n the last edition of the Breathe Ezine, titled, “Add £5k/Month (or more) to your Gross. 20 Proven Tactics”, I looked at some tactics that Breathe Members are using to increase practice revenue by an additional £5k/month.
David Cohen , Specialist Orthodontist at The Malt House in Manchester (www.malthousedental.com) emailed me to ask,
Just read you recent newsletter. Very interesting, but how about 20 ideas for a referral practice?”
Well, here’s 10 Proven Tactics to be going on with from Specialist Practices that we work with who are taking action to future proof their practices and maintain their growth.
Five Tactics to keep the referrals coming in.
- Always follow through quickly when receiving a referral, contact the referred patient within hours or days (not weeks) and thank the referrer within the same time scale.
- Dentists are happy for you to do the work that they don’t want to do. Essentially, they view a referral as both; a problem solved for them and as putting money in your pocket. Many dentists I have spoken to want a simple acknowledgement that they are helping make your practice a success.
- Always compliment the referred patient on their choice of general dental practitioner. This will almost certainly get back to the GDP.
- Look for ways to support and improve your relationships with your referring dentists. They will send you more patients if they feel that they know you. Simple tactics such as inviting referrers for a meal, or a game of golf, something non-dental where you can cement the relationship, will create loyalty.
- Talk to them about what you can do during opportunities such as a “lunch and learn” (you provide a decent picnic lunch for the whole team and you get 30 minutes to talk about how you can help solve their problems, (not to tell the assembled how good you are!!!). Become (an outsourced) member of their team.
Five Tactics to encourage self-referrers:
- Get a Web Site that works. That is one that: gets enough visitors and creates enough folk contacting your reception each month.
- Train your receptionists to turn a potential new patient into a consultation. You will need scripts and role play together with data to confirm that they can actually do this!
- Kerb Appeal. make your practice visible to passers by and use language to describe what you do so that the public understand it. Not “Orthodontics” but “Tooth Straightening”.
- Have a functional “Patient Get Patient” programme. Have your satisfied clients recruit new clients for you.
- “Take down the barriers to entry!” Make it easy for someone to walk in and get advice. Offer free consultations with your treatment plan coordinator or with a clinician if appropriate.
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