Are your patients talking about your service outside your clinic? Who on your list of patients have referred other patients to you? Do you have many patients coming to your clinic because they needed a good dentist and found you through their friends or family?
If not, then you need to change.
You are simply underestimating the power of one of the best marketing tools, namely referrals.
One thing we overlook and don’t do, maybe because we feel uncomfortable to ask for referrals from your existing patients. Getting patients who already trust your service quality even before receiving treatment is not a fantasy if you do it right. First understand that people are more likely to trust words of their friends, family or professionals rather than the traditional advertisements and cold calling. When there are many options, people usually choose a dentist they have been recommended from a trustworthy source.
The question now arises on how to get this trustworthy group (friends, family, and professionals) to recommend you.
The first object is to provide this trustworthy group with quality treatment. Every dentist’s desire is to provide nothing but the best treatment for his patients. Let your patients know how much you appreciate them and comment that you would love to have more patients just like them.
The second object is to ask your satisfied patients to recommend you to their group. Perhaps offer them an introductory discount on their first treatment or by offering them a free dental check-up or free teeth cleaning.
Take time to build a relationship and make your patients feel that they are listened to. Share ideas and knowledge as though they are part of your practice. Encourage them to tell their friends about you and more importantly, thank those patients for coming to your practice.
Build a connection with your new patients in the same way as you did with your existing patients who have referred them to you. And see how they bring more referrals.
You could say “Oh Jim referred you to me? Yes he is a very nice guy. He is more like a friend to me than a patient. Since you came through him, I will give you 20% discount.’’ You see, what just happened? The new patient came in trusting Jim’s advice – meaning he feels comfortable to be there. This instantly builds a connection with your new patients. When a discount is offered, it gives them the feeling of being valued. Acknowledge to them that you appreciate their referrals.
Let your patients think that they need to give you referrals. Plant this instead of just assuming they will refer you. You could say “Please let me know if I can be of any service to your friends and family”
Remember never hesitate to ask for referrals. Encourage your patients to talk about you and to refer their friends and family to you. Always give them a reason to go from “Hey, let me give you my dentist’s details” to “see, I knew you would be impressed.”