Exactly What To Say to Drive More Patient Referrals

Here’s the truth … no matter how many modern marketing methods you use or how great your website is, the creation of referrals from your very own patient list will brings you the biggest, quickest and most authentic return on your marketing investment. Period.

And although I know that you would LOVE to have an endless flood of referred patients, and would do just about anything to make this happen … for the majority of businesses, there is ONE reason why they fail to gain the referrals they deserve:

They fail to ask their existing patients to open the doors to their networks.

The question is, what’s stopping you from asking?

From my experience, it typically comes down to one of the following three things

  • You’re LAZY and can’t be bothered…
  • You don’t know WHEN to ask…
  • You don’t know HOW to ask.

I would assume that Option 1 does not apply to you. If it did, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Therefore, if you knew the answer to the other two questions, then you’d probably be fully equipped to ask more often, right?

It’s often said that it’s not what you say — it’s how (and when) you say it.

For many people, the fear of choosing an imperfect moment to introduce an idea is the point of anxiety that stops them from mentioning it at all.

Well, in my work, I am renowned for helping others to know exactly what to say, when to say it and how to make it count.  Let’s see if today we can help you understand how this relates perfectly to referrals.

When is the right time to ask?

Here’s the short answer: when your patient is happy.

The difficulty with this answer is that there could be multiple examples in which this could be the case, like the point of sale, after several months of care or even after quickly addressing a patients challenge.

This abundance of opportunity creates a sense of option paralysis and usually results in an inability to ask them that one key question.

A better answer is to listen for one simple phrase.

This phrase is a big clue that this patient is not only delighted with what you’ve done for them, but also feels indebted to you to a point where they may even feel like they owe you some reciprocity.

This is the exact time to ask them.

Those words for which you must listen are …

… thank you.

Now, when you receive this sign of appreciation, do not simply pat yourself on the back and think, “well done, me”

Instead, understand that this is your exact moment to ask for more.

Now that you understand the precise timing of the request, let’s explore a structured and powerful way of making the “ask”.

How to Ask for Referrals?

The subconscious brain is a powerful thing, particularly in the sales process.

It works a bit like a computer. Rather than little ones and zeroes, it only produces a simple “yes” or “no” … “Maybe” does not exist.

Having the ability to trigger an instant decision from your patient delivers you a fair advantage in communication and can often allow you to get your way more often.

To lead you to the exact right set of words, you must first learn the power of a simple set of “Magic Phrases” that can be used to get people to agree to a task before they even know what it is!

Once they’ve said “thank you,” they’ve provided your cue to ask the first question:

“You couldn’t do me a small favor, could you?” 

This quick question elicits an almost certain agreeable response and gives you instant permission to continue with the rest of your request.

“You wouldn’t happen to know…”

The phrasing here throws down a challenge. Your patient now feels compelled to prove you wrong.

“ …just one person…”

“Just one” sounds reasonable. Since it seems like such an easy ask, they’re more likely to think of someone by name.

“ …someone just like you…”

This clarification has the person narrowing down their options so you’ll actually get the right prospect. Plus, it pays them a subtle compliment that won’t go unnoticed.

“ …who would benefit from…”

And then emphasize the specific benefit or positive experience for which they’ve just thanked you.

Then… shut up!

Once they’ve thought of somebody, you will probably be able to see that certainty in their body language and movement.

At this point say …

“Don’t worry, I’m not looking for their details right now, but who was it that you’re thinking of?” 

Saying “don’t worry” automatically takes the pressure off, and the “but” helps them to only recall the final part of the sentence.

Then, you can find out when they’re next likely to see the person they’ve just mentioned.

But before you start, ask, “You couldn’t do me another favor, could you?” After they’ve said yes the first time, they’re more likely to say yes again so they can keep up the reputation they’ve built with you.

Once they do, follow up with …

“Next time you see Bill, could you share with him a little bit about how it was working with me and see if perhaps he’s open-minded to coming to see me to see if I can help him in the same way I helped you?”

After your prospect almost certainly agrees, ask …

“Would it be okay if I give you a call next week and find out how the chat went with Bill?”

This happens seamlessly.

You then call him when you said you would and calmly, not accusingly, say, “I’m guessing you didn’t get around to speaking to Bill?”

As a person of their word, they will either proudly tell you how they have already spoken with him, or will be embarrassed and tell you how they plan to go on to complete the introduction.

The magical thing is that if you slow this process down, you can often speed the outcome up.

It provides you with future patients who already have third-party assurance of your offerings and permission to make contact. I don’t know about you, but I’d take that over a name and a number any day of the week.

FREE GUIDE: The 7 Big MISTAKES That Most Hearing Care Clinics Are Making

Including The Strategies & Tactics to Address Each Mistake, Today.

Want to be the first to be notified when a new article or resource is released?


No spam, awkward promotions, or cheesy emails – just pure, solid, business-building strategies and insights.

Recommended Articles

AlexCopywriter

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Helping write, plan and publish content.

What do you love most about working with clients?

The variety! There are always new and interesting projects and angles to work on.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

The support from the amazing team!

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I use to live in Switzerland!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

The Maldives

AlexandraTechnical Account Manager

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I make sure that the websites are up to date, functioning well and looking good.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love being a part of a team that helps our clients to further help more people with hearing loss, tinnitus etc live rich, fulfilling lives. 

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

There is always a huge sense of achievement whenever we put a site live - we know at that point that the client is happy with the work we have produced and is ready to show it to the world.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

Before joining Orange & Gray I was a classically trained chef and have also studied hypnosis and psychotherapy.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

India

AntonWeb Designer

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I am responsible for creating the look and feel of the websites that we build.

What do you love most about working with clients?

Understanding the personality of the individual brand and their people and translating it into a unique web user experience.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

I really enjoy how everyone takes ownership of their roles thus creating a well-oiled machine.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I played Ice Hockey for South Africa ;)

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Maldives. Cliche but hey, it's for free!

BilCopywriter

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I provide content with an American style and the unique point of view from different regions of the U.S. to improve local SEO.

What do you love most about working with clients?

Because I have struggled with hearing issues, my passion is not only focused on the client, but also communicating hope to the people they serve.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

O&G's team approach, which combines the unique talents of each individual to create top-level service to our clients, is our most impressive feature.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

Away from my keyboard, my wife and I spend our time delivering food and basic household supplies to the less fortunate.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Back to my family roots in England and the Scottish Highlands.

ClaireBrand Manager

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Ensuring that Orange & Gray is presented as an industry-leading brand, creating resources and experiences that make becoming an Inner Circle member something to aspire to.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I don't work directly with clients, but I do love seeing the wider team bring ideas and campaigns to life and how it helps them.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Being part of such a great team with a family feel to it really has been refreshing and it feels like a privelege to work alongside such great people.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I've been singing on stage since I was 6 and my mum is an opera singer

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

I'd love to visit Singapore and Japan

ClintCopywriter

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I create engaging copy designed specifically with the client's needs at the forefront.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I like the challenge of trying to improve the awareness and overall sales of their businesses.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Receiving my first assignment and getting to show my new co-workers that I'm capable and proud to be working alongside them.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I used to be a golf professional.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Bora Bora, it looks beautiful and it's fun to say.

Clive MargettsCEO

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I see it as a team builder and facilitator. Making sure the right people occupy the right roles.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I don't too often, but when I do it's the people interaction. Getting to know our clients' interests, approach to business, motivations and dreams.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

It may sound a bit twee, but I'm so proud of what we have achieved in building such a talented team and by their resulting impact in an industry that needs a service like ours.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I love classic cars and plan to travel widely in years to come in an old Classic Campervan!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

The Amazon Rainforest

Daniel WatersChief Technical Officer

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I take charge of the technical team and make sure that all of our technical systems run smoothly. If it's tech, I've got it.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love interacting with people who are all in the same boat but all face different challenges but most of all I love it when something I do makes them happier or their life easier.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

There is no favourite moment as such as it is all one favourite moment being able to work with a wonderful team of talented and varied individuals. Apart from driving amazing results for clients, getting to face challenges and build solutions with this growing team is reason alone to wake up each morning.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I started my first business when I was 12 years old.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

This is so hard but I think Thailand or South Korea or China - basically East Asia for amazing food and diverse culture.

DonnaSEO Expert

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

It is my responsibility to optimise websites so they rank well on Google search pages and are recognised as trust worthy and reliable websites.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love working with clients because of how much I've learned from them and what they do, and being part of making their business grow.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Other than winning my "most improved" award in 2020, my favourite moments of working with this amazing team is when we meet up in person for a weekend packed full of laughs and great memories.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I'm a crazy dog lady. I have 4 rescue dogs and couldn't imagine what life would be like without a furry friend.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

The Maldives - the fresh food, drink, beaches and sunsets looks like paradise. What's not to love?

EmmaTechnical Account Manager

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I am a Technical Account Manager, working on everything from new websites to creating forms and landing pages

What do you love most about working with clients?

I like making a connection with our clients, listening to their ideas and feedback, and using this to make sure they are really happy with what we are working on for them, whether that be a new website build, a new webpage, creating online forms, or any other technical job.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

There have been lots of wonderful moments so far. Highlights definitely include winning Best Newcomer in March 2020 and Star of The Year in December 2020. I love my job and the O&G team, I am really lucky to be a part of it. Another highlight for me is each time a new client's website goes live. It is really rewarding to see the web build process through from start to finish and then to look after the sites and work closely with the clients thereafter.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I used to teach Forensic Science and Psychology.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

The Maldives or Iceland depending on if I was in the mood for sun or snow.

JenniferCampaign and Project Manager

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Campaign and Project Manager. I manage monthly marketing campaigns for Inner Circle clients.

What do you love most about working with clients?

The variety of different people I get to speak to on a daily basis.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

More than just one moment - but watching the Hear for the Holidays winners videos.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I have skydived from 10,000 feet.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Australia

JodieGraphic Designer

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I design logos, printed materials, online social assets and websites adding consistency across everything as well as ensuring the graphic design looks professional and engaging.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love helping to bring the clients' visions to life and exceeding their expectations.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

I have really enjoyed seeing how O&G have grown over the time I have worked with them and the difference they have made to businesses

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I'm a bit clumsy, I even managed to break my wrist snowboarding on the first run 5 minutes into my holiday... Surely a record!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

I would love to go back to Hawaii and see all the Islands!

KathrynWriter

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Editing, proofreading & copywriting, with a special eye for ensuring anything is not too UK-ish!

What do you love most about working with clients?

Witnessing the life-changing results their services provide.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

It's hard to say. Everyone is so lovely and a joy to work with. So much so that "work" doesn't feel like work but something special to be a part of.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

If you love cats and hot chocolate, then we'll be friends for life!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

On an Alaskan cruise

KerrinContent Executive

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I keep the client's content consumable. Using insights, ideas, and strategies to keep their socials, newsletters and blogs fresh, flavourful, and flowing.

What do you love most about working with clients?

Using their unique stories, experiences and insights to shape and create engaging and targeted content.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Seeing the team go from strength to strength as we develop and grow alongside our clients.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I'm a half & half South African-Brit who speaks Norwegian, because hvorfor ikke?

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

I'd love to visit the Serengeti in Tanzania

LaurenCopywriter

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I write engaging blog posts that are full of clients' unique personalities.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love the opportunity to learn more about their field and opinions as physicians.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

I've loved getting the opportunity to write for so many interesting clients.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I'm also a graphic designer and love creating digital art.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

I would love to visit Korea!

LucyCopywriter

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Marketing Strategist - Conjurer of Content!

What do you love most about working with clients?

There's always a fun and effective way to get our client's message across, and rest assured the Conjurer of Creative Content will surely find and implement it :D

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Seeing how the team truly support each other.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I studied English Literature at Georgia State Uni in Atlanta... #isntitironic

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Norway

ManpreetWebsite Developer

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I am a Web developer, making sure that client websites function correctly and reliably.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love using my creativity to build and style their websites.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

All moments are my favourite. I am enjoying every moment with O&G but I want to share one moment that, during the COVID-19 when Clive Margetts ( The Boss ) organized a meeting with all team members and gave us motivation to fight with that along with work assurance.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I believe in humanity first, country second and religion at last.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

I want to go Paris once in my life.

MeganCopywriter and Marketing Assistant

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

My role involves driving the monthly newsletters and writing engaging copy for our clients - ensuring my words are both sensitive and impactful.

What do you love most about working with clients?

Building up a relationship with the clients and getting to know the personalities behind them is my favourite part as it allows me to create something unique that we're both proud of.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

It's really fantastic to see the whole team working together on the 2021 Planning Meeting call. It shows how much collective ideas and team work can make a difference.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

No one in my family knows how to pronounce my last name - we all say it differently!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

India - the country fascinates me and it's one place that's always been on my bucket list.

MikeMarketing Executive

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Marketing, Design and Content Creation

What do you love most about working with clients?

Bringing their ideas to life.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Creating stunning content and seeing results

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I play 4 musical instruments!

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Rent a camper and drive across the US :)

NathanTechnical Advisor

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Helping with all things technical, including creating the Inner Circle members area

What do you love most about working with clients?

Seeing the results they're getting from our marketing campaigns!

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

After much hard work and a huge team effort, the launch of the Inner Circle members area was hugely rewarding.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

My eyes changed colour from brown to green in my teens

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

The Amazon, but maybe in some kind of pod, protected from anything too bitey.

Oli LukeCo-Founder

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I drive the marketing strategy on behalf of 'Inner Circle' members and develop cutting-edge campaigns that see them lead the industry

What do you love most about working with clients?

Helping them to understand what modern marketing really is, and helping them to dispel the "silver bullet" myths

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

It's spending time with members, although the challenges of the pandemic have restricted travel, my fondest memories are being in clients' offices, understanding the inner workings of their businesses, and bringing new ideas

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I fractured my skull when I was 14 trying to impress some girls at school. It didn't work, and resulted in two months in hospital. Not my proudest moment.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

I really fancy Rio de Janeiro

PaulWebsite Developer

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I am a Web Developer, helping to build, debug and fix websites

What do you love most about working with clients?

I know it's a bit of a cliche to say it's because every one is different, but that's really what it is. Dealing with different people who all bring different approaches keeps everything fresh and exciting

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Receiving my first task as part of the team. It was exciting and terrifying in equal measure!

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I have appeared on backing vocals for folk legend Pete Seeger

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

The Maldives

Phil M JonesCo-Founder

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Building a vision for the industry, the amazing people we partner with and the entire O&G team that creates sustainable and profitable growth.

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love that these are real people, with amazing stories and skills and together we can create 2+2 =5

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

The pride of helping many who we partner with THRIVE through the challenges of 2020

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

One day I will find the time to learn to play a musical instrument

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Still looking to find a paid gig in Antarctica!!

SamairaContent Manager

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I manage the process involved in ensuring the monthly content is delivered each month including newsletters, blogs and social media.

What do you love most about working with clients?

Their knowledge and expertise in their area. Also, I like hearing about how their lifestyles differ from ours in the UK.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

I really enjoyed our team trip to Orlando to attend a talk by Phil and meet some of our potential future clients. It gave insight into the current status of the hearing industry and what we at Orange & Gray can do to help support and grow our clients' businesses.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I have a huge documentation of my dreams which I analyse in my spare time.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Japan - I would love to see Mount Fuji and experience the real life Mario Kart in Tokyo!

ScottTechnical Support Officer

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

Servers, websites, security. If it's written in code and it stops working, that's where you'll find me with tools in hand.

What do you love most about working with clients?

Helping! There's nothing better than seeing a client moving onward and upward. If I can make that transition smoother for the client, then I can leave my desk happy.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

Working with incredible people is always a bonus! However, getting my hands dirty poking the websites and servers, suggesting improvements is always fun.

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I had lived in 4 different countries by the age of 16.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

Hobbiton Village - New Zealand

SophieSocial Media Executive

Describe your role with Orange & Gray in 25 words or less

I'm a Social Media Executive, creating content that puts clients in front of existing and prospective clients on a regular basis

What do you love most about working with clients?

I love getting to know interesting things about the people we provide content for day in and day out.

What has been your favourite moment so far working in the O&G team?

It's great when we can all get together! It's not happened much due to the current circumstances but it's good fun when we do!

Tell us a random fact about you in a short sentence - keep it clean ;)

I lived in Australia for a year when I was 18.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go?

New York or Las Vegas!