In addition to ensuring regulatory compliance and building a strong team, this is the perfect time to evaluate your marketing strategy for 2019. Are you providing excellent service, but not seeing any growth? The best way to start the new year is to identify your weaknesses and change course. The longer you wait, the harder it is!
Review your current referral sources. Are you referring on only one or two providers? Does the agency owner and top management get out to market or are they mainly tied to the office? This important question needs to be answered. The best marketer for an agency is usually the top one or two officials who can make decisions with real power and authority. Marketing staff are great and they have a very solid, reliable purpose, but the agency owner, president, or administrator all have a powerful impact that can’t be matched.
Set realistic goals and targets. This can be divided into areas or territories if you have more than one marketer but make sure to hold your staff accountable. A real sales and marketing staff member is driven by results, not by how many pens or post-it pads are delivered to possible referral sources. They know how to close, they know how to follow up and they know how to listen to the needs of the prospect – your future referral source. The marketing team takes the time to understand the referral source and issues that provider has with current agencies they refer to.
Whether a new referral source or an existing source, your marketing team and the agency owner, administrator or president all take the time to understand that referral source’s needs by listening. Stop telling them what you do…ask them what they need and what their patients need. Your job is to educate and make promises you can keep to help that referral source and meet their needs. This is how you capture new referral sources – not by spending money on lunches and gimmicks to get one or two patients. You want partners that you can share resources with as a two way street, not a one way street in which you just keep taking without providing any help to that referring provider.
2019 is coming faster than you realize and your agency needs to be ready. Whether you do a little preparation or a full-blown reorganization that turns your agency into a compliance, survey, and ADR ready provider is up to you. However, you’ll find that continuous improvement not only makes your agency better, it makes your agency stronger and makes your staff stronger which in turn reduces overhead and turnover and boosts moral. If you are unsure of where to start or have questions, please reach out to us at, firstname.lastname@example.org.