Showing posts with label Egg Donation Agency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egg Donation Agency. Show all posts

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!

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. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

ETHICS in Owning an Agency by Guest Blogger Brooke Kimbrough of 4 Sisters Surrogacy Agency

This past weekend I spent two days in sunny southern California with 150 of some of the most educated, respected and experienced professionals in the world of surrogacy.  The conference was put on by S.E.E.D.S (Society of Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy) and covered topics from legal practices to medical risks and everything in between.  Throughout the two day conference, a consistent theme was the ethics involved in surrogacy and egg donation and the responsibility of all players to uphold these ethics. 

With the media focused on the failures within our profession, often times these anomalies within the community overshadow the enormous amount of reputable agencies, attorneys, medical doctors and metal health professionals in the field.  With over 200 agencies within the U.S. alone, how would one not well versed within the community be able to determine the agency's ability to provide quality services?  How would an intended mother be able to insist on using an ART(assisted reproductive technology) mental health professional when she was unsure that such a thing existed? The answer came to me as I sat listening to a review of a sensationalized case currently prevalent in the media regarding a non-compliant surrogate and a now father of triplets. 

Ethics or moral philosophy is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. (wikipedia.com). Within the surrogacy community, the idea of "right" and "wrong" often fall within a gray area open to interpretation and personal moral beliefs.  So how, as an agency owner for example, do I best practice ethics and serve my community in the most professional and morally positive way?  What are the moral guidelines I should follow when I enter into a gray area?  How do I lead by example for fellow agencies to follow with ethical decency? The answer lies within the name itself; E.T.H.I.C.S.

"E" is for Excellence.  ASRM guidelines exist as a baseline for the practices of surrogacy.  These are the bare minimum of standards that should exist within your agency.  These guidelines, while they hold no legal standing, are certainly an excellent jumping off point for standards that should upheld within your agency.  However, do you want your agency to do the bare minimum? The answer is "no". Your clients and colleagues expect that you are serving your community with excellence.  So, when there is a question of whether a surrogate is qualified or if an intended parent's criminal record should preclude them from using your agency, refer back to "excellence" as your standard practice.  Live above the basic guidelines of ASRM and serve your clients and community with excellence. 

"T" is for Transparency.  As an agency, transparency is key to providing excellent service to your clients.  Did your surrogate fail a MMPI test several years ago but has since made some life changes and passed her most current screening?  Do your intended parents have multiple surrogates? You need to be transparent about all information so that both your surrogates, as well as your intended parents can make informed decisions.  Being transparent allows for each party to be able to clearly see their path and to feel informed and supported throughout the process.

"H" is for honesty.  As a new agency owner, honesty is an essential part of my profession.  Be upfront and honest when you interview IPs and Surrogates.  Be clear about your surrogate availability, provide accurate timelines and be clear about fees and potential additional costs.  By leading by example, you can in return expect honesty from your clients as well. Let your clients know that dishonesty in any aspect of the process will be grounds for breech of contract and elimination from the agency.  Being honest as an agency owner makes for journeys that have clear and appropriate expectations and end with satisfied clients. 

"I" is for Instinct:  Instinct is a feeling that is often disregarded because it can lack physical evidence.  However, instinct is at the core of our ethical and moral compass and should not be overwritten.  If you have a "bad feeling" about a particular set of intended parents, there is no harm in explaining that the agency is unable to handle their case.  You can feel free to refer them to another agency who may be better equipped to handle their particular circumstance or personality.  In the end, this is a service based industry with long term clients.  You have to spend a lot of time and emotional energy on each case and it is completely acceptable to not utilize that energy on a case you do not feel 100% committed to.

"C" is for Connectivity:  Being a small canoe in a very large ocean can be lonely, overwhelming and frustrating.  Connecting to your clients and their needs is the first step in providing quality service.  However, it does not stop there.  Connecting to peers and professionals within your community helps protect you as well as your clients.  Understanding that while you may have vetted your surrogate, the mental health professionals that you work with are another qualified set of eyes who may be able to spot potential issues.  Your attorneys are there to provide quality contracts and to follow through with legal deadlines and requirements.  Connecting yourself with qualified colleagues can help your agency stay on course through the uncertain seas of surrogacy. 

"S" is for Stewardship:  Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care (Merriam-Websters).  Just as your surrogates are to act as stewards for their IPs unborn child, you as an agency owner, are equally responsible for carefully and ethically managing the complete surrogacy journey. Set up systems that keep detailed calendars and records.  Be organized and proactive in managing and overseeing the process and journey.  It is your job as an agency owner to keep everyone involved walking in the same direction, down the same path, towards a happy, healthy baby.  

In trying to manage an agency that is above board and morally sound,  E.T.H.I.C.S is a sure fire way to make sure you are always on the "right" side of any gray area.  By being ethical and moral leaders within our profession, we can be sure that our clients are receiving the best possible care. Additionally, we can ensure that our growing fellowship is being led by a group of honest and trustworthy professionals who can guarantee a more positive and ethical representation of our amazing community.


Brooke Kimbrough is the owner of 4 Sisters Surrogacy Agency in Roseville, CA.  They work with exclusively with California surrogates and domestic intended parents in personalized surrogacy journeys.  She can be reached at brooke@4sisterssurrogacy.com or on their website www.4sisterssurrogacy.com.

Monday, December 21, 2015

“What am I looking for when I talk with a potential egg donor?” by Andrea Bryman, LMFT

It has taken many years to create the niche I have in my profession, a mental health therapist specializing in egg donation and surrogacy.  I have learned that people are not gray on the subject of third party reproduction.  They have strong opinions.  Once all the opinions have been aired (this can take awhile), one of the first things I am asked is “What am I looking for when I talk with a potential egg donor?”

I thought I would start this initial blog by discussing four of the main
areas that I emphasize in my evaluation of an egg donor: her family mental
health history, her stability, her desire to be a donor, and her ability to
make an informed decision to be a donor.  

In exploring a donor’s family mental health history it is important to gather information regarding any potential psychiatric diagnoses.  Some diagnoses are linked to genetic predispositions that can be passed onto a child.  If there is a diagnosis, i.e., depression -it is important to determine whether it was triggered by an event, which would be considered situational or whether it is an organic disorder.  I also discuss family history of alcohol or substance abuse.  There is potential for a genetic predisposition to alcoholism that both the recipients and donors should be aware of.  Finally, I explore any emotional, physical or sexual abuse the donor may have experienced and if they have received any professional help.  A donor who has experienced some abuse without seeking help may find the
donation process can trigger unresolved issues related to the abuse.  Above all else, my hope is for the donor to have a positive experience. 

One of the major concerns for many intended parents is whether a donor will be stable enough to follow through with all that she needs to do throughout her cycle.  There is a vast amount of information to digest, forms to be filled out, appointments to attend
and medications to be administered.  A donor will need a lot of support throughout the process.  There are many aspects in exploring a donor’s stability – her living situation, her career, her upbringing and current relationship with her parents and siblings, her social network, her personal relationships and any possible legal issues she may have experienced. It is important that a donor be able to form and sustain healthy relationships as well as manage conflict resolution.   More importantly, you want to be sure that she will to do what she is supposed to do! 

What is the donor’s motivation to donate?  Why would she want to inject herself with medications and undergo medical evaluations and procedures?
While initially enticed by the monetary compensation, most donors after
learning more about the process have an altruistic yearning to want to help
others while helping themselves.  In determining a donor’s desire to help others, it is significant to understand how she learned about the process, why she wants to donate, if she has told others about her desire to donate, what she plans to do with the money she receives from the donation and how she feels about the future contact and
disposition of her eggs and the embryos they create. 

Lastly, after determining a donor’s mental well-being, her
stability and her motivation, it is very important to determine if the donor is
cognitively mature enough to make an informed decision to be a donor.  I gather this information by exploring the donor’s educational background and her self-perception.  This information determines if she knowledgeable enough to have the ability to educate herself about the egg donation process and understand the potential medical and psychological issues that may arise.  Is she able to seek out information and ask questions or does she passively take the information given to her?  Often I encourage donors to talk with other who have donated before to get peer guidance in addition to professional guidance.  The bottom line on informed consent is “Does the donor really understand what she is agreeing
to?” 

To say “Choosing an egg donor is a difficult process” is an understatement.  It is important to realize that many donors have just as many questions about the intended parents as the intended parents have of the donors.  We interpret data and evaluate
information to ensure suitability.  We educate others and ourselves.  We hope
that all parties are being truthful and forthright.  

Andrea Bryman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialty in assisted
reproduction, which includes mental health assessments and evaluation of egg
donors and surrogates. Andrea’s focus on assisted reproduction stemmed from her own personal experience with infertility over 15 years ago when she was beginning her family. Since that time, Andrea has had three children, two with methods of assisted reproduction. She continues her professional growth in the field of infertility through research and involvement as a professional member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine including their mental health professional group, the American Fertility Association, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and Resolve. Andrea is the Past Psychological Chairperson on the board of directors for the Egg Donation and Surrogacy Professional Association.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

10 Signs You Might Not Be Ready to Start a Business Found on FOXBusiness by Susan Payton

Before you quit your day job and dive into entrepreneurship, take a moment to think about this major decision. While, certainly, becoming a business owner is an exciting endeavor, it’s not for everyone. And it’s a long-term commitment. You’ll pour blood, sweat, tears, and money into a business, and if it doesn’t work out, you won’t recoup that investment.
If any of the following ring true, you might not be ready to start a business.
1. You’re passionate, but you have no plan. While passion is a cornerstone of a successful small business, it’s simply not enough. You also need a plan for how you’ll make money and grow your business. If the idea of developing such a plan bores you or stresses you out, it might not be a good fit.
2. You don’t have any money. Starting a business is not a “get rich quick” endeavor by any stretch of the imagination. It may be months — or even years — before you turn a profit, and in the meantime, you’ll need enough cash to pay your business expenses and your personal expenses.
3. You have a really neat idea, if only the market wanted it. Unless your idea solves a problem or serves a need, you’ll have a hard time finding customers for it. Remember the dad from the Gremlins movies? He was constantly inventing solutions where there were no problems. A machine that took an egg out of a bowl and cracked it simply wasn’t something the market clamored for.
4. You’ve got major life changes happening. Maybe you just got married. Or had a baby. If you’re in a transitional stage in your life, starting a business will add to the already high levels of stress you’re experiencing. Entrepreneurship might be better later down the road.
5. You just want to be your own boss. If the appeal of not having an overbearing boss to answer to is your driver for starting a business, consider this: your customers will be your new bosses. They’ll dictate what you do and how you do it. If they don’t like what you’re selling, they won’t buy it. And you won’t have the stability of a paycheck as a safety net.
6. You’re the breadwinner in your family. Shifting from one salary to support your family to an erratic, virtually existent entrepreneur’s paycheck is one many families can’t stomach. If your family finances will suffer if you quit your job, wait until you have money saved for this endeavor.
7. You have no experience in this industry. Although you’ve worked as a lawyer for years, you’ve dreamed of opening a cupcake shop. If you’ve got rockstar baking skills, that might help you survive, but if you have no experience in leasing retail space, buying baking supplies, and managing staff, you may find yourself struggling.
8. You want to do what you love. Why would that be a reason to not start a business, you ask? The truth is, few business owners do that thing they love 40 hours a week. In the cupcake shop example, you may find that, while you really enjoy the baking portion of the work, you’re actually doing very little of that in between your admin responsibilities. You’ll be busy creating employee schedules, making deposits at the bank, and calling your suppliers. Someone else will have to handle the baking.
9. You don’t know much about business. While you don’t need an MBA to be a business owner, it helps to have a basic understanding of marketing, accounting, management and finance. You can take continuing education courses at your local community college, read books and blogs, or simply teach yourself. But without a solid business foundation, your house of cards may crumble quickly.
10. You’re not excited enough. Going back to the first example here: you absolutely should be passionate and excited about starting a business. You should be able to see yourself working in that business for decades. You should be willing to do whatever it takes — work 80 hours a week, moonlight while keeping your day job, see your family less — to realize your dreams of business ownership. If you’re not, it’s not worth the pain of starting a business to find that out.