When you first open your practice , one of your top concerns is likely to be getting people in the door. Let’s face it — you’ve got rent to cover and you are looking forward to the day your book is full every week.
The quest for success can surely have an effect on business decisions. Will you run a group on a night you really don’t want to work? Will you miss a dinner with friends to see 2 extra clients tonight? Maybe you’ll decide to slide your fee to fill up the morning hours that aren’t so popular.
Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to. At least until you have what it takes for you to feel confident that your referrals will be abundant.
That being said, you may be tempted to close your eyes to your better judgment and do some things you will almost always regret. Here are a few examples…
- Taking an “emergency” client on referral from a physician who is concerned the client is lethal and must be seen immediately — You want to be the hero; help the client, help the referring doc
- BE CAREFUL — you know better than to do this. Tell me, what would the referring doc do if you called her office with an urgent referral for a client who was having chest pain? She would tell you to send the client to the emergency room. Anything else is likely to end badly
- Calling a new client who just “no-showed” her first appointment with you, to reschedule
- Chances are, if she no-shows the first appointment, she is not going to be a reliable client. Consider cutting your losses right away
- Making promises you can’t keep
- Some referral sources know how much “power” they yield, and they make demands that are simply unreasonable. Requiring a guarantee that referrals will be seen within 24 hours; requiring unreasonable, ongoing collaboration; insisting on a low sliding fee for their referrals. You may be able to do some of these, some of the time, but don’t set you or your referral source up for disappointment
Sometimes the best business is the business you turn away…