A guide for Service Providers when seeking work through Support Coordinators and NDIS Participants/Nominees
So, what do we want from you?
We want an email that explains your services in a clear and thorough way. Support Coordinators get stacks of marketing emails from providers that fail to include:
Location- PLEASE tell us where you work. Your mobile number leaves no clues and your unsolicited email could, for all I know, be from anywhere from Far North Queensland to Hobart. I also need to know your geographic catchment area- right down to local councils or regional areas that you operate in.
Qualifications and experience- I do not care if you have started a new physio business with an awesome logo, if you have just graduated I am going to want to know that you are working in an experienced team before I suggest you to anyone we serve. And, by the way, “counsellor” is not a qualification unless you can back it up with registration evidence.
Service delivery- Are you office, home or car based? Will you come to Participants or do they need to come to you? If they need to come to you, then we need to know about the accessibility of your office. Is it on a main road? Is there accessible parking and accessible toilets? Do your toilets use stinky perfumes or have loud hand dryers? This information matters to people we work with.
Fees – What are your rates? Do you charge for travel? What is your cancellation policy? If so, how much?
Availability – If I called you today, how long before I could get an appointment?
Registration status – Are you NDIS Registered? If so, for what registration groups? Do you accept Self and Plan Managed Participants in conjunction or exclusively? Are you willing to adjust your invoicing to accommodate less flexible Plan Managers?
Contact details – I cannot tell you the number of times we get emails with no contact name or phone number, or with those details buried and unreadable, inaccessible and unclickable hidden in an image attached to the bottom of an email. Also, if the email address is a Gmail account, that sets off massive alarm bells. If you are using Gmail as your work email address, we will not see you as professional (that won’t always be right, but really guys, please get your own domain and a website– even just a simple placeholder page). What don’t we want?
We don’t want a stack of shiny brochures in the mail. We cannot forward them on or electronically file them without scanning, which we all know is a pain. So in reality, we just chuck them in a paper folder (or round file) and never look at them again. But if you insist on emailing us a brochure then please make it a readable PDF with 12 point font or (preferably) higher. No fancy cursive fonts or light grey text on a dark grey background. I should not need to tell you this, but all communications need to be accessible – many Support Coordinators are disabled themselves!
We don’t want to have a sales meeting with you, so please stop asking. We are all so wildly busy and we just don’t have the time. Moreover, we are only paid to deliver services to Participants. So time with you is time that we are not compensated for. What do we LOVE from providers? And last, but not least, what would make us go: “Oh My, I must suggest your service to loads of people today”?
An Easy English explanation of your services in an accessible format.
A copy of your service agreement that is less than four pages long, alongside an Easy English version.
A three-paragraph summary in the body of the email, signed with a real person’s name.
An email greeting that includes my actual name and something that tells me you have looked at our website and understand our philosophy.
An assurance that you DO NOT demand a copy of participant plans in order to provide your service.
An honest description of your strengths. For example: “We focus on the needs of teens and young adults with intellectual disability”, or “Our team has been prescribing complex equipment to adults with physical disability for a combined 230 years” or “We pride ourselves on making connections for young parent carers.” Whatever it is that makes you get up in the morning and puts the fire in your belly – that’s what we want to know.
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