Having trouble getting into hospitals? You should probably just give up, right? WRONG! In this week’s episode of A Drink with “The Hurricane,” Steve discusses how to get referrals from hospitals even when they tell you no soliciting.
Dramatizations are my favorite type of Drink With a Hurricanes to do because I get a chance to show you what is happening and when everyday people watch dramatizations they’re like man that happened just last week or how did you know. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve done it and I’m working with hundreds of people all around the world on their home care businesses. It happens everywhere.
Closed hospital systems are the best referrals source that we could ever have but they are by far the most difficult to get into. And I don’t have 90 minutes to go over how to get into a hospital on this episode of A Drink With the Hurricane. But what I am gonna say is because these closed hospital systems are everywhere, I want to put into realistic expectations just how long and how much effort it takes to develop a hospital. And also understand the reason why most people don’t.
So first and foremost, because a hospital has so much volume of patients, and every person in the hospital has a great need, everybody wants to get business from the hospital. Not just home care! Everybody is trying including assisted living, the pharmaceutical companies, medical device sales, home health companies, hospice companies, skilled nursing facilities, and the CCRCs. I mean everybody is trying to get business from the hospitals. By, in theory, a hospital supports like a hundred different businesses with the amount of volume that a hospital does business with. So every day, every company in the area, I mean even you yourselves, you are probably within 10 miles, maybe 15 miles from a hospital. Because when people go to the hospital and they come home they’re going to need your services. So it makes sense that a hospital is the mecca it is the top of the food chain of all of the referrals in our community because people start there and then it filters through to everybody else. So logically it makes sense.
Now because of that, they’re the pinnacle and everybody else underneath there in the healthcare continuum in our area is all trying to get in there, they all have this policy if you can’t come here and market because if they allowed people to come in and market every day 100, 200 marketing representatives, would show up canvassing for business. That’s why they have the no-solicitation policy. That’s why you can’t get in there. That’s why it’s so hard to get in there. But you want to know something that’s really interesting for my clients who get into hospitals? When you actually get into a hospital those caseworkers, those social workers in the emergency department, in the cardiology department, in the oncology department, or the neurology department, those specific, or orthopedic, those specific units that I’m just mentioning, they always say I had no idea you existed. No one ever comes here and tells us about this. Yeah we’ll give you referrals. And that’s why we continue to go. That’s why we got to go there again and again and again and again.
But back to the managing expectations. How long should it take you to develop a hospital? The truth of the matter folks, is six months to a year. Six months to a year and that’s even if you’re somebody who’s seasoned, who knows what they’re doing. Not only does it take time to get into the hospital, but then you also have to begin to do the work it takes to get the referrals. What do I mean? Getting people to understand that people are willing to pay for private services. We are, from the private pay realm, not a benefit. We’re not an insurance covered unless somebody has long-term care insurance, but to get into the hospitals it takes two part.
One to gain access, but two to win over people to get them to realize that there are folks out there that are willing to pay for services. They are few and far between and then we have to help them to identify who is our target customer? And then how often do they see their target customer? Set their expectations as to how many times they should be referring us: a week, a month, and so on. This is extremely calculated, extremely planned. And it takes a lot of effort and time that’s why I say it takes six months to a year. Now someone like myself who knows what I’m doing, it took me a month to develop a hospital to get my first couple of referrals. A month is very very fast for any referrals of course, but especially a hospital.
You have to know the key contacts. What to say ’cause many of us you know when I get in front of a case manager, director of case manager at a hospital, director of case management, director of social services at a hospital, I don’t even know what to say, what are her hot buttons, what are the things I have to prepare? There’s a lot of work that goes into it. Let me give you a couple of tips here.
First off, you got to have some statistics. Have the statistics of the hospital. If you don’t have statistics for your agency you’re dead where you stand. Alright, that’s a whole other topic in itself. That’s all operational things. These are things we go over with our coaching clients and at our boot camps.
Second, you got to have some kind of specialty program. Something that really sets you apart from the competitors. And it has to be something that this individual or these individuals see on a regular consistent basis so that it’s like oh, I can actually see myself making a referral for this. I never knew you could help me with that. Now what is that? That’s unique to the individual hospital. Find out what they specialize in and then make a program around that. You got to be able to do a lunch and learn. You got to get all of the case managers, all of the social workers together and have your lunch learn done in a format that gets them to understand who you are, who they should identify to send your way, what is their pain point, and why you are the solution to their pain point, and then explain your process from referral through inquiry through sale, through startup, and how you’re gonna bring them home and help with their outcomes.
You don’t just fall into a hospital. You don’t just all of a sudden a hospital calls you and like hey we’re gonna start referring you. Oh, okay, great you’re a home care company? Yeah, here’s a referral. Like, it doesn’t work like that. You have to be sharp. You have to be able to walk the walk. This is not talk, this is walk the walk. And even still it’s going to be difficult. So, I just spoke a lot of stuff for five minutes here. But your mind should be turning right now. I gave you a bunch of different things that you have to make sure you can do in your operation and put together specialty programs and make sure you’re speaking to the right person and get in front of them over and over and over again. And then you got to have power partners. People who are allowed in the hospital to bring you in there. You got to go to events where a hospital is sponsored.
This is all a topic that I cover at boot camps. This is all several lessons that we go through with our coaching clients and then our fast start and in our advanced training modular programs. Even our special ops module program. All of this is, put it plainly, it’s a lot of work. But the return on your investment is huge. That is definitely worth investing in yourself to get the proper training and everything you need so that you can BLOW AWAY THE COMPETITION.