The holidays are family times. Generations come together and inevitably someone is facing a health and/or health system challenge. Aunt Kate has a new cancer diagnosis and hasn’t even considered a second opinion. Dad needs help with sorting out his meds – questions about whether he’s taking the right drugs at the right times, or whether the prescriptions he’s taking are causing some new symptoms become evident. Cousin Jack is drowning in medical debt because he doesn’t know how to fight a denied claim, or choose the right health insurance plan. Uncle Victor, age 78, doesn’t have a DNR or a will because he doesn’t understand their importance.
These are the times family members wonder who can help out. The answer is YOU – a friend, a neighbor, a fellow church or temple congregant. YOU can help them. They probably just don’t know it.
There are a few non-intrusive ways you can quite simply just let them know that you are available should the need arise. Here are a few things you can do to get the word out.
Begin by making a list of 10 or more friends and acquaintances you have phone numbers or email addresses for.
Now, put together some sentences that address each of the following:
1. Greetings – as the holiday season arrives.
2. You want to let them know that you are now working as a patient (or health) advocate in private practice.
3. That when families come together during the holidays, they often raise topics that are difficult or uncomfortable to discuss relating to health matters, or hurdles that are caused by health problems…
4. That, as a health advocate, you might be able to help them out, by smoothing out some of the bumps.
5. For example, (then list 2,3 or more services you might provide). Be sure to mention the peace of mind that comes from having someone who can be objective help them deal with tough decisions.
6. Mention your general financial terms with statements like “Because I’m just getting started, I charge less than you might think” or “My charges are very reasonable when you consider the peace of mind my work can bring to your family.” Don’t mention any hourly rates or specific fees. What you hope they will do is phone you back or reply to your email to ask more questions.
7. List your availability in general terms, too. “I’m available Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving” or “I can meet with you evenings” or “Check with me for availability.”
8. Make sure you end with a call to action. “Call me to discuss this further” or “I’d be happy to provide references – you can find them at my AdvoConnection listing” or “Please keep this information in the back of your mind should the need arise.” Then – important! – be sure to supply your phone number and your email address.
Write out your 8 points into a friendly form (probably paragraphs, not bullet points), then email to the list. Do these separately and personally; don’t send a mass email. Health and financial matters are too personal for your potential clients to think you are lumping them together with others. Or, make phone calls and use your points as a semi-script – an even more personal approach which gives you the opportunity for a conversation.
See? Low key and win-win for your friends and for you.
Once you’re finished, consider posting your invitation to your Facebook page, too. Your closest friends will feel important enough to have received a personal invitation, but will understand that you are reaching out to others, too.
I hope YOU have a happy, fruitful, and business-growing Thanksgiving!
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