What’s up everybody? It’s Steve “The Hurricane” here, and for today’s episode of “A Drink with ‘The Hurricane,” I’m gonna discuss four things you can do to get a deeper relationship with your referral partners. So raise your glass, and let’s toast to your success. Cheers.
This is “A Drink with The Hurricane,” the talk show discussing all things growing your home care business. This video is sponsored by Home Care Evolution, where we help home care agencies adapt to changing circumstances, transform their business so that they can thrive for years to come.
I know, over the years, folks, I’ve talked about so many different topics. Sales and marketing is the one that’s always near and dear to me, and it’s my favorite. I could literally do this lesson for you in my sleep. Because, gone are the days or what most people do, where it’s like grabbing a handful of darts, and you throw them all on a dart board, and you hope something hits the bullseye. Instead of trying to guess what to do, here’s exactly what you have to do.
Number one, collaborate on events. It is no secret that many of the marketers out there, and the people who are in the healthcare industry, they spend their time going to events. Every assisted living, skilled nursing home, hospital, rehabilitation center, LTECH, independent living, CCRC, you name it, they all do events. As a matter of fact, many of these places do events on a monthly basis, and it’s part of their budget. So they budget money just to do events because they wanna show off their building, they wanna show off their services, they wanna have people coming in there, and staying fresh in the minds of the people who could possibly refer them business. By you collaborating with them, this allows you to share in the cost, so it makes it more affordable for them to do events, and it doesn’t cost you a ton of money, because you’re doing it by yourself, you get to share in the promoting of the event because you’re inviting your contacts, they invite their contacts, and you’ll have a better show, and it also shows strength in numbers, and possible partnerships that could come down the line by you working with your referral partners. Referral sources love doing events, you need to collaborate on events with them.
The second thing you can do is improve their outcomes, and the best thing about improving their outcomes is, in order to do so, they have to refer you. So how do you get them to refer you so that you can improve their outcomes? The best thing you can do is by tracking your readmission rates. In the most recent Home Care Pulse report that came out, I was alarmed to find that only 20% of the home care industry is tracking their readmission rate. That means that 80% are not, or another way of putting it, if you have 100 people in your marketplace, 20 are while 80 are not. This means that you have a huge advantage by tracking your readmission rates. When you track your readmission rates, you use that data, and you leverage it with your referral partners to say, “Hey, listen, our readmission rate is only 5%, 4%,” or whatever your accurate number is. Then you use that to say, “Well, if you refer me, I can help to improve your outcomes, and reduce your readmission rate, which will help you to get more patients coming through your door.” This is truly where you having a good, well-run home care agency is gonna help you to grow your business.
The third thing you can do with your referral partner to strengthen a relationship with them is to sponsor an activity. Every single one of the referral sources that you’re going to, to get business has an activities, or recreation department. One of my favorite things about this is the person who’s the head of that recreation activities department, they are a department head. They are a manager in the organization. And so by getting in tight with them, this allows you to get access to the rest of the building, leverage a relationship with the director of activities, to be able to meet other directors, like the director of social services, or the director of nursing, and then you can leverage that relationship to get business. Sponsoring an activity, what I love about it is it accomplishes two different things.
Aside from just getting the business, which is obviously the ultimate goal, it also accomplishes the fact that it lets you work with the seniors directly. If you’re in this business, you’re in this business because you wanna help people. Yes, you wanna make money, and I totally understand that, I wanna make money too, but when you make money by helping people, that’s why you chose to get into this business. You could have done anything else, but you chose this because you like helping people. When you sponsor an activity, like the birthdays of the month, or bringing somebody in to sing with the seniors, or play music, or maybe do bingo or some other kind of activity, these things are low-cost items that give you time to spend with the seniors, who may become your next clients. And when you have a relationship that you’ve developed with them because you’ve sponsored an activity once a month or once or quarter, and then all of a sudden somebody needs help, they’re gonna be like, oh, I wanna go with Barbara because Barbara comes here all the time, and she’s such a nice lady. There’s no other agency that I wanna go with. That’s huge, so you get a chance to actually interact with the seniors.
The other reason why I love doing it is because it’s not an expensive way to get referrals. You can spend a lot of money sponsoring activities, and doing other things that exist out there. In this case here, when you sponsor the birthday of the month, you can go to Costco, get a sheet cake made for about $25, which will give a piece of cake to every single resident in an assisted-living community. You can buy 1,000 small plates, napkins, knives, forks, at Costco, again, maybe spend $100 for all of those items, but you’re not gonna use it all in one place, that will last you an entire month if you did 10 birthdays of the month at 10 of your accounts. So there’s not a huge cost going with this as opposed to other ways of marketing that people do. So that’s what I love about sponsoring an activity.
The fourth and final thing that you can do to get in tighter with your referral sources, and this is real easy, it’s refer them. If you are taking care of patients, it is no secret that people are leveraging your services and using your services temporarily until they find a more permanent solution. There is nothing wrong with referring one of your patients who’s using you temporarily to move into an assisted living. Refer them to the assisted living that you work with. Refer your patients who end up in the hospital to the skilled nursing facilities that you work with. When one of your patients comes home and needs home-health-skilled care, send them to the home health agencies, the skilled agencies that you’re working with. And if you have a patient that’s declining, and they need to go on hospice, refer the hospices that are working with you. I can tell you, from my own agency, in the last 10-plus years, helping thousands of agencies around the world, the agencies that refer their referral partners get 10 times the amount of referrals from the agencies that do not refer their referral partners. So in this case here, for everyone that you give you’re gonna get 10 back in return, make sure that you are referring your referral partners.
So there you have it folks, there’s four tips of how you can strengthen relationships with your referral sources. If you haven’t already done so, make sure that you are registered to receive the free copy of “Home Care Evolution Quarterly.” The new magazine is coming ou. Every quarter a new magazine comes out. There’s eight or nine articles in here written by myself and other experts in the industry. This is free content to help you scale and grow your business. And of course, if you need personalized attention, pick up the phone, give us a call, and let us help you “Blow away the competition!”