A medical liaison is a professional salesperson dedicated to representing your medical practice in an effort to establish and strengthen the relationship between existing / potential referring physicians and your medical practice. By maintaining an open line of communication with referring physicians and performing diligent community outreach, medical liaisons maintain and grow the patient referral base for those they represent.
A Relationship Marketing program can have a powerful impact on the growth of your vein or vascular practice by increasing physician referrals and subsequent consultations / procedures. There are, however, several common errors in approach and understanding that can slow your success and even derail it altogether. Some of these mistakes come from inexperience — for example, doctors, nurses, and office managers not being exposed to a sales-driven business culture. Other industries outside of healthcare have long viewed the sales or business development function as a vital component of their business models, and yet medical practices are not uniformly on-board.
Past marketing campaign failures, insufficient relationship marketing program knowledge, out-of-date marketing concepts, and/or inaccurate beliefs about business development can take your relationship marketing program in the wrong direction. However, the good news is that there is tremendous potential for growth in those medical practices that obtain competency in professional business development. For that reason, you might want to consider how your practice is performing compared to critical strategy errors described below that can derail your success.
Physicians often have difficulty when hiring a medical liaison to establish and expand relationships with existing and potential referring practices. Some marketing organizations suggest that you promote / recruit an RN for this position. RNs are not trained in professional sales and their listening skills are different based upon their clinical training. RNs are trained to tell you what they know, based upon their clinical training – A medical liaison is trained to ask questions and listen to the needs of the referring physician. Referring physicians don’t want to be told, they want to be heard and then reassured that patients that they refer to your practice will receive adequate care that reflects positively on the referring physician.
Sending a medical liaison into the field with insufficient information and training. When a medical liaison goes into the field with little or no information about your practice, vein disease, available treatment options, as well as current referral patterns of the targeted practices, they are not prepared to have a “consultative conversation.” Not only does this lack of preparation make it unlikely that the liaison will engage the targeted referral physician, it further alienates the referring physician and makes it more difficult for the liaison to get back in the door for a subsequent meeting. So, it is crucial that your liaison is trained to know how to qualify a referring physician, the type of information that will lead to an engaging conversation with a referring physician and/or their staff, and the questions to ask to uncover the referring physician’s specific challenges and needs. All of this is necessary to begin building a solid, long-term relationship with a referral source
Physician Referrals. MDmanagement can show you how to effectively communicate with other physicians in your area to generate quality referrals. We will show you how to use software to track each and every interaction you have with current and potential referral physicians. Techniques can include providing you with a customized PowerPoint presentation for your physician-to-physician meetings to educate referral physicians and their staff on the services you provide and why they should refer their valued patients to your practice.
Patient Referrals. Patients will naturally generate referrals to your practice when they are delighted with their results after treatment and with the way your staff interacted with them. But many other patients who are completely satisfied may never even consider that you would appreciate them giving you referrals. MDmanagement can help you with various techniques to strengthen those patient relationships, thus earning you more repeat visits and the referrals you would like to receive.
Staff Training. MDmanagement will meet with your staff to determine their competency level to manage your marketing program. Your office staff must be trained to ask each and every patient who walks in the door how they heard about you. We know how important it is for your staff to be pleasant and upbeat as they greet your patients. When prospective patients call, they are evaluating your practice. How they are treated on the phone will help them decide whether to make an appointment, or to go to another provider. In addition to these basic telephone skills, your staff will need to develop a business attitude that makes them want to make your practice run more efficiently and profitably.