Is selling a dirty word in care?
Updated: Oct 19, 2022
The crucial part of care home marketing or care agency marketing success is the actual selling.
All the money, effort, thinking and creativity to get a person to send an email, pick up the phone or walk into the home can be thrown away with a poor approach to the sales process.
It can be fantastically wasteful, hurtful to the organisation and actually impede a potential client in making the right decision at the right time.
I have spent many hours visiting care homes, talking with care agency operators and actually engaging openly with home managers and care managers about the idea of sales and selling.
To many, the practices and disciplines of marketing and selling are somewhat distasteful. Not on the face of it, no. Most can see the benefits that selling bring to a business, the fact that it is logical, necessary... and that not being good at it is DEFINITELY NOT a good thing.
But you dig a bit deeper and you find that most managers have come up through the care system, where the basic principle is that all things that make anyone a little uncomfortable are to be avoided totally. And that care really should stand apart and away from normal commercialism. In fact it should have nothing to do with it.
In my experience, most joined the care industry as a more of a vocation than a 'career choice'. And, at a deeper level, asking them to participate into the area of the sharpest end of commercialism – sales (for heaven’s sake) – almost feels insulting.
So the sales leadership required to direct, encourage, manage and train themselves or others in effective sales behaviours is weak.
You will notice that the word uncomfortable was used earlier when talking about the effect that selling has on the potential client (and by client in this case we are normally talking about the nominated family member or friend that is the #1 carer for the older person)
The family member is ALWAYS caught in a difficult and uncomfortable spot – one of uncertainty. When is the right time? Will mum’s situation improve a bit now? What will she think of me? Does this make me a bad person? I know she’s had an accident but maybe it’s just a one-off…
There comes a time when a care decision should be made. And the care home can either help them come to the right decision or they can ‘show ’em around the home’ and wait and see what happens… which helps nobody really. And that doesn't means using heavy sales ‘closing’ techniques. It means getting the person to see for themselves how mum’s situation can be improved. How the environment is tailored to achieve that. And how there is the right support to make the required change as comfortable and as happy as possible.
The actual presentation of the home is a key stage – but it's just one stage of an overall sales process that can produce a very successful outcome – for the FAMILY.
In fact, if one really sees oneself in the business of caring for people in one's community, helping and supporting family members come to the optimal decision – even if it eventually means choosing another home – then it is really showing care…
Thus fulfilling one’s ambition and vocation to care for others – including the family members of people in your community who are not yet clients.
We understand the care sales process. We can help any care home fulfil their ambitions to care AND sell at the same time. Why not talk to us about it?