Over the past 13 years at the National Care Planning Council, we have discovered that the best way to help seniors and their families identify and utilize the numerous fragmented senior services available in the community is through a solution-based, group planning approach. This approach requires the participation of a network of differently specialized senior services advisors or providers. Using the synergy of group marketing and planning, this network of senior service practitioners sell far more of their products and services than if they were working on their own.
Our Life Resource Planning and Retirement Planning System is designed exclusively around our experience doing solution-based planning and using a network of specialists and providers. By using our approach, you will achieve remarkable results in increasing your sales and growing your business.
As senior advisors or providers, we can't even begin to solve the problems of aging seniors by taking a single product sale approach or a single service sale approach. The effort must be coordinated under a master plan and often a number of resource team members are involved in providing solutions.
To be successful, our planning approach requires participation of a network group of at least the 5 services listed below.
- senior's financial services specialist
- geriatric service or care management specialist
- elder law or estate planning attorney
- reverse mortgage specialist
- private duty home care service provider
Other members of a local planning network could also be added to provide additional services such as seniors real estate specialists, downsizing and moving specialists, repair and remodeling companies, yard work companies, facilities placement specialists and so on.
Working alone without the benefit of the network, these practitioners listed above will be less successful. For example, a financial specialist working alone without benefit of the planning process might close sales on 16% of all leads generated through traditional marketing activities. That same person using our network concept could close sales on 90% of all leads – a fivefold increase in the amount of business produced.
Also it is important to note that for the geriatric service specialist, for the reverse mortgage specialist and for the private duty home care provider, the planning will create business that wasn't even there without the Life Resource Plan. They could have never provided their services without the planning process.
A financial services specialist – which could be a financial advisor or insurance agent – an elder law or estate planning attorney and possibly a geriatric service specialist often need to collaborate on producing an effective master plan which we call "Life Resource Planning." Usually, the financial specialist will take the lead in promoting and implementing the planning process. This is true because some aging seniors do not initially express a need for additional support from attorneys, home care companies, reverse mortgage specialists or geriatric specialists. Financial needs are often the most pressing for aging seniors.
By focusing on finances and the eventual need for Medicaid, we can reach those aging seniors who have – at a minimum – a need for examining their financial situation and financial challenges for the future. If as a result of this Life Resource Survey or Life Resource Analysis, the need for other members of the planning network is uncovered – which usually happens – it will result in providing more solutions for the client and providing more business opportunities for members of the planning team.
Our approach, using solution-based planning, does not involve referring out services to some other senior service entity and hoping that the client and the other entity eventually connect. An integral part of Life Resource Planning is the actual scheduling of an appointment between the client and other members of the planning network to ensure that solutions are addressed adequately and effectively.
Members of the network who are not actually doing the Life Resource Planning will receive a substantial boost in income by participating in that network. In order to keep that business flowing, these other members must provide referral leads to the person doing the planning. Any members failing to provide these reciprocal leads will be asked to leave and someone who is willing to abide by these rules will be asked to take their place.
As a result of doing Life Resource Planning for aging seniors and for their family members who are involved in the process, the financial specialist, the reverse mortgage specialist and the attorney can also produce additional business by providing retirement planning for those family members who were involved. This 2-for-1 marketing opportunity has been described in another article.