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How to Create a Profitable Fall Prevention Program

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By Thom Disch

In the April newsletter, I wrote about the chronic problem relating to falls and fall injuries. This month, I want to highlight how we can help our clients avoid falls and, at the same time, create a new revenue stream for our businesses. 

As I started this article I was reminded of a question posed by my entrepreneurship professor on the first day of class: What is the one thing that every successful business needs to have? My classmates and I sat with our mouths open. Could it be that simple? If we just get this one thing, we are on our way to being millionaires? Yep, it is just one thing, but a lifetime later we’ve learned that it is far from simple. That one thing? We needed a paying customer.

Successful business = having a paying customer

Our challenge in creating a successful fall prevention business is exactly the same. How do we cultivate paying customers? We know the need exists (click here to see read April’s article discussing the market need). But, getting people to open their wallets and share their hard-earned money is challenging, especially getting them to pay for a preventative service. So, let’s compare an unsuccessful preventative sales program to a successful one. Weight loss versus preventative flu shots. 

Weight loss is a classic: let’s fix this after we have a problem. There is nothing preventative about our struggle to lose those extra pounds. At any point in time, there are an estimated 100 million people in the USA on a diet. We all know it is a chronic health problem, but most of the spending is done after there is a problem. On the other hand, we have the preventative flu shot. Annually, approximately 150 million people will get a flu shot.

While the psychology of both of these issues is very complex, there are two key reasons why people get preventative flu shots but don’t take steps to avoid being overweight. Most importantly, we can use these factors to create a successful fall prevention business. 

Number one: People must see the problem as preventable and needing to be prevented. 

If you are not overweight (and have never been overweight), you are not likely to see yourself as having a potential overweight problem. Until it is too late. The influenza problem is seen as a risk for everyone. Everyone has experienced the flu, and everyone knows that they have the potential to get the flu. Furthermore, people are convinced that a flu shot will reduce the risk of getting the flu.

Number two: The fix must be easy. 

Keeping your weight in line is complex. It requires a combination of preparing and eating the right foods, burning enough calories to keep the excess weight from accumulating on your body, and finding enough time to incorporate these things into our lifestyle. Getting a flu shot takes under an hour, and you are protected (sort of) for a year. Now let’s use these two factors to build a successful fall prevention business.

Increase awareness of the Fall-Injury problem

Everyone is at risk for a fall injury. After years of research I have discovered that everyone has a connection to fall injuries. I can assure you that someone in your prospect’s life (family member, friend, or neighbor) has been seriously hurt in a fall accident. As is normal, they have forgotten about that incident. You need to gently remind them that fall injuries have affected their personal network and that you can help them, and their loved ones, live a safer life. 

How do you communicate with your clients and prospective clients? Do you have a newsletter, an email blast, instore signage? In my book, STOP THE SLIP, I have 40 fall-related stories and 20 different factoids for you to use (with proper attribution, of course) to begin the discussion about fall injuries and the risks that they present. I’ve written these for you to share with your customer base. Use them to connect your business to your ability to solve the fall injury problem. 

Make it easy to solve the problem

For our customers, fall prevention can seem complicated. They don’t know where to begin. You can tell them the areas in the home that pose the greatest risk. What activities or actions increase the risk of a fall. Show them specific products that can help them to be safer and avoid a fall. You can show them how to install these products themselves, or you can have your team do the installation. 

These topics are the perfect set up for a free in-home assessment. In under an hour, you can walk through a customer’s home to create a list of the fall hazards facing the homeowner. Some of your recommendations will require no cash investment, just life style changes. Things like cleaning up clutter or not leaving items on stairs.

Other items on your list will include the sale and installation of fall prevention products. The range of services can include things as easy as plugging in nightlights or as complicated as installing grab bars and repairing stairs or handrails. If you don’t have someone to complete these installation services on staff, you could start by using a local handyman until you have enough work to employ someone full time.

As a follow-up, you could schedule an annual fall prevention review, enabling you to introduce new products or remind customers of projects recommended previously. 

With millions of people suffering from fall injuries every year, we know that the paying customers are out there. Are you ready to serve them?

If you’re coming to VGM’s Heartland Conference, don’t forget to check out my session, “Fall Injury Prevention: A Billion Dollar Market Opportunity,” on Wednesday, June 20!

 

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