Marketing 101: Art of the Referral

The following is an excerpt from Dental Explorer, First Quarter 2015. Read the full article here.

Marketing 101: Art of the Referral

by Larry Guzzardo

Larry Guzzardo Dental ExplorerConsider the type of patient you would like in your practice. Stop spending time putting out fires that consume valuable time and energy with problem patients. Birds of a feather really do flock together.

Patient surveys show that the majority of patients find out about a dental practice from friends who are already patients. This has consistently been the method of choice for patients to identify and locate a new dentist.

Traditionally, all professional relationships had been developed through personal contacts. Your practice will not be any different. Just ask another professional such as your CPA or attorney. They know, all to well, the power of a well-placed referral.

Yes, it is true, that advertising works. It will, sometimes, however, attract the wrong type of patient. Anyone can create a large volume if you give away dentistry at a discount or accept every patient who calls.

It is far more rewarding to build a practice of patients who seek you out because they are looking for a unique dentistry you are trained to provide. Far, far more rewarding to have them curious about the problems you can solve for them because their friends raved about you and your staff.

If you would like to build a practice upon referrals of your most preferred-type patients, well then – just ask.

Take these actions to get started

  • Get comfortable with the idea yourself
  • Discuss the idea with your staff
  • Make a list of the characteristics of your most preferred-type patients
  • Have your staff practice asking for referrals
  • Review the schedule daily, and select which patients you want to ask
  • Ask every staff member to choose one patient

Track your results

  • Track how many patients you asked for referrals
  • Document the date and which staff member asked for the referral
  • Track which patients referred the most new patients

Set a good example. Don’t be surprised when the staff follows suit after they see you asking for a referral.

Continue reading Marketing 101: Art of the Referral at Dental Explorer