Profitability must #3: Four easy steps to new patients

Each team member must be responsible for asking patients for referrals. An ideal way to accomplish this is to target patients of record at the morning huddle, asking them for referrals during the day.

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To ensure a steady flow of new patients, this Profitability Must involves every team member. Each team member must be responsible for asking patients for referrals. An ideal way to accomplish this is to target patients of record at the morning huddle, asking them for referrals during the day. Choose patients who keep appointments, pay on time, accept the care you recommend, and whom you enjoy seeing and serving. Such patients will refer other ideal patients.

READ: Profitability Must #1 | No huddle equals less dental case conversions

Next, develop a “thank you” protocol for patients who refer to the practice. As an example of a referral acknowledgment plan, perhaps after the first referral, a handwritten thank-you notecard, appreciating the confidence the patients has shown in the practice by referring family and friends. Have the entire team sign the card and/or letter. From there, when a patient refers two or more patients, decide as a team who will be responsible and how will they be further acknowledged? For example, a lottery ticket, movie ticket, gift certificate to a local business, etc.

READ: Profitability Must #2 | Claim what you want from dental practice

Internal marketing is a Profitability Must, which should be tracked and documented in a consistent location in the patient’s chart/record.

If you do not feel comfortable asking for referrals, below is an easy four-step process.

  1. Acknowledge the compliment. Simply say “thank you.” Remember not to discredit the compliment by adding, “It was nothing.”
  2. Make a quality statement about the practice. “Thank you. We are dedicated to seeing all of our patients on time.”
  3. Use a transition statement. “Thank you! We are dedicated to seeing all of our patients on time. We respect our patients’ time and know there are many people who do not want to be kept waiting unnecessarily when they go to the dentist.”
  4. Ask for the referral. “Thank you! We are dedicated to seeing all of our patients on time. We respect our patients’ time and know there are many people who do not want to be kept waiting unnecessarily when they go to the dentist. If you have friends, family, business associate, etc., who would appreciate this type of experience we’d be happy to reserve time to see them.”

Develop a plan, train, and practice until everyone on the team feels comfortable with the process!

Regards,
Kristine
Director, RDH eVillage

Kristine Hodsdon RDH, MSEC, is the founder of Dental Influencers Inc. and for the past ten years has been the editorial director of PennWell’s RDH eVillage e-newsletter. She provides practice management consulting; executive coaching and team training so busy professionals easily create profitable systems that serve more clients. Visit kristineahodsdon.com with inquiries regarding her coaching and CE programs.

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