Establishing a steady stream of referrals that brings you more clients than you can imagine is a goal for most mental health professionals in private practice. This series will take you on a road trip; the purpose of which is to give you a whole new perspective and purpose when it comes to marketing your practice. Each message builds on the last. Learn what it takes to build your business and feel good about how you do it.
This is day four of a 10-day series of messages created just for you. Today, we’ll continue our journey from Point A (not enough referrals) to Point B (a strong referral network). Today — we’ll consider the “before” and “after” of the referral process.
Day 9: Pre and post referral MUSTS
Earlier on this Road Trip I let you in on the exiting news that I am so fortunate to be studying under Michael Port to help you learn how to Book Yourself Solid. I want to share a couple of Michael Port’s strategies (with my mental health private practice spin) that I believe will help you make the most out of your referral process. These strategies are all about what you need to do to prepare you for your referral work, and what you need to do after your referral work.
- Look Back. Take a look at the referrals you’ve gotten in the past. How did those referrals “happen”? What did you do to get those referrals? Which efforts worked? Which efforts did not work? Why? Take the time to reflect on that which you might never have analyzed, even when you did it. There is a lot to be learned from history
- Look Ahead. You are likely missing lots of referral opportunities that exist around you. You may be missing them because you are are not “seeing” them, or, you may be missing them because you are not acting on them. As you read the paper/talk to others/drive around/surf the net, make a note of (“see”) any potential opportunities to serve. LITERALLY — make a note of these . Then, make a plan for how and when you will put these opportunities to work for you and your practice
- Look Inside. You need to prepare for the contacts you are about to make. Create a list of benefits you can provide to your potential referral partners. Don’t forget the intrinsic benefits that exist just because that referral partner has YOU as a great source for referrals
- Follow Up. This sounds obvious, right? The fact is that so many people go to the trouble of seeking out referrals and then drop the ball. When that happens, not only do you miss the immediate opportunity, but you tarnish your credibility and reputation as someone they can count on. If you don’t follow through when you are looking for my business, how can I believe you will follow through once I’ve given you my business?
- Show & Share & Circle Back. Practice, practice, practice, until you can confidently tell referral partners who you are, what you do, and why you are a great partner to have in their corner. Show your desire to serve; open your heart. Encourage your referral partners to let you know how you can help… and LISTEN . (Another thing my mother taught me was that God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason). Once you get the referrals (and when it is appropriate) get the releases signed and follow through with a thank you and some collaboration. Circling back this way goes far when it comes to increasing your chances for repeat referrals
There are just so many great ways to manage your referral process. But, start and end with these and you’ll be head and shoulders above the rest.