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July 5, 2006
Identify Your Market for Effective Use of Messaging and Media


May 31, 2006
3-Ms for Success: Message, Market, Media


March 29, 2006
Selling Value Over Price Is Worth Every Effort


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Posted: May 10, 2006

Professional Caregiving

Marketing Your Services Means Covering All the Bases

This month I’m back to marketing senior services. Understanding how to attract more clients starts with understanding how to build a database of potential clients. I know that for many of us who were educated as healthcare professionals, marketing or "selling ourselves" doesn’t come easy.

I learned a long time ago that valuing myself and my services was the first and most important step in helping my business survive. As many of you know most start-up businesses don’t make it through year five. So the two things that are extremely important for all senior service providers to understand are "price" and "marketing."

Setting your price point to be competitive but not over the top is important. Marketing your services within a budget is important too. Regardless of the size of your budget, you can fill your funnel with potential prospects pretty quickly.

The way to fill that funnel with potential prospects is to market in many different ways. Attending senior fairs, running a newspaper ad, being interviewed for a local newspaper article, submitting press releases about your services, and networking are all ways to spread the word about your business.

The next thing to remember is that FOLLOW UP is the key. Everyone on your prospect list should be receiving regular mailings from you! Someone attending a senior fair may not need in-home care services today, but next month they might be at home with a family member who needs help. Will you be the next call they make? If your postcard or newsletter came in the mail on that day, you probably will be the next call they make.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to organize my "leads" and my life, but many use programs like ACT, or Goldmine, or other organizers to keep track of prospects.

Fill your funnel by having multiple marketing strategies moving through your community at the same time, and be sure to have a follow up plan in mind. Get in front of those prospects every other week or so, and business will come your way.

Investigate the real cost of newspaper vs. radio vs. television advertising. Make wise choices. I can tell you that here in St. Louis, advertising during a Cardinal’s baseball game seems attractive because so many people are listening to it on the radio, but I guarantee that no one is listening to an entertaining ball game and making a decision on a nursing home or home care agency. Baseball is an escape . . . so, NO SPORTS. No sports section in the paper, and (for me) no sports marketing, period. That’s one of our errors that you shouldn’t have to repeat. Didn’t work!

However, a TV ad during "The Price Is Right" on daytime television is perfect in our area! Look at the demographics and ask your local TV sales reps and radio sales reps who’s listening and who’s watching. Build your funnel of prospects, but make wise choices, and FOLLOW UP!

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Valerie VanBooven RN, BSN, PGCM, is a registered nurse, professional geriatric care manager, author, and professional speaker. She is a leading expert on long-term care planning and crisis management. Valerie is president of Senior Care Solutions, a private geriatric care management practice in the St. Louis area. Her books include Aging Answers: Secrets to Successful Long-Term Care Planning, Caregiving, and Crisis Management and her website is www.4seniorsathome.com. She can be reached at ASKvalerie@caregivershome.com. .

© 2006 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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