31 Hospice Marketing Insights in March--Numbers 11-20

March 16, 2018 - 12:26pm -- bill.taylor@mul...
  • If you want to grow, don’t start by hiring another marketer. First, start with the visit and move your quality to a higher standard. Then hire the marketer.
  • Are you known in the medical community for any single special thing? You need to be. Pick something. Here’s how: Go to Hospice Compare and run your scores against the best Hospices in your community. Remember, ever since Hospice Compare debuted, you’re quality is only as good as your scores. Find the place where you’re the weakest. Research it. Learn it. Become the best in Hospice at it. Teach it to your staff and certify them on it. Then take it to the community. Prove to every prospect that you own this space. No one does this. Except the best organizations.
  • A physician’s response to a question from Howard Manns’ book, What the Doctor Orders: “We have approximately seven to ten minutes per patient, so it’s unrealistic for me to give a marketer more than five minutes. It’s important that the marketer has a plan. I can tell in two minutes if I’m willing to give five minutes.” What does this mean for you? It means your marketer better have something to command the prospects’ attention fast. For some it’s a current relationship. Perhaps the marketer is another physician’s wife. For others it’s their personal magnetism. Some got it, most don’t. For the rest of us, your marketers need to know what sets you apart from other Hospice organizations and be able to communicate it fast. More on this tomorrow.
  • Have your Marketers practice their pitches. Especially the short versions. Practice on video. Play them back to watch yourself. And don’t forget the gatekeeper, she’s a different pitch altogether. Remember, she might see 10 salespeople every day. Practice the pitch and know who you’re coming to see. And please, don’t ever ask who the doctor is.
  • Also from Howard Manns’ book What the Doctor Orders . Listen to the doc. Sell the relationship. They hate canned pitches. Don’t talk about your company, talk about the doc’s patients. Remember the John Maxwell quote: Nobody wants to be sold, but everyone wants to be helped.”
  • When you “do the Model,” it inherently and radically changes how and what you market. I am not surprised in the least when a Hospice’s census is up 100% a year after a Model Workshop. Why is this? It is because the organization has fundamentally CHANGED your products and services by bringing an entirely new level of predictability to the experience! Yes, you have something new and exciting as well as something that has legs that extend as far as you can see into the future! And what are you selling? Your People Development System! It is from your People Development System that ALL quality comes, no more, no less. Now you have to learn to sell it! It does not take long for a referral source or other “business” or the public at large to link the “cause and effect” relationship between an uncommon attention to developing and training employees to the resulting jaw-dropping quality. In fact, if I have any part in helping to design a Hospice’s administrative buildings or IPUs, I place the formal training space as well as the synthetic labs within view of the receptionist’s desk! With a one-way mirror looking into both training spaces, the phrase “Our quality is no more or less than the quality of our people” is the main thing you see in the reception area... not a “quilt” or some other nice but lower-value thing. Now I have an IQ of 65 and am trying to improve it every day, but even I would get that! Management involves the continual “selling of ideas.” Making ideas compelling, appealing, undeniable and something that makes you want to run out and do it immediately, with passion, is what you want! You are selling mindsets… the mindset of winners, an elevated consciousness. A Manager is Teaching. Teaching is selling. So as a Marketer…You are a Teacher… Not even a normal Teacher, but a Master Teacher! – Andrew Reed
  • Everyone is the donut guy. Don’t be the donut guy. Or the pens/pads/mug/swag guy. Be the staff development guy. Who cares about “stuff?” Offer in-services for your prospects staff. Is your Hospice accredited to offer continuing education for nurses or social workers? Can you offer CE outside your organizations . . . like to the staff at your facilities? Find out. It’s hard. But not too hard to become accredited. Teach them. Help them meet their objectives. (If you’re doing the in-service, it’s ok to bring Donuts. Sugar-free.)
  • It never ceases to amaze us how Hospices allow their “first contact” with the outside world to be so bad. In many workshops Andrew chooses a CEO or other ranking executive and asks for their Hospice’s phone number. He calls and asks some innocuous question. More likely than not he reveals a weak or even bad experience for the caller. In less than 30 seconds your up-front-phone team can undo months of marketing work on a referral source. Train your phone team to reflect you organizational values in every phone interaction. At MVI we teach that a simple phone experience can be life-changing. At the very least teach your phone team how to respond when referral sources call, how to transfer their calls and, for goodness sakes, give the phone team a list of your Marketers’ names!
  • Predictability is what causes people to hit the “buy” button. Predictability is what you are selling. “Something” inside of us wants to be sure. We want something we can count on. We want to be CERTAIN. Predictability is what comes from a system. Predictability produces a FEELING… and FEELINGS are the primary drivers of decisions, including purchase decisions. Once an expectation is established, “anything” less than that expectation leads to disappointment. In fact, it is a violation of trust. It is a lie. It is a deception. It is in short, BAD. Any service failure is a violation of trust. “Something inside me changed and I decided not to go back.” This is what happens when predictability is violated. Often these subtle changes in our FEELINGS towards something are on an unconscious level. Example: After explaining “why” things are done a certain way… and the customer finds it not done this particular way on the next visit… there is letdown. When a clinical visit is not done to Standard, there is a violation of the experience they wanted… that they were expecting… that they were counting on… Therein lies the opportunity!!! In a healthcare world that is falling apart, is your organization seen as is one thing that is working? –Andrew Reed
  • A referral source you’ve been working for months finally comes through with a patient or two. What’s your plan now? You’re on trial. Does the clinical manager know this? Does the case manager know this? Let’s get some feedback to the referral source. Let’s help that referral source know she made a really good decision when she sent this patient to you. Prove her right.


“Andrew, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with me. The Hospice world is ever-changing and I am and that we in conjunction with MVI and other Hospices are focusing on accountability, integrity and quality care for patients and families.  You are an interesting teacher and inspirational as well! I appreciated all the modes of training and the delicious food! I look forward to continuing our partnership and growing our Hospice! Thank you!”


Bethany Condit, Mountain Valley Hospice