Generating Functional Medicine Referrals

There Are Many Forms of Advertising

So many doctors spend thousands and thousands of dollars on advertising their functional medicine practices in the yellow pages, newspaper, magazines, and other forms of traditional media.  This form of advertising is often times a big risk.  Some ads work well, and some ads don’t work well at all.

In my experience, if you are going to spend a lot of money in print, go with the advertorial model.  This allows you to advertise in a way that is less selling, more educating.  When you take the time to give potential patients information that will be helpful to them, they will remember YOU when it is time to visit the doctor.

Social Media

A lot of doctors have turned to social media as a means to advertise their clinic.  This method can be very effective if done correctly.  Youtube, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest are 4 of the best platforms to help grow your functional medicine practice.  Selecting the right keywords is one of the most important aspects of applying this method.  Knowing how to set up a lead generation funnel is also important for effective social media campaigns.  Most doctors fail to implement this last step, and therefor pay for ads that also fail.

The Office Newsletter

Keeping regular contact with your patients is an important and often overlooked form of advertising.  A newsletter designed to educate patients about a variety of health related topics can be a valuable asset to any successful clinic.  Newsletters

  • Help educate patients
  • Allow you to feature clinic products and generate passive revenue sales.
  • Are often share with family members and friends and can reach a larger audience.  This is where a lot of referrals are generated.

Word of Mouth is the Best Form of Advertising

Hands down, the best form of advertising is not even done by the doctor.  It is done by your patients.  A happy and satisfied patient will tell the world about your office.  He/she will contact friends, family, strangers, co-workers, etc and let them know that you are the doctor they need to see.  They will share their own success stories, talk about cost, discuss the different lab tests and supplements… they will basically prime potential patients on what to expect at your office.  Word of mouth referrals are:

  • More compliant to care
  • More willing to pay cash vs. insurance
  • More likely to refer others
  • More likely to share (or accept) your functional medicine philosophy
  • Easier for your staff to deal with
  • Free – you don’t have to spend money advertising at all if you have a good word of mouth referral system in your office.

Getting patients to recommend your service is not hard.  You have to deliver stellar customer service, and you have to get them results.  Customer service and getting results are the easiest part.  Once you have achieved these two items, the next step is simply asking for a referral.

“Mrs. Jones, I am so glad that you are feeling better. Don’t keep our office a secret.  Do me a favor and let your family and friends know how we have helped you.”

Set Your Office Up With a Referral Mentality

We have several points of contact with patients that let them know we are a referral based clinic:

  1. When we first take a new patients information, we always ask – “which one of our patients referred you to the office?”
  2. When patients fill out office forms we ask again in the questionnaire.
  3. When the patient comes into the office on the first day, the staff asks again – “How did you find Dr. _________?”
  4. When I am seeing the patient in the exam room, I ask – “who were you referred by?”
  5. When the patient is feeling better, we ask for a video testimonial (this is a form of perpetual referral that can be used online).
  6. When we have an office educational event, we ask patients to bring friends, family, and co-workers who they think might benefit.
  7. When a referral is made we mail out a thank you card.

Remember, a referral is by far the best and easiest way to build a successful functional medicine practice.  Make sure that your office is set up to encourage them.

To your success,

Dr. O

Want to learn more?  Check out my Functional Medicine Blueprint here <<<


Dr. Peter Osborne

Dr. Peter Osborne