The absolute best way to attract clients is through word-of-mouth. Doctors have a set of jungle drums, a grapevine. Doctors gossip. Like that shampoo commercial where the silken-tressed model tells two friends and "they tell two friends and they tell two friends," doctors also pass the word on.
People Will Talk
The first option is referrals, or networking, which is really a variation on word-of-mouth. The difference is that with word-of-mouth, you sit back and wait for others to talk about you and send business your way. With networking, you actively seek referrals.
Talk to everybody you know. Let them all in on the exciting news that you're now running a medical billing service. You can start with your own doctor. Next time you see your doctor on a professional basis, tell him or her about your service. But don't ask directly for their business, as this might put a strain on your relationship.
Chances are, however, that your doctor will have referrals and probably some tips on how to approach other doctors. Terrific! It's always easier to call other doctors when you can say "Dr. Whatsit suggested I call," or "Dr. Whatsit referred me." People always pay more attention when someone they know has given you a green light.
After you talk to your doctor, call other providers you know directly or indirectly: your children's pediatrician, your husband's internist, your father's cardiologist, your pharmacist and your dentist. Using the name of a recognized patient, or being one, can act as a foot in the door.
Once you've tapped out those resources, start approaching physicians who specialize in an area you're interested in. If you have small children, for instance, begin with pediatricians; if you're into athletics, you could try to sports medicine practitioners.
There are lots of other people you already know you can put on your networking list. Your attorney, accountant, insurance agent and real estate agent probably have their own little card files full of physicians and will be happy to make referrals. (After all, you are their client. They want to keep you happy. Besides, most people like helping a fellow businessperson.)