How To Get New Physicians To Refer Patients To You

I’m going to teach you how a new physician (one that who has never ever heard about you before, one who does not know you exist, one that has never referred to you before) can start referring back to you.

It is actually pretty simple. If you want a new doctor to become a referral source for your clinic, take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Get the doctor’s information.
  • Doctor’s name
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number (preferably their fax number)
  • Website address
  • Email address
It’s pretty simple, you can go to any online directories like the Yellow Pages, the Super Pages, there’s and Google of course. Simply look for physicians in your local area. You need to simply search for doctors, create a list of doctors in your local area, and then once you have the list, the key is to start communicating with them. Here is what you do:

You start by sending the physician a letter that:

  • Introduces you
  • Offers something of value to their patients
  • Step 2: A week later, follow up with a phone call.

Follow up a phone call simply asking is they got the letter, if they have any questions, if you can help them or their patients in any way, offer something of value. Go to the doctors with a giving hand, don’t just approach the doctors saying “Here we are, we are nice people. Please send us patients.”

Never ever ask for the referral directly from a physician you are trying to initiate a relationship with.
The goal with physician referral generation is to try and build a relationship, not to get the referral, because referrals are consequences of the relationship.

  • Step 3: A week after step 2, go to the doctor’s office.

Whether it’s you or your marketing person, or it’s someone in your clinic who’s helping you with marketing, actually visit the doctor’s office and follow up on the letter as well as the phone call. You are now approaching doctors using 3 different modes of communication - regular mail, phone call, and a personal visit. You are looking for one of the following outcomes:

  • The doctor might reward you with the first referral. This is the big breakthrough that you are looking for.
  • For some reason, the doctor might just not respond or not even refer to you, which is fine. If the doctor is not referring to you, and if the doctor specifically says that they wont refer to you for what ever reason, that’s fine. Just move on to the next doctor.
But if the doctor hasn’t yet responded, keep at it until you get an either a “yes, here is your new patient” or a “no, for some reason we cant refer to you”. In that case, you move on to the next doctor.

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Leave A Reply (11 comments So Far)

  1. Ivan
    2 years ago

    As a budding private practitioner, getting referrals from doctors is a struggle for me. It's frustrating to say the least. I know I offer one of the best services because a great part of my patients are self-referrals. This post is an eye-opener and hopefully, will get me more patients.

  2. Finn
    2 years ago

    I am from Pennsylvania and direct access has been legalized in 2002. Finding new patients is easier but there are still those patients who prefer to see doctors first. I have built good relationships with some of the doctors in my area and it took a lot of effort and resources.

    This is easier and more straightforward.


  3. Warren
    2 years ago

    "Referrals are consequences of a relationship" sums it up nicely. This is true in all relationships, be it professional and personal. It's a symbiotic relationship that has gone through the ages. Quid pro quo at its best. You give something for something.

    A lesson that you highlight which to a lot of people has become obscure. Most of us private practitioners focus on what is the obvious, the tried and tested, that we simply lose sight of the basics.

    Thanks for reminding us.

  4. Linsay
    1 year ago

    "Referrals are consequences of a relationship". If I've learned one thing it's that it takes effort to build relationships with other health professionals. You can't just expect it to happen!

  5. Ash
    12 months ago

    In regards to a follow up phone call – how do you get past the receptionist? All phone calls I have made are to the main reception switch board. No receptionists have transferred me directly to the doctor, which is understandable, however, I never receive a phone call back from the Doctor even if I have left a message with the receptionist.
    Do I keep calling? Or just go to step 3 and walk in?

  6. dentist cary nc
    9 months ago

    Excellent advice on getting referrals. I think the biggest thing is to offer some sort of value to the other Doctor as well so you are not just on the receiving end of the deal. It is an excellent way to do a joint venture so to speak and can be very profitable for both Doctors if done right.


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