Recently while working with a new group living program in New Mexico I made a marketing suggestion to the new owner, who is also new to the business of care. I advised her to send a letter to the friends, relatives, pastoral representative and physicians of each new resident alerting them that this person now lives in her facility. In the letter I recommended she explain her services, her approach to care, program information such as visiting hours, etc.
Her response to me was that this felt strange, even exploitative that she would use a family notification of move-in or move-in announcement to advertise her services. For the seasoned entrepreneur it is normally not viewed that way and for everyone else growth could be slowed if we think the same.
Think about the new resident’s physician being aware of other patients in the community whose families are struggling with caregiving. How about the potential impact for this new resident’s relatives when among them may be someone who is close to making a decision about assisted living services. The same applies to the pastor, imam, priest, rabbi, etc. These individuals know the personal circumstances of tons of families and feel privileged to know of as many community resources as possible.
Marketing is a multi-faceted process and sales by referral or sales by relationship are a critical part of growth and success. The following video talks about this with a specific emphasis on assisted living.
It is true that our sales process should neither be annoying nor disrespectful. This does not mean that we cannot use the goodwill among those we are serving or have served to ensure their contacts know how effective we are. This matters whether we operate in long-term care, legal services, medical practices, product sales or laundry.
So are you shy? This is not abnormal but must not be a basis for avoiding truly effective, tested marketing techniques that can keep our businesses stable.
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