One of the best methods for growing your dental practice is through referrals. Increasing referrals through word-of-mouth advertising provides two important benefits: you attract new customers and retain existing ones. But attracting referrals through your professional colleagues requires a different strategy. Many dentists don’t consider professional referrals till it is time to think about attracting new business. Getting new patients through your colleagues requires a well-planned and consistent approach.
1. Ask for them
You won’t get any referrals if you don’t ask for them. Use professional conferences or seminars as opportunities to network and socialize with other dentists. Interact with them regularly and create a good impression regarding your expertise. You can also invite them for dinner and get to know them personally. When the time comes to refer their patients to someone else, they will naturally think of you.
2. Appreciate and reciprocate
If a colleague refers a customer to your clinic, take the time to thank them through a phone call or email. Such appreciation will encourage them to continue recommending you to their patients. Similarly, try to refer your patients to them in return as a gesture of appreciation.
3. Make the process as easy as possible
Quite often, dentists may hesitate to refer patients because the process is too cumbersome or tedious. Using Dovetail Connect™, a referral management software, can simplify the procedure to a great extent. Your colleagues will refer more patients once they see that medical records and treatment history can be shared easily. It also facilitates collaboration between professionals and the referring dentist can easily stay up-to-date on patient progress. For additional information on this powerful communication and collaboration tool which was specifically developed for dental professionals, visit this page.
4. Impress the clients that they refer to you
Treat the first referral that you get from a colleague as a trial. Go the extra mile to impress them with your professional treatment and excellent clinical experience. If they go back and thank their dentist for recommending you to them, it will inspire confidence in your abilities and your referring dentist will not hesitate to refer you other patients.
Professional referrals are easy to get, provided you ask for them, appreciate and reciprocate the gesture and impress the customers as well as the referring dentist. Follow this strategy consistently and you will soon have a steady stream of patients being referred through your network.