Creating and maintaining rock-solid relationships with referral sources should be an integral part of any home care agency’s marketing strategy. Physicians, hospital discharge planners, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, pharmacists, nurse case managers, and trust officers are some of the best referral targets for home care agencies, but how do you build successful connections with key contacts at these organizations? Hint: it’s all about trust.
Form a Firm Foundation
Like you, the majority of your referral partners are busier than ever. Consider a day in the life of a physician, for example. Many doctors see a new patient every 11 to 15 minutes, leaving them little time to discuss important behavioral changes with their older patients, let alone how your agency can be of service to them. When an in-road with a referral source presents itself, your main goal should be to show how your agency can make their job easier by solving their clients’ problems and addressing their needs in a timely, professional manner.
Additionally, the way in which you present your agency goes a long way toward building a sense of trust with referral sources. A black and white flyer printed on your office copier sends the message that your agency doesn’t pay attention to detail and quality, and therefore, isn’t professional. Always bringing the same thing – like your brochure or business card – doesn’t help anyone either, and can leave the impression that you care more about selling than advocating for referral partners and their clients.
Conversely, when you bring informational materials that are expertly designed, concisely well-written, and that provide educational information of value to the referral partner’s clients or patients, you position yourself as an expert resource who they will grow to trust and welcome. The materials you present should also contain all of your pertinent contact information so that when they are ready to refer to you, it’s a simple, convenient, and professional process.
Learn how your agency can become a trusted advisor to referral sources and build a strong referral base.