Do you have a killer strategy for doctor marketing? Or are you left wondering why some clinics get all the referrals from doctors while others (like you) get none? Is it because of the quality of care? Personal connections? Kickbacks?
These are all great questions and here's the thing, doctor referral marketing can be a more effective marketing strategy than Google Adwords, or newspaper advertising - both of which can be difficult to get right, not to mention more expensive, too!
If you just get yourself a magic wand, doctors can significantly boost your business. No, just kidding. There's no magic involved in the methods, and they are actually very easy.
In this post I will share how I generated countless doctor referrals; along with 8 different ways you can start taking your doctor referral marketing to the next level.
How I Generated Countless Doctor Referrals
Follow these 8 effective strategies:
#1 Get the doctor to like you
There are plenty of people who offer the same types of services as you. Therefore, you need to stand out of the crowd and not be 'just another sales person' to that doctor. They don't care what you do until they know you.
It is far more important to be likeable and show your personality to the doctor. Make the effort to visit and meet with the doctors face to face. Start establishing a relationship with them. As I illustrated in my example above, once they trust you, they will feel comfortable referring patients to you.
The most important thing is, don't make the meeting all about you and your clinic. Make the doctor feel important, be genuine and learn about their practice, patients and goals.
#2 Always visit in the afternoon
Walking into a clinic that is busy can be intimidating. Mornings are usually busier so you're just going to add to the hussle and bussle.
Try going around lunch time or early afternoon. The doctor is usually caught up with patients by then and will have some time to breathe. Never go on Mondays either, because they are way too busy too.
#3 Find out what is important
During these face to face visits, ask the doctors the following questions:
- "Do you use physiotherapy services now?"
- "What's working and what's not working with your current provider?"
- "What else is important for you?"
The goal is to find out what is important to the doctor and find a solution to their problems and concerns. Make it a win/win situation, not just a win for you.
#4 Buy lunch and skip the shop talk
Buy the doctors and staff lunch, but DON'T talk business. It should be a nice “just because” gesture.
The overall objective is to give first, and once a relationship is established the referrals will start rolling in. Developing a relationship with the doctor is a lot like dating. It takes time and effort to get them to marry you.
Think about it. You can't ask somebody to marry you on your first day so don't rush the relationship. Spend some time on courtship.
#5 Create memorable experiences
Aim to offer unique experiences that the doctor would enjoy (eg. golf tournaments, murder mystery dinner theatre tickets, a restaurant voucher, etc.)
People love experiences!
The front desk admin gate keeper also likes experiences, too. Offer them a free 30 minute massage at your clinic. Differentiate your approach by thinking outside the square and providing experiences that they will truly enjoy. This is a much more memorable gift than another bucket of eggnog flavored popcorn.
#6 Get your patients involved
Arrange your appointments on the same day your patient is to return to see the referring physician. Get your patients to hand deliver their progress and discharge letters to the doctor.
Make sure that any notes or reports to the doctors are typed and NOT handwritten because this is the most common complaint from doctors. Not only is poor and illegible handwriting a nuisance to decipher, its not EMR friendly.
#7 Offer a no obligation appointment
Offer a free 15 minute consultation to all of your doctor's patients. This will alleviate any money concerns that the doctor has for their patients.
Work on your pitch and if done right, you should be able to convert at least 70% of the free consultations to actual new patients.
#8 Quality matters
Focus on quality over quantity of the number of doctors you visit. Devote energy and time to grow and maintain relationships with a selective amount of doctors. A good referring doctor should be able to give you 2 to 5 referrals per week so it is well worth the effort!