19 Jan Are You Ready to Finally Start an Internal Marketing Campaign?
This is the age-old question that private practicing dentists struggle with. Is this the year you really dedicate yourself to growing your practice by truly taking advantage of the relationships you have already developed?
So many dentists think of marketing only in terms of external sources. Do they send out flyers or brochures in the mail? How about advertisements placed online or in local publications? How much should I invest in SEO strategies? Do I even have an attractive, updated website? Or do you try the ever-popular huge sign telling the world that you accept new patients or that you offer them free whitening?
While some of these strategies are necessary, none of them are as effective as a referral from an existing patient. But to get such a referral, you often have to ask.
Like It or Not, the Competition is Doing It!
One thing you can be certain of is that corporate practice up the street is training its people to ask for referrals. And with more and more offices being bought up by corporations, they will increasingly be looking at their patients to refer some of your patients.
Still, many dentists and their teams struggle with the idea of asking for a referral. Even though internal referrals are more likely to result in a quality patient than other forms of marketing, many offices feel that asking for a referral is like begging for business.
The good news is that this does not have to be the case.
Do Not Beg…Make it Subtle
We are not suggesting that you merely blurt out to your patients “we take referrals”. Browbeating your patients for “new blood” is never going to be effective.
What is effective is finding a way to ask that suits your personality and level of comfort. On this front, there is plenty of room for creativity.
In fact, it is interesting is to see team members report back on the results. Often, they discover that many patients are actually honoured that you asked them! So they refer.
That just starts a wonderfully positive flow of experiences. These team members love the way they have learned to comfortably ask for referrals. They love how patients respond so positively to it.
Most importantly, they love how it allows them to provide care to new patients who may not have received that level of care before.
So never be afraid to ask for a referral. If you believe you provide an incredible standard of care (and I am sure you do!), you just may be dong someone a favour by asking.