The topic of referrals for healthcare professionals can be a sticky, tricky area.
Questions like the following pop into your head;
Should I ask for referrals? If so, how often?
How do I know what the client will say?
Is it professional for me to ask for a referral?
Am I worthy of a referral?
Who should I ask for referrals?
Where do I start to find people that could refer to me?
The list goes on.
In my new podcast this month; Marketing Bites | DIY Marketing for Healthcare Professionals, I went through four steps that I believe to be critical not only to gain referrals but gain the RIGHT referrals.
If you're not a podcast person - no biggie. I am about to sum up below some key takeaways.
1. Treat referrals as brand partnerships and be sure to assess brand fit.
When you give, or get, a referral you want to be sure that your brand values the same or similar thing that other person/business does. You are effectively saying when you partner up, or give a referral regularly, to another practitioner I endorse this brand/service. We stand for similar things. Be sure that the partnership makes sense to potential clients and that it is a positive thing for both businesses involved.
2. Look on professional association sites.
These are a great spot to start to find good 'brand fits'. You can dig deep into subspecialty groups to see which practitioners would be a good fit with you. i.e. if you're a pediatric Dietitian you're not going to waste your time contacting a physiotherapist who specialises in geriatrics. Sounds silly, but doing your research and making sure that you have at least a general fit with the practitioners you're reaching out to makes you look more professional.
3. Head to social.
Social media is a great way to get a feel for someones style/vibe/whatever other hippie name you want to call it! It is also another fairly quick way to assess if that person would be a good fit for you to refer to and get referrals from.
4. Know what you stand for.
Know what you stand for, what your USP is (Unique Selling Proposition or Point) - then take the time to be able to concisely articulate this to other practitioners. Perhaps you're a specialist allergy dietitian with 10 years of experience and you take your clients on bespoke tours of the local grocery store to read labels. Whatever it is, and why you do - know it. Be able to clearly explain your USP to clients and practitioners - this makes it easier for people to pass on your name.
Download the DIY Marketing Worksheet below to start the referral brainstorming process.
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