How to develop a network of senior care and service professionals

By Jason Lampa MBA

College Savings Bank


By 2030, 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65. From home care services and medical products to housing options like assisted living, the demand of products and services relating to the care of American seniors will soon begin to experience massive growth.

Investment professionals can begin to take advantage of this opportunity by networking with those companies and individuals who influence the decisions of the elderly population. Consider developing business relationships with the following:
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical therapists
  • Home health care professionals
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nurses
  • Medical doctors
  • Elder law attorneys
  • Senior day care providers
  • Medical equipment sales representatives
  • Pharmaceutical sales representatives
A good way for investment professionals to get their foot in the door with those mentioned above is to offer sales and marketing training. Currently, many of those businesses and professionals that provide care to seniors have not developed the marketing savvy or sales processes to best take advantage of this exponential growth in their industry. At the end of the day, the purpose in developing a network of senior care and service profession is twofold: 1) Access to their current and future clients 2) Having them become clients, as well.

The process of networking to this group should begin by selecting five specific communities or specialists in which to focus:

Example:
    1) Optometrists
    2) Assisted living facility managers
    3) Sales representatives of diabetes drugs
    4) Executives for companies that provide oxygen services
    5) CVS and Walgreens pharmacists
The next step is to create a training program that is broad enough to encompass all parties involved. Focus on a topic related to business processes to increase revenue and profitability. You only have to choose one topic related to business processes and continue to use that same presentation to build your network. Since most business professionals are not extending themselves in this manner, it is only going to take one presentation to begin the process of developing this network. When discussing business processes and profitability, I suggest focusing on technology. An example of a presentation may look like this:

Leveraging technology to create a paperless office

Start by presenting some statistical information such as:
    1) Professional workers spend more than 50 percent of their time dealing with paper

    2) Organizations lose more than 10 percent of their paperless documents

    3) More than five percent of all paper files are done incorrectly
Result: Businesses utilizing paper documents for billing and filing are losing money and increasing administrative burdens

Implementing the technology to have a paperless office will:
    1) Eliminate lost files and billing sheets

    2) Creates a system to easily retrieve files for questions pertaining to billing with insurers

    3) The reduced administrative burden gives you more time to see more clients and increase customer service.
This presentation can be given live or via WebEx. Because your time is valuable as an investment professional, I recommend that you approach your focus group inperson to inform them about your training program and then deliver the presentation online. Doing the presentation online allows you to see who attends and who is interested in building a business relationship with you.

Providing a program like this to members of the senior care and service market is going to benefit your business in five ways:
    1. Increases your business exposure and visibility
    2. Begins to develop a niche market for your business
    3. Provides you with an opportunity to market your services and products
Once you have created this network of professionals, it is important to keep in touch with them on a regular basis to ask about their progress and other challenges that they may be having in their business. This continuous follow up is going to create a continuous stream of referral,s not to mention the investment business you will get from ingraining your business into the minds of the professionals you're helping.

I recommend using the social networking tools that are available to aggregate all the people you have built in this new network. Moreover, I recommend that you create a separate Web site for this networking group that includes a financial blog. Some of the social networking tools I recommend include:
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Blogger
  • Wordpress
  • Second Life
  • Slideshare
The creation, implementation and action steps involved in creating this network of senior care and service professionals may seem like a steep hill to climb at first; however, it can be easy and fun at the same time. Start by setting a target of assets under management that you would like to raise from your networking activities from this group. For example, $20 million within the next 24 months from 25 additional clients. Using 1.0 percent as your fee would equal an additional $200,000 in revenue. Next, divide that $200,000 by 25 and we come up with $8,000 annually per client, beginning in the 25th month.

The key to making this profitable for you business is to hire an extra marketer to do most of this work for you. The online presentations and social media networking can be handled by an outside third-party. Create a 15-minute video presenting yourself and why you are creating this networking group. The extra marketer will most likely cost $15 per hour. To implement the presentations and ongoing social network, they will be working about 200 hours per year -- basically $3,000. Compare that with the extra $200,000 in revenue. If we look at this on a per hour basis, based on spending 4 hours per year with each of the 25 clients, it comes out to $800 per hour.

When we look at it from this perspective, creating a program like this may make sense for your business.

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