Following up with Contacts

Yesterday, I was at a large neighborhood festival and had the pleasure of running into an old acquaintance.  She used to work for a large primary and urgent care facility.  The location that she worked at was not very close to my office and we hadn’t ever really built up a relationship that included referrals for chiropractic care.  Well, as fate would have it (it is amazing what happens to you when you are looking for things), she walked up behind me and we were both quite surprised to see each other!  We got the small talk out of the way about the kids, etc., and the conversation came around, as it always does, to jobs and professional careers.  As a note, if your conversations don’t end up there, make sure you steer them that way, not to promote yourself, but to find out what people are doing!  Talking about yourself makes you look desperate and obnoxious.

As we talked about our professional lives, I discovered that she was transferred to a location right near my office several months ago!  I asked what she does there and her exact words were, “I work on processing patients and handle all the specialist referrals.”  Hmmmm, that is VERY useful indeed! 

The point of this consultation is to note that in many cases, this gem of a relationship would fizzle out and nothing would really come from it except maybe her becoming a patient.  The goal of this encounter is NOT to get her to become a patient, but to be “invited” into her circle of influence.  That has much larger implications for sure.  What would usually happen is she would get converted to chiropractic care and we would hope that she referred her family and/or dropped our name at the medical office.  If we were really focused, we would use our new connection to do a lunch at the MD’s office.  The medical staff would be there and everyone would be interested in meeting and eating all the FREE food.  The MD or mid-levels would poke their heads in since they would inevitably be “working through lunch.”  I would drop of a large stack of cards and that would be it.  I would go back to my office and maybe a patient or two would be sent over, but that frequency would dwindle.  Our staff meetings would be filled with, “We need to get over to the medical practice for another lunch.”  The problem with that is we have nothing to give!  It is the same thing over and over again.  Once they know you, the lunch is a bit redundant.

This program is a proven system to get into the medical office regularly and stay there indefinitely.  It is currently Sunday evening at 8 PM. Tomorrow, during the afternoon break at the office, I will have someone run down to see her.  We will drop off the binder for the bimonthly MD flyers, my CV and office cards, letting her know that we are part of a “National Research Initiative Promoting Interprofessional Spine Care.”  The best part is no matter what happens, my office will be there to see her in 2 weeks with the next flyer.  All we need to do is insert this new office into the weekly visitation grid.  Please make sure that you have one; it can be written, but you need to have one. The big picture is adding offices and contacts (this includes e-mails) for bimonthly visitations, e-mail press releases and lunches.  Consistency is the key, week after week. 

In a previous consultation, I outlined how to leverage your other business relationships to provide funding for lunches, etc.  Please review that so you can provide those extra special touches without breaking the bank.  Keep adding offices and keep visiting.


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