(Back in the Game does not endorse content
Used for education only not to be sold)
Medical doctor when approached the right away can be useful networking partner to delivery the best possible care. Five years ago(in 2008), I was looking to join a practice and the consultate had good ideas for script, which can be used for a base line.
The Sales Process – A useful tool when converting meetings to patient referrals.
There are principles and laws to the art of sales and just like providing a manipulation, when your efforts to capture new patients are guided by principles and laws, the outcome can be more rewarding. Chiropractors marketing themselves to medical doctors often find themselves hitting a sales plateau, putting forth the effort, yet not experiencing the return of their investment. Chiropractors often get stuck in the following scenarios –
“I had a great meeting with the MD and we have a lot in common with regards to our sports interests. How do I move on from discussing sports to patient referrals?”
“I have met with the MD and he/she is excited to refer patients. Why haven’t I seen one?”
“I have MD referrals coming in from a practice I met with last week. The only problem is that every patient has benefits that are out of network with my office.”
When you find yourself reaching a plateau, it can help to review the sales process as a comprehensive blueprint, following each step and building a strong foundation.
The Sales Process Defined:
Prospecting: Prospecting is the step in which MD leads are identified and prioritized. A worthwhile place to start is by asking your satisfied patients about the doctors they see and most importantly, which ones they like. Having a common interest to discuss with a new MD often eases the tension of making the cold call, especially if your mutual patient experienced positive clinical results in your office.
Possible Script: “My name is Dr. ________. We have a mutual patient and I have heard wonderful things about you in the community. Would you have time to talk? I would like to learn more about your approach and share mine in return.”
Qualifying: Qualifying allows you to determine the level of need for your services. Needs run parallel to the conversion of referrals. For instance, it would not be beneficial to spend time and budget over lunch with an MD that never sees patients with conditions you may treat. Qualifying the lead first will save you time and money.
Possible Script: “May I ask, do you often refer patients out for non surgical spinal conditions, such as chronic lower back pain? Who do you refer to and how has your experience been? Or, What insurance plans do you work with?”
Determining Needs: When you find a qualified MD to meet with, find out what’s important to them when referring patients. This ensures that you guide the conversation so the MD will be most responsive. If the MD’s needs are proper communication regarding a patients outcome, you can maximize your time together by discussing how you communicate, perhaps through narratives or patient update reports.
Possible Script: “It sounds to me that it is important for you to stay on top of a patient’s clinical progression and response to care. Proper communication allows us to better co-manage a patient. Here are some sample reports that I frequently utilize to communicate with other MD’s.” (Note that you must remove all identifying information to be compliant with HIPAA)
Overcome Objections: MD’s often have objections and although these may feel negative, objections open the line of communication that can assist you and the MD in determining if the referral relationship makes good sense to both of you. For example, MD’s often share the objection that DC’s fail to release patients from care.
Possible Script: “I understand and this is a valid concern. My treatment plans focus on improving functional limits of the patient and reassessing them at reasonable intervals. Once patients maximize their functional abilities I release them from care and copy you on their final discharge report.”
Closing the Deal: This is a common pitfall! Everything makes sense, the MD has the need for your services and you hit it off in the meeting. Now what? You have every right to simply ask for the business and ensure there are no further objections.
Possible Script: “Based on everything we discussed and my ability to meet your most important needs, is there any reason why you wouldn’t refer a patient today?”
Following Up: Staying on the forefront of the MD’s mind is vital and this is a step that allows for creativity. Many tools are useful, such as lunches, delivering patient reports, sending newsletters, having a CA or marketing representative visit offices with afternoon coffee and referral pads. Whichever is best for your office, the key is remembering to keep up the momentum, always be educating and maintain consistency.
Examining and following the sales process to guide your meetings allows
you take control of your efforts to get the meeting back on track and
Sales Through Relationship Building: 5 Tips for Success
You’re not a sales person; or are you? No matter what our position, role or career, we’re in the sales profession, whether we like it or not. We’re constantly selling; our ideas, our expertise, and yes, our services.
Don’t underestimate the importance of sales and relationship building when it comes to forging referral relationships within the medical community. One critical element of the sales process happens before the sales process even begins—preparation. Preparation is key to your success, here are our top 5 tips:
1. Research the doctor! A phenomenal amount of information can be found on the web. Google Maps provides “reviews” and reading these will give you insight into the physician’s practice. A simple internet search may yield interests such as sports, clubs and past positions. Pub Med may illustrate an interest in research as many MD’s make comments to the Editor’s about a particular study. MD websites help you understand their clinical interests and often times their philosophy on medication and referral partners! Whatever you find out, you’re sure to have better insight and a conversational jumping off point.
2. Have a goal for each meeting. When you first start it may be as simple as setting up a meeting. In the first meeting it may be understanding the physician’s baseline understanding of chiropractic care which then determines where you begin the educational process. Make sure you have a goal that you want to achieve for each meeting.
3. Leverage patient reports. Whether the patient was referred by the MD or not, ask the patient if you can send their MD a report. Don’t be afraid to leverage the patient report as a reason to meet briefly with the physician. “Dr., our mutual patient Sally was very happy with your care. As you may recall she was still suffering with significant chronic back pain despite PT care and a surgical consult for which she was not a candidate. Recommended by a friend she came to see me and I am so excited about her results I wanted to share them with you personally.” After you share the brief report ask them if they have time in the near future to discuss other patients like “Sally” that might benefit from your care.
4. Have a standard line to transition from rapport to business. “Dr., I am enjoying our conversation, but I know your time is limited. I was hoping to spend just a few moments to discuss….”
5. It’s okay to be nervous and make mistakes. Be yourself, be professional and remember that with each meeting your sales process will get better and more comfortable