by Dr. Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
Initially, all of the patients were referrals from my wife’s surveys.
That was the first thirty-five patients, which she managed to bring in by doing surveys outside for six weeks. She had already done the equivalent of what we now call our Advanced Communication Course, and frankly, anybody who needs to go out and do surveys, if they have any back off on communicating with people, if they’re worried or whatever, they should do that course, highly recommended.
After the first thirty-five, I never accepted a patient who wasn’t referred by somebody. I did have patients who came in, who were not referred. It was about ten percent of the new patients that year who were not referred. They saw the sign and were curious or somehow heard about it.
The front desk was instructed that we only accept patients who are referred. They would ask, “Well, how do I get referred?” and reception would say, “Sit in the waiting room and talk to some of the patients and see if anybody will refer you.”
That’s what we actually did with a small number of people who came in somehow without a referral. We would have them sit in the waiting room and talk to people.
“Ask somebody how long they’ve been coming here, and what do they think? Then somebody will refer you.”
Of course, all of my patients knew the game. They would say, “Well, why are you interested? Oh, he’s great at that. Let me refer you.”
And so every patient became a referred patient and therefore became immediately eligible for whatever the discount was on the initial visit. Within two years it was a one hundred percent referral practice. One hundred percent.
It’s so easy to handle referred patients because they already know you’re a good guy. They know that you’re going to be different and maybe a little strange, but you’re a good guy. They believe in you.
When the brand-new people came in, like our first thirty-five people, I had to work very hard to get them started, even though they were referred by my wife from the survey. It wasn’t the same as being referred by an active patient who didn’t have a vested interest in them coming into the office.
Caring for and getting sick people well is really the most important part of generating a referral practice.
Today you have a different environment than we had thirty years ago. You have all the social media noise. You have so many people competing.
Today, it might be more important to become known somehow in the community, but I think it really all comes down to the same basics of how to do it. For example, one of the things I knew from my many years of practicing chiropractic was that the best way to keep my name in front of everybody who I ever came in contact with was to communicate with them on a regular basis.
Before the days of emails and Facebook postings and things like this, I just sent out a newsletter every month. Everybody who ever came in contact with me got a newsletter.
The newsletter consisted of the written testimonials that our patients would supply to us. When they would come in and say, “For the first time in 20 years, I actually woke up without a headache every day this week,” we would ask them for a testimonial.
“Oh my God,” we would say, “could you write a little letter about that, that we could use to let other people know it’s that simple.”
We didn’t try to force people to do anything. If they would, we taught people how to testify. For example, at the end of the fine-tuning period, the patient’s already feeling better. They’re doing better. They love the program. That’s the definition of a patient who has completed their fine tuning per our patient management secrets program. The patient would say, “Yeah, I’m doing so much better, doc. I can’t tell you how much better I’m feeling.”
“That is such a great story. Could you share that with a few people sitting out in the waiting room? Some of them are much newer than you and they just don’t have the same experience.”
They’d be a little nervous. We would say, “Hey guys, this is Mary. Mary’s been with us for about three months and she’s just been having some wonderful results that she was just telling me about.
I asked her if she’d be willing to share it. Would you guys be interested in hearing some of her results?”
“Oh yes. Yes.”
There’d be three people in the waiting room and she would tell her story and people would go, “Wow!”
So, we trained our patients how to testify and then we would ask them to give it to us in writing so we could let more people know about it.
Excerpt from the webinar: Having a Million-Dollar Practice
with Dr. Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
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