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The Secret to Referral-Based Practice Growth


by Frank Sardella

Trying to discover how to create patient referrals, docs err in asking “Why don’t patients refer?” And, there ends any chiropractic patient referral program.

Perhaps the most sought-after form of low-budget chiropractic marketing is the coveted patient referral. But why does it seem so difficult to get patients to follow through? Why don’t they just refer? The subject is strewn with debate, with no apparent right answer.

Lacking any solution, perhaps it is not the correct question. What should we be asking?

The Correct Question: Why DO Patients Refer?

In chiropractic, you strive to find cause, a premise based upon the simplicity that repairing malfunction depends solely upon knowledge of the optimum revealing the non-optimum. Knowledge of ideal spinal position, for instance, led to discovery of subluxation, then correction.

Therefore, to investigate why patients are not referring, you need only know why they DO refer. And, so you will spot the problems and be able to correct them.

What Really Drives a Patient to Refer?

You may as well ask, what drives you? I asked this question and found some very interesting and useful answers. For by asking yourself, you are consulting the ideal.

One thing you may find upon self-inspection is that one of the foremost traits has to do with the realization that you can control your health. It is this fact that gets any chiropractor his best results. It is this fact that puts the patient in control of his health, perhaps for the first time. Once done, it is only natural to begin to control the well-being of others. And therein lies the drive to refer people and really follow through.

It’s Not You, It’s Them! Some Additional Patient-Referral Roadblocks

You must realize that, although your patients may make amazing and miraculous changes during treatment, they may not be equipped with the communication skills to adequately promote you or your office. Don’t take a loss when you don’t get everyone. It’s not you.

Additionally, scripts and other gimmicks used by the doc or CA, I find, can be ample guides but are most commonly used as a substitute for observation, let alone communication. Despite saying the right things, if the patient didn’t assume control of his own health and realize it, how can he be expected to want to help control another’s?

The Real Secret to a Referral-Based Practice

While, yes, it may take some planning and strategy, and maybe even a script or some basic coaching, the secret to referral generation is: Patients refer when, in their chiropractic treatment, they realize that they can control their health and so wish to help control it in others they care about. There is the best chiropractic patient referral program and the best referral guarantee you will find.

I hope this helps.

Best of luck in practice.

Frank Sardella


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