If You Don’t Ask, You Won’t Receive
By Misty Absher Clark
Your practice marketing game plan must include marketing to your existing patients for three main reasons:
- They are your most valuable source of new patient referrals.
- The corporate dental practice that just opened in your area is targeting your patients. Protect your turf.
- Lifetime patients can provide referrals, testimonials and online reviews for generations to come.
Right now, you know your patients better than any other dental practice in town. This gives you significant advantages over large practices with big marketing budgets. People like to be treated well. No one wants to feel like just a number. You see fewer patients than the corporate competition. Your team can remain constant with less turnover. You truly know your patients and have for years. Use this knowledge of your patient base to brainstorm with your team about:
- Improving the patient experience
- Raising the level of customer service
- Staying engaged with your patients
- Starting (or promoting) a referral program.
Continue to nurture relationships with your patients through internal marketing, social media and regular communication. Unexpected communication, like a hand-written note or personal phone call after a long appointment, can earn you a friend—and unending referrals—for life. Most importantly, no matter how busy you are, remember to ask for referrals every day. Decide in your morning huddle who is going to speak to which patients, then follow up in the next morning huddle with the results. Hold each other accountable and celebrate small victories to ensure future success.