Don't Waste Valuable Referrals: How To Convert Them To Clients

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Referrals are incredibly valuable in sales, no matter what industry. And, in the competitive health care world, a glowing referral could help you win out over competitors. This is particularly true when it comes to home care for seniors. Trust, professionalism and reputation are major factors for home-care purchase decisions, and what better than to have a referral from a third party? Registered Nurse Clare Absher discusses the value of referrals in an article for Care Pathways, and she points out that providers need to keep in mind that not every referral will be converted into a client. And, the blame for this sometimes falls on the provider.

One way that providers can waste a good referral is stumbling over unexpected roadblocks. She reminds readers that, “ideally, the client would simply communicate that they need home care services and they are ready to get started. This ideal circumstance is rare; on the contrary, a number of other scenarios are more probable.” How you handle these situations will determine whether or not you win the business.

A common scenario

One of the examples Absher shares is the “planning for the future” lead. This is a very typical situation: The prospect was referred to you, but they might not be ready to commit yet. They may not have an immediate need and are simply gathering information about providers for a future decision. First and foremost, always commend them for taking initiative when it comes to this important topic. Whether the service is for them or a loved one, emphasize your appreciation of doing the legwork now rather than later. “Regardless of the time frame, communications must be ongoing; otherwise, a large lapse in communication will likely cost you a future client,” she explains. It’s vital that you make a great first impression and continue the communications as much as possible until the need does arise. Establishing rapport now will prove valuable in the future.

Absher’s article includes more common scenarios that you’re likely to encounter when a referral comes your way. It’s important you’re prepared for a variety of situations, as she points out, “It is wise to arm yourself with resourceful, practical, and sound responses to positively handle these more likely scenarios that unfold.”

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Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.