Attracting docs to an open house

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Q: We want to hold an open house to showcase our new services and equipment. How do we get the docs to show up?
A: If you have any pharmaceutical rep friends, you'll know they make elaborate dinner plans and invite dozens of docs and hope three or four to show. The drug rep's bonus structure sometimes depends on how many of these dinners they host regardless of the turnout. We are a different breed. Our livelihoods depend on not how many dinners we host, but how many referrals we receive. Getting the docs to attend your open house lies in being a great matchmaker. If you can secure two or three experts from outside the industry and promote it appropriately, you'll have the best-attended open houses in the territory. For example, invite your local golf pro to the function. They'll be happy to network with the physicians, and the physicians will be happy to pick up a few pointers. The same goes with flight instructors from your local airport. Flight instructors are always looking for new students, and physicians are prime candidates. Try inviting the chef from your local "fine dining" restaurant to give a gourmet cooking lesson. Remember in most cases the nurses and respiratory therapists send us the referrals, so make sure you send them an invitation as well. Invite all the offices that currently send referrals along with those whose business you've been trying to get. And make sure you personally invite the receptionists. After all, she's the one who determines whether or not you're getting through the door. And you never want to give her the opportunity to say, "I heard you threw a great party. Why don't you tell me all about it since you're going to be sitting in my lobby for a while?"


Eric Kline is the president of HME SalesPro. He can be reached at or 850-433-2514.