Getting the Physician’s Referral

I would like to share with you something that is probably a bit unusual as far as advice to either increase or stabilize physician referrals. What you would read in most blogs about this is that you have very little time to present physicians with a lot of data, so you should take advantage of it, bring lunch if they so choose, etc., etc.

What I am about to tell you, while not necessarily obvious in influencing the referrals, is none-the-less very important. It has to do with quality and speed of communication.

How my clients deal with me in terms of quality and speed of communication is a very accurate indicator of how they deal with referral sources, their employees, their patients and anyone they associate with. When I have had clients be overcritical, or caustic with me, what concerns me is not how they are treating me, but how they are treating the rest of the people they deal with, most of which are not trained like I am, to take these unpleasant communications in stride. And this is what I mean by quality of communication. One way or another, that critical aspect, that caustic edge, is also coming across in the way they deal with referral sources!! And that is deadly.

A simple exercise to see this for yourself, is to recall businesses you used to patronize and then stopped. Locate what communication happened there that was less than optimum in quality and you will have a good reality on this.

Yet another one that is very deadly is speed of communications. When I get no reply or returned call from a client I am trying to reach, what alarms me is not the fact that they are doing it to me. What is alarming is how they are treating communications from the people they associate with.

The good news is, those clients who are jovial, courteous, prompt in returning calls or replying to e-mails, are the ones who are the most successful in getting physician referrals developed and stable.