I am always amazed by the power of a word – or in this case by the power of a few simple phrases. I will share with you my number-one best new patient referral generating tool that I used every day for years in practice.
The great thing about this system of getting your patients to refer more of their family and friends to you for chiropractic care is that ANYONE can do it. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to be a superstar or have an outgoing personality to use this new patient generating tool.
All you have to do is to follow directions and do it consistently and your practice will reap great benefits!
Here are those three short phrases:
1. That sounds like it could be a chiropractic condition.
2. You ought to think about getting them in here sometime.
3. Do you think you could do that for me?
Now I realize that these three short, simple phrases don’t seem to be significant – they’re not at first glance – but when you understand how to use them in the right context they will do magic for your practice!
Here is a step-by-step approach of how you should use these three short phrases with your current patients:
During routine visits you will have a couple minutes to engage in conversation with your patient. I don’t recommend being totally silent and I don’t recommend “small talk”. Yes a little bit of silence and a tiny amout of small talk are okay – in fact they are both helpful components to generating referrals – but just in moderation.
As you listen to your patient’s comments they will often send you “clues” about family and friends who may be in need of chiropractic care.
One of the biggest mistakes that chiropractors make at this point is to go right into “selling” or recommending they refer that person in for chiropractic care.
As opposed to jumping right into “selling mode” you will gain MUCH BETTER RESULTS by allowing the patient to think about how serious their family’s or friend’s potential health condition is and allow them to come to a realization that they should refer that person in for chiropractic care.
No you don’t just allow this to happen – rather you direct the conversation to get the patient to come to that realization.
So when a patient say’s “we went roller skating last weekend” – your goal should be to find out if anyone got hurt. You do this by asking probing questions that of course are not too obvious. If the patients says something like “my husband took a hard fall and limped off the skating rink” this will give you something to talk about and lead into a referral conversation.
After you are finished adjusting the patient you should ask them some specific questions about their husband’s fall at the skating rink. Ask questions that lead’s the patient to wonder if their husband was more seriously hurt than what they had originally thought. What you’re doing here is getting that patient to think about the injury and in the process they will convince themselves that they’d better bring their husband in for a chiropractic evaluation.
Your discussion only needs to be a minute or so – not long at all. Then before you complete that visit with the patient you will use those three short phrases by saying –
“Sally with what you told me about your husband’s injury”
“- That sounds like it could be a chiropractic condition”
“- You ought to think about getting him in here sometime”
“- Do you think you could do that for me?”
After you ask that question you should stop talking, look at the patient’s chart and start documenting their notes and allow them to answer – 99.9% of the time they will say “Yes”.
As soon as that happens you say “follow me” and you walk them up to your front reception counter (to an available staff member) and say “Amanda, Sally’s husband Jim had an injury over the weekend while roller skating and it sounds like it could be a chiropractic condition, she wanted to get him in for a chiropractic evaluation so I’d like you to place his name in the schedule book for tomorrow in the new patient opening at the same time that Sally is scheduled to come in.”
Then you turn to walk away – you stop – and say…
“oh one more thing Amanda – Make a note in the appointment book next to Jim’s name that there won’t be any charge for his examination.”
Then you should walk away and continue with your next patient.
Your staff should be trained to confirm the appointment, arrange to verify insurance benefits and follow up with standard office protocols for new patients.
Over half of these referred patients will come in for that scheduled appointment and become a new patient in your practice.