Today is National Doctors Day, which reminds us of the value and importance physicians hold in our lives. In the hospice world, physicians have tremendous influence. They’re the men and women who are having those end-of-life conversations with patients and their families first. For most hospice organizations, building strong positive relationships with physicians is important because strong relationships can turn into valuable referrals.

Wondering where to start in building relationships with the physicians in your market? Here are a few tips from Transcend Hospice Marketing Group to help you get started.

  • Make each visit purposeful. Relevance is key to getting a physician’s attention. If you’re doing the same thing in every office, on every visit, you’re not establishing relevance. Try to leave every visit with a new piece of information. Notice this is very different than delivering a new piece of information. Try to learn something from your referrers.
  • Treat each office and each individual as unique. Remember the little details and build upon previous conversations. Ask sincere, thoughtful questions to uncover the motivations, values and needs of your referrers. Create a foundation of interest and trust to cultivate further engagement.
  • Thoroughly investigate why the physician is not referring. Making assumptions is a waste of valuable time. Use effective probing, in a nonjudgmental way, and listen carefully to responses. Try to read between the lines and position yourself as a partner in helping to educate and solve problems.
  • Prepare! Do your homework. Review notes from previous visits and be very clear on what you want to learn before you walk into an office.
  • Ask for the referral(s). Help your referrers identify appropriate patients using specific details and examples– especially data that supports evidence-based resources for how hospice care benefits particular patients. Complete the “call to action” by telling the referrer exactly what to do next. Connect the dots on what the relationship means. Never leave referrals to chance.

To learn more about how Transcend Hospice Marketing Group can help you with marketing to physicians and other hospice referral sources, contact Stan Massey, Transcend’s partner/chief branding officer at 419.241.2247 or