Asking for referrals is an excellent way to expand your patient base, and attract more of your ideal patient avatar. If you have people and patients that you really enjoy interacting with, it stands to reason that friends and family of these patients are likely to be a similarly great fit for your practice.

However, a lot of people do feel a little bit awkward about asking for referrals. Sometimes they worry that it comes off as too needy, or they don’t like asking for favours, or they simply don’t like to be put on the spot.

But, there’s actually a super simple framework and formula that you can use to ask for referrals effortlessly. And that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you today.


1. Pre-frame

If you want to ask a patient for feedback and referrals, it’s important to frame it at the beginning of the appointment.

You can really simply and concisely frame it like:

“Bob at the end of the appointment, would it be okay if I ask you for some feedback? I really want to make sure the appointment’s good for you, and check in with you. Is that okay?”

This allows you to set the expectation that you’ll be asking Bob a question about his experience with you, and that it’s for the benefit of his care and other patients.


2. Initiating the conversation

At the end of the appointment, you can loop back to the topic of feedback with a quick and easy:

“Bob, I mentioned at the beginning of the appointment that I’d ask for some feedback. Would you mind letting me know how the appointment was?”

Now, not all feedback is necessarily going to be positive. Negative feedback is often very instructive and you can take that on board to improve your patient experience.


3. Proceed with the request

However, if the feedback is positive, you can make a short request:

“Bob, thanks so much for those kind words. I really appreciate the feedback. Look, what you might not realize is that we’re primarily a referral-based practice and look, we don’t take on just anyone as a patient, but I’m glad you’ve had a good experience. I’ve certainly enjoyed looking after you. So if you happen to have any family and friends you’d like to send along, we’d be more than happy to look after them on your behalf. He’s a card that you might like to hand out to them.”

By indicating that you operate primarily on referrals, you create this exclusivity which operates as a psychological principle to entice people to want access to you and your practice. You can also emphasise that you would be “looking after” whoever Bob refers, which is going to make him feel much more comfortable about referring his loved ones to you. This makes it less of a request or favour on your part, and more of an offer.

Asking for referrals is a super effective way to grow your patient base without spending a cent on marketing – and it’s important to implement if you aren’t already. For more tips about marketing your practice on a shoestring budget, check out this list for the rundown.


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