Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“Getting Direct New PI Patients”
Getting new patients is the lifeblood of any practice. The “holy grail” of a personal injury practice is to get accident patients that you can potentially refer to a lawyer. Most of us spend a career trying to figure out how to do that and we spend (or at least I did) $100,000’s trying to figure out how, using every scheme in the world. This is another one of those schemes! The only difference is that I paid “through the nose” and you won’t have to because I already figured it out.
During my first 13 years of practice, I had a purely family-based practice and like most of us, my personal injury patients came from the family practice. It was those patients that I started to refer to lawyers in the quest of getting a referral in turn. The truth is I rarely, if ever, got return referrals even though I was referring over 20 new cases to lawyers monthly. That went on for too long until I realized how inept I was and began the quest to discover why. Those reasons have been well-chronicled in the previous consultations.
In my desire to get more cases, I realized that my best source of new personal injury cases were my current and past patients. They already had confidence in me and a great relationship. Therefore, I created a program to reach out to them in a direct manner for new personal injury cases. I created a “gold card” for them. It was fashioned like a credit card and it was for them, their family and their friends, to keep in their wallets.
On the front of the card it said, “IN CASE YOU ARE IN AN ACCIDENT.” On the back of the card it said, “Call the police and should you be injured, call Dr. Mark Studin immediately at 631-786-4253. If you are being transported to the hospital, you or a family member should call to keep me apprised of your condition. You always have a doctor available to you.”
You should use your emergency phone number. I always left my cell phone number, as I wanted immediate access to my patients. I had 2 cell phones, 1 for my practice and the other for my family and friends. If I was out of town, I left the phone with the covering doctor or had the calls forwarded to the number of the covering doctor. My staff and I handed out cards to every patient that came into our office and we instituted a mailing program to all of our previous patients with a letter explaining the purpose of the card.
I also created a poster for my reception area that said, in huge black letters on a deep gold background, “In case you are in an accident, you always have a doctor available to you.” There was a graphic of a car crash on the bottom of the poster. On the very bottom of the poster was a card holder filled with the “gold cards.” On the card holder was a note that said, “Take one for each family member and your friends.”
After I had the program up and running for a few months successfully, I went to an auto school and placed the poster in their classroom with the cards. I re-filled the card holder weekly. I paid the auto school a nominal fee for allowing me to place it in their school each month.
Did I get 100’s of new patients from this program? No. It was one of the many programs that helped my practice grow and every month I got new accident patients as a result. I do not recall the exact statistics nor can I locate them, but I vividly recall that I was pleasantly surprised by the results. This program helped me change my practice ratio from a pure family practice to one with many more personal injury cases.
This program is about getting new personal injury cases that do not have lawyers so they can be used to refer to the attorney in hopes of cross-referrals. Do not, however, be fooled into thinking that if you refer a new case to a lawyer they will refer in kind back to you; I made that mistake for too long.
If your work isn’t admissible, your credentials are poor, and you aren’t the "real deal," then you are just like every other fool in the community begging for patients. Your referrals will forever be one way…from you to them. I know because I was perhaps the biggest schmuck nationally in the chiropractic community for years!
Should you be the “real deal,” then even 1 referral to the lawyer will show them that you get it and that referral could spark a long-term relationship that will be one way in the future…from them to you. In today’s environment, lawyers want something more than the referral; the ability to win their cases in an ethical environment. If you become that doctor that allows them to win their cases…game over…You win!