The adage “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care” is a truism that can easily be applied to physicians’ practices as well as acute and post-acute organizations. Yet, many do not reflect on this adage. It is not intentional as many CEO’s, owner operators, executive directors, sales managers and physicians are extremely busy managing operational demands. Although extremely important, operational demands and driving referrals are not mutually exclusive. That’s why knowing what’s important to your customer’s produces referrals.
In my day to day conversations with owner operators of senior living communities as well as with physicians of varying medical practices, the desire to increase referrals is a common goal, but with limited time and many demands, how can an organization seamlessly drive sales?
Whether in an acute or post-acute environment, sales matter. Sales allows for growth, the growth of a practice, expansion of a community and the hiring of trained, qualified staff to name just a few. So, how does a practice or senior care organization drive sales with limited time and increasing demands in an ever changing healthcare and long-term care environment? The answer lies in staying connected with your customers.
Staying connected with your customers does not mean post on social media or re-market to customers based on computer cookies. Rather, it means once you’ve converted prospects to customers, pay attention to what truly matters to them.
As a physician, do you know what the need behind the need is for your patients? For example, patients may make an appointment to see you based on the help they need with an ailment, but what else do they need? What is important to them? Is it to have a better quality of life or to have less worry and peace of mind? Is it confidence, security or increased self-esteem? In addition to their health conditions, what really matters to your patients that can make a tremendous difference in their lives?
For senior living organizations, are you aware of what the need behind the need is for your residents? Is it decreased worry for their adult children? Is it increased socialization, having well balanced meals or knowing that staff is near 24/7 should they need them?
Knowing what the important underlying needs are for your customers and consistently demonstrating an understanding of those needs during office visits and day to day interactions will exceed customer expectations. Patients and residents who truly feel valued will tell others! They will tell their family, friends and even strangers about the great care they receive leading to increased referrals for a provider or a senior living organization.
Whether a practitioner or senior living executive, building a culture of understanding what is truly important will build value with patients and residents who can’t wait to refer others who will receive the great care they already experience! That’s why knowing what’s important to your customer’s produces referrals!