Disclaimer: With Medicaid, VA, and insurance regulations frequently changing, past blog posts may not be presently accurate or relevant. Please contact our office for information on current planning strategies, tips, and how-to's.
Relationship development is the key to generating business regardless of industry. However, too often professionals do not spend time developing the right relationships. That is not to say that there are people you should spend time with and people you should ignore; it is essential to remain connected to your entire network. Developing the right relationships comes down to identifying groups and individuals that will contribute the most to your professional network.
One of the best ways to grow your network is to identify people who work in your industry, but in a different role. There are several benefits to this strategy: (1) You will speak a common language (i.e. same or similar vernacular); (2) You will have faced common challenges; and (3) You will be able to create a mutually beneficial relationship. So other than elder law attorneys, who can an agent develop relationships with for working with their elderly clients?
Geriatric Care Managers.
Geriatric Care Managers (“GCMs”) are professionals that typically come from a nursing or social work background. They are uniquely equipped to handle complex situations and deal with myriad concerns ranging from what services a person needs, developing an action plan and coordinating the provision of those services, evaluating their client’s emotional needs, reviewing living arrangements, and assisting the elderly with both short and long-term planning. Not only to GCMs provide those valuable services (among many others), their in-home fact-finding and problem-solving skills are both remarkable and invaluable to an agent.
GCMs are adept at managing their client’s concerns. In doing so, they provide solutions either directly or through other professionals with whom they have developed the right relationships. That is where you as the agent come in.
Developing a strong working relationship with one or a number of GCMs can help establish a consistent referral stream. If you earn the GCM’s trust, and that GCM fosters trust with their own clients, there will likely be little needed by way of sales pitch for them to select your services. Further, because that GCM has spent time in the home with the client and the family, they will be a great source of information so that you can come to the client more informed and better prepared to provide them with services.
There are multiple business models for working with GCMs. Some agents like to work with just one GCM and really cultivate that relationship. Other agents like to develop a network of GCMs to increase their referral base. Still other agents develop such a good relationship with a GCM that they bring them on as a staff member, increasing the value that the agent can provide to the client.
Regardless of what model you choose, it is important to understand that Geriatric Care Managers provide invaluable services to the same client base you serve. Their word of recommendation comes with a high level of trust. Any time you develop a relationship with a Geriatric Care Manager, you know you are developing the right relationship for your professional network.