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Donating Plasma

Patients all over the world rely on plasma protein therapies to treat rare, chronic diseases. These individuals rely on the generosity and commitment of plasma donors (and oftentimes the blood donor recruitment specialist). You may donate plasma in one of the many licensed and certified donor centers located in the U.S. Plasma often is referred to as the “gift of life”, because it is essential to helping thousands of people worldwide with rare, chronic diseases to live healthier, more productive, and more fulfilling lives.

What Is Plasma?

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood and is composed of about 90% water, 7% vital proteins, and 1% mineral salts, sugars, fats hormones, and vitamins. Plasma is collected through a whole blood donation, in which plasma helps with clotting blood, fighting diseases, and other critical functions. This helps patients who are in critical need of a specific component of a blood donation, such as plasma. The process of donating plasma is almost identical to the whole blood donation. It is an automated system that collects the plasma from one arm, and one needle is used.

The Need For Plasma

Plasma donations are critically important to saving lives. Plasma donations are mainly used to treat people with rare chronic diseases and disorders, such as genetic lung diseases, treatments of traumas, as well as burn victims. Donating plasma does take time and commitment. However, when taking the time to make a plasma donation, donors do make a huge impact in the community by saving the lives of those who have been struggling to fight the medical condition they are currently dealing with. Not only do they help the patient but they also help the patient’s family regain hope for their loved one.

Regardless of the type of donation someone is willing to give, every type of donation is absolutely important to potentially save multiple lives. Not only that, but blood donations also make a difference in the community. So go ahead and take some time to save lives!

Will you consider being a blood donor?

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Great workplaces are built through day-to-day relationships that employees experience. To make Incept a great workplace, we follow 6 important values:

  1. Integrity – Integrity involves moral judgment, character, honesty, and leadership values. Individuals who show integrity in a workplace not only understand right from wrong, but they practice it in everything they do. This is beneficial in a business environment where trustworthy actions set the foundation for successful business relationships.
  2. Never satisfied – This means that we can always make improvements. We proactively identify new areas where improvements can be made regardless of current performance, which sets a great attitude! This also helps employees learn something new each day.
  3. Compassion – Compassion is having a positive impact on others. We want to view all of our actions through the eyes of others first. We also encourage and reward our employees for volunteering their time to help others. Compassion helps strengthen the relationship with clients, as well as teammates, which in return helps us to create better results as a company.
  4. Everyone’s a customer – This means creating a “wow” experience for our teammates and all of our clients. We ask customers what is required to make them our advocates, listen to their answers, and then deliver. At Incept, we anticipate customer needs and provide suggested improvements to address them. We make sure to work as a team to define success and achieve it.
  5. Present This means balancing work and home life and being present in both. Being present is having understanding and encouraging the fact that a strong personal life is the key to achieving a strong professional work life. We like to encourage the discussion of, and assist each other in achieving, our life goals. When working, it is important to avoid distractions (such as personal issues), and when home, it’s crucial to avoid stresses that come with your job.
  6. Tenacious – Last but not least, being tenacious is all about being passionate and determined. Showing enthusiasm helps accomplish any goal. As a team, we persist until we make improvements in efforts to be successful achieving every goal we set.

At Incept, we are relentless in supporting our values, goals, and teammates. Furthermore, we use all six of our values to help us achieve our goals as a company, as well as perform great results and continue to grow stronger as a team. This is why Incept is such a great workplace!

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Platelets are the part of your blood used to control bleeding; burn patients, trauma patients, and many surgeries require the use of platelets. When our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) are making blood donor recruitment calls, some donors question why platelet donations are so important, and there are a plethora of reasons why.

The Importance of Platelets

For instance, there aren’t as many people who have the time to donate platelets, the shelf life of platelets is shorter, and many patients will need a platelet donation while going through different types of treatments.

Platelets only have a shelf life of about 5 days, are very fragile, and need to constantly be in motion, so the need for platelet donations is an everyday concern. Although you can donate them every 7 days, some donors don’t have enough time in their schedule to go once a week. Some people have a very open schedule, while others barely have any time to come in to donate a standard whole blood donation (which takes about 45 minutes to an hour).

The Differences Between Platelet & Whole Blood Donations

For a platelet donation, it can take up to 2 hours depending on the donor. With the people who have very busy schedules, that can cut down on the amount of platelet donations we receive, therefore potentially affecting patients in need.

A lot of cancer patients, as well as transplant patients, can use up to 10 units of platelets per day. For example, a cancer patient could use 6-8 units a day for 4-6 weeks. Comparing a platelet donation to a whole blood donation, it takes 6 separated whole blood donations to equal a single platelet donation. With that being said, it would take six different people’s donations to get one unit of platelets to a patient when they can use up to 10 in one day! When someone donates a single platelet donation, it can help keep the blood supply at a safe level while reducing the exposure of multiple donors to one single patient.

Platelet donations are very important to the community and can be used to help a multitude of people. So if you can find 2 hours of your day, you can help those who have had cancer, received an organ transplant, or were involved in a traumatic accident. You can also help to keep the blood supply at a safe level.

When’s the last time you donated platelets?

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This blog post comes to us from Incept’s Erica Heath.

Some of the most important aspects of influencing company atmosphere are how well you build trust, communication, and rapport with the employees. In an atmosphere such as Incept, it is important to take these things into consideration when building a team. Strong teams are comprised of a strong leader and employees who have excellent communication skills with one another.

A good team should run like a well-oiled machine—the members should take accountability for their actions and the actions of one another, as well as build each other up in times of need. Having a strong team can decrease company turnover while also increasing the quality of production. In order to build strong teams it may be necessary to do team-building exercises.

3 Great Team-Building Exercises

The following are some exercises that can be used to create better rapport among your team members:

  • Two Truths and a Lie – Go around the room and have each CME state two things that are true about themselves and one thing that is a lie. Then have the team members guess which one of the items isn’t true. This game helps everyone get to know each other better.
  • Common/Uncommon Interests – Break the CMEs into pairs by having them count off in numbers. Tell the CMEs that (with their partners) they should come up with a list of three things they both have in common and two things that they do not have in common. The answers should exclude work, body parts, clothing, and the like, to encourage learning more in-depth things about each other. Tell the CMEs that one person should take notes, and the other person should be prepared to present the items to the group. This helps the CMEs make connections with people they wouldn’t normally get to talk to.
  • Four Squares - Give each of the CMEs a sheet of paper and have them fold the paper into four squares. Come up with a topic for each square and have them draw pictures that describes themselves for each topic. For example, here are some sample topics: favorite sport, dream job, if you were an animal what would you be, etc. The drawings don’t have to be detailed; they can be as simple as stick figures. Give the CMEs a few minutes to draw their pictures and then have them show their drawings and explain how they pertain to their interests.

These team-building exercises normally work better with CMEs who don’t know each other that well. However, these exercises can also work with a team that needs to reconnect. Remember, there are a lot of team-building exercises that can be used to create a strong team, and strong teams produce better results—meaning more lives saved!

What are you doing to build up your team?

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This blog post comes to us from Incept’s Erica Heath.

Here at Incept, our management team strives to live by the values of the company. It is also very important to instill these same values into the Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) on the floor. The best way to ensure that our CMEs live the Incept Values at work is leading by example.

Setting Expectations Through Leadership

Leading by example means doing things that you would expect a CME to do without expecting recognition for it. As a manager, every day that you come into work you have employees watching you and looking to you for advice and guidance. It is important to try your best to do what is right, because you are a role model for so many people.

The following items are ways that you can improve on leading by example:

  1. Stick to your commitments. There will be days when you have unexpected things come up that may cause your schedule to fluctuate, and that is understandable. However, showing the CMEs that you always follow through with your commitments helps to build rapport, because they’ll know they can always count on you.
  2. Keep a level head. As humans we are all prone to having tempers and occasionally getting upset, but it is important to remain stable and to keep a calm attitude when things get tough. Try your best to show that CMEs can trust you when the going gets tough. If it helps, try to find a quiet place for a few minutes to take a breather and regain control over your emotions.
  3. Be fair. Make sure you treat everyone as equally as possible, and don’t show favoritism. If one person gets punished for something, make sure that if someone else on your team does the same thing you give them the same consequence. This excludes people who earn their rewards and work hard to get them, because they should be recognized (just like anyone else who accomplishes the same).
  4. Be present. The CMEs need to know that their leader is there for them and part of showing that you are is by staying in the rows and building strong working relationships with your teams.
  5. Follow company rules. Companies put rules in place for a reason. If you expect the CMEs to follow the rules, then you should follow them as well. This means if you expect a CME to wear their lanyard at all times, then you should wear yours at all times. If you expect them to be on time after their breaks, then you should be on time after yours. The list goes on…

These aren’t the only ways that you are able to lead by example, but they are definitely a good place to start. As a growing company, it is important that we lead by example to ensure that we maintain a great work environment and ensure Incept continues to be a safe and fun place for everyone.

How are you leading by example?

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Coaching is such an important part of successful blood donor recruitment. By letting your Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) know what they are doing right and what they can improve upon, you are increasing your chances of meeting blood donation goals.

What Is The Sandwich Approach?

Consider using a “sandwich” throughout your Formal Coaching Sessions in order to balance your positives and opportunities to improve. Think of the positives as the bread of a sandwich.

Lead with positive discussion, transition into opportunities for improvement (never refer to them as problems or failures), and wrap up with more positives. This helps reinforce that you are there to help the CME, not to scold them.

Make Improvement Opportunities SMART

While discussing opportunities to improve, lead the tele-recruiter in defining SMART goals for the Follow-Up Coaching Session. SMART—an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistically high, and Time-bound—is a widely used and time-proven method for defining goals in a way that invites accountability and achievement.

  • Specific: No vague statements. For instance, I’ll get better at following the script,” is vague. Who is to say what “better at” means? I will follow the script,” on the other hand, describes exactly what the tele-recruiter is committing to do.
  • Measurable: In order to incorporate accountability, goals must be measurable. I will follow the script,” is specific, but as it is written, following it just one time is not enough. I will follow the script in 100% of my conversations with donors,” tells exactly how often the tele-recruiter will comply.
  • Attainable: Setting a goal unrealistically high only results in frustration and can be demotivating. Perhaps the tele-recruiter currently follows the script only 75% of the time. It may be that 100% of the time is too lofty of a goal for one week’s improvement. I will follow the script in 85% of my conversations with donors,” may be more attainable.
  • Realistically High: Nonetheless, goals need to stretch individuals. Improving from 75% to 85% in a week may be too easy. I will follow the script in 95% of my conversations with donors,” may be difficult but doable. It may be realistically high for the individual.
  • Time-Bound: Finally, there needs to be a date range within which the tele-recruiter will accomplish the goal. Because you will be meeting again in a week for Follow-Up Coaching, most often you will have the tele-recruiter set a goal to accomplish within a week’s time. I will follow the script in 95% of my conversations with donors in the next week,” locks in commitment and accountability.

What kinds of coaching methods do you use with your blood donor recruiters?

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We believe nearly every employee wants to provide genuine value in their work, even the most difficult or lazy employees. We also believe most employees believe they are providing the best they can, even when it doesn’t look that way to management.

What gets in the way of providing that desired value can be quite complex – an unhealthy self-image, poor management, a mismatch between the individual’s talents and job requirements, a complicated personal life, and a plethora of other factors.

Connecting this inherent desire to contribute value to an individual’s job performance requires a positive approach to developing employees in such a way that employees take ownership of the process. Giving employees ownership in their own development changes it from something that is “done to” them into something they seek. We call this Positive Coaching.

The Finer Points of Coaching

Consider the role of an athletic coach. In children’s leagues, coaches correct poor habits and teach new skills. Whether the children they coach have natural talent or not becomes clear as those skills are applied to the game. As talented children progress through middle school, high school, and college, coaches spend less and less time teaching new skills and more time refining those skills and providing strategic opportunities for the players to succeed with them.

But even the greatest professional athlete needs a coach. In fact, top professional athletes regularly pay big dollars to surround themselves with the most competent coaches they can find, and they frequently credit those coaches for their celebrity.

Three observations from the above analysis are important when it comes to employees:

  1. Coaching involves teaching, correcting, and strategically channeling skills.
  2. The best performers want to be coached and developed.
  3. Even the very best performers will never outgrow their need to be coached

Are you a positive coach?

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Every now and then, we speak with a blood donor who really drops a bombshell of reality on us all at once through our conversations.

Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) Vicki Monsour recently had a conversation with the family of a blood donor who, as she sadly found out, was deceased. He was a young man who was actually a big advocate of donating blood and had helped out many folks with his own blood donations; this was something the family mentioned to Vicki as their conversation transpired. As Vicki continued to talk with the family and show empathy about the situation at hand, one of the family members asked how they could use their son’s death as a way to encourage others to donate blood. They even mentioned that in lieu of flowers they were kindly asking friends and family members attending the service to make a blood donation at the local blood center in honor of their son, since it was something he truly believed in and made a practice to do himself. It takes an amazing group of people to keep other folks in mind during such a tragic time.

This conversation really resonated with Vicki, even as she hung up the phone. Vicki is a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) that takes extreme pride in her job at Incept recruiting blood donors. She herself has experienced tremendous personal loss in her life and understands the need for blood and how the actions of blood donors help families with terminally ill family members. She actually brought this call to my attention after being touched by the family’s gesture.

Why Giving Blood Truly Does Matter

As human beings, we are all going to die. That sounds so morbid and simple to just say like that, but the sooner we accept our mortality the sooner we can truly live. That being said, people should be able to live a healthy life in this day and age. We shouldn’t have to worry about a losing a loved one to cancer. We shouldn’t have to wait on pins and needles in hopes that a parent’s heart surgery went well. We should all be able to have a serene and last moment with an ailing family member when their time has come and be able to say a meaningful goodbye. At the end of the day, it really is blood donors who make it all possible.

We always tell people their blood donations have the power to save up to three lives apiece, which is true. But sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes sickness can prevail over treatments, and our biological bodies act more like failing machines, as they break down and deteriorate. If you are a blood donor, at the very least, you can take pride in the fact that your blood donation might have kept someone alive long enough to say goodbye to their spouse or kids. Your blood donation might have helped alleviate some of their pain while they were hospitalized during their final days as well. Your blood donation has the power to improve the physical living conditions of those who are sick and dying. Isn’t that something to consider when donating blood?

You aren’t always just saving lives when you donating blood. Sometimes you are granting time and extending life to someone who might not be on this Earth for much longer. You are giving them and their families that opportunity for real closure. That is a truly inconceivable gift to most folks who haven’t been in a position of losing a loved one to a terminal illness.

It is funny, because when we talk to a blood donor who donates due to their own family members having received blood in a time of need, you can hear it in their voice. They give because they relate to the cause. They unconditionally understand the importance of being a blood donor and sometimes even get emotional talking about the act of donating blood, because they do it in a way that posthumously honors their deceased loved ones. They continue to carry their love for that person through the act of giving life to others.

Everyone has their own reasons for donating blood, but hopefully now you can better understand that donating blood isn’t just a way to get out of class or something you do on your lunch break. It is a way to remember a loved one and keep their memory living on.

Why do you donate blood?

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Do words really affect us?

The very essence of my job as a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) at Incept, I am a communications specialist, and I communicate through a voluminous mental library of different words every single day.
The average woman will speak either about or over 20,000 words per day! Us males on the other hand only use an average of around 7,000 words per day. At the end of a week at Incept, I’m convinced that a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) easily uses around 100,000 words per week as we interact with hundreds of blood donors week in and week out. Our jobs are centered around conversation. Conversation is even in our job title. But at the very core of a conversation lies the spoken words themselves that we use to communicate.
I’m willing to bet that you have heard the idiom, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Such a phrase rings true in our daily social environments, as we interact with each other primarily through spoken language. We tend to remember moments in our lives where we have been touched on some type of mental level in a profound way. You remember the time when your sports coaches yelled at you. You remember times when you have received praise in front of your classroom. You remember the funny one-liners and inside jokes that you share with your friends. You feel a certain way when your significant other tells you, “I love you.” Words can truly be what build someone up or tear someone down and precede the actions that come next.
As I sit here in my cubicle and type, I am drawn to think about the way I talk to donors on the phone. What I say to them will be what results in action or inaction. As a CME at Incept, my job might have an end goal to get an appointment to donate from a blood donor, but it is ultimately my words that will build them up to do it again in many cases. The same can be said for many people who work in the telecommunications field.
Good, old Isaac Newton stated as the third law of the Laws of Motion, “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” Keep that in mind if you are recruiter or telephone representative. The way you use your words in interactions with customers will result in some type of reaction for sure. It is up to us as humans to really understand the power of what we say. The spoken word can either be something that is as sweet as a glass of ice tea on a summer’s day or can be as hurtful as stepping on a stray nail. You have to recognize the basic philosophy behind being truly conversational and the effect that even the smallest word or phrase can have with your donors. Only then can you truly master using the power of spoken words.

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I don’t know about you, but there is something that feels good when someone says, “Thank you.”

It must be a psychological thing, because if you notice in today’s society everyone wants to be recognized for something. Look at modern fashion and how loud and colorful clothing has become. Guide your eyes through your Facebook feed, and look at all the indulgence people seem to take in their image and personas. Everyone nowadays wants to be noticed for something they do.

At Incept, we recognize that. Since we recruit many blood donors on behalf of our clients across the United States, we truly recognize the importance of saying “Thank You” to the blood donors we speak to! When you think about it, since blood cannot be manufactured and has to be donated, that donor is giving a part of themselves in a very literal sense. “Thank you” is the least we can say. But there is so much a blood center can incorporate from thank-you calls being incorporated in their blood donor recruitment efforts!

The Benefits of Thank-you Calls on Your Blood Donor Recruitment Efforts

  • Easy way to strengthen the relationship with your donors. No matter what line of business you are in, you want to keep the “customer” happy. When we perform a thank-you call, it enables us to strengthen the relationship in an easy manner. We obviously want thank the donor for their selfless actions, because, after all, donating blood is a beautiful and generous way to save people’s lives. This helps encourage them to continue giving but also conditions them to want to talk to us on the phone.
  • Thank-you calls can be a convenient way to gather post-donation data. During a thank-you call, you also have the opportunity to ask how the donation went. Not only does this further the relationship in a positive way by conveying you care, but it also allows you to have invaluable feedback about your program. Did it go well? Was the staff nice? Were they accommodating? These answers are entirely firsthand feedback and insights that you can easily use to improve your efforts with your respective donors.
  • Convert first-time donors into maintenance donors. Remember watching the original Willy Wonka movie when Charlie returns the gobstopper at the end? Wonka goes on to say, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.” When we thank our donors for donating, we aren’t asking them for anything. We simply want to thank them for their actions. Sometimes a small gesture of kindness can be enough to encourage someone to donate again, ultimately creating a potential maintenance donor.

Saying thank you in real life is easy enough. If you aren’t incorporating thank-you calls into your organization’s recruitment agenda, what is stopping you? You can build the relationship easily, gain valuable donor insights, and possibly encourage someone to donate again for your organization. All of this is made possible just by showing a little appreciation!

How does your organization thank its donors or customer base?

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