3 foundational questions to ask to get the most targeted referrals into your practice
September 26, 2022
One of the most common questions I get asked is something along the lines of, “how do I get more referrals?”. When I’m met with a blank stare after my response of, “Well what’s your current process or strategy for the ones you get already?” I know we need to take a few steps back and get some foundational pieces set up. Let’s operate under the assumption that you are already doing a wonderful job with your current patients and they refer people to you, but you’re interested in creating a larger referral stream from outside sources. There are three foundational questions you need to ask yourself before even approaching the referral topic with someone.
1. Who do I want to attract into my practice?
And no, you can’t say “everyone”. As practitioners, we all know what an incredible medicine this is, and that the masses can benefit if they have access to the services we provide. However, that does not mean we as an individual are the ideal practitioner for every patient and vice versa. And it certainly does not mean that our branding, marketing and practice environment are going to appeal to every human who could come to us.
So when answering this question of who you want to attract into your practice, you want to be as specific as possible. Where does this person live? Work? Eat? Travel? What do they spend their money on? Do they have families? What are their values? Do you have a clear picture of this person? For the purposes of this example, let’s call this person Sam.
2. Who does this person already value?
Notice I want you to think about who Sam already values, not who you do. Who does Sam already invest money, time, energy and trust in? Does Sam value the personal trainer at the gym and pay three times a week for personal training sessions? Is Sam part of an entrepreneurial mastermind group that meets weekly in West Hollywood? The clarity is important here. You want this to be a true demonstration of what Sam values, so time, energy, and money all factor in. For the continuation of this example, we’ll say it’s the personal trainer. Let’s move onto that next question.
3. How do I become the trusted source?
We aren’t on to Sam trusting you yet; you’ll get that opportunity. What comes before that part in this foundational workflow for referrals is: how do you become the trusted source for the personal trainer?
Why does this matter? Why not go directly to Sam? Well, you can, but it puts you right back in the 1:1 referral machine mode, where you always need to be present to bring someone into your practice. But the goal of this framework is to break out of the cycle of needing to always be physically present for a new patient to materialize. You must gain the trust of the people who are valued by your target demographic, and then you can have multiple referral streams.
Let’s recap the process: 1) Who do I want in my practice, 2) who do they already value, and 3) how do I become the trusted source for the person they value? Doing this process not only breaks you out of the cycle of always having to be the one to bring someone into your practice, but also creates “pre-qualified” patients. The more a referral source understands you, your skillset and your business, the better they will be at referring you to patients who are the ideal fit for your practice.