Referrals – The Wrong Way
I’m usually giving information on the correct ways to start and maintain business relationships, but today I thought I’d lend myself to the wrong ways of doing them. This can be somewhat comical, but also may help you spot detrimental methods you may be using or have used in the past. It may be time to change your operating basis…
You finally get an appointment after several attempts to visit a doctor; you arm yourself, (or rep.), with notepads, pens, mouse pads, coffee mugs, etc. all with your logo imprints nicely on each. Upon the visit you inundate the doctor / his front desk with “everything about me” conversations or “look at all this awesome merchandise I’ve brought in”. Guess what… you’ve just positioned yourself as a pushy salesman. NOT GOOD!
During your meeting with the doctor you pretty much speak non-stop about your own clinic, how wonderful it is, your patients love you tremendously, and of course, your stellar results. The doctor is nodding off, now and then checking his watch, thinking to himself – “Yah, yah, yah; when will this will be over”? Guess what… you’ve now positioned yourself like an Infomercial! AAAAAH!
You pop by the doctor’s office without an appointment, slither in and begin talking a mile-a-minute, afraid of being stopped by “the doctor is too busy to see you”. He has no idea who you are and probably no interest to find out; but he most definitely knows you’re consuming his valuable time! You’re on your way to being thrown out very shortly as well as leaving him with a bad impression of you imprinted in his mind.
You bump into a referring doctor at a restaurant; unbeknownst to you (of course you failed to ask), he’s out on a romantic anniversary dinner with his wife and on his way in to sit lovingly beside her. You’ve invited yourself to join him, and start talking his ear off … Oooooh; you just lost a referral source. Bam!
I could go on, but here’s what each of the above 4 methods are lacking… INTEREST! Using the methods above you’ve demonstrated that you really don’t care too much about the doctor, his schedule, and interests. Big mistake. HUGE!
Never represent yourself as a salesman; this may be a difficult habit to break, but it’s easier than having the harder challenge of removing a detrimental image of yourself and your clinic from his mind. Instead, get out there having your full intention always directed on finding out the real interests of the doctor in front of you; your complete attention on his ideas, hobbies, what he likes most in treating others, why he decided to be part of this industry, his hopes and dreams for his practice, etc.
Once the doctor feels you are there to listen to him, with genuine interest, to know and understand him and his business, you’ve just started a real friendship and quite possibly a lasting business relationship.
This may not happen on the 1st visit, but very probably will by the 3rd or 4th. Keep the momentum going with your genuine interest in him, his ideals, business, etc..
Don’t forget the importance of doing the same with the front desk! They can be a quicker entrance OR exit point, so make your visits a pleasure for them as you’re in their office.