, were you asking them questions such as, how many discharges do you put out each month? What types of insurance do you accept? What is your census right now? And, what is the number that you’re able to accept? Answers to the questions like this will help you understand if they’re able to send you regular and consistent referrals.
For instance, if you walk into a sniff and they’re only discharging five to 10 patients per month, chances are, they’re not going to be able to send you regular and consistent referrals, which could be why you’re not getting one from them even though they really did like you. If you’re going into a rehab and they’re discharging 50, 60 patients per month, they’re going to have the volume to be able to send you regular and consistent referrals.
Also understanding whether they’re accepting Medicaid or Medicare, if you have 50 people discharging each month but the facility accepts 75% Medicaid, they’re not going to be an appropriate referral to you because chances are, they’re not going to be able to afford your services.
So, those questions are very important to understand in order to know whether or not they’ll send you a referral.
2. Did You Ask For The Trial Period when you were doing the in-service?
Did you physically use words such as, “Can I ask you for the next three months, “for you to give us a trial period “and send anyone that you’re concerned about “being a fall risk once they’re discharged back home?
“To send them to us so we can prove to you “that we can keep them safe “and out of the hospital during that time?” By setting yourself up using words like that, you are allowing yourself to go back in during your drop-in visits and ask them very specifically for referrals each and every time.
3. Were All Of The Key Contacts In Attendance?
By having your major players there, your social workers, your director of nursing, your administrator, your marketing representative, and your activities director, you are setting the stage to build cohesion within that community, and so, everyone is holding them accountable to making the referrals to you since you asked for that trial period and they agreed to it.
4. Did You Educate Them On The Best Way To Give You A Referral?
One of the best things that they can do is while they’re having a patient care meeting and they’re realizing that this person could benefit from some in-home care once they’re discharged, for them to pick up the phone and give you a call and schedule a meeting right when they’re there talking to the client.
Alternatively, another way to get a referral is while they’re talking to Mrs. Jones, say, “Mrs. Jones, I really think that you could benefit “for some extra home care once you’re discharged back home. “I can get you in contact with Jen. “Would you mind if I provided her your contact information “so she can call you and talk to you “about some of the services that they have to offer?” And that allows you to connect with the person.
It’s way different than your social worker just handing out a brochure and then, coming back and say, “Yeah, I refer you all the time.” They might, but you never know because some of those people aren’t picking up the phone to make the phone call to you.
5. How Many Times Have You Visited The Account?
On average, the normal marketer would give up after three to five times of not getting a referral, but you’re different. You’re reading from a different handbook. You’re reading from the Hurricane Handbook and you know that it takes eight to 12 times into an account for meaningful visits and conversations for them to get to know you and like you and trust you.
If you haven’t been to the account eight to 12 times, they may just not know you well enough to be able to send you the referrals in the first place. So, you’ve gotta figure out a strategy to get back in there.
The other thing you should think about is…
6. What Have You Done For Them?
Have you gotten into the account, supported them at their community events? Have you offered to promote the events that they’re doing out in the community while you’re out making your marketing visits during the week? Have you gotten in there to help out with their residents?
Give them some fresh eyes, sponsor an activity, donate the food, donate the prizes for it? If you haven’t done those things, you need to go back and get in there and do that. That’s how you support them.
7. Are You Referring Them?
Now realistically, patients are coming to you because they want to stay in their homes and the places where they call homes, so your ability to refer out to somebody else may not be as high as theirs. But you certainly can if you have an opportunity.
And even if you don’t have the opportunity to refer to them, have you sat down and had a conversation with your referral source about what makes a good referral to them, so that you’re educated, so if any of your clients do have questions because they want a higher level of care or a different level of care, where they’re going in for an elective hip surgery or knee replacement, that you can give them education about the places in your community?
8. Are You Asking For The Business?
Are you going back and using phrases like, “Remember a couple of weeks ago, “we talked about our fall prevention program? “I was just wondering if you’re discharging anybody “in the next couple of days “who you think might be a fall risk “once they get back home?” Or maybe, it sounds something like this. “Do you have a client who you’re concerned about “may not have family or friend support “once they get back home?” “I am happy to go and talk with them about our services “if you think it’s going to make an impact “of keeping them out of the hospital “once they arrive back home.”
You have to use words like that to ask. If you don’t, they’re gonna forget about you, and you are setting the stage to help them identify that person or two they’re thinking of that you can walk away from the facility and the community with a referral in hand.
9. Are You Asking About Their Census?
Maybe when you originally toured them six months ago, they were full and at capacity, but maybe right now, their numbers are down. That may make sense why they’re not giving you referrals at this time.
10. Have You Tried Good Cop – Bad Cop?
And the last thing, if you are sure that you have committed and done all of those previous things that I’ve talked about, the last thing that you can go in and do is play good cop and bad cop. If you had an owner that attended the lunch and learn in-service with you, you can address these concerns that you’re still not getting the referrals. They can go in and talk with the administrator and say,
“Hey, Jen came in “and delivered this amazing lunch and learn in-service.
“She’s been supporting your community by coming to your community events and doing activities in with your residents.”
“You all agreed to give her a trial period for sending referrals and we haven’t received any referrals.”
“Let’s talk a little bit about this.” “Can we figure out why?”
And maybe you’ll discover something somewhere about why they’re not getting referrals, or maybe that administrator isn’t aware that the social worker isn’t getting referrals, and since they were a key contact involved in that in-service in the first place, they’re going to go back to their social worker and say, “We promised Jen and her home-care agency referrals “and we’re not getting them any. Why?” And then, the referrals should start coming in.
I thank you guys for your time. Please let me know if you have any questions. Happy lunch and learn in-services!
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