We’ve covered phone call tactics in the earlier parts of this series – now let’s talk about email. Those of you who’ve read TNCMB! Part I and TNCMB Part II know that:BeautifulMatureWoman

  • No one ever calls me back either (so I feel your pain)
  • The best way to actually talk to someone is to call within minutes of getting their inquiry (Caring.com calls in ~15 seconds, on average)
  • You better have a short, personalized voice mail message ready to go because mostly when you call, you’re going to get voice mail.

Rather than leaving lots of voice mails, it’s much more effective now to use other tools to get your sales message across. Great content can educate families on the benefits of in-home care, and an email nurture campaign and a robust blogging program can keep that content in front of a family until they’re ready to make a care decision – and then they will call you.

But those are marketing programs, and they can take a while. What’s a sales person to do, if she can’t establish voice-to-voice contact but still needs to make her quota? The answer of course, is email: a great tool to engage with your prospect and move the sale forward.

As we discussed in our recent webinar on Best Practices for Handling Home Care Leads, a senior care decision cycle can be complicated. The “Greatest Generation” mostly had 3-4 children, and all of them are guaranteed to have an opinion on Mom and Dad spending their inheritance on in-home care.

When the family starts to consider senior care, there’s often one of the kids who’s in charge of research – these days, almost exclusively online. When this researching adult daughter visits Google, types in “Senior driving dangers” and submits a lead form requesting information on in-home care services to help with driving, she’s looking for a few key pieces of information:

  • How does it work? She’s probably never hired an in-home caregiver before, so she doesn’t know about hourly minimums or assessment visits.
  • How much does it cost? If not exact figures, then at least an “order of magnitude”.
  • Why should she trust your agency to provide excellent care for her vulnerable loved one?

You can’t possibly provide this information in a voice mail; no one is willing to listen to a message long enough to get it all. And she’s probably not ready to talk to a salesperson; after all, her brothers think she should just use Uber, and her sister is positive that she’s doing everything Mom could ever need and doesn’t understand why the family should look elsewhere.

You can provide her that information in email – or you can keep trying to establish that voice-to-voice connection because it will be better if you can actually talk to her. You can dial her number 10-11 times, leaving voice messages, and waiting for a callback…while your competitor emails her with the information she wants.

When she’s finally convinced mom to give it a try, and convinced the brothers that it’s cheaper than a nursing home, and convinced sister that she’ll be happier with a little more free time — is she going to call back the pesky salesperson who called her 10 times, or the nice agency that sent her the great, informative email, which she’s forwarded to her other siblings and saved in her inbox?

Even better, she’ll take the call from the agency rep who reaches out ten days after she submits the lead form, when the family is ready to move forward. We talked about the ten-day dark period in our webinar, and in TNCMB Part II. Chances are good it isn’t the same salesperson who has already called her eleven times, because he has already said to himself that this is obviously a bad lead and abandoned it six days ago.

Here’s what we talked about as best practice for handling Internet leads:

  • Day 1, Minute 1: Call, leave short voice mail.
  • Day 1, Minute 2: Send a short email – I got your name from Caring.com, I’d love to discuss how I can help you with your mom’s rehab after her hip surgery, here’s my personal cell phone, you can call me whenever is convenient for you.
  • Day 1, 6:30 PM (if the initial inquiry was during business hours): Call again, leave a short voice mail. If the initial inquiry was in the evening, call during the next business day.
  • Day 2: If you haven’t gotten a call back, send a longer email with information about how the process works (answer to Q1 above), the range of costs (answer to Q2 – but add that you can’t really tell without a more detailed assessment conversation, would she like to schedule that?), and links to great reviews of your business (answer to Q3)

Now wait. I’m in sales – I feel your pain– but trust me on this.

  • Day 10: Call again – “Just checking, did you ever find a great caregiver for your mom? I’m here to help if you’re still looking” and re-forward the email from Day 2, adding, “I wanted to make sure this didn’t get stuck in your spam folder, please call me to discuss further.”

If you still hear nothing, then put them into your email nurture campaign.

Does this protocol work for you? I’d love to hear.

Certainly some Internet leads are not good quality, but no one fills out a senior care inquiry form just for grins. You only do so if there’s a concern somewhere in your mind that your loved one needs this service.

At Caring.com, we’ve heard from you that you hate poor quality leads. So here’s our commitment: we won’t send you any lead that hasn’t been screened and qualified by our Family Advisor call center folks. If you get a lead from Caring.com, it means:

  • The family needs non-medical home care assistance.
  • The family understands that this will require private-pay funds (or long term care insurance) but not Medicare.
  • The family knows that agencies will be calling them to discuss.

We’ll also send detailed notes on the care needs, time frame, and hours required.

If you’re not already signed up to get home care leads from Caring.com, but you’re looking to add additional clients, contact our sales team at (866) 824-9209 – just promise me you’ll return their phone calls!

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