Referrals for Private Practice

Even when you’re providing excellent service in private practice, most patients won’t automatically refer. Here are two key points that explain why.

It’s a cold, hard fact of private practice: simply being excellent at patient care does not guarantee referrals.

Actually, your reluctance to directly ask for referrals is a guarantee that you won’t get them.

Even worse, if you’ve only been asking for referrals in an informal way that’s impossible to track, you might feel that you’re putting forth a lot of internal marketing effort with nothing to show for it.

What you need is a simple referral-eliciting system that gets EVERY patient thinking about referring you, and it’s got to be one that’s also easy for your staff to monitor so that you know when you’re getting results.

When you are shaping your referral system, keep in mind these two key ideas about why patients fail to refer:

  1. Patients have no idea how much each referral will help you. If you seem to be doing pretty well—a full waiting room, up-to-date equipment, and so on—most patients will assume that you don’t need any help from them. On the other hand, if they understand how easy and powerful it can be when they refer friends and family, they’ll make a point of telling others about your excellent service.
  2. You’re focused on how referrals will help YOU, not how the act of referring to a trusted provider will earn the gratitude of your patient’s friends and family. No one wants to pick a provider at random when they can rely on personal testimony.

Another important thing to remember about patient referrals is that once a patient has referred a loved one to your office, your patient will be even more loyal to you in the future. In essence, he or she wants to believe you are the very best possible provider, after having passed on this message to friends and family!


I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

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Have a great day!

The PPW team