I have a lot of clients who depend on doctor referrals for their livelihood. So obviously we spend a lot of time talking about this subject. Now, the hardest part of teaching someone a subject is figuring out what the first lesson should be. Where do you start? I’ve tossed this back and forth over the years and finally concluded that it starts with the idea of a professional relationship. You need to create and maintain professional relationships with doctors if you hope to get referrals from them.
Now, if you start to examine relationships, one of the first things you’ll see is that the successful ones are a give and take proposition. If the exchange gets out of balance, too much give or too much take, the relationship begins to weaken. You know what you want the doctor to give you, patient referrals. But what does the doctor want you to give him? That’s the key question that needs answering to get a relationship started. Different doctors have different wants. The only way you will find out the wants of a particular doctor is to ask. Some just want you to give their patients a form of help they are not trained to provide. Some want patients referred to them in return for the patients they refer. A few have actually asked my clients for a financial kickback. Based on what kind of answer you get, you can decide whether this particular doctor is someone you want to have a relationship with or not.
Now all of this involves communication. So when you come right down to it, relationships start, continue and grow based on communication. That’s the first give and take. Other forms of give and take are built on this first one.
So, if you want more referrals from doctors, get into communication with them, find out what they need or want, then provide that as best you can. The referrals will then come to you as an exchange for what you have given them.