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It’s not a secret.
The backbone of any physical therapy practice is the development of referral relationships. Cultivating such relationships with patients is the key to physical therapy private practice success.
Personal contact with patient referral sources, the patient community and insurance companies is the most powerful way to boost your credibility as a provider and cement your position as the provider of choice in your community.
The problem with personal contact is that we as private practice owners have not been conditioned to engage in one-on-one relationship building as a part of our education. Physical therapy school teaches us to be excellent clinicians with a strong ability to evaluate and treat patients. However, marketing is an entirely different ball game, and it’s not something we are taught in school.
It’s easy to learn though, and we are fast learners.
Marketing physical therapy requires a high level of personal contact with patients, physicians and the local media. The ideal way to do this is to communicate with several individuals at one time, and limit individual contact (with the intention to leverage time) with the most influential referral sources only. In other words, give yourself the importance you deserve, and plan your days and weeks wisely, well in advance.
For example, with my blog, I plan my content 8 weeks in advance. For example, if I was to do an interview with a physical therapy private practice owner (to bring the content to you) this week, the interview would be scheduled to appear on this blog 8 weeks from today, because I plan my content well in advance. There are exceptions, of course, but this demonstrates the importance of planning.
If you have a clear plan about physical therapy marketing, and know what you are going to do to market your physical therapy private practice the next day, week or month, you are on the right track.
Remember, the best way to promote yourself as a physical therapy private practice owner is to go out into the real world and meet people with the intention of letting them know about you.
You can also leverage relationships with patients to build relationships with their physicians.
A simple strategy that has worked for us in our clinic is a “Thank You” card. Remember, a “Thank You” card to a physician is much more effective when it comes from the patient and not from the provider. The old strategy for physical therapy private practice marketing is if you, as a provider, send a “thank you” card to the physician as a way of expressing gratitude.
What do you think happens?
This card may not be read at all.
Let’s try something different now – this card should come from the patient. When you treat a patient, ask the patient during one of their visits to stop for a moment and fill out a quick thank you card they receive from the receptionist. Your friendly receptionist or staff can offer to mail the card to the physician on behalf of the patient. This little “Thank You” card from the patient, addressed to the physician, is a powerful way to enhance quality patient referrals from the same physician.
Physicians and their staff are more likely to read notes and “Thank You” cards that come from patients than those coming from providers.