I’m going to teach you how a new physician (one that who has never ever heard about you before, one who does not know you exist, one that has never referred to you before) can start referring back to you.
It is actually pretty simple. If you want a new doctor to become a referral source for your physical therapy business, take the following steps:
- Step 1: Get the doctor’s information.
- Doctor’s name
- Mailing address
- Phone number (preferably their fax number)
- Website address
- Email address
It’s pretty simple, you can go to any online directories like the Yellow Pages, the Super Pages, there’s Yelp.com and Google of course. Simply look for physicians in your local area. You need to simply search for doctors, create a list of doctors in your local area, and then once you have the list, the key is to start communicating with them. Here is what you do:
You start by sending the physician a letter that:
- Introduces you
- Offers something of value to their patients
- Step 2: A week later, follow up with a phone call.
Follow up a phone call simply asking is they got the letter, if they have any questions, if you can help them or their patients in any way, offer something of value. Go to the doctors with a giving hand, don’t just approach the doctors saying “Here we are, we are nice people. Please send us patients.”
The goal with physician referral generation is to try and build a relationship, not to get the referral, because referrals are consequences of the relationship.
- Step 3: A week after step 2, go to the doctor’s office.
Whether it’s you or your marketing person, or it’s someone in your clinic who’s helping you with marketing, actually visit the doctor’s office and follow up on the letter as well as the phone call. You are now approaching doctors using 3 different modes of communication – regular mail, phone call, and a personal visit. You are looking for one of the following outcomes:
- The doctor might reward you with the first referral. This is the big breakthrough that you are looking for.
- For some reason, the doctor might just not respond or not even refer to you, which is fine. If the doctor is not referring to you, and if the doctor specifically says that they wont refer to you for what ever reason, that’s fine. Just move on to the next doctor.
But if the doctor hasn’t yet responded, keep at it until you get an either a “yes, here is your new patient” or a “no, for some reason we cant refer to you”. In that case, you move on to the next doctor.