Hey folks, Steve “The Hurricane” here, and for today’s episode of “A Drink with The Hurricane”, we are going to talk operations and specifically how to convert more inquiries into actual paying customers. 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.

So the reason why I’m bringing this episode up or making this the purpose of today’s episode is because recently, as I was having some board meetings with members of the Elite Academy, my Elite Academy. This topic came up several times throughout the three day meeting and we were talking about how we get inquiries, we get referrals, and that’s the key to everything. If you’ve never heard me say this before, write this down. This is the most important thing. Everything that I teach people to do when it comes to growing their business always comes back to one principle.

And that principle is “referrals equals freedom”. And I’ll repeat that because it’s that important! Referrals equals freedom, right? You have to write that down no matter where you’re beginning. I can’t get enough caregivers, great. Get more referrals. I can’t handle all the patients that I have. Great, get more referrals because you’re one fatal Monday away from losing everything. When you get 10 clients that pass away and then all of a sudden your revenue dips, that is always an issue. All right?

So, if I’m getting referrals, but I’m not converting these referrals into paying customers, there’s a glitch in the matrix. This is an operational challenge that I have. I’m not talking sales and marketing here. I’m talking about the inquiry is coming in, we’re getting leads, but we’re not turning them into paying customers. That means we’re spinning our wheels. Now, I will tell you in the latest Home Care Pulse report, the average agency that is doing over $5 million in revenue – you may have seen in my magazine, “The Road To $10 Million” – these agencies that are doing over $10 million in revenue every single year, they average 40+ percent conversions.

Meaning for every 100 inquiries that comes into that business, 40 or more patients sign up and start services. So you have to take a look at it. When you’re calculating your inquiries, you must make sure you are including all of the non-qualified inquiries when you’re coming up with that number.

Why do I include the non-qualified inquiries? Because people ask me that all the time. Why should I include those? Those are non-qualified leads. They’re outside of my service area. They don’t have the resources to afford the services. They’re looking for less hours than what our minimums are and all these other things. The reason why you still count that though, is because something that you have done caused that person to contact you for services, whether it’s your SEO, your Google AdWords, your direct referral marketing, your company’s reputation, a caregiver who referred someone else, an existing client who referred. Whatever it is, whatever the source is, a place for mom, whatever the source is, something that you are doing, something that you are paying money for, generated that lead. So you have to track it, even if it’s non-qualified, that goes into the pool of all of your referrals, your inquiries.

So then the next thing goes, “Well, what is my process?” I get an inquiry. Well, what are the steps that goes from inquiry to actually starting care? And this is where it varies from agency to agency, and this is where I feel most people have the hole, and it’s not your fault. This is an after effect of the pandemic, because what happened during the pandemic was we had to change the way that we do business. And so a lot of folks got away from screening patients and going out and doing consultations and selling over the phone. That is a big mistake! I broke it down into syllables. Why is it a big mistake? It’s a big mistake because you need to see this patient.

Everything that I talk about with all of my clients – in the magazine, “Home Care Evolution Quarterly”, you go to the website, homecareevolution.com/magazine – you can get access to this for free! Everything that I talk about in that, everything that I go through and all of my training and programs for all of my clients, the members of the Elite Academy, the “Hurricane University”, the “Home Care Evolution Daily”, everything that I talk about and that I teach has to do with onboarding clients. And when I look at these processes that most people have, you’re talking about taking on a medically complex patient. Here I am saying referrals equals freedom. I’m telling you to build your business around medically complex patients. Why? Because medically complex patients need a lot of hours and it’s a lot easier to send one caregiver to one patient than to try and keep a caregiver to have them go to four or five patients. That makes sense.

So if I have an abundance of people who need one or two caregivers because they need that many hours of help, that’s how I’m going to be able to stack clients, build my client census, grow my revenue, and retain my caregivers. It makes the operation a lot easier. That’s what I’m trying to get at here. Well, if I’m helping you to get more medically complex patients, you can’t sell a medically complex patient over the phone. I’m sorry. You can’t and do it properly. You need to go out and screen the patients. And that’s where I feel the hole is. Maybe during the pandemic, it worked for a little bit, but get back to the process. This is the process that works. Inquiry comes in, phone call or internet lead. We get on the phone, we speak to the person, we talk to them for about 10 to 15 minutes.

The first five minutes or so is getting information about the situation that you are potentially getting involved with. Think about it from a legal standpoint. This is a sick patient. They’re contacting me for help. I got to make sure that I know everything or at least enough basics to determine, because that’s what the inquiry is, I’m going to determine if this is somebody that I think we can service. That’s the purpose of the inquiry. If the answer is yes, then the next step is not close them, the next step is have a consultation to discuss services. That’s where you close the patient. You want to see it.

A lot of times, and I had this happen to me over the years, this is why I’m so passionate about this. You can feel my intensity. I’m sitting up in my chair. The reason why I’m so passionate about this is because I had a lot of times where patients on the phone, their family members, their son, their daughter, their spouse, their neighbor, somebody is telling me about the patient and they’re giving me some information. And then when I go out and see them, it is completely false, what they told me on the phone, and what I’m thinking is, “Somebody’s going to need help a few hours a day, Monday through Friday, or maybe seven days a week.” Turns out to be somebody who’s bedbound, who needs help like 12 hours a day or more. It’s a medically complex situation. It’s not in the patient’s best interest. It’s not in your caregiver’s best interest, and it’s not in your best interest to take on somebody for fewer hours than what the person actually needs. I will tell you, when you have an abundance of referrals, I said, referrals equals freedom, right? You have an abundance of referrals, you don’t take every single client that comes your way. You take the ones that you know can do it right, and you tell them, “This is how we’re going to take care of your loved one.”

I’ve been doing this for seven years. I’ve been doing this for five years. I’ve been doing it for a year. I do this all day, every single day, right? Who’s the expert here? The person who’s never gone through this, or you, the agency owner who does this for a career? You’re the expert. Here is what we’re going to do for you. They don’t have to take it, that’s fine. But if they do, then you love on them and give them everything that they need to keep them home.

So, the consultation is where you physically will pre-screen the patient. You run through a presentation, you ask them if they want to sign up with you, and if they say “yes”, then you bring the paperwork home. You have all of the documents, you have all of your intake forms filled out, and you can staff the case accordingly and move forward to your onboarding process.

That is the tried and true steps that every agency that I get to follow, their conversion numbers increase significantly. So this tip right here, even though I’m talking about conversions and sales and marketing, it’s an operational step. Inquiry. The goal of the inquiry is to qualify the patient and then schedule a consultation in person for the next step where you can then build out the plan of care, schedule the assessment, get the commitment, staff the case, and move forward. All of my clients that do this are killing it, and I know you will do the same thing. So there’s the tip of the week my friends, execute.

And if you need help, get the magazine, give us a call, schedule an appointment, and we’ll give you everything you need to “Blow Away The Competition!”