Is Developing Doctor Relationships a Dead Subject for Private Practices?
By Nancy Mura, Senior VP Public Relations
We understand how you feel about visiting doctors to build relationships and referrals. You hate it. Not only that, you hate the very idea of it. It’s not what you got into this business to do. We absolutely understand.
That said, take a look at this: If you build a good relationship with one doctor, that relationship can represent years and years of income for you and viability for your practice—just one relationship.
Imagine what life would be like with a half-dozen stable doctor relationships yielding patient referrals to your practice day in and day out. Building your ideal practice becomes that much easier and you have the ability to reach so many more patients who need your care.
Hopefully, that thought makes you just a little more willing to take a look at this subject.
Online Marketing Alone Won’t Build Your Dream Practice
We talk to plenty of private practice owners who tell us about the latest online marketing activities they’ve been offered by companies they are talking to. They’re promised plenty of social media presence, Google ads and email marketing. These are great (when you connect up with an effective agency), but they are only part of what you need to succeed.
The most solid foundation you can build for your practice is having stable doctor relationships that result in a steady flow of referrals.
Just Like a Marathon
We tell our clients that managing a practice is like running a marathon. You can’t run a marathon with just one leg! You need to have both legs in excellent working condition. In the case of a private practice owner, that means building a steady supply of both direct access and doctor referrals.
The way to make these essential doctor visits tolerable—even enjoyable—starts with understanding what you’re doing when you visit the doctor. Here are some important points to remember:
- Doctor visits are not sales jobs; they are a public relations function. You’re there to build a relationship. You’re offering to give their adult patients a benefit they need if they are to recover their full function and live without chronic pain. For pediatric patients, you are helping them achieve developmental milestones. That’s valuable both to the doctor and their patients.
- Nothing comes close to the value of sincere personal contact for creating a real connection and relationship with a doctor. What does this mean you do when you’re making a visit? You act 100% like your true self, expressing your purpose to help adults recover from pain or loss of function and mobility or help pediatric patients meet challenging milestones in their development.
- You and the doctor have a huge common interest: the well-being of that doctor’s patients. Rely on this commonality to carry your message to the doctor.
Once you have made this personal contact, that doctor is going to think of you when either an adult or pediatric patient needs PT/OT/ST. They’ll have that personal contact foremost in their mind, much more strongly than any online ad or postcard they received. You’ve never spammed their email box, right?
With this basic approach foremost in your mind, then doctor visits can become purpose-driven and not take on the artificial aspect of “just another sales call” to the doctor’s office.
We’ve trained many, many clients on how to make doctor office visits effective in creating referrals. It’s actually much simpler than you might think. If you need some help getting started, contact us at 833-221-8002 to learn about our proven program that gets measurable results for practice owners just like you.