Do you have a killer healthcare marketing strategy? Do you keep wondering why some doctors get all the referrals from local physicians while others get none? Is it because of personal connections? Quality of care? Promotional schemes?
These are all excellent questions to ponder upon, but here’s the thing – referral marketing strategy can be more productive and yielding than paid ads, SEO, or social media marketing – all of which are often difficult to get right, not to mention the costs attached to these strategies.
So, if the prospect of building referrals is so appealing, why do so few doctors do it? Because not many doctors know the ins and outs of it. Most doctors often use the wrong approach in building their referral strategy, and therefore, see limited or no success.
Having a proven, foolproof referral marketing strategy is a great way (cost-effective and less complicated) to build your medical practice. Let’s see how to do it right!
How to Maximize Medical Referrals?
While most doctors recognize the power of referrals, they don’t know how to tap into their networks to generate more referrals proactively. This happens for several reasons. Many doctors are either uncomfortable asking for referrals or don’t want to appear desperate for work. We’ve put together this list of five tactical tips to help you generate more referrals.
1. Write a medical patient referral letter
In order to obtain referrals from local doctors, you need to ensure that you are on top of their minds, and your brand name crosses their desks as frequently as possible— in a positive manner. This is where the importance of effective communication comes in. According to a report, more than 50% of doctors agree that effective communication is why they choose a doctor for referrals. When writing the referral letter, try to keep it short and to the point. The key ingredients of a good introduction letter to referring doctors are patient’s diagnosis, prescribed medications, and the advised treatment plan. A letter is the best way to keep the referring doctor informed and stay on top of the doctor’s mind.
2. Try to meet every doctor in your area
In addition to staying in touch with the existing doctors in your area, reach out to new doctors to let them know about your services and areas of expertise. However, walking into a busy medical practice, without a prior appointment, can be intimidating. Morning hours are usually busier, so try going around lunchtime or early evening. Try not to visit doctors on Mondays either.
3. Establish strong relationships with doctors
There might be plenty of doctors in your area offering the same types of services as you do. Therefore, it is essential to stand out from the crowd and not be ‘just another doctor.’ The referring doctors don’t care what services you offer and what you are good at until they know you. Establish a relationship with them. It is important to be likable, and once the referring doctors trust you, they will feel comfortable referring patients to you. However, never make the meetings all about you and your services. Make the referring doctor feel important, be honest, and learn about their services, patients, and business goals.
4. Become an expert in your specialty
This is not a direct medical referral marketing strategy, but this is a useful tip and will also help you understand how doctor referrals work. Becoming an expert in your area will create a solid foundation for any other healthcare marketing strategies that you might employ. After all, having a positive online reputation precede you is a good thing when it comes to winning business from doctors and patients alike. To establish yourself as an expert in your field, you’ll need to share your expertise with the target audience through blogs, webinars, social media platforms, and local networking events. You can share your expertise in areas that matter to you and your target audience – and promote your medical practice.
5. Host Networking Events
You want other doctors and medical practices to know your staff and to be familiar with your services. There’s no better way to spread the word about your services than to host a networking event in your office and extend an invitation to other doctors in the area. At the event, have all of the staff members introduce themselves. Provide a tour of your medical practice, brief about your services, and give a 5-minute introduction to your expertise and areas of interest.
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Let these tips and tactics jump-start your own idea generation. You can consider creating a referral process that works both for your local doctors and your practice. Want to take your referral marketing a few notches higher? Focus on delivering quality care and improving patient experience. If you need more help, experts at Practice Builders will be happy to give you a complimentary session on medical referral marketing techniques and how it can benefit your practice. Call us today!