In this blog:
- A quick review of wrap-around marketing
- Why cold calling isn’t dead, but very much alive
- Why this ain’t your granddaddy’s cold calling!
- My proven 6-step process for establishing warm, receptive referral partners in your region, whether you are new to the area or established for a long time
Welcome back to 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 (LINK), we covered how to apply the wrap-around marketing mindset to attracting patients. Today we’re switching gears to help you understand how it’s just as valuable, if not more, for the way you approach prospective referral partners. 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.
Although a referral from someone you know is always best, don’t think for a minute that cold calling is dead. It’s very much alive because we will always need to look for new partners to keep our business growing, and these are often people we haven’t yet met. But, like so much else in our world of modern commerce and marketing, it ain’t your grandpa’s cold call. Here’s what it looks like today, and I know you will be delighted by how much more straightforward, fun, and useful the process is. I’m going to teach you the discouraging image that likely comes to your mind when you hear the term “cold call,” which we all know is a dinosaur from another time.
Now, I know that most of you probably get an icky feeling in your stomach when you think at all about cold calling. The thought of opening a phone book and going through one listing after the other throughout the afternoon is as dull as watching paint dry and as dejecting as being turned down for the prom by everyone in your high school. After all, you didn’t get into medicine to be a salesperson. Yes, cold calling has a bad name, and justifiably so, which is why 99% of you don’t pick up the phone yourselves when you see a number you don’t recognize. But, as I said, this ain’t your grandpa’s cold calling, and this is for two primary reasons:
- We’re not just selling. We’re educating, adding value, and forming relationships
- We have more tools than ever before at our disposal to do research and make contact in all sorts of different ways before we even pick up the phone, so chances are you will find a much more receptive voice at the other end when you finally do
Whether you are just getting established in a new area, or if you need to update your network, the following 6-step process, a true wrap-around technique, will do wonders to find and generate a healthy and happy base of referral partners:
- Research all possible referral partners within a 10-mile radius. Google is your best bet here. While you may have a phone book laying around, those playing the best marketing game right now will have well-developed Google listings, and the software will tell you exactly how far aware they are from your location.
- Send them a letter that you are opening or describing your established practice, and illuminate how you can add value to their patients.
- Let them know in the letter that you will be calling their office within two weeks to schedule a 10-minute one-on-one with the doctor/dentist so you can learn about all the ways they help their patients.
- Call their office to schedule the call.
- Find the doctor on LinkedIn and connect so they can start to get a sense of your brand before talking to you.
- Doctors are busy people, so while you are on the call, respect their time and make it about THEM.
See? I know you can already see yourself jumping into that process and contacting receptive referral partners in your area. It’s like cold-calling, but with a whole lot more tools than were available to previous generations, and these tools make all the difference. I’m so glad we live in a time when we can synthesize traditional and cutting-edge digital processes to do networking and selling so much fun and full of creativity!
If you go through all these steps, you will find that the front desk staff of doctors and dentists are quite receptive to you and ready to add you as a fruitful and vital referral partner. Again, it’s a great way to break into a new market if you are new or wish to start the networking and referral game in an established region. It’s the essence of wrap-around marketing because it combines traditional and online marketing in a creative and multi-faceted approach.
The final post in our wrap-around marketing series is a PERFECT companion to this one because I’m going to share my favorite process for rewarding your valued referral partners. Rewarding your referral partners keep you at the top of their minds, and I guarantee you’ll be surprised and delighted by how it works. See you then!