My dentist doesn't buy me flowers: Part I

2008 08 25 09 39 13 628 Richard Geller Thumb2

Editor's note: Richard Geller's column, Marketing Madness, appears regularly on the advice and opinion page, Second Opinion.

If you want to get more referrals than ever before, you will find this article of great interest.

I have a referral formula that works time and again, and it is simple to implement.

First, you need to ask for referrals. You can ask for them yourself, but I bet you won't. So you need to have a process in place that lets your team do the asking for you.

The easiest way is when a patient approaches the front desk to pay. Your front desk staff hands the patient the bill and gets payment out of the way.

Then she hands the patient three postcards to address. "We work mostly by referral. Dr. Smith asks each patient to send this postcard to three friends or family members, offering them a complimentary cleaning. They'll thank you for thinking of them," she says. "Who can you think of to refer? Someone at your church or synagogue, someone at your work, or perhaps a neighbor, brother, or sister-in-law?"

Then she shuts up and waits.

Most folks realize they are being prompted for referrals, and they get out their address book or their cell phone and start looking up names.

The postcards get addressed, and your front desk staff mails them.

The result is a lot more referrals. And even if the patient takes them and promises to mail them later, the fact is you asked and they know you expect referrals.

This step will get you a lot of referrals. And you didn't have your front desk staff just say, "I hope you refer people to us." People can't think of anyone specific that way. The mind has nothing to associate.

But when your front desk staff prompts "someone at your church or synagogue, someone at your work, or perhaps a neighbor, brother, or sister-in-law," the patient thinks, "Yes, Mabel from next door. She was just complaining about her teeth."

The mind works by association, and this referral script is amazingly effective.

In Part II of this article, I will show you a second method for getting referrals that is just killer.

And for a free $60 book on case acceptance and dental marketing, in its third edition, visit and make sure to join my list. You will get the book at no charge.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2009

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