Invest in referral relationships to help your private practice thrive

Many a time have I heard the tale of a clinician leaving and taking with them the relationship history and contact details of the external people they worked with. Primarily this applies to clinicians working out in the community in schools, kinders, child care setting. But interestingly it also applies to clinic-based therapists who are on the phone to others who know and work with mutual clients. My question is, how do you as the business owner keep tabs on all the people who are upstream of your referrals and income?

Here are a couple of ideas…

Ask. Ask your teammates who are the key players at the sites they visit

Document. Several of the practice management software systems allow you to add in referrers. Do this and keep running records of your communications with them. It this isn’t working for you use a spreadsheet.

Love them up. Figure out a sequence of emails, letters, cards, gifts, coffee chats, drop-ins that suit you, your private practice and them. Then implement the plan.

Make it super easy for people to refer to you. Have beautifully designed marketing materials, referral pads, video, whatever it takes for people to remember you and what you achieve.

Thank people for the collaboration you have together and the support they provide to your business. Thank them often.

If appropriate to do so, ask clients and parents who the leadership team is at their school, a personal introduction can go a long way.

Allocate time to reach out to the decision makers your team have identified. Do this regularly, they need to know you personally and what your business does. Referral partners are the lifeblood of a private practice.

Yours truly is presenting on this topic, in much nitty gritty detail at the Paediatric Private Practice Virtual Conference – Love your future. My presentation is titled “How to start and sustain strong referral partnerships” We will explore how to identify who knows your future clients, how to authentically and effectively partner with them, how to promote the outcomes you achieve with your shared clients and how to keep these professional referral relationships prosperous and strong. Partnerships are critical to private practice, increasingly so as competition increases. Join us at the conference, discover more and build relationships like crazy this year.

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