Developing a Referral Network

Written by on April 1, 2015 in Features - No comments

Networking with others is essentially an interpersonal skill that can be employed effectively to build a profitable referral network for doctors. Engaging with the right kind of referral network partners that share the same values and commitment as the doctor will go a long way in developing a sustainable and effective referral network.

Create a Short-list of Potential Names

DocPhoneWEBIn an online world that has an overload of individuals, agents and firms claiming to provide successful referral networking, it is critically important to choose the right type of referral network partners. To begin with, the doctor should create a list of the specialty areas within their practice that could potentially generate a fair number of referrals and create a significant income stream.

Once the list is finalized, the doctor may look for potential network partners, and possibly have three to five names short-listed for each specialty area. References can be sought from colleagues and peers in the industry, Google search, and via respected online forums, blogs and sites that are focused on the medical community.

Seek One on One Meetings for Evaluation

To evaluate the right referral network partners, it is important to engage in one on one discussions rather than simply relying on an individual’s claims. The meetings can be held online via Skype, Google Hangouts or other means. The doctor should prepare a list of standard questions that address their key expectations and requirements from a network partner.

The doctor should try to understand the niche or specific areas of strength of a potential referral partner. Medical field is highly specialized and the best results can be achieved when a doctor creates a referral network that is in harmony with the areas of the strength of their medical practice.

Adopt a Proactive ApproachReferralMarketWEB to Network Development

When a medical professional adopts a “wait and see” approach, it will usually not lead to creation of the desired level of networking in a highly competitive environment. If the network partner says: “If I learn about someone requiring your services, I will get in touch with you,” that is not going to be of much help.

Doctors who really achieve an incremental level of referrals every month are usually the ones who proactively ask for the referral, and not wait and hope. Periodic engagement with colleagues and existing network partners, and seeking new referrals will yield results.

Focus the Efforts on Motivated Network Partners

The doctor should spend time and effort on networking with potential colleagues if they have the commitment, motivation and time to send them the proper referrals. A successful referral relationship will happen when both parties are equally enthusiastic and work for mutual benefit.

If the potential referral partner shows laxity or lack of professionalism, they may not be the best partner to work with. Referrals will be generated when both parties spend a dedicated amount of time to make it happen. The vision of the doctor must match with that of their referral colleagues.

Personal meetings and visiting the offices of referral colleagues can also go a long way in developing a strong referral network. A visit to the partner’s office will allow the doctor to know the referral coordinators and engage with them personally. More often than not, it is the staff members who are initiating the referrals. Therefore, a rewarding interpersonal engagement with the entire team of the partner can support the network in the long run.


About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah is the President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company that focuses on website development, SEO, social media marketing, and the online reputations of medical professionals. Vikas Vij is the marketing manager for Ekwa Marketing. Visit Ekwa Marketing at www.ekwa.com.

By Naren Arulrajah with Vikas Vij
Ekwa Marketing

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