Our contributing blogger today is WebPT Member, Jack Sparacio, MSPT, COMT, CFMT. He is also the Owner and President of Sparacio Physical Therapy P.C. in New York. We're excited to have Jack sharing his expertise. Thanks Jack!
PEOPLE DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THEY KNOW! This is universally accepted as one of the golden rules of marketing. If you want your clinic and/or company to grow, you need to develop relationships with people (especially physicians). So, the million dollar question is…how do you achieve this? Do you need to be a salesman/saleswoman? Yes, of course you do! I cringe when I read marketing articles that tell physical therapists they don’t need to be salespeople. Why is sales such a dirty word? If it makes you feel better call it networking, or relationship building. Call it whatever you want. Unless you’re the only game in town, until another practice comes along and takes your business away, you need to be able to build relationships. Relationships that will provide stability (new patients) to your practice.
There are many ways to make initial contact with a physician. You can send out an email, make a phone call or send out a letter. Now keep in mind, the three things I previously mentioned rarely work. However, there is something that will increase your odds of getting that coveted face-to-face meeting. You need to go, in person, to the physician’s office to set up a meeting at a future date. You need to introduce yourself to their secretary (write down his/her name) and ask to meet with the physician. Sometimes it is that simple, and you can set up a meeting. However, most of the time you need to offer them a benefit to meet with you. They want to know what’s in it for them. Why should they take their precious time to meet with you? That’s a fair question.
Here are a few things you can say to the office gatekeeper to help nail down a meeting:
- I would like to meet with Dr. Smith so I can refer patients to her.
- I would like to meet with Dr. Smith to find out what types of patients I can send her.
- I would like to meet with Dr. Smith because I heard she is the best and I only refer patients to physicians I know personally.
- I would like to meet Dr. Smith because I can save her time by educating her patients for her.
A physician will take the time to meet with you if they can perceive a value/benefit for their practice. Remember… in the marketing world, benefits sell. So, when you do finally meet that physician, make sure you shower them with benefits. You need to demonstrate to them why they should send patients to you. If you can do that, not only will you have established a new relationship, but you will have an endless supply of new patients.