Neil Winteregg - MGE Management Experts Practice Management Consulting - 3 Ways to Get More New Patient Referrals

Neil Winteregg – Service Consultant

Pretty much everybody anywhere, in dentistry or any business for that matter, would agree that best new business comes from the referred family and friends of your existing patients (customers).

And it’s easy to see why. The person arrives already wanting your product. They are also normally the easiest patients to work with.

With referrals being such a large needed and wanted, it only seemed natural to direct this week’s post towards how to get more. So, here are three ways to get more new patient referrals.

You have to ask!

The first tip, whether you like it or not is if you want more referrals, you have to ask.

I find that most offices and most front desk staff are hesitant to ask for a referrals. They are afraid that if they ask for more business, it’ll look “needy” or have some kind of negative impression.

This simply isn’t true.

If you deliver a good product and your patients are satisfied, then it is okay to ask for more business! If you’re confident in what it is that you deliver as a dentist or as an office, then there is nothing wrong with asking people to send you their friends and family.

(Related: Not Getting Enough New Patient Referrals? Here’s Why.)

Three tips for more new patient referrals

You probably have referrals walking out your door every day (or calling in every day) that you’re missing the opportunity to ask for.

With that in mind, here are a few things you can do:

  1. When you have a patient in the office, I recommend having some sort of “Care to Share” card or offer for new patients that you can give to 3 Ways to Get More New Patient Referralsexisting patients to give to their friends and family…but simply just giving it to them is not enough!

    This is where the ASK part comes in.

    Whenever a satisfied patient gives you some sort of a compliment, such as: “Wow thank you so much this was great! I love coming here!” “This is the best cleaning I’ve ever had, it didn’t hurt” “I feel so much better!” Then,

    Take a few of those referral cards and say, “Thank you so much! Your compliments mean a lot to us. We love to help people! Please give these to your friends and family. We want them to have the same experience you just had.” Or something of the sort. Whatever’s makes sense for you.

    Then, give them the referral cards. In one simple statement you’ve acknowledged the patient for being there, acknowledged them for having a good experience and told them that you want more people like them to come into your practice. There is no way that anybody could take that in any sort of negative way!

    (Related: 5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience)

  2. The second way I’d ask for the referrals is easy to do with existing patients. let’s say a patient has been coming in and you see that their emergency contact is their husband, Earl Jones. I would look at the patient and say, “You know, Joanne, I have a question for you. We’ve never met Earl all these years! Who does he see?”

    “Oh, he doesn’t have a dentist,” the patient responds.
    “Well, let’s set Earl an appointment!”

    Or if the patient has children: “Hey Joanne, I see that you have two kids, why don’t they come in? We have a new patient special. They can come in with you.”

    Anytime a patient has listed or spoken about a family member, make it a point to ask them about bringing this family member in. Oftentimes, the patient may just schedule them right then and there, or call them on their cell to see when they’d like to come in.

  3. You can also get referrals from new patients before they even step into the office! When a potential new patient calls in to make an appointment, it goes like this:

    “Are you accepting new patients?” the patient asks.
    “Yes! We are accepting new patients. Are you new to the area?” you respond.
    “Yes, I just moved here.”
    “Great well we have an appointment for you on Monday, now is this an appointment that’s just for you or would we be seeing your spouse or children coming in with you?”

    Offer or make some sort of a statement to open the door for other family members to also come in. That’s a way you start to get multiple new patients from one phone call. You can immediately double your marketing return-on-investment that way!

(Related: The Latest Trends in Dental Marketing)

So, in summary, ask for referrals! Come up with what you’d like to say. I’ve given you some examples of the I would do it, but I want it to be real coming from you. Come up with your own wording, but realize that you have multiple avenues of new patients from your existing patients and new patients that you probably aren’t tapping into. And by just asking you’re opening the door!

Information like this is something we cover at our two-day new patient workshop. Please visit www.newpatients.net to get more information on dates and locations for that seminar and register!


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