Welcome back! This is our first article for your home care agency’s Marketing and Sales team! Marketing may not, currently, be top of mind for your agency. It’s difficult to want to market if you already have more clients than your caregivers can staff. Keep in mind, that it is always good to be able to choose which clients your agency serves. It’s better if you don’t have to keep serving a difficult client just to keep a caregiver’s hours up. So your marketer must keep your sales pipeline full.
Also, you don’t want to ignore the relationships that you’ve built up with your Referral Sources. It’s important to maintain a presence in your area. So let’s talk about how to use route management to market in the most efficient and effective way. Planning out your marketing routes is important with high gas prices, especially if you have multiple locations.
There are several factors that should be used to plan your routes.
1) Location: You don’t want your marketers driving from one side of town to the other wasting gas and time.
2) Priority: You should determine the priority of your referral sources based on the volume of business you receive or expect to receive from each referral source.
3) Frequency: Then you should set the frequency of visits based on that priority. Be sure you are tracking your referral sources for each new client and caregiver you start. (We’ll cover this in a separate article.)
4) Marketing Events: Other points guiding marketing routes included networking events or charity events for causes like the Alzheimer’s Association. For example if a certain meeting always happens on Wednesday on a certain side of town, market that side of town that day.
5) Availability: Make sure you take into account the availability of your primary contact on the day and time you plan to be at a location.
In my previous role at a personal care agency, we covered multiple counties. We planned route frequency based on not only the location of Referral Sources, but also, their importance or priority. A Referral Source’s importance was based on how many referrals they sent us that turned into active clients.
For help with planning your routes, our agency used a tool called RouteXL (www.routexl.com). This tool showed us the most efficient way to map out each route between the stops we planned to make.
Tiered Referral Sources
We rated our Referral Sources using a three level tiered system to decide how often to drop in on contacts at each Referral Source. Below you’ll find an example:
- Class A) Top 10 accounts: We made sure to visit these Referral Sources weekly (or more than once a week for select sources), along with Skilled Nursing Facilities and Hospitals that usually referred to us.
- Class B) Top 20 accounts (11-20): We went to these Referral Sources every other week. We also included Hospitals that we didn’t have as much traction at, and some Assisted Living Communities and Independent Living Communities in these routes.
- Class C) Top 40 accounts (21-40): We saw these Referral Sources on a monthly basis. We also included any Hospitals, SNF’s, ALC’s and ILC’s not in the A or B categories on these routes.
Using planned routes on set schedules allowed us to market more strategically. The routes let us see each Referral Source often enough. One final piece of advice before I end the article, don’t overwhelm your Referral Sources by showing up too often. Your contacts there have to make sure that they are fulfilling their duties as well.
For more information about our services and how we can assist your home care agency with marketing, visit our website at www.seniorcarebusinessadvisors.com. You can also call me directly at 678-340-3649 to set up your Free 30-Minute Consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and serving your agency!
*Disclaimer: We are not endorsed by, or affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Association in any way. However, they are a great organization and if you would like to donate to them you can visit their site at www.alz.org. Additionally, we are in no way endorsed or affiliated with RouteXL.
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