If it hasn’t already, the Internet will become a game changer when it comes to your sales funnel. As you increase the marketing of your facility online, the percentage of leads from your online marketing efforts has undoubtedly increased. Yet these leads aren’t as promising as the leads that can be generated from physician referrals to the family. These referrals can come from social workers, word-of-mouth, or even non-medical referrals such as review sites or from sites like A Place for Mom.
In fact, a focus group study of medical facility executives conducted by Assisted Living Executive, revealed that facilities today receive up to 37 percent of their leads from professionals in the field such as doctors and nurses. Their drive-by visitors account for another 12 percent while friends and family referrals bringing about 10 percent. The number of these leads that become patients and choose that facility is only about 23 percent from professional referrals, 16 percent for family/friend referrals and 15 percent from people driving by the facility.
The rise of the Internet offers a unique opportunity for you to increase the number of leads that convert into patients and residents. It is important to realize that more and more people are researching for assisted living, nursing home and retirement-living communities online. This means that the sales funnel is different and your sales team may will have to approach the sales process with emails back and forth even before that initial phone call.
Obviously, these internet leads aren’t as strong as referral leads because the internet leads can only cause increases in the number of requests for tours of your facility. Sometimes these leads may not come in for their scheduled tours or meetings and that can be for a multitude of reasons or they just found a better suited option.
When leads browse the Internet and then submit contact forms, you can bet that they checked out your competition as well. That is why with Internet leads, time is of the essence when following up. Work on your facility’s processes to be sure that the appropriate team member is notified if a lead has submitted a contact form immediately. Even if your team is unable to schedule a call or tour until a later date, be sure that they are reaching out to the lead via at least email (as well as phone!) so that the lead understands that their business is valued.
Once your salespeople are ready to engage with prospects either via email or over the phone, what can you do to help increase your ratio of leads to actual residents? Show the prospect you truly care and what sets you apart from your competition. Be sure that your sale’s efforts support your core organization messages. If you are a company that positions yourself to have “caring and attentive staff,” be sure that your sales team is as well. This consistent messaging is extremely important in helping to cultivate and convert potential leads.
Here at Snelling Medical, we really enjoy offering you these articles. We hope our Snelling Medical Blog’s entries are helping you as your care for your residents and patients. Come back next week when we discuss “How to Take Care of Your Staff: Why You Need an Employee Wellness Program.”
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