How sales of these devices can help your business
by Arthur A. Von Ahnen
August 12, 2015

In July, I discussed the opportunity for profit by offering medical alert systems (PERS) to your customers and the advantages of the different types of medical alert systems available. This month I would like to talk about marketing medical alert systems. You can review previous articles in this series here.

Your current customer base is the first place to go with advertising. A mailer or an insert in your billing is a good start. Announce that you now offer a medical alert system, and while it may not fit your customers' immediate personal needs, everyone likely has a relative that should have a medical alert system.

Some companies may offer a system standard as an added layer of protection for their seniors that are using other services and may need a way to get help in various situations such as a fall or a medical emergency. So, going directly to your customer base with a marketing plan that fits them is the first thing you should do once you offer your medical alert program.

Establish relationships with local organizations and specialized senior services as a way to market to new customers. This, of course will also apply to the services you already offer, whether you are a DME, HME or home health care service. By establishing relationships with these organizations and/or services you will establish a referral base that will give you business over and over again. Don't just introduce yourself once and hand them a business card. Make sure you stop in and say, "Hi' to them every two or three weeks. Make it a habit and part of your marketing plan. I am sure most of you have already established these types of relationships in your marketing efforts, but if you haven't, I will explain some important ways to do this.

Community centers, churches and civic organizations (such as the chamber of commerce, Rotary Club, Moose Lodge and VFW) are great places to market for medical alert system sales. Monthly meetings and special events are perfect opportunities for doing a live presentation. You can also sponsor a lunch at an event. Churches and community centers have information areas where you can place your brochure, and each of these organizations provide newsletters to members. A newsletter advertisement is perfect as it goes out to your target audience directly. A newsletter advertisement is inexpensive, normally between $15.00 and $20.00 per month. If you are actively engaging with an organization, you will get referrals to your business.

When you present to a group, your presentation can be as simple as showing the product and explaining the ways it can help a senior in various situations they may encounter as they age in place. A lot of families are taking care of seniors today, and to see a product that can monitor mom or dad and notify them in an emergency is very exciting. Educating seniors and their families about a product that can make everyone rest easier and enable communication in an emergency can result in a lot of business. For example, a lot of families call mom or dad in the evening before they go to bed and again the next morning to be sure they are all right. Wouldn't it be nice if mom or dad had a problem in the middle of the night their family would be notified immediately? A medical alert system can do that. These are the types of conversations you can have when speaking to a group. Remember, it doesn't matter what age group you are presenting to, everyone has a relative who needs a medical alert system.

In-patient physical therapy centers are excellent opportunities for working with social workers or discharge agents as they release or discharge seniors after rehabilitation for injuries such as broken hips, knee replacements, etc. Normally these patients need family care to finish their rehabilitation at home. With busy work and school schedules, families can't be with the senior at all times. A medical alert system will enable the family to monitor mom and be there when she needs them. Stop in (don't call), and introduce yourself. Explain that you are local will always be there for your patients. Explain how a medical alert system can take stress away from the family and yet they can be there when needed. Leave brochures and a demo pendant so the social worker can show the family how the system works. They have interviews with the family before each senior goes home to give them a list of things they are going to need at the house for the senior's care. Have your product become one of the suggested items on that list; the social worker may even let you talk with the family at the interview. You then have the opportunity to mention other products or services you offer seniors.

Many adult and independent-living communities have homeowner associations that are always searching for speakers for their meetings. These are excellent opportunities to get in front of seniors and also adults that have senior parents that need your service. Understand, you only have to be 55 years old to live in an adult community, and a 60 year old person has a mom or dad who is 80 to 90 years old. So again, present your product as, "Everyone has a relative or friend who needs a medical alert system." Many homeowner associations have newsletters and are always looking for articles to feature in them so offer to write an article for them.

Health fairs and home shows are excellent opportunities to advertise and market your medical alert systems to potential customers. Most of the time, the attendees are local. If you have been advertising and marketing in local newsletters and presenting to local groups, you will run across a lot of the same people. They will associate your name as the one to call for a medical alert system! As you are talking with people and handing out brochures you will hear, "I don't need one of those yet!" Remind your prospects, "Everyone knows someone who should have a medical alert system." Have some type of door prize or drawing to entice attendees to sign up so that you have names and contacts to follow up with. Don't forget to follow up within three weeks. Be sure to advertise in the schedule that goes home with attendees. I have a webinar recording on our website specifically addressing, "How to get Sales from a Health Fair or Home Show." I have our website info listed at the end of this article.

Make a marketing plan. Make a list all of the organizations I have mentioned above in your area and dedicate time to stopping in, introducing yourself and servicing them. Schedule your return visits no more than every three weeks. You may need a dedicated person to concentrate on this marketing program if you cover a large area, but it will be the most cost effective marketing plan you can do! Remember, this also gives you the chance to introduce other products or services that you offer. We have webinar recordings posted on our website that concentrate on these marketing programs as well as sales presentations, etc. Go to, click on "Reseller Resources," and click on "Webinars." I wish you success!

This article is part of a seven-part home monitoring and PERS series. Six segments will focus on a particular aspect of the market to provide the insight and resources necessary for success. The final article will answer reader questions; direct yours to with "Home Monitoring Series" in the subject line.

Read all articles in this series at here.