A steady stream of patients is extremely vital for the survival of every clinic! How effective is your referral program with your medical colleagues?
“The best way to predict your future is to create it!” — Abraham Lincoln
Medical professionals have built their success on forming and nurturing referral partnerships since time infinitum. The most powerful of these referral relationships are created when mutual benefits are built-in to those alliances.
This is precisely the point of this article! We intend to show you how to create stronger ties with your medical colleagues. Additionally, this piece will teach you how to provide greater value and separate yourself from other doctors also seeking referrals.
The first place to begin is with the basic inventory of your current actions, for example:
- What are you doing to position yourself with your colleagues to stand out from every other doctor that requests referrals?
- Are you a good and beneficial referral partner?
- Have you established strong bonds of trust?
- Are you providing a reciprocal benefit to your referral partners?
- Have you established a sense (within your colleagues) of superior expectations?
Many clinic owners give no thought to the fact that success in business is an on-going competition for survival! In order to thrive, you need to implement intentionality! Every day, you must build into your calendar a plan and action to generate more and better patient leads.
According to noted business development guru, Jay Abraham, there are only three ways to grow your practice. You either increase the number of new patients, get them to buy more medical services, or pay more for each proceedure.
For this article, we will focus on increasing the number of new patients. We will focus on the other two methods in future articles (as well as in past issues such as in “8 Steps For Increasing Business“).
CREATING AN ALLIANCE –
In order for a referral program to work, you have to do some investigative work. You must figure out your colleague’s needs and motivations. There are both psychological and emotional components in play when referring patients. You need to know about your colleague’s current referral partners. Why is your colleague using them rather than someone else? How committed are they to these people? How open are they to adding to their list of referral partners? Do they have long-standing ties such as school, social, or fraternal affiliations?
“More than features, more than benefits, we are driven to become a member in good standing of the tribe. We want to be respected by those we aspire to connect with, we want to know what we ought to do to be part of that circle.” – Seth Godin
As you can see, you may be asking someone to break or significantly bend long-established ties. In order to do so, you will have to consider “What’s in this proposed relationship for your colleague (ie. what’s in it for them?)?”
It may seem crass to say but we’re all motivated by self-interest. As such, as part of your detective work you need to uncover your colleague’s “why.” In other words, what is the perceived benefit they stand to gain from you? Continue reading 5 Valuable Tips: Building A Referral Business That Works!