Monday, July 11, 2016

StartART 2016 August 3-6th Will You Be Attending?



The Annual REI Nursing Congress: Scientific & Therapeutic Approaches to Assisted Reproductive Technology (StartART) provides a unique and comprehensive educational opportunity for nurses, featuring critical updates on the latest advances in reproductive medicine from procedures and protocols to bioethical and legal issues. The goal of this annual congress is to provide late-breaking information, cutting-edge techniques, and best practices to improve ART outcomes. This goal is enhanced by the unique contributions that REI nurses make to the field of reproductive medicine through their skills, compassion, and caring. 


I hope to see you there! Visit the site for more information: http://www.startartcongress.com/accreditation1.html

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Information Gathering for Your Surrogacy Business: The Intake Sheet

I am going to start talking about forms...I know that most people might like to use the computer exclusively but what happens when or if your network is down? Your computer has crashed? You just want to talk on the phone in the other room and not have to read off your lap top screen? This is where the Intake Sheet can come in handy. It's the first bit of information gathered from an Intended Parents or potential Surrogate when they call you directly. Have several copies on hand, one sheet for IP's and one for GC's. These sheets should be only one page long and it should help you determine eligibility for your program and later as a reference page. This is also a great tool to use so that you don't miss any important initial questions.

Both IP and SM sheets should have this general contact information:
Name
Address
Telephone numbers
E-mail address

IP's looking for a surrogate:
Age(s)
Health Reason (because it has to be a medical/physical reason by law)
Using a Clinic? RE? Name and location of each
Already have children? How many?
Single or married/partners
Using Egg Donor?
Using Frozen Embryos
Want Surrogate to travel?
Gestational or Traditional
Location of surrogate
First timer or experienced
Race/religion/marital preference
Financial Expectations

Leave some room at the bottom of your form for additional Information: And there will be if you talk to your Prospective IP's and find out all that they have experienced.

Surrogate looking for IP's:
Age
BMI
Children
Pregnancy or birth complications
Taking medications?
Other health issues?
Married or single
Insurance?
Race/religion
Selective Reduction ok or not
Traditional or Gestational
First timer or experienced
If experienced, details
Base Fee expectations if any
Willing to work with the following:
Gay/single/married with children/partners/only women/only men/International/

Additional Details

You can add on other questions if you like. After your conversation if either the IP's or the Gestational Carrier (GC) seems to fit into your program or what you are looking for THEN have them fill out a complete packet and have them include photos if possible. This packet of information can be compiled and then mailed via US postal service or you can have online forms. Whatever you choose to do just make sure that you have enough information to assist you in making a good match.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Psychological Triggers That Win Sales and Influence Customers/Clients for Your Surrogacy or Egg Donation Business: Trigger 6 Scarcity




Scarcity the least favorite tactic in our field of egg donors and surrogacy. We are already struggling with "Scarcity" of qualified surrogates and although there are more women willing to be donors, Indian, Jewish, Asian and Red headed-blue eyed girls may be few and far between! Because the field is already flooded with Intended Parents waiting for that perfect egg donor or surrogate, there is no need to start a panic. Most of our clients are well aware how hard it is to find someone that they really feel a connection with to carry their baby or find that donor who has the genetics they long to have within their own child's DNA. Having said that, "specials" still can bring more clients to your door. "Free" psychological evaluations for a limited time, Lowering agency fees for National Infertility Awareness Month, Exhibit Booth specials if IPs sign up during a conference. All of these have expiration dates that compel people to make a decision and hop on board.

On the donor or surrogacy side of things, offering referral specials and certain times of the year that may be higher then the norm sometimes attract more attention. (Extra money for the holidays, education or a special family vacation anyone?) The point here is not to use smoke and mirrors or tricks but to genuinely show how far your business is willing to go...for a limited time.

The flip side of this "tactic" is if you have to many clients waiting for surrogates or donors, you will need to slow things down. Removing all offers or specials from your website, post the waiting period time frame to the public and then just work with the clients you do have and make them as happy as possible. When you are back to full speed, you will receive testimonials from delighted clients and a stronger reputation to share. Being as upfront as possible will keep your integrity in place and a smile on your client's face. 

Be sure to check out Triggers 1: Reciprocity, Trigger 2: Commitment and Consistency, Trigger 3: Liking, Trigger 4: Authority, Trigger 5: Social Proof!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Psychological Triggers That Win Sales and Influence Customers/Clients for Your Surrogacy or Egg Donation Business: Trigger 5 Social Proof



Social Proof really does come with years of experience. This is what helps clients/customers feel that you are honest, trustworthy and reliable. Testimony on your website can assist with this. Reviews about your published works or your involvement in speaking engagements, webinars, and other industry related work will highlight the best of you and your services. When you are considered "trusted" you and your business can go a long way.

How do you start getting this "Social Proof"? If you are changing careers you can have past employers or your employees write a few kind words about you for your testimonial page. This is similar to asking for a reference. The next step is to build a great reputation through your good works with your clients and business associates. When you feel you have made a positive impact then ask for a review or a testimonial. Once people see that you have positive responses to your business acumen they will be more likely to want to work with you or hire you to assist them. 
             
Don't forget that volunteering on a board or joining a society like the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and attending meetings will also bring exposure to you and your business. Networking is a must as well. Remember, you will always need positive"Social Proof" and having a great reputation is 100% part of that!


Be sure to check out Triggers 1, Reciprocity, Trigger 2, Commitment and Consistency, Trigger 3, Liking and Trigger 4 Authority!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Psychological Triggers That Win Sales and Influence Customers/Clients for Your Surrogacy or Egg Donation Business: Trigger 4 Authority


What is the definition of Authority? "The power to influence others, especially because if one's commanding manner or one's recognized knowledge about something" is the best definition to fit a business like a surrogacy or egg donation agency. But who runs that business? You do.

Surrounding yourself with professionals in the third party reproductive field is a must in any case. We need to work with Reproductive Attorneys, Reproductive Endocrinologists and clinical staff, Mental Health Professionals, Escrow Agents, Hospital Staff, Insurance Companies and sometimes even the Pharma companies. Their expertise and positions of Authority speak well of our own businesses and reputations. 
      
Your personal position of Authority comes from your experiences in your chosen field. You may be an Intended Parent and had a successful yet stressful surrogacy experience and now you want to not only share your knowledge but help other's through the surrogacy journey. Maybe you are a past egg donor (six times!) and feel that you know enough about the process to start your own agency. I know of quite a few Gestational Carriers, who feel that starting their own company and tweaking a few of the services to better appeal to others like themselves, are certain that it will lead them to a lifetime of fulfillment now that they no longer are carrying children for others.

All of these scenarios are about people with real life experiences. If they continue to learn and grow and watch other's in their chosen area, they could be considered an Authority or Expert in their field.    


Be sure to check out Triggers 1, Reciprocity, Trigger 2, Commitment and Consistency and Trigger 3, Liking!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Psychological Triggers That Win Sales and Influence Customers/Clients for Your Surrogacy or Egg Donation Business: Trigger 3 "Liking"



We all want to be LIKED, don't we? Which is why we put so much time and effort into our website and blogs. Needless to say these tools are sometimes the first impression our would-be clients encounter. We want the design to be comforting and supportive, we need the wording to say that they are welcomed and wanted. We want the photos to pluck a heart string or two. We want the overall design to say "we won't take advantage of you, we want to help you, we are experienced in this kind of thing"!

Blogging is another way to "talk" to potential clients. Sharing the hopes and dreams of other clients, listing services that you provide, telling people why you are better than all the rest, highlighting staff accomplishments and posting pictures of newborn babies with happy parents. The design of the blog itself needs to have that same sort of feeling...like coming home: comfortable and safe, where questions can be answered and comments can be posted freely, and your words hopefully shared on social media and "liked"!

Be sure to check out Triggers 1, Reciprocity, and Trigger 2, Commitment and Consistency! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Psychological Triggers That Win Sales and Influence Customers/Clients for Your Surrogacy or Egg Donation Business: Trigger 2 Commitment and Consistency


As we all know in the surrogacy and egg donation field, Intended Parents may be one time clients. However, egg donors and gestational carriers are the kind hearted women that most likely will come back and help another couple if they had a good experience the first time around.

Commitment and Consistency is all about making surrogates and donors feel committed to the agency and its"brand". For example, after the donation or birth journey is complete, these past surrogates and donors should continue to receive newsletters, birthday and anniversary cards, and personal messages from their agency. This helps them still feel like part of the process and feel important to your company (agency) even though they may not be matched at the time.

Word of mouth is a great marketing tool and even if the past donor or surrogate decides that she is done, she could still send your business a friend, family member, or co-worker who is interested in helping a couple complete a family by having YOUR BUSINESS represent them.

Remember that these tips go hand in hand with the daily running of your business and you must keep involved from start to finish in order to leave a great impression. 

Be sure to check out Trigger 1, Reciprocity!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Psychological Triggers That Win Sales and Influence Customers/Clients for Your Surrogacy or Egg Donation Business: Trigger 1 Reciprocity



There are six essential influencers and I am going to take on one per post. Some of these will inspire you to make changes and others you maybe already incorporating within your marketing strategy.

Today I am going to talk about Reciprocity.   Reciprocity is when someone feels compelled to give something back. For example, if you are handed a free sample at Costco or Sams Club you may feel you must buy the product if you like it. The same goes for free gifts with purchase or when you apply because a human connection is felt and the company is going above and beyond to please their customer i.e. you. 

In the realm of the services of say an egg donation or surrogacy agency this would work with the attraction and retention of donors and gestational carriers. If within the first week of contact, while the paper work is still being filled out, a book was sent, a gift card to Starbucks with $10.00 on it or a heartfelt card saying how excited you are to welcome them into your company, then these women have the immediate feel of being wanted and supported in their decision to sign on with your agency.

We all know that people skills are important and having your potential clients know that by giving a little something up front maybe the very thing you have over your competition. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Your Online Reputation: Your Surrogacy Agency's Calling Card

This is something that I feel every Surrogacy and Egg Donation business owner should keep in mind, especially if what is being "sold" is your own good name! Your reputation for being fair, honest, hard working and dependable is so important in the running of a surrogacy or donation agency. You are the front man for your company and so is your office staff. Never forget that!

Read on and tell me what you think!

Sharon
http://lamotheservices.com/

Your Online Reputation
Does integrity really matter in online business? The owners of PCS Productions in Texas would likely say, "Yes!"

This company began in 1995 and has worked to develop quality audio and video productions. Their services extend to web design and hosting, audio streaming and print media projects.
This company has worked diligently to establish integrity in each form of media they present. Many of those media specialties interact with other forms of media so they must make sure they can transfer branding ideas from one concept to another.

I think what may be most impressive about this company is they have an extraordinary track record. Client testimonials are glowing and well respected.

If you are known by the company that you keep then this company visibly has a sense of integrity. Their staff has been sent on assignment to virtually every continent in the world and their work is called upon repeatedly by existing clients while others also seek them out for their skills.

So is this a puff piece about PCS Productions? No. In fact I don't know anyone who works there, nor have I visited with anyone. So, I guess you could say I am not promoting a service, but pointing to some interesting parallels I often find in the best businesses.

This company has a good reputation and that's the point of this article.

As an online business you need to work to establish a reputation that is used as a calling card for potential customers.

The web already has enough scam artists and fly-by-night operations so when I find a point of positivity I cling to it and then point it out to others.

The establishment of a strong work ethic combined with consistently providing the best possible service can do wonders for your business in the long term.

Someone once told me, "You really should take the high road. There's a lot less traffic." At first I smiled, but it's true. We all know someone who is adept at cutting corners. Perhaps we have encountered a business that left us high and dry after they got our money. We like those 'high road' companies.

What we want as business owners are those glowing testimonials that profess the depth of our commitment to excellence. These are words that may well encourage others to buy our product or use our service. Those precious words will not come if the customer is just another dollar figure.

As a business owner you place your name and reputation on every order you ship out (or every service you provide). You stake the trust others would like to place in you on the way you handle issues that come up.


It's a whole lot easier to lose a reputation than it is to gain it back. Reputation is an investment in your future. It's an investment that can go away if you don't protect it wisely. What that means for a business owner is you have to put your customers first. Their concerns need to be a concern for you. Their issues require you be a problem solver. Deliver more than you have to and show absolute respect to your customers. After all, they are the ones you serve.
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About the Author: Scott Lindsay - Make A Website or Make Your Own Website Fast at HighPowerSites.com. Start a Home Business and Sell Ebooks at BooksWealth.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Starting Your Surrogacy Agency, Do You Need a Partner?

When starting any business the thought of a partnership may cross your mind, if even for a minute . Would it be a relief to have someone by your side to share the responsibilities or a burden to have to ask someone else what they think should be done?

When Surrogacy Consultants of Florida, LLC was first started I was leaving the employment of an attorney's office and was thinking that I could offer a better service than what I had previously experienced both in the workplace and as a past surrogate. Everywhere I turned people said that I should open a surrogacy agency. I had worked on the "inside" and had met Intended Parent's and surrogates who believed that I had what it took to walk someone through an entire surrogacy program. I was affiliated with professionals who said that they would support a surrogacy agency. As a matter of fact, SCF was the first agency in Florida that was not connected to an attorney's office. Purely independent of Clinics and Psychologists as well, meaning that we were open to working with all ART professionals nationwide. Any IP who had a favorite Clinic could come to us and be matched with a surrogate and return to their own Doctor for treatment.

I decided that operating a Surrogacy Agency the way I envisioned it should be run would take more then just one person and I asked one of my friends, a surrogate and strongest supporters, Sita, to be my partner. She said yes and we were off and running.

What YOU need to do is decide what your vision for your business is and what you are willing to devote to it. Are you basically wanting to control every aspect of the business including start-up finances, book keeping, marketing, advertising, recruiting, management, materials, media, invoicing, all phone calls, filing, Internet web sites, e-mailing, interfacing with professionals, attending conferences, printing, attending meetings and follow up, etc.? I sure didn't! Having someone else to share the burden can be invaluable. Do you want to work 24/7? You will if you are alone. What if a family member is sick and needs your undivided attention? What will happen to your clients then? Family vacations might be a thing of the past if you don't have someone to cover for you. I think you can see which side of the fence I sit on here. I know wonderful small agency's run by a single person but they have to outsource (hire an answering service, a book keeper etc.) and limit their services and the number of clients they can take on so that they can give quality time to their customers.

Before you think that you can start up on your own and then add someone I would think again...that is HARD. Adding a new partner after start up, one who didn't go through the growing pains with you and did not risk any financial investment, may not have the commitment to the company that you have.

This is your ultimate decision...GOOD LUCK!

Sharon LaMothe
LaMothe Services, LLC
http://lamotheservices.com/