The Most Important Home Care Marketing and Sales Tool – Open Ended Questions

Developing and asking good questions serve to:

* Allow for service or agency differentiation
* Lower resistance or objections
* Build a platform for a sales and marketing strategy specific to that referral source

The Basics of Good Questioning Skills

Open-ended questions that are well crafted and and thought out in advance can really ignite sales or marketing call conversations. After all, conversations are the first step to building a relationship with an individual, and relationships are key to getting referrals in the home care business! The best home care marketing and sales people are the ones that do the least amount of talking in sales call situations. They have mastered the skill of asking good open-ended questions as a way to get conversation flowing. That is not to say that there is no place for close-ended questions. or situational questions. As a home care marketer, you do need to have some basic information about a referral source’s situation. However, asking too many situational questions will feel more likean interrogation session to your referral source.

Examples of Situational Questions

Situational questions are those that a prospect or referral source can answer in one or two words, or simply with a yes or no. They are low value questions to the individual you are trying to sell or market to, mainly because the focus is on you getting information from them. These questions tend to start with the words or phrases such as did you, who, when, do you want to, will you, how often, and have you.

Questions such as…

* Do you make home care referrals?
* How many referrals do you make in a week?
* Who do you refer to?

…are all close -ended questions and situational in nature. They can all be answered with a couple of words, and probably will not lead to a deeper conversation or to understanding what will eventually prompt that referral source to make that first referral.

Examples of Open-Ended Questions

The real sales and marketing payoff comes when you develop good open ended questions. These questions tend to start with the words tell, what, why, and how. The words feel and think will also play a big part in open ended questions. Examples of open ended questions are;

* Tell me about the types of patients you see?
* Why do you feel that is important?
* What do you think a home care agency could do to enhance your patients care?

These questions not only offer your prospect or referral sources an opportunity to provide you good information about themselves or their organization, they also serve to uncover their real feelings about why and to whom they refer.

Take a few minutes to develop and write down your own set of questions. Try them out the next time you are engaging a referral source in a conversation about your agency.

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