You know it’s essential to the survival of your practice to get referrals and you have good strategies for cultivating them. But don’t implement them willy-nilly and generate random referrals that probably won’t result in tangible business. Keep your practice brand in mind and the type of business you’re trying to build. This will help you stay focused in your referral development activities.
Don’t Pursue Random Prospects
You’ll get many tips about possible referral sources, but have limited time to pursue them. Every lead isn’t worth your effort, so resist the temptation to chase each tip just to feel like you’re doing something. It’s not that you won’t hear from folks who want to know about your services. The problem is that many will not be genuine prospects who actually schedule an appointment and show up for intake. You can spend a lot of time responding to these inquiries, so stay focused on your target market as you cultivate your sources.
Do Your Homework
Before getting on the phone or sending out e-blasts, it should be clear in your mind why you’re contacting these people and the likely types of referrals they can send to you. This can require some homework. Sometimes it’s cold research – identifying folks in your community that you don’t know who may have clients who need your services. Other times it’s conducting a review of your own contact list to determine untapped or dormant sources you should get in touch with. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the people you’re contacting so you don’t waste their time or yours.
Schedule Time for Referral Cultivation
You’re more likely to be strategic in your overall practice development efforts when you allocate special time for it on your schedule. Look for the lulls and quiet times in your day and for the best times of the week to make calls and to correspond with others. Some practitioners are “old school” and prefer traditional methods, while new media excites others as the best way to communicate with prospects. The challenge is to work on referral cultivation consistently, so make standing time for it on your schedule.
It’s tempting simply to respond to tips and leads about possible referral sources as they come to you. This will keep you busy and cause you to feel productive, but will yield random results so remember your practice brand and remain strategic in all your practice business development activities.
Enjoy These Other Success Articles
It’s Best To Say “No” To Some New Referrals
Follow Up Faux Pas
Referral Source Management
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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