Business – Understanding Your Value and How to Market It – Preparing Referrals

There are times that you will not be able to help your clients and when this occurs it is important that you refer them to appropriate services who will help them. Six things need to be considered when making referrals.

1. Client Needs – In order to accurately prepare an appropriate referral, you will need to do an assessment. Gather information about the client and ask him/her what they feel would be helpful. Your expertise is important as clients often do not know what they need or think that you are the “answer” to their problems. there are also times when you will need to be wise in deciding which problems need to be dealt with first in order to relieve stress for the client.

2. Service Options – Understanding the types of services that are available will help you to explain them to the client. Knowing the mandate, strengths and weaknesses of the organization or professional will help the client make a good choice I find that my clients greatly appreciate my knowledge and honesty when it comes to helping them find a specialist or program.

3. Consent – Before you make any contact with the office or organization where you are referring the client, ensure that you have full informed consent from the client. This is best done in written format.

4. Transition – I usually talk with the client about how I will complete the referral and explain how much information will be sent in the referral letter. I also ensure that they know the address, contact information, and approximate timeframe in which they will be seen by the other professional. Asking the client to contact me if they have not heard regarding an appointment time, shows them that I am concerned that they do receive the appropriate services in a timely manner.

5. Follow up – When I see the client for their next appointment, I read the referral letter to them so they know what was said about them. I also gather information from them about the experience they had in booking an appointment. If they have already had their appointment, I ask them to tell me about it and whether they felt it was helpful for them. If I have received any reports from the professional, I review them with the client and we discuss how the recommendations made might be implemented into our treatment plan.

6. Building the Referral Network – When clients have been pleased with the referred services, I continue to work with that office. Exchanging business cards, brochures or other information will not only help the clients but also strengthen the relationship and ultimately result in further referrals back and forth between you and the other agency. Sometimes it takes time for referrals to come your way. Do not panic. This might be because there is another therapist who has been working with that office for some time. If you are wondering how you can improve the relationship remember, most people love to be taken out for lunch! Ask good questions about how you can enhance your relationship and ultimately receive referrals from that person.

We are not all things to all people and therefore need to ensure that we can make appropriate referrals so their needs will be met. This is all part of making business a wonderful daily adventure..

Attorney’s Information and Referral Services

If you are interested in finding the most ideally suited attorney for your own particular legal needs you will want to take advantage of attorneys information and referral services. The bottom line is that there are a number of significant benefits that you can obtain through taking advantage of attorneys information and referral services. Through this informational article you are provided an overview of the primary benefits that you can obtain by using these types of informational services.

First of all, when it comes to engaging the services of an attorney, experience is fundamental. You definitely will want to make certain that you hire an attorney that has the experience necessary to provide you with the type of legal representation that will best meet your goals, objectives and needs. Moreover, you will want to keep in mind that most attorneys are now specialists – they specialize in particular areas of the law. Through attorneys information and referral services you not only will be able to target experienced lawyers but you will be able to find attorneys that are experienced in the particular area of the law in which you need services and assistance.

Second, in regard to attorneys information and referral services you will want to make certain that you are dealing with a bona fide and legitimate operation. In this regard there are a number of things that you need to be on the lookout for. For example, there are so – called independent information and referral services that really are nothing more than advertising tools for a specific lawyer or law firm. In addition, there are a variety of out and out scams that operate under the guise of attorneys information and referral services. The bottom line is that you will want to do at least some homework about a particular service to make certain that it is legitimate and is on the up and up before you start engaging that particular service in your hunt for a lawyer.

Third, keep in mind that when it comes to attorneys information and referral services, many local bar associations (as well as state bar associations) can be of at least some assistance to you. While these organizations cannot specifically recommend a lawyer for you and your needs, these organizations can provide you with a listing of lawyers that at least practice within the area in which you are need of assistance.

Finally, when it comes to these types of services you will want to utilize them to your full advantage. For example, when online you can take in a number of such web based services and do some comparison shopping (so to speak) of one firm to the next. In a very short amount of time you will be able find an ideal attorney for your needs from the comfort of your home. You will be able to find a qualified attorney who can take care of your important legal needs today and into the future.

Want To Start Getting New Clients Now? Here’s How To Learn This One Referral Marketing Rule

It seems that we all need more referrals but the problems that most business and entrepreneurs run into is not knowing the rules of the game.

There are rules when trying to get prospects using this referral marketing. Of course most business depends solely upon they client recommending their service or products this is great because existing clients already know and like your product and would be the best billboard for you.

In a professional services business referral are given through other professional like in the medical industry our primary care physician always refers you to a specialist of his choice. Another form of referral gathering would be to join a group like BNI where you meet every week and exchange potential prospects business cards and referrals information.

As you see there are many ways to get referrals I just addressed those few that stuck out in my mind, but here is the major rule you must remember in order to get streams of people referring clients and prospects to you.

Your business most be referral worthy that is why so many business don’t do well in referral marketing unlike traditional advertisement in order for someone to refer you and your business to someone that trusts them they must feel comfortable with your business. In order for someone to feel comfortable about your product you must create the best product or give the most outstanding customer service that you have.

You must not just do this once you must make it a practice to give great service or create a great product if you forget this rule I can guarantee that you will fail miserably at using word of mouth marketing. The key here is if you current clients are satisfied with the level of service that you are giving then it is so easy to ask for a referral. If you know you are giving sub-standard service than you need to look for some other type of marketing because this is not for you.

I guess you might ask how do you know if you are giving superb service or sub-standard service, here is the simple answer to the question ASK. You should ask you client and customers regularly how are you performing, what could you do better?

You can also Implement surveys so you can get all the feedback you need to tailor your business to be able to fit the mold of referral worthy.

If you remember this major rule I can guarantee marketing using referral methods and system will be a breeze and your return on your investment would be astronomical.

Electronic Patient Referrals – New Tech Replacing Old Tech

Many times we come across some challenges in our organization’s health care system and we wish there was a better way to manage patient data. Our healthcare system is constantly changing to improve the quality of patient care, reduce overall costs and medical errors, and make it more efficient to use for the end user. Old fashion pen and paper is going away and we are slowly transitioning to more advanced electronic medical records.

Introductions: Lucine Kenderjian – Registered Nurse I’ve been a registered nurse for over 9 years now working at different hospitals; I can tell you that health care has definitely been progressing. We are still going through changes every day to improve our systems to make it more efficient and safe for patients and staff. We use an electronic medical record, called Meditech at Children’s Hospital of Central California for couple of years now and we have added and deleted programs to make it more useful and effective.

Change is sometimes hard for those who are used to doing things the same way. It’s scary and frustrating but eventually we all get used to it and learn to adapt We are constantly modifying Meditech but we are still having challenges about how we process the referrals. We don’t have a system in place to track our referrals and many times our patients get readmitted to the hospital because of missed appointments or the doctor’s office didn’t call them back or they don’t have a PMD. We bin our referrals in the Meditech system hoping the patients will get notified when the appointments are made but a lot of times they don’t get followed through to the referring doctor so it delays patient care, increases hospital stay time, and in return increases cost. For non-profit hospitals, these delays can mean not being reimbursed, so we end up helping the patient for free.

I spent a few hours at one of our clinics with the referral coordinator Martha, a designated staff who exchanges referrals on a daily basis. I could see her frustration when she voiced her concerns about the process. Even though we transitioned to EMR, we are still doing referrals on paper faxing. Her day consisted of hours and hours of going back and forth to the fax machine, follow up phone calls to make sure the fax got through, making appointments, faxing forms, calling the doctors back to verify missing information, waiting for a call back from a referring doctor, sifting through piles of papers, organizing them, filing them for eight hours a day every day is exhausting and prone to errors. During our interview with Martha, she said she wished she had more time doing other things like helping patients more; maybe her job wouldn’t be so repetitive and frustrating.

There has got to be a better way, we thought. What about the patient confidentiality? What if the fax went to someone else with private patient information, HIPPA rules? Delaying patient treatment; amount of dollars spent mismanaging the referrals could be used to pay the staff higher salaries or lower patient health costs? and what about the patients’ health?

The current paper based process is not cost effective, safe, or easy for our staff to manage. These are the questions that are going through my mind.

Personal family experience with paper referrals forms I’ve had experiences with taking my family members to a doctor’s appointments where we had to wait several weeks to get an appointment with a referring doctor. The primary physician referred my grandmother to three different specialists before they schedule her for a surgery. After several visits to different doctors’ offices, I still had to make multiple phone calls to follow up with each doctor to make sure they sent her records back to the surgeon so they can schedule her surgery.

The communication between them is broken, they had lost her files. When I called the surgeon’s office to find out about the status, the nurse told me we are still waiting for them to fax the test results before we can proceed. I called back the urology clinic and I got a different answer. We were told that she needed another appointment for one more test that was scheduled from the previous appointment but didn’t get done and they didn’t have any appointments for three more weeks unless they get a cancellation. I was very upset.

My grandmother has been very anxious to get this surgery done ASAP because she couldn’t tolerate the pain anymore and now we find out it’s going to be delayed even longer. As a nurse, I felt helpless and frustrated with the system but yet I couldn’t do anything about it except to keep calling and follow up with a doctors to make sure things were getting done. If there was a system available in place for referrals where all these can be done electronically then patients will get better care, doctors’ offices will be able to communicate better and operate more efficiently. 200,000 patients die every year in the United States due to inaccurate or latent referrals.

Most of the healthcare practitioners in the United States are still using the antiquated fax machine and triplicate forms to transmit referrals. We need to raise awareness of newer technologies such as Electronic Referral Manager, to make it better for patients and the staff that manages the referral process.

Leads, Referrals and Recommendations Defined

Business growth lies in the ability to share leads, referrals and recommendations. Unfortunately some people do not understand the difference in the quality of each action.

Introducing Ponn’s Power Pun: You must Power Network to build a Power Network. Basically, the action of networking with power will allow you to build a powerful network of power people that will help you achieve your goals.

Here’s the difference:

o A lead points you in the right direction towards reaching your goal.

o A referral is a name of someone who can help you reach your goal.

o A recommendation (personal contact from your power network) is a secured path towards goal attainment.

As a foreclosure and short sales specialist, here’s some examples:

o A lead was advice to join Real Estate Investors Association so I can offer my specialized services.

o A referral was any investor given to me because they are interested in buying distressed homes. This person may be actively looking but not committed to me or my services.

o A recommendation (personal contact from my power network) was an investor who was told and convinced to only work with me, because I will give them exactly what they want, when they need it, and hopefully enjoy my company as well.

As you can see, you become more personally involved by sharing the different levels of human-equity tips. This is why I am extremely careful when I share recommendations. While I dish out leads and referrals all the time, I know my reputation is at stake when it comes to my personal and professional recommendations.

Another important point towards building your power network is understanding the distinct difference between talking your business in 30 seconds or less, and promoting someone else’s (which is what you’re doing in giving a referral or recommendation). Given the time constraints, master your business first.

True power lies when your can do both at the same time. Your business will begin to soar when people turn to you for a quality referral or recommendation, and they only recommend you and your services.

Pretty powerful, huh?

One more quick tip: Ponn’s Power lies in the ability to do things right now. So, get up and Power Network Now!

(c) 2005 Ponn M. Sabra, MPH