Has your marketing mix been reduced to what gifts to bring the referral sources and how to make them pretty? Is your main marketing effort referral building just like all of your competitors, while expecting to grow market share? You likely have an ineffective growth strategy if referral networking is your main marketing focus.
You have many layers to get through when you depend on referrals for your growth. The company you hope to receive referrals from may change direction, impacting where referrals go. Hospitals for example, are inclined to have their own post hospital care options today. The supervisor of the business may decide to send referrals to a competitor. The company you hope to receive referrals from may imply that they will send you referrals when they don't specifically recommend centers. Lastly, the relationship or longevity of the person sending a referral may change. You have much more risk when you depend on others to market your business. On the other hand, when you use effective marketing strategies that include reaching your customers directly you have much less risk and more growth opportunity.
In a market about the size of Minneapolis metro, you’ll have 400 or more competitors trying to win each referral. Your success probability is 400:1 or worse when you depend on referrals to build your business. Talking directly to the customers gives you a much better probability of reaching and influencing key decision makers.
Your best move for growing your revenue is to simply hire a true marketing professional and ditch the networking gift baskets. A marketing expert will likely suggest that you direct your resources to the prospective customers rather than hoping that some third or forth party recommends your center over the 400 + other options.
Some people will disagree with me. They will say networking for referrals always works. And it can work very well when your reputation is impressive enough to go viral. Then you don't have to ask for referrals or form fake friendships to win referrals because people are moved to talk about your business. Most proponents of referral networking have not put a real effort into trying other strategies and compared the results. Worse yet, most centers don't research where the inquiries really came from. It’s likely not from the cute gift baskets or benefit speeches to referral sources that sounds like your competitors. It's true, most of your competitors have a story that sounds very similar to yours. If everyone looks the same and does the same things, no one stands out as a best choice. If your center doesn't stand out it will have fewer inquiries, tours, and admissions.
We have an idea for you to consider. When you talk with the adult children who are often involved in helping their parent(s) find care, you will discover that many of them used the Internet to shop and gather information. But, where did they go online? What information was appealing and led them to pick one center over all of the others?
You need someone who knows how to get you more online inquiries. And you don’t have a lot of time to put into this project with your busy schedule. Yet, it needs to be taken care of now, to avoid a census crisis.
We can take care of everything for you. Ideas Coach is excited to tell you about a new program designed to generate more online inquiries for your business. We simply bring you leads from people that want and need your services now. We would like to visit with you about how this new system will help build your census and revenue. To learn more, email Mike now.
We have one more idea that you can start using today. We have a whole book of ideas designed to increase your inquiries and admissions. The e-book is called “Easy and Inexpensive Ideas for Increasing Census”. This is a must read if your nursing home or assisted living center needs a few more new patients right away. Learn more about the e-book here.