When it comes to any type of business, it’s all about who you know. In the home care industry, connections with professional referral sources can make or break your business. No matter if you are just starting out and trying to make a name for your new agency or if you are well established in your community, you can always use some inspiration for how to make the most of your referral sources.
Here are some of our favorite ways to network and connect with professional referral sources throughout the aging network in your area. Pick a few to try and add them to your next quarterly marketing strategy.
Look at the Numbers
All professional referral sources are great, but you do need to focus more on the ones that actually serve your agency consistently. In order to determine where to pour most of your money and time, look at the numbers. Find out how many clients came from specific referral sources over the past 1-3 years, but don’t stop there. Also, determine which population or client your agency wants to focus on: is it recently discharged patients from skilled nursing facilities? It is the Veteran living at home alone? Or, maybe it’s the client living with dementia who wants to stay at home longer.
You can, and should, have a diverse client roster. However, if you know you want to specialize in certain types of care or clients, you must have the referral source connections set up.
Diversify Your Connections
Spend time and money focusing on your primary professional referral sources and building those relationships. For example, you may choose to focus on the social worker at two nearby skilled nursing facilities. Or, you might cultivate relationships with caseworkers at nearby VA hospitals or clinics. These connections are the foundation of your referral network.
Once you get those foundation relationships in order, it’s time to diversify a bit. Begin to network with new referral sources, such as the local independent living community or the leader of the county’s senior center. Get creative and choose a few relationships to grow over the next six months.
Get Out There
You’ll never make meaningful connections with potential referral sources if you are always in your office. Instead, make it a priority to get out and about in your community by attending local business events, senior care seminars, and other activities. If you can’t attend, send your designee, which can be a member of your Marketing team or an experienced caregiver who can serve as the face of your agency.
Make it a priority to get out and about at community events at least once every few weeks. Bring along your charm and business cards in order to make the most of your time out of the office.
Communicate and Follow Up
Your professional referral sources should feel taken care of and should trust that you will take care of the seniors they send your way. Make sure you are communicating well with your referral sources and following up on any concern immediately; you want to make sure they know you are an excellent agency (which you are!). You might even want to send along a communication via email or phone call regarding how a client is thriving at home with your services a few weeks after the referral, without violating any HIPPA guidelines of course.
Your agency should value professional referral sources and strive to create excellent relationships with them while making the most of the money and time you put into the partnership.
Article written by Haley Burress.
Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.
I’d like to share with you my free Caregiver Recruitment Engine™ framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit staff and efficiently scale your home care team.
The end result:
Faster than ever.