if you don’t create something unique you will at best blend in with all your competitors. The real danger is becoming invisible and irrelevant. It’s sad how bland the long-term care industry has become. A new building or remodeling tops the list as being " unique".
A world-class healthcare example
The Mayo clinic has a world famous niche and they have some relatively outdated, unattractive buildings. Yet, they give people a reason to travel the world to access their healthcare services. You can do the same. You must take risks to become successful. This is not a project of the month. It’s a whole new way of thinking and working.
Creating a really big dream for your organization builds hope and excitement
The vision-energy generated motivates everyone in contact with your organization. Motivated employees, managers, referral sources, customers and communities will give their support, flexibility and hard work. The positive force gained by embracing a big dream propels the organization to success.
You will need that positive energy to make the difficult changes required for becoming successful. Struggling LTC centers don’t have big dreams that they re-invent their entire organization around because they are too busy trying to master basics operations with the same systems and mentality.
We can help you simplify the difficult process of selecting and building an effective niche, vision, and plan. We have created programs that will walk you through the process step-by-step. It’s a very time consuming process, so the longer you wait; the greater your real risk. Send us an email.
It would be silly to build a unique product and then not promote it. You’ve created a compelling reason for customers to choose you over your competitors. Now you need to let them know what you have to offer.
Most LTC organizations promote themselves inadequately, if at all. They mistakenly believe that senior center bingo, church visits, and discharge planner visits are all they need for success. It’s self-defeating that LTC organization will not think twice about investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in hiring additional nurses, equipment, renovations, even pay for outside lawn care services… but they refuse to fund an adequate promotional budget. Seriously, nothing you do matters if the people who need to know about you don’t know you exist.
If I asked your target markets to “name the top two LTC facilities that come to mind” - would they mention your organization? How about if I asked the local news media or older adults in your market the same question? How many of them would even know the name of your organization?
Most LTC organizations wait for local discharge planners to call. The aggressive facilities send representatives to the hospitals and try to build relationships with them. If 80% of your referrals come from discharge planners and if they like your organization your marketing is not in a strong position.
What happens if the discharge planners you love quit or get fired? What happens if tomorrow her boss says "send all future LTC discharges to the hospital’s new LTC facility"? What if your competitor builds a relationship with your potential patients before they got to the hospital and they demanded to go to your competitor, despite the attempts of your favorite discharge planners to get them into your facility? Now what?
A few good relationships with referral sources do not equate to a strong marketing position
A better move would be to create something unique that potential patients want, then cast a wide net of awareness amongst potential patients, patients' helpers, the entire medical community, and media sources… Strive to impress the world rather than a hand full of referral sources.
If you're interested in attracting more inquiries from more effective awareness building techniques read our new e-book on Building Awareness.
How to work with a limited budget
We’re guessing that your promotional budget is rather limited - if you even have one. So, the real question is how to become known with a limited budget. Furthermore, what messages will generate inquiries? You don’t have to be a communications expert because we are, and we would love to work with you. With our help your valuable niche and high awareness levels will generate enough inquiries to keep your facility full.
Simplify the Sales and Admissions Process
Customers tend to take the path of least resistance. In other words, if you make it easy for your prospective customers to do business with your organization - they will be more inclined to work with you. Discharge planners are under strict time constraints. The last thing they need is discharge hassles. They won't be calling your facility at 3 AM with a new patient from the ER if you’re unreliable with your weekend and evening admissions.
We’re amazed how difficult long-term care organizations are to work with even when prospective clients want to use their services. The phone isn't answered, the sales/admissions person is unavailable, calls are not returned, the staff acts as if prospective and new patients are an inconvenience to their real jobs. Then, if the inquiring customer is still hanging in there, trying to work with you, they hear something like, “we can’t complete the admission until you get us the H&P from the patient’s physician… In shock they respond, "The what? NO, really?!”
You’re too close to your own business to see what your customers see
We can objectively show you the perspective your customers have of your business. Better yet, we can help you create an admissions process that makes it easy for customers to work with you. Let's get started today. We can be reached by email.
Close More Sales
What most LTC facilities sell is not what customers need or want to buy. Sales training is critical to your long-term success. Take a look at your sales results. What percentage of sales opportunities does your organization close? Do you know how much revenue is lost on average with each lost sale? If our ideas and training could enable you to win just one of the sales you routinely lose - would it be worth hiring us to help you with your sales techniques? We know how to boost your sales results with training and sample shoppers. Lets start the sales training today. Send us an email.
We offer a must-read e-book on how to increase your census. The book addresses everything from branding, planning, marketing ideas and sales practices for assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and retirement communities. Click here to learn more.