I have often had clients who’ve done other doctor-patient referral programs before they came to us. To begin with such a client I want to really understand what they’ve already done as compared to what we are about to do; I really dig in to find out what that client has previously done.
While marketing is generally a “numbers game” as a subject, developing referrals is quite a specialized niche within marketing that may have differences not perceivable to the untrained eye.
Most programs will put their emphasis on sending a lot of information in the mail or via personal presentations and these techniques do tend to immediately increase the number of doctor-patient referrals. However, much like a manual pump, it must be cranked continuously for the volume to be maintained. This is then subject to saturation in communities where there are just so many doctors to send or present information to.
So, what makes “Relationship Development” a different Doctor-Patient Referral program? The relationship of course! Let’s compare it to another type of relationship; When was the last time you went on a second date with a person who looked great on the first date, but who didn’t ask about you, nor did they pay any attention to a word you said about yourself? Yes, they looked good, but they sure liked to talk about themselves… That second date was not so enticing, was it? Well OK, maybe you did take the second date, but probably not the third!
Many clients, who use this approach of sending or presenting a lot of information via brochures, fliers, slide presentation etc., did receive one or two referrals from the doctors they presented to, but could never achieve consistency as there was no relationship. No second date, much less going steady or marriage for that matter. Think about it. Why would you marry someone who is not interested in you but only in themselves? Most of us wouldn’t, and that about sums it up.