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May, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 05

The ABC's of Meeting with Physicians

By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

Have you decided it is time to market your practice to physicians? It is inspiring to know that many physicians see fifteen or more patients a day and some practices have two or more doctors on staff.

Depending on the doctor's specialty, a high percentage of their patient's pain could benefit from your treatments. Just one physician referring new patients on a regular basis will quickly build your practice. So, how will you meet the doctors in your area? What sets your practice apart from the competition? How will you explain the type of patients the doctors should consider referring to you?

Since 1992 I have been meeting with physicians and asking for patient referrals. This article is the first of a three part series with insights that will help you avoid stress, save time, energy and money while marketing to physicians. Learn how to prepare and schedule the meeting, focus on the meeting and the use of educational tools and provide tips for future follow-up.

Systems

Attaining and sustaining a successful practice requires you have systems in place to efficiently market and handle the increased business as you grow. The saying, "you never have a second chance to make a good first impression," is important to keep in mind when marketing to physicians. From the beginning, I have modeled the successful techniques of other professionals, like pharmaceutical and medical equipment representatives, because they have proven methods for scheduling and "closing the deal" during those meetings.

Meeting with Physicians - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Essentials

Each of these groups shares common similarities in their approach that you can emulate. For example, they dress in business attire, utilize visual aids to educate the doctor and clinical staff and they answer questions clearly, precisely and with confidence. Leave support materials and samples. Handout business cards with your name, phone, e-mail address and website. Don't forget to schedule a follow-up meeting.

Prospecting

Take a little time to do research online, in phone books, directories, and local news publications. List the doctor's name, location, specialty, etc. Print out photos of the doctor and staff to review before entering their office.

You will collect the most accurate data going into the field by performing the research yourself. Frequently, clinics relocate, doctors retire and other practices add new doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to handle demand. The only way to locate all the doctors in your community is to hit the streets, look, listen and learn.  

Goals

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." So, what are your specific goals and the steps necessary to achieve them? By what date will you: have compiled a list of doctors? Determined what you are wearing, bringing and saying? Go out and start making cold calls?

Adventure

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation that leads to a long-term relationship is by taking the time and energy to make in-person cold calls. Most people dislike or, more accurately, are afraid of making in-person cold calls. Some even feel the process is undignified. Think of the in-person cold calling process as a learning adventure. You get to see new places and meet interesting people while marketing your practice. The bottom line is your odds of scheduling a meeting increases significantly when you walk through the door and stand face-to-face with the person that schedules the doctor. The goal is to meet the person who controls access to the doctor.

Meeting with Physicians - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Introduction

Smile while approaching the reception window, introduce yourself and tell them why you are there. For example: "Hello, I'm David with Kent Health Systems, whom must I speak with today to schedule a one minute meeting with the doctor to introduce myself, let them know of my services and answer any questions?"

Gatekeeper

Remember you are making a cold call and need to be flexible. Depending on the situation you will be: scheduled for a pre-screening meeting with the office manager or head nurse, told to leave your card and materials, scheduled for a future appointment with the doctor or told to have a seat and the doctor will see you in a few minutes.

Questions

The doctor and clinical staff will often ask the following: where are you located; what type of patients do you accept; does Medicare and insurance cover your services; how much does a treatment cost; what is done during a treatment; how often does a patient need to be treated; Where did you train and how long have you been practicing; and how do we refer patients?

Prepare

The next article in this series will focus on the details of the meeting. In the meantime, do the research, compile your list, set your goals and get ready for growth.


Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.

 

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