Home Care Marketing- How to Get More Home Care Referrals from Professionals

Valerie VanBooven:

Hey there. This is Valerie. I am really great at assuming everybody already knows how to do this, but it was brought to my attention that not everybody does. So I’m going to talk today about how to get yourself organized to visit referral partners in your local area. I’m talking to those of you who own home care businesses, home healthcare businesses, assisted living facilities, care homes. I’m talking to elder law attorneys, long-term care insurance agents. I’m talking to everybody in the senior service business. Any one of you could take yourself or a sales person and do this method in order to reach out to people in your local area. This isn’t new or novel. This is just your basic step-by-step way to get yourself organized and hold yourself accountable for reaching out to people in your local area and forming relationships with them and maybe getting some business from them.

Valerie VanBooven:

The first thing that I would do if I were a new senior care business owner, or even if I were a seasoned one and hadn’t done this before, or if I hired a new salesperson, I would get an Excel spreadsheet out. I know that’s super basic. But I would have these headings at the top. You may be able to think of more, but this is what I would do.

Valerie VanBooven:

I would want a list of all the facilities or organizations that I can market to in my local area. And I don’t have any magic button I can push to get that list, but there are lots of easy ways you can find the information. So the first week of my sales journey I would spend gathering as much data about people and companies as I possibly could. And then the week after that, I would start moving forward with my plan.

Valerie VanBooven:

So you want the name of the facilities or organizations in your local area, which I’ll show you how to get. I would want to know in this column, what type of organization. Are they an assisted living facility, a care home, an elder law attorney, a home health care agency, a non-medical home care agency? Who am I marketing to and why?

Valerie VanBooven:

I want to know their website address. You can learn a lot about an organization from their website address. So I’m talking to you about finding other people’s websites, but just know that other people are looking at your website and if your website is a Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, slow loading, built 10 years ago, built five years ago, built two years ago, built three days ago by cousin Eddie, and it sucks, you’re not going to have anybody following up with you. I guarantee you that right now. Your website is your first representation of you online. And right now, especially right now in our world, that is exactly how people are being introduced to you. Do not let your website make people turn away. If it doesn’t look like it’s been taken care of, if it’s got broken images, broken links, flash, oh my God, which doesn’t even exist anymore, please get a new website. Okay, I’ll stop harping on that.

Valerie VanBooven:

So the facility organization name, the type, the website address, their physical street address, zip code, state zip code, their main phone number. And then when you call them, yes, you have to make a phone call, you’re going to call and ask, who is the person that I would speak to about? And you’ve got to be careful with this because you won’t get past the gatekeeper if you say the wrong thing.

Valerie VanBooven:

So if I’m a non-medical home care agency and I’m calling an assisted living facility, I am going to ask for the marketing outreach person, or if they say, well, we don’t have one of those, then I say, well, who does the intakes, or who is in charge, or who is the director? So you would want to do the marketing person. You might want to call it a community outreach position. There’s lots of terminology for these things. So marketing, community outreach, intake coordinator, director, someone who has their LNHA, which is licensed nursing home administrator. So in assisted living facility, nursing home, even in an independent senior community with lots of different levels of care, you’re going to ask for people like that.

Valerie VanBooven:

Once you get a name, you’re going to put the name in. Make sure you record what their title is because you don’t want to offend them by saying the wrong thing. Everybody calls it something different. Their direct phone number, if they have one, even if it goes to voicemail, and their email address. If you can get all that, good luck. If you just get their direct phone number, then you can always ask them for their email.

Valerie VanBooven:

So these are the things that you want. And once you have that list filled out, you can start making some plans for marketing. So what I would do to get this information is I’m going to pretend like I am in Miami, Florida, and I’m a new home care agency and I am going to want to market to people.

Valerie VanBooven:

So the first thing I’m going to do is type in a Google search for our assisted living facilities Miami. Now, there are some ads here that are coming up. So if you click on those, it’s going to cost those people money, but you can go through this list. You can also go to boom, caring.com. 230 assisted living facilities near Miami, Florida. So I can just go down the list here. And they’re not going to give you a whole lot of information. So if I go to Valdes Retirement Home, let’s see if they will give me a phone number. And I’m pretty sure this is not the direct phone number. So caring.com is going to be selling leads. So they may not be the best place to go, but you can get an idea of how many are in your local area by going to caring.com.

Valerie VanBooven:

Assistedliving.org, the best assisted living facilities in Miami. If you scroll down here, you’re going to be able to see a little bit more information. This is probably their website and their direct line. So everything you want is right here. Yes, it’s a copy and paste situation, and you can just keep going down the list.

Valerie VanBooven:

Here’s another trick that I have. I have an extension to Chrome and it’s called Link Gopher. Wait, is it Link Gopher? Wait a minute. Link Grabber. Well, either one. Link Gopher or Link Grabber. All right. So if I go to Link Grabber, I can grab all of the links off this website. So this is just junk up here, but if I go down here, I can see boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. These are all the ones I want. These are the links I want. So I can copy 78 out of 109. I can go to my little note. I can open a little Word thing. I mean, not in Word. Not Word. Text, document, new. This is just how I do stuff. There might be an easier way. I’m also on a Mac. I’m going to make this a plain text document and I’m just going to paste all that stuff in there. I’m going to wipe out all the things I don’t care about. And then I’ve got the telephone numbers. So, that’s cool.

Valerie VanBooven:

So now I’m just going to go through and boom, hit copy paste, copy paste, and I’ve got their telephone numbers. So I’m just going to go ahead and leave that in there. And we’re going to take this out. And so now I’m down to just the list of things that I really want. So I’ll put that in my Excel spreadsheet. Website address and main phone numbers. So I can kill two birds with one stone by just Googling and going to a couple of different websites. Caring.com, again, is probably not going to give you the real phone number. It’s probably a call center because they’re trying to sell the leads. So having said that, looks like assistedliving.org is a good place to go.

Valerie VanBooven:

So I am going to gather up all of my people. So now that I know where everybody’s located and I have their names, I’m going to start making phone calls. I’m going to call that main number. I’m going to ask the person who answers if I can speak to their marketing director, if I can speak to their community outreach person, whatever, and find out what that person’s name is, the title that they resonate with. If they’re busy, can I get their direct phone number or do they have an email address? Get all that information or leave them a voicemail if they won’t give it to you and ask them to call you back. And I’m going to make that giant list.

Valerie VanBooven:

Okay. So let’s say I get 50 facilities and names and phone numbers. Or let’s say it’s even 20 or 10. I don’t know. However many you get. Week number two, I am going to start making some rounds. Now it depends on the state you’re in and it depends on the COVID situation there. Some facilities are on lock down again and they will not let you come in. I don’t care who you are or what you have in your hand. No, you cannot come in. So you have to kind of gauge this to what works for you. If you’re not allowed to visit most of your facilities, then you’re going to want to mail some things.

Valerie VanBooven:

If you are allowed to visit, you’re going to get in the car and you’re going to go around and visit and make some drop-offs. And you’re going to make friends with the lady at the front desk. Whoever that lady is during business hours during the week is a person you want to make friends with. The person at the front desk. Not the marketing director, not the director of the whole place. You want to have the person who’s sitting at the desk when you walk in fall in love with you. Because they are the gatekeeper and they are the person who is going to decide whether or not you can talk to someone else, especially in a high-end facility, so they need to love you.

Valerie VanBooven:

So the next thing I’m going to do is something that I’ve talked about a whole lot, and that is get some leave behinds together. So if you type in, leave behind summer real estate. Real estate agents are really super good at this. 190 marketing leave behind ideas. They’re very good at this. And not only that, but they can do it on the cheap and you can too. You’re not supposed to be giving people gifts in the healthcare market, but you can give them something that costs less than $10, and really we don’t want to spend that much. We want something that costs a dollar or something like that.

Valerie VanBooven:

So if you were to Google marketing leave behinds or leave behinds summer, because we’re in summer right now, you’re going to find a bunch of stuff that you can do. They’re also called pop in ideas. So this is, no matter how you slice it, you and your referrals are the core of my business. And I think this is an apple in here. You can leave behind all kinds of stuff.

Valerie VanBooven:

You can go to the dollar store. First of all, you can get paper and print these little things out, if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on having them printed. And here’s police officer appreciation bags with free blah, blah, blah. I mean, you could take any one of these ideas and turn it into a home care idea.

Valerie VanBooven:

If you go to, let’s see, asnmarketingplan.com. Whoops. That’s not what I wanted to do. All right. Let’s do this. Let’s type in, home care marketing ideas April, 2021. I know I’m … Hoe care. All right. I put a lot of videos up about this kind of stuff. That’s home care marketing ideas for April. Okay. So I put in National Parkinson’s Awareness month, superhero, home care marketing contest. I mean, we put together a whole lot of material. If you type in home care marketing, leave behinds, home care marketing ideas, you can go to our website, you’ll see a bunch of stuff you can do. So I took a lot of these things and turned them into something you could do for home care.

Valerie VanBooven:

So this is a good one. “Riddle me this. Who can offer excellent service and close your deal on time? Amy Blackburn, mortgage lender for guarantee bond bank.” Okay, so you got to change that into home care. Riddle me this. Who can offer excellent service and help your clients the fastest, or help your residents the fastest? And it would be Valerie VanBooven, ABC Home Care, blah, blah, blah. Put my name on it. And it’s Skittles riddles. I don’t know. Whatever. You can think of a million things.

Valerie VanBooven:

Here is, have a cool summer. I mean, you can do a thousand things. This is dollar store junk here, but it’s so cute. You do not … Look. Let’s turn lemon into lemonade with a smooth real estate transaction. Inventory is low. Are you ready to sell? Now, that’s not going to work for home care, but lemons might be the COVID situation. Let’s turn this COVID lemon into lemonade with more referrals back and forth. Do you need any help? I don’t know. You think about it. But these are easy to make and you can even involve teenagers, young children. You can have them help you put it together.

Valerie VanBooven:

If you have to mail stuff because you cannot get into a facility, then think about things that are going to be really easy to mail like this, mints, or something flat that’s not going to break your bank on mailing stuff either. And you don’t have to mail 500 of these. You can mail 20, 10, whatever the case. But the minute you can get back out there and you can show up in person is the minute you want to start doing that. And you always want to make sure that you make three or four of these, 10 or 20, whatever you want to do per organization. And you want to make sure you hand one directly to that person at the front desk and say, this one is specifically for you, Mary. I just wanted to say thank you for putting up with me when I come by here and say hello every week or whatever it is you do. Be nice to the person at the front desk. Make sure they’re included in the gift giving because they are important.

Valerie VanBooven:

So, you got your list. Then you can start adding on columns here. Contacted, visited, and the dates, and any notes that you might have about this person or this facility, and follow up plan. So on your Excel spreadsheet, if that’s what you’re going to use, you can put notes, dates of visit, follow up plan, follow up email, follow up phone call, and keep track of the dates and times that you do everything. If it’s for yourself to hold yourself accountable, that’s fine. If it’s for a salesperson that you’ve hired, make them chart or document everything they do somewhere.

Valerie VanBooven:

You don’t have to use an Excel spreadsheet. In our case, I would recommend that if you’re our client you use the free CRM that we give you and you have people use that to their advantage. You can do exactly the same thing inside of the CRM and keep notes on every referral source, every time you visited, every time you’ve made a phone call, every time you’ve emailed. You can email directly from the CRM. You can text directly from the CRM. You can call directly from the CRM. And make sure that you have a clear report of all the activities for yourself or for sales person that’s been going on.

Valerie VanBooven:

And again, give them a budget. Give them a hundred dollars to go to Dollar Store, decide which projects they want to do. This is an easy one to mail. Your referrals make my business pop. It’s just a bag of microwave popcorn. And it doesn’t have to be Jiffy Pop, it doesn’t have to be a brand name. It can be an off-brand. Doesn’t matter. So please, please, please, don’t spend a whole bunch of money on this kind of stuff. But definitely do it. They will remember you if you’re consistent. Doing this one time isn’t going to get you much roll. This has to be a consistent, ongoing effort.

Valerie VanBooven:

In fact, if I were out there, I would also be joining my chamber and any other fairly inexpensive networking marketing groups that I could join. And I would always have in my giant bag or my giant purse that I carry around, half a dozen flat, not just a business card, but a little handout. So the popcorn thing or whatever. And if somebody really impresses you or you really make a connection with somebody, instead of just handing them your business card, hand them that little thing of popcorn that says, your referrals make my business pop, or whatever. So make more than you think you’re going to need. Excuse me.

Valerie VanBooven:

All right. So accountability, keeping track, keeping records, changing your mindset, getting out there and being consistent. Doing this one time is not going to help you. The other thing is website. Your website had better be really dang nice. If you come and market to me and I love you and I look at your website and I’m like, this is a piece of junk. What in the heck? When was the last time they updated this? Do they care about what people think? I get it that you may be the best home care agency or the best care home in the world, but if your website looks like crap, people are going to think you really don’t give a care. I’m serious about this. Websites are important. Content is important. Your Facebook business page needs to be up to date and have a recent post on it. Not one from 2017. People will think you totally forgot about it, or you’re not in business anymore. So make sure you have all of your ducks in a row.

Valerie VanBooven:

All right, that is my scoop on referrals. And who do you look up for this list here? If you Google the best home care referral sources, you are going to get a million different lists. So I’m talking assisted living, senior independent living, nursing homes or rehab, meaning you broke your hip rehab, not drug rehab. You’re going to get elder law attorneys, long-term care insurance agents. You’re going to get home modification people, ramps, people who could in ramps, CAPS certifications, CAPS. You’re going to get reverse mortgage specialists. You’re going to get financial advisors who are in the senior market. You’re going to get tons and tons and tons of people.

Valerie VanBooven:

I mean, it’s even worth stopping by the area Agency on Aging in your local area and dropping off a goodie bag of stuff. You do not have to say a word to anyone, just leave it and go. And they will appreciate it. I know they’re not supposed to take anything, but guess what? They’ll eat that popcorn, or they’ll give it out to residents, or they’ll give it out to people who are there or whatever.

Valerie VanBooven:

Adult daycare centers are a good one. At some point sometimes people become too much of a handful for adult daycare and they really do need some home care at night or they need some home care in addition to the adult daycare. So those are all great places to market.

Valerie VanBooven:

I hope this referral source video helped you. If you have any questions or comments, let us know. That would be my take on how to get more referral sources. Thanks, bye.

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Founder, Co-Owner, Wife, Mom, Author, Video Nerd. The buck stops here. Serving the Home Care and Senior Care Markets since 2008! Our services include home care seo, home care websites, home care marketing, home care social media, home care recruiting, caregiver recruiting, and home care Google My Business strategies.
Valerie VanBooven RN BSN
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