For years I've been an advocate of the no food, no gifts selling strategy that we pioneered and have taught agencies around the world. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, you might just have the perfect opportunity to put it into place.
Your referral facilities have locked down their buildings and limited your access (for good cause). The pandemic has forced them into a new paradigm of doing business. Many will never revert back to the "good old days" of reps walking in and out of the building as they please. They won't shift back to the old model simply because the new model works better. They are doing business just fine under this new model and have realized they don't need you (or me) constantly visiting their buildings.
So, how does this apply to gifts?
Simple. A number of facilities around the country have said "no" to any delivered gifts or food as a method of limiting exposure to COVID. Each week I hear from another rep that so and so building won't allow a delivery of lunch, or can't take small gifts. This is your chance to use this to your advantage. Let's face it, you don't NEED "stuff" to market your home care agency. You may have convinced yourself you do, but that doesn't mirror reality in many referral sources. We fall into the habit because "everyone else is doing it". In fact, this is precisely the reason we shouldn't be doing it. If we do what everyone else does, we get what everyone else gets...which isn't much.
So, you can use this time in our industry to say "No" to gifting (food or items) with a nod to the safety of our referral sources and their patients. I would make it a big, bold "NO" and let your referral sources know the reasons why. Last week every state in the union reported an increase of COVID positive tests. EVERY state. 50. All of them. None excluded. We should be doing everything in our power to help limit the spread of the virus. You can stand on this moment in time and declare that your agency has made the simple and powerful decision to no longer send food, snacks, or trinkets into the buildings of your referral sources. You can tell them that you do not want to introduce any additional risk to their patients. You can tell them that you'll still provide a great level of customer service and care. You can even spin the message by asking how safe it is for them to be allowing random deliveries of "stuff" into their building with no real idea of the health of the person delivering it.
In short you can finally and forever say "We're in the business of taking care of people, not of delivering stuff. We're great at what we do and that's why you and your patients should choose us."
"Stuff" doesn't make you unique. It makes you common. Everyone does it. Don't be everyone. Be different, be bold, be you. Take this golden opportunity to change the game of marketing home care. You'll thank me in 3 years....
If you're going "stuffless" then you'll need a rock solid, pandemic approved sales training plan. Contact me to arrange for virtual or in person training for your agency today.