Why You Need To Get Patients Talking About You
Everything was going so well, you were polite, friendly and funny. Your treatment was on point and the patient was progressing through their rehabilitation much faster than either of you expected.
Yet, the patient doesn’t seem to refer any of their family and friends to you. Why?
Is it the treatment you have been providing? Is it really going as well as you think?
Maybe you aren’t getting along as well as you first thought?
Or, perhaps the patient just doesn’t know anyone who is in need of your service?
All are possible scenarios. However, the more probable answer is that you simply did not ask for a referral from the patient.
Be honest, how often do you actually ask your patients if they know anyone that they could refer to your service?
I imagine your answer would be like most healthcare practitioners. You don’t ask for referrals because it makes you feel:
You would be astonished that the power of simply asking for referrals has, and how little patients actually care about being asked.
Picture this, you are out for dinner with a friend at a new restaurant. You attend a venue that is an allround 10/10. The staff were extremely friendly and made you feel welcome as soon as you set foot in the door, the facility was immaculate and the food exquisite.
At the end of the meal, your waiter clears the table and asks how it all was, to which you say:
“It was fantastic!”.
Now, imagine they follow on with:
“That’s wonderful, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to let your family and friends know about your experience. We want to give an incredible culinary experience to as many people as possible!”
What would you do after this situation? Well, assuming you’re like me and most other people, you’d probably make a conscious effort to refer your family and friends to that restaurant.
Would you have made a referral anyway? Potentially. However, we are much more inclined to give referrals when asked.
Will some people be turned off by your asking for referrals? Perhaps, but the likelihood of that is extremely low if they’ve recently had a good experience with your service.
Provided you have delivered a good level of care, patients are more than happy to recommend you to their family and friends, when asked.
After all, why wouldn’t they?
They like you and would want to see you do well, and would also want to see their family and friends get better, and know you’re the person who can help them do just that.
Is asking for referrals REALLY worth it?
Yes, yes, one-thousand times YES!
A patient referral not only brings another person through your door, it also produces a client who, on average, will have a 25% greater customer lifetime value than those who found your business through other means.
“How?” you may be asking.
Those who are referred by family and friends have already been sold on your abilities by the referrer. These clients also have less apprehension toward paying your private fees, because they know you can deliver their desired result.
They are also more likely to attend numerous sessions, rather than the classic one-and-done patients who never return because you didn’t completely cure them in one session.
Furthermore, clients who have been referred to your service are, for the most part, free to acquire. All it takes is excellent service, and a few spoken words.
Best of all, these clients know that you are competent in your craft, and are more likely to listen to you and follow your recommendations.
To give you a dot-point summary, referred clients:
- Will pay you more
- Are cheaper to acquire
- Are less sensitive to your price
- Are more adherent to your treatment program
Knowing all of this, why in the world would you not want to ask for referrals?
I know, I know. Asking for referrals is a foreign concept to many healthcare professionals. Afterall, we are in healthcare, not sales… It’s not in our nature to sell!
I hate to break it to you, but sales is a large part of healthcare. We have to sell patients every day to buy into our treatments and sell them on the idea that they need to help themselves.
So, what’s stopping you from using those same skills and selling patients on the idea that you are the person who can help their family and friends?
You don’t need an extravagant, elaborate sales pitch. You can use an adaptation of this simple speech:
Client: “Thanks again, Jack. I feel fantastic!”
You: “It’s my pleasure. By the way, if you have anyone in need of some treatment, feel free to send them my way. I’m always happy to set aside some appointments for friends and family of my patients”
You don’t need to replicate those words verbatim. You can modify it to suit what makes you feel comfortable, saying what seems natural to you. However, something in line with this would be beneficial, as it’s not too long nor does it seem as though it sits unnaturally in the conversation.
When should you ask for the referral?
This really is circumstantial. You definitely do not want to be asking for referrals during the first appointment. That is akin to asking someone to marry you on the first date. It seldom ends well.
However, you also do not want to leave it too late. Patient’s are most excited about your service when they are seeing the greatest improvement, which is usually after the third or fourth session.
You should use this excitement to your advantage, as the patients are more inclined to shout your name from the rooftops and tell everyone from their mother to their mailman about your wonderful service.
Referrals are an easy and effective means of generating new, valuable clients. Failing to utilise your existing clientele to generate new business is an utter waste, and you are simply doing yourself a disservice by not asking.
Do you need help with marketing for your healthcare business?
If you would like a free 30-minute strategy call, in which we will assess your current healthcare marketing strategy and provide some easily implementable strategies that have been proven to help increase profits, please email Aidan at: