How to Seek Physician Referrals

Are you receiving referrals from your area physicians or other healthcare professionals on an ongoing basis? If so, well done! Way to reach out and network in order to secure new avenues of bringing clients through your door. 

If you’re not in touch with your local MDs, therapists, PTs, counselors, etc., there’s no time like the present to make plans for doing so. Here are five tips to get you started: 

  • Do your research. Make a list of local contacts that could potentially send clients to your private practice. Your list might turn up a few or a few thousand, depending on where you live! Start small – perhaps you outreach to a couple clinics per week or per month, depending on your capacity. 
  • Be strategic. Do you have a niche in providing care for patients with Celiac? Target your search on other healthcare providers who are GI specialists. You see that clinic A has five doctors on staff who focus on GI care. Great find! Which insurance companies are you contracted with? Reach out to providers who are also under that insurance plan. 
  • Say hello! Prep a personalized letter or email that shares how you would like to refer patients to them. Suggest that you become referral partners and outline how your joint clients would benefit. Briefly describe your niche and impressive skillset. Attach or enclose a referral form to make it a no-brainer for them! 
  • Knock on doors. Follow up after you’ve sent your letters or emails. Your response rate on your initial outreach may be low. You may hear crickets, in fact. But don’t let that discourage you! Pick up the phone and call the clinic. Ask for a brief 10-minute meeting with your contact. Offer to pick up a coffee for them once you schedule that meeting. If you’re still struggling to land a meeting, visit the clinic. Share your business card, the referral form and/or another leave-behind such as your simple, factual, eye-catching brochure with the clinic staff. And then…follow up some more. That said, know when enough is enough. After a few follow-up efforts, move on. Don’t continue to spin your wheels. You’ll eventually make one or two or ten great referral contacts, but it will take time. 
  • It’s not what you know…it’s who you know. Take advantage! Who are your clients’ physicians and other healthcare professionals? If you’re not already in touch with them, reach out. With your client’s permission (be mindful of HIPAA), share the successes of your client with his or her healthcare provider. Then ask for referrals! And return the favor. 

What tips would you add to this list? How have you been successful in securing referral partners?