Follow these four steps from Linda Wasche, president of LW Marketworks in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to get other practices talking about your clinic—in a positive way.
Listen. How do referring veterinarians perceive your practice? What is their opinion of your services and expertise? Why do they refer to you—or why don't they? What other clinics do they refer to? If you don't answer these questions, your efforts to build referrals are a shot in the dark.
Stay connected. You might think, "We sent that clinic a brochure. They should know about us!" But one-time communication is never enough—building referrals is a process. Staff members get replaced and information gets shuffled around, so keep referring practices in the loop with a continuous flow of useful information and updates.
Deliver value. Make it easy for general practices to find information about your practice. Promptly report on patient outcomes. Look for ways to share specialized knowledge and provide tools to help referring veterinarians communicate complex pet health issues and problems to their clients.
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Gather feedback. Ask, "How are we doing?" to assess your communication strategies with referring veterinarians. Continuously look for new ways to strengthen the referral process.