Referral Marketing: A Guide to Developing Home Health Agencies as Referral Sources

How to work with other agencies to attract home health care referrals 

A nurse helps a senior client in a wheelchair, representing the type of clientele that home health care referrals may allow you to help.

A referral from a trusted source is worth its weight in gold. That source might be a current client or one of their family members, a member of your staff or someone they know. But when that source is a healthcare professional, the endorsement can be made with a certain degree of confidence, and that lead can have a more sure sense of your home care agency’s quality of care.

Plus, referral programs are cost-effective, expanding your reach with relatively little input.

Home health agencies in your area can be a valuable source of client referrals. Here’s how to cultivate those relationships and start adding new leads to your sales funnel.

How to cultivate home health agencies as referral sources

Building a strong referral network begins and ends with good relationships. Here’s how.

1. Make a list of potential sources for home health care referrals

Start with a list of existing relationships your agency has. A warm lead is more likely to turn into a mutually beneficial referral relationship. For example:

  • Home health care agencies in your area whose services you can complement (and vice versa)
  • Home health care agencies whose service areas are contiguous with your own, that way they can send you leads just outside their service area
  • Ask caregivers and your clients who they’ve worked with or know

2. Start building relationships early

Don’t expect home health care referrals after a single phone call. For them to trust you, a relationship is necessary.

  • Make the first contact personal. Don’t use templatized blast emails asking for referrals. Either make a phone call or send a personal message requesting a meeting to talk about how you can build a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Schedule a face-to-face meeting to establish rapport and trade information about your agencies. Offer to drop by their office, buy them lunch, or take them out to coffee.
  • Prepare with printed and digital information about your agency. Bring polished, detailed collateral with you. This should include your agency’s origin story and mission, your value proposition, the services you offer, and your standard of care. Use this to walk your potential referral source through your agency and expose them to your brand.
  • Prepare to meet their needs. Before you arrive, do research on the home health care agency source so that you can show them how you can meet their needs.
  • Bring an administrator and a clinical care leader to the meeting so you can field questions about policies, procedures, insurance, and licensures as well as training, scheduling, and day-to-day care.
  • Invite them to your offices. To build a relationship, invite them to visit your office and meet staff.

3. Be a problem-solver

To be a good referral recipient, your agency should be able to solve some problem your source has. Take the time to get to know their business and how you can help meet their clients’ needs.

Be a problem solver: What needs, concerns, and frustrations do they have that you can help address?

Maybe you provide valuable specialized care, like dementia support, that they desperately need for some of their companion care clients. The easier you can make their job, the more likely you are to get an enthusiastic endorsement.

4. Prepare to return the favor

If you want them to recommend your home care agency, you should be prepared to recommend theirs. Get to know their agency well so you can offer well-informed referrals in return.

5. Conduct client meetings in tandem

The relationship with your referral sources is not strictly a transactional one. It should be collaborative. When you are working on a client care plan and see the potential for your agencies to collaborate, invite them along so they can join the conversation.

5. Make contact on a regular basis

Make a point to see your referrers on a regular basis. Drop off a gift during the holidays, stop by to update your collateral and chat with the staff, schedule quarterly meetings to sync on client needs, and invite leadership to lunch on occasion. You don’t have to talk about referrals all the time. Instead, talk shop on general client care, ask for their advice, and get their opinion on new tech, modalities, and therapies.

Build trust and show them that you value their expertise.

Attract client referrals, manage their journey, close more sales

Home Care Marketing Pros’ CareFunnels can help your home care agency stay organized, seamlessly guiding your home health care referrals through the sales journey, from warm leads to happy clients. Schedule your demo to learn more.

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