“Relationship Building – The BIG Picture”
By now you should be reaching out to MD offices on a regular basis. There are a few things that I need to go over with you pertaining to your relationship with the MDs. There is a fine line between staying in front of them to stay relevant and overexposure. The research fliers are important in the beginning; your clinical expertise and reporting is important in the long term. We gradually replace the first with the second. Specific and complex research is then replaced with the fliers and can be correlated to specific patient issues. Remember, your goal is to be the “educator” and the go-to person for information. Here is the general relationship timeline:
1: Beginning – This is the time for the initial phone calls and the research binders. There is no better way to get into medical offices. The educational binders will put you in a position as an educator and is certainly something unique for your area. The key here is to engage the MDs in research-based conversation and to provide rationale for chiropractic care. This gets you in the door and gives you a reason to come back. The big mistake most DCs make is talking “treatment” or “technique.” Once you do that, there is NOTHING NEW to share; you start telling the same story over and over again. The quickest way to irrelevance is talking “technique.”
2: Co-treatment – This is the most critical time. The MD finally thinks he/she “will try you out” and sporadically sends patients to you. YOU MUST, MUST, MUST REPORT PROPERLY AND TIMELY. That is the test. Do you know what you’re doing or is this the typical “chiropractic shuffle?” This is where you are successful or not. If you are busy, so what? Upgrade your note system to a level that is acceptable in 2011 (not 1984) or stay after hours. Remember, in the beginning your focus is on the practice you want to build a relationship with, not everyone. Start building your email lists here as well.
3: Long term relationship – This is where the integration of social and professional circles occurs. This is where you can start taking full research articles and emailing them out to the MDs. Send this with a personal message, not as a large group email blast. Use introductions like, “I just saw a patient with this problem,” or “Not sure if you saw this or not.” Stay away from the dissertation length email! Your reporting MUST continue here as well. Do NOT stop…
4: Keeping it going – Remember to pay attention to the ancillary services in the MD practice, especially those that do not compete with your interests and the types of patients you have in your practice. You can help support those services. Supporting the MD’s business model is a small part of staying relevant as a clinician in your area. The more you become important, the more respect you get.
YOU NEED TO BE TALKING TO ME ON A REGULAR BASIS. WE NEED TO WORK THROUGH EACH MD OFFICE ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. The doctors that are getting consistent referrals all spoke with me several times per week.
**All you need is a few MD offices sending you patients to double your numbers…