As the United States begins to plan how to reopen its states and economy, the home care industry....specifically the sales & marketing function, cannot lag behind. It's time for us to establish how we will safely move forward with reintroducing ourselves into the community and the facilities that we call on.
Phase 1 - Now
1. Understand and respect the rules of your state as it pertains to non essential work, social distancing, masks and gloves worn in public, etc. This is not the time to buck the rules. We are inserting ourselves into facilities that have the most vulnerable population of patients. This virus is opportunistic and it's our FIRST responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
2. As facilities prepare to reopen, contact them to understand their new protocols. You are going to find that some are closed to you, and everyone else, forever. Some facilities are going to adopt a lock down methodology as we've seen in hospital systems for years. Don't fight it and don't try to talk them out of it. We'll find a way to work with them in coming weeks.
3. Determine yours and your agency's comfort level with visiting these facilities in person. No one will blame you for taking a measured approach to going back into the field. The virus is scary and you should discuss with your manger what their expectations of you are, and any concerns you have.
Phase 2 - Next
1. As restrictions are lifted, plan a small number of "test" sales calls to make sure you and your referral sources are able to safely meet. Call in advance, schedule a brief meeting, see if you can meet outside the facility (or in a lobby, etc) and simply get the feel for how sales meetings can be held. Use whatever PPE is required and make sure you have a plan to have enough of it, and to keep it from potentially spreading any germs to you, your staff, and your family.
2. Begin to qualify your accounts as to one of three types.
a) In person sales calls allowed
b) Virtual sales calls only (phone, Zoom, Skype)
c) Digital marketing only (no direct contact allowed in any form)
This is going to be the reality we face going forward. The entire world will be changed by this virus....and not just from the virus, but from the changes we've made and accepted. Many more people will be working from home because their companies have seen how effectively t