Uncomfortable Asking for Referrals?

“I don’t want to look desperate for referrals”
Concerned PT practice owner
“It is beneath me to ask for referrals”
Concerned PT practice owner
“If I get patients better, referrals will just happen”
Concerned PT practice owner

Does this sound like someone you know?

You know that in order to grow your practice for physical therapy business that you need to ask physicians for referrals. You are also aware that a thriving practice is built upon a foundation of referrals generated internally from existing patients…YET YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO ASK FOR THEM.

Why? Because you have convinced yourself that doing so will somehow make you seem like more of a used car salesperson, that the dedicated and passionate physical therapist that you really are.

It is an all too common refrain that I hear from physical therapists, placing an unnecessary obstacle squarely in the path of the vision that they have for their clinic.

It’s time for a mindset correction…

They say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” meaning that beauty is very much a subjective concept. It’s all about perspective.

Successful private practice owners have realized that asking physicians and existing patients for referrals is not a necessary evil, but one of the BEST means for obtaining the type of practice they have always dreamed about, along with the freedom and financial rewards that go hand-in-hand with it.

They have banished from their minds any negative association with promoting or ‘selling’ the benefits that their clinic can provide to both the physicians and patients.

When asking for referrals, think of the adage “Ask and you shall receive”. If you don’t get a referral once, don’t give up. Ask again.

Learn to think of marketing your practice as a “conversation,” not a “sales pitch.”

How to get patients to refer

Asking for a referral from a physician or patient doesn’t have to be an awkward moment. You don’t have to blurt out something that sounds like a cheesy sales pitch, or feel so uncomfortable that each word is chocked out as you look away.

When you set the stage for the referral, the request becomes a part of the conversation.

  • Casually ask your patients about how they are feeling about their treatments and progress. The best time to ask for a referral is at the end of a treatment session, or just prior to discharge.
  • Ask questions like “Are you feeling better now compared to when you first came in?”
  • Weave into the conversation that if they are happy with their progress, can they give you a referral because your practice, like any small business, relies on word of mouth referrals from existing patients.
  • Ask them to let their physicians know that they are happy with the treatment they got at your clinic.

One of the biggest reasons patient’s don’t refer is because they are not asked to refer. Click here to get a very specific script and additional resources that will help you increase patient referrals.

“I didn’t know you could take on more patients. I’ll be happy to refer.”
Happy patient

“You’ve helped me so much .The least I can do is refer my family and friends.”
Patient waiting to be asked
How to get physicians to refer

You have to make physicians realize how your practice will benefit their patients.

Talk with physicians about the benefits that you bring to the table for their patients, instead of sharing your resume and credentials.

Help the physician answer this (implicit) question:

“How can you serve my patients better than other clinic?”
Physician considering referrals

“Can you see my patients right away?”
Physician considering referrals

These are  valid questions and ones that you should be able to answer quite easily.

Attracting physician referrals to your practice involves building trust in your services as the correct choice for their patients. Trust comes with building reality on who you are and what you do to solve common patient problems. Understand that most often physicians don’t understand what it is you can do to help their patients.

Getting referrals from physicians and patients is critical to the success of your practice.

Acquiring them isn’t a matter of having a “presentation,” but of learning to talk easily and comfortably with physicians and patients in a way that weaves your request into the conversation in the most natural way possible.

Just set the stage, and ask for the referral. Ask and you shall receive. Develop these skills and watch your referral numbers climb.




Discover how to increase referrals at the Referral Ignition 2016 Event



Have a great week!

Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT

Join us for the #1 Rated Physical Therapy Business Conference in the Country.

www.ignitionevent.com<——— Click here to secure your tickets before the price goes up.

Ignition 2

September 23, 24, 25 in San Diego, CA. 

Tickets are 65% off for a limited time.

We only have a certain amount of tickets available at this price, so

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