One great idea for marketing our advocacy services and acquiring new clients is to reach out to employers to encourage them to hire us on behalf of their employees.
When done well, and right, it can be a win-win-win situation for all involved, and in the end, the patient-client-employee feels extremely well served.
Seems pretty simple, right?
Well, maybe not so…
Many independent advocates have attempted such outreach in the past, only to be met with brick walls and great frustration. I think they just didn’t have enough knowledge about the HOW and the WHY. So that’s a bit of what we’ll tackle here.
“Back in the day” there was a piece of advice that admonished us to remember that if you went on a first date, or when you invited the boss to dinner, or while you were at work, or during similar scenarios where you needed to be aware of the sensitivities of the company you kept, you should make sure you avoided conversations about religion and politics.
The reason to avoid those conversations with folks was clear: you always wanted to be sure you didn’t offend someone else at the beginning of a friendship or relationship or ongoing with people you would spend so much time with, day in and day out.
As was true then, and is true today, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
No one can ever be expected to know everything about everything at the moment they need to know it.
Yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about medical providers – and too many health advocates, too – it is that there is a major reluctance to say “I don’t know.” It’s as if the fact that they don’t know something reflects on their ability to be useful. As if they are “less” because the answer isn’t right there in the front of their brains and rolling off their tongues.
I just don’t think that’s right, or fair, or kosher.
Whether it’s the psychology of dealing with patient-clients, or the databanks of information about any specific disease, to the ability to predict an outcome, to the “facts” of health and medicine (remember when margarine was better for you than butter?), the amount and nature of knowledge changes from minute-to-minute to day-to-day to year-to-year.
Think of the successful business people you know or know of. They probably run different kinds of businesses, even non-profits. Their businesses are different sizes, too – from solopreneurs to multi-national conglomerates. They represent different sectors of business from manufacturing and selling products to offering personal services – and everything in between.
What is the first thing most of them have in common? Most of them, at one time or another, have failed.
Some of their failures were highly visible – and well publicized. Some of their failures are never to be spoken of (meaning we have no idea what they are.) In some cases they lost life savings, or millions of dollars, or years of time.
What is the second thing those who failed have in common?
It’s been a conundrum, now solved.
It’s been a wish, now solved.
It’s been a challenge, which has now been solved, and solved with a solution that will continue to grow the profession of advocacy (hopefully) far into the future!