As a practitioner or medical practice owner, the use of doctor referrals to generate revenue and acquire patients is an asset. But what exactly creates the power of doctor referrals?
- 92% of patients trust referrals from doctors they know. (Source)
- Word-of-mouth can improve healthcare marketing effectiveness by 54%. (Source)
- Practitioners using doctor referrals as part of their marketing strategy see conversion rates increase by as much as 70 percent. (Source)
These numbers speak for themselves.
Patients trust referrals. Hearing positive things about a brand or service has a massive impact on their decision. If you want potential patients to hear positive things about your practice, you will need to up your doctor referral game. But before we dive deeper, let us understand the basics.
What is a doctor referral?
Most medical practices acquire patients through doctor referrals or word of mouth. This means, when a potential patient is looking for a new provider or specialist, his or her existing provider may recommend an outside source, based on the needs during the visit. They help the search for practices that may be the best fit to assist.
There are two key things you must keep in mind for getting more doctor referrals:
a) Stay on top of referring doctors’ minds: If you have a good relationship with the referring doctors, chances are you’ll come to mind as a reference that may fit the patient’s needs.
b) Make sure your services are superb: For the most part, doctors will refer you because they believe they are recommending the best practitioner for the job. Make sure you offer the best services at the most reasonable prices to attract maximum doctor referrals.
How do I get doctor referrals?
Many medical practitioners shy away from doctor referral marketing as they feel it is something out of their direct control. It is tough to have to rely on other doctors, but with transparent processes in place, you should be able to turn your relationships with local doctors into referral machines. Here are some of the effective doctor referral strategies:
1. Provide exceptional service
The only way to get local doctors to start recommending your practice to visiting patients, is to provide the best service and patient experience possible. By devoting yourself to delivering exceptional service, you will practically hand fellow doctors a strong reference point as a referral of great services.
2. Offer rewards
One of the most effective strategies to generate doctor referrals for your practice is by offering incentives during the process. By offering rewards or incentives to doctors, you will build an exclusive partnership that will help become a reference, compelling doctors to recommend your services to others.
3. Partner with other providers
Approach doctors who offer complementary visits and services that utilize doctor referral programs. For instance, a pediatrician can partner up with an obstetrician. To give your partnership the best chance of success, offer patients combined discount packages, when booking services for both providers. By doing so, builds unique collateral for the revenue, and highlighting benefits of combined services.
4. Attend local networking events
Make the most of every local networking opportunity by planning your pitch. Preparing will prevent on-the-spot moments and ensure that your message is compelling and concise. Be sure to convey your brand’s personality, which is what most doctors will be drawn to. Make it a goal to talk to at least four providers at each event. Tell them about your medical specialty, exchange business cards, and invite them to visit your practice. Last but certainly not least, do not forget to follow up with those you meet at these events. This creates a connection between each practice, allowing for communication channels to remain open.
There’s no mistaking that doctor referral marketing is one of the best ways to grow your practice, but it can also be one of the hardest for medical practice owners to understand. Whatever doctor referral strategies you choose, make sure you are consistent, dependable, and determined. Be worth the referral!
Referrals are all about putting other doctors to work as mini billboards for your practice. As long as you provide the best possible service and ensure other doctors are receiving value by recommending your brand, they will do most of your marketing for you. All you have to do is take the first step forward!
Looking for more tips on getting doctor referrals? Contact us!