How to supercharge your referral partner relationships… Nurture what you want to grow

In this blog:

 

  • A quick review of wrap-around marketing 
  • Why you MUST reward your referral partnerships 
  • Why I love my favorite referral partnership nurturing strategy
  • The detailed 6-step process to reward your best referral partnerships and keep them sending patients your way

 

 

Welcome to the final installment of our series about wrap-around marketing!  In case you missed the first post, you can check it out here.

 

But if you’d prefer a summary, we introduced the concept of “wrap-around marketing,”  In short, wrap-around marketing is any strategy that creatively combines techniques and elements of both traditional and digital marketing with the intended effect of increasing the effectiveness of both.  Unless you’re thinking this way, I guarantee you miss out on valuable leads for both patients and referral partners.

 

In the last post, we laid out a wrap-around reboot of the old cold calling technique, using modern marketing tools to make it more straightforward, more fun, and effective than it has ever been in creating referral partners.  For this final installment, we’re going to look at referral partners again. Yet today’s focus is on how to REWARD them for their valuable presence in our networks.  Remember that referral partners are the equivalent of numerous patients, so the ROI for all time, money, and energy invested in reaching them is automatically much higher. For this reason, it warrants a further post about referral partners to close out our wrap-around series.

 

I highly recommend that you reward your referral partners.  Referral partner rewards show them that you think about them, care for them, and don’t take their referrals for granted.  Any nurtured relationship will grow, and of course, we want to promote and develop our referral partner relationships for many reasons.  Here’s my favorite way to do that, and it is pure wrap-around marketing magic!

 

I love this strategy because it leverages traditional marketing techniques to reward and generate more authentic referrals and often leads to unexpected visibility on social media and word of mouth.  This strategy might seem simple, but pay attention because the details matter and can mean the difference between a significant impact and falling flat.

 

  1. Track your referrals for the year.  This technique is perfect for the end of a year or the beginning of the next.
  2. Determine your top 5 referral partners by the number of new patients referred.
  3. Send these top five a thank you card (not just a holiday card) in December and let them know lunch for them and everyone in their office is on you sometime in January.  Let them know you’ll be calling them at the beginning of January to pick a date for their luncheon.  It’s essential to have the lunch in January because it will get lost in the flood of holiday bustle of pharmaceutical reps, other referral partners, patient cards, and all the rest in December.  You will have a much more significant impact in January when everything is back to normal.  The timing here will help you stand out from the pack.
  4. This phone call is essential.  Not only does it work to coordinate the meal on a practical level, but it also serves as a strategic high-touch follow-up.  Not only will you be taking orders, discovering allergies, etc., but you will also again be staying top of mind. Staying top of mind demonstrates your superior communication and customer care and subliminally reminding them to keep the referrals coming your way.
  5. If the office is too large for your budget, send everyone a scratch-off lottery ticket (yep, I’m serious!) in a card with candy taped to it.  Make sure to send the doctor or doctor’s higher-priced tickets.  Again, this will meet all of the strategic benefits of the meal without breaking your bank.  Still, call them first to tell them they have been star referral partners and that you are thanking them by sending them all a gift.  Do this to find out how many tickets you need to buy, but don’t tell them what the present is.  Lottery tickets are great because they will likely expect some ho-hum run-of-the-mill white elephant holiday gift that they can’t use, but lottery tickets are both useful and fun.  It gives them a moment of fun and fantasy during their busy, stressful day.  And as we all know, so many people spend all their money during the holiday season, so the promise of quick cash recoup is particularly enticing this time of year for the office staff.
  6. What I often see is rewarded referral partners are so pleasantly surprised by the gesture that they will give you an unsolicited shout-out on social media, thus increasing your digital visibility and completing the wrap-around strategy.

 

So, what do you think?  Can you give this a try during the next holiday season?  I sincerely hope you do because I want you to be delighted by the great response to this gesture and for you to reap all the unexpected benefits of visibility and goodwill that I so often observe to accompany this kind of strategy.

 

I hope you have enjoyed our blog series about wrap-around marketing.  I genuinely believe it is the future marketing mindset in a world with so many unique tools available to promote our services.  Remember, chances are that you are missing opportunities in your marketing, and the only way to keep that from happening is to develop a true wrap-around mindset.  

 

Would you like help to catch the opportunities you are missing in your marketing plan?  Just reach out and set up a time to talk.  We’ll guide you through all of this and more, and we are always thinking hard with a wrap-around mindset to help our clients maximize every marketing dollar, minute, and calorie spent.  While these three wrap-around strategies are a great start, we have dozens more to share with you and help you supercharge your visibility and powers of patient attraction and referral partner collaboration.  To get started, reach out to us here.

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