Private practice is a melange of seeing and treating patients and running a business.
No matter how big an introvert you may claim to be, it’s really important that you connect with people to grow and maintain a strong referral basis. It’s a no-brainer.
Here are 10 Ninja ways that you can make improvements, when connecting with potential referrers.
Which ones ring a bell with you?
Don’t forget to connect with previous connections. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing the number of clients that I work with who are surprised when suddenly their number one referrer stops sending them patients. The reasons for this may be plentiful (so don’t assume the worst).
None of us like to be taken for granted. If you are not taking the time to show them the ‘luuurve’ e.g. by singing their praises to other colleagues and patients, and regularly connecting with them to say ‘Hi’, then don’t be surprised when someone newer, shinier, chattier or more interesting gets to sit in your seat.
Don’t assume that the reason they are not getting in touch, is because they don’t want to refer to you. You have probably heard that it takes several ‘touch points’ in the online world before prospects become buyers. It’s no different in the world of private practice relationships. Clinicians need reminding of who you are on several occasions, before they get round to sending you patients.
Don’t make the mistake of believing a Clinician has it all ‘sewn up’. So many physios and Osteos I work with, think it’s futile to try and get a referral relationship with Clinician ‘X or ‘Y’, because they think they are already working closely with someone else. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can say from personal experience that I need to have different folks for different strokes in different locations.
I’m not going to send my slightly anxious or ‘fluffier’ patients to someone who is used to beasting the best out of rugby props, and likewise, my type A, petrol head, iron man triathlete city boy, ain’t gonna take to kindly to being referred to somebody who is a bit more into crystal healing. I delight in new referrers approaching me. Don’t be afraid to push through a so-called ‘closed door.’
Don’t think that you are nagging by repeatedly connecting with people. In a busy clinic setting, emails can get missed and best intentions to return phone calls or texts aren’t honoured. We need help in connecting with you as potential referrers. Until you get a definite “NO”, it’s ok to keep asking to meet. Get over yourself.
Don’t forget to be consistent. Remember that growing your private practice takes effort. The biggest gains are made are by people who take consistent regular steps, each and every week, to meet or talk with referrers. I have at least two Physios, Osteos or Doctors sitting in my clinic each week, and that doesn’t happen by accident.
Putting on a nice little talk at a CPD evening event is just the start. Whilst you are at it, if you’re promoting your skills in such a fashion, make sure you stay behind at the end to meet with your ‘tribe’. Ask them where they are struggling with patients and how you can best help them.
Don’t forget to make it crystal clear which patients you would like to be referred. This goes back to finding your niche find out more HERE. You need to be able to rattle off what you do and the kind of patients you like to treat.
“I help patients with really manky feet, by taking them through a diagnostic and treatment process so that they can get back to bearing their feet in public on a beach, and getting back to dating.”
Don’t waste time where it is not likely to yield fruit. Whilst connecting with GPs can be a good source of potential patients, if you are more of a glue ear expert, and they are more into contraception and travel vaccinations, you won’t get very far. Do your homework and find out what they like to treat, before you go and meet with them.
Don’t forget to follow up. So, you’ve had a nice round of beers and slapped each other on the back and declared your metaphorical love for each other’s clinical work. Don’t make the classic mistake of leaving this at the first date. Follow up with an email, text or phone call, and make it a regular thing. Can you ask them for their viewpoint on something topical or their thoughts about an interesting patient that you saw? Don’t we all respond to a little ego patting?
Don’t forget to make use of social media to find your referral folks. Where are they posting on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and where can you add value through your comments or sharing their awesome stuff? Tidy up your social media profile hints and tips HERE, and take ten minutes each day to indulge in some social media lounging. If you find someone you think you could work with or needs your specialist help, contact them and ask to meet up face to face. It works a treat.
DO ensure that you spend your time and effort wisely. Make sure that you put time into a weekly diary to draw up a list of people you want to connect with and go and meet them. This is a far better use of your time (and ultimately money) than trying to do your own billing, dictation or liaising with patients to set up appointments. You must outsource these tasks to someone else and use your time where it matters – getting face to face with the people who are going to send you the patients
If you feel like your Private Practice needs a little further help with gaining referrals, more effective ways to work, or you have questions about GDPR, then we’re here to help.
Together we can grow your Private Practice.
email or call us 0207 993 6425