In my last post, I went into detail about how to get more referrals. If you missed that one, you can read it here. "Getting Referrals that Work - Part 1"
In today’s post I want to give you seven more tips to increase referrals both from patients and with other professionals. You don’t have to do all of them, these are pointers to help guide you to become a referral-generating machine!
1) Be present and deliver.
I find it to be a turnoff when I enter a new practice and find it unappealing or out-of-balance with its inviting energies. Make sure you make your clinic inviting. Employ some feng shui tips to enhance the energies and waiting room. Cultivate the Qi rather than disperse or block it. You also need to be clear, honest and inviting in your energies. There is nothing worse than having a practitioner that gives you a bad vibe. Be a good communicator, positive and uplifting. Make it a fun experience for them.
2) Ask your patients what they think.
During treatment with them, when you are feeling their pulses, or palpating points, ask them what they think of the practice and if they think it is full to capacity. This will engage them into thinking they are vested in the outcome of your practice. When they respond with, “What?” tell them you “have expanded room to help others like themselves get better faster, so send some of your friends and family in.”
3) Let them know you want to grow.
Your patients are obviously coming to see you because they are getting good results. They see you in their particular time slot, they are unaware you want to see more people, when, after all, they are getting their healthcare needs met, so everything seems to be running just fine. Tell them you want to grow your practice in order to help more people like them.
4) Rehearse your words.
Since you want patients to spread the word about you, you should know what to say and how to say it. When your patients say their friend or family member should or wants to come see you, ask them what they tell them about your care and your clinic. How do they describe what it is they are coming to see you for.
5) Make sure your patients have what they need in order to be referral machines.
Your own patients are one of your greatest assets. Educating your patients, gives them the knowledge and ability to pass on the benefits of acupuncture. But, are you making sure they have the resources when it comes to referring other people? Working “refer a friend” materials into your treatment schedule will help keep a constant stream of new patients in your office.
Make it a habit on specific visits to give them materials they need to refer others to your office. This is definitely one of those techniques that falls into the “more you give, more you get” category. Turn around time isn’t going to be fast, but if you do it consistently you will reap the benefits.
Just as you have the proper tools with which to practice, give your patients the proper tools with which to refer. And don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Take advantage of those times when your patients say “I was telling a friend about you the other day”.
Make sure your patients are always armed with a few Acupuncture in a Nutshell booklets, free 15-minute consultation Health Passes and Referral Stimulators. These are a sure way to become successful as a referral-based practice. Don’t forget to insert your business card or stamp your contact information on the back.
Acupuncture in a Nutshell
Pack of 25 Acupuncture in a Nutshell is our best-selling product for a reason—this small, 24-page booklet uses images and text to explain acupuncture in a simple, yet engaging way.
6) Keeping in touch is a large part of patient success as well. Reminding them they’ve made a great choice in healthcare and you are honored to support them along the way is a wonderful way to show your patients you truly care. On their fifth visit, mail them a healthy-reminder postcard with a personal message of continued care encouragement, and a reminder that on their next visit you will be conducting a re-evaluation to assess their progress and make any treatment recommendations or adjustments.
7) Refer out. You may find there are therapies outside of your office that will be useful in the treatment of certain patients. It is this kind of concern that will instill a deep sense of caregiving in your patients and they will come to you time and time again because of it. Those who give a lot, get a lot.
Hopefully you can pull a couple nuggets of referral wisdom from the tips above. If you did, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email and let me know!
We’ll chat soon.
Jeffrey Grossman, EAMP
“Keep in touch with patients and they will become your acupuncture advocate.”