You’re a great dentist. Your patients love you and your team. So why don’t they refer you all of their friends and family?
Allow me to answer that question by posing another question: why don’t you send all your friends and family to your car mechanic?
I think my car mechanic is great, but I forget about him between oil changes. Life is busy and I let other matters command my attention.
Even when we are fond of a professional relationship, we tend to only make referrals when directly asked for them. Your friend is complaining about her new haircut, so you tell her to go to your hair salon next time. This is the norm. People just don’t walk around like blithering idiots yelling about how much they love their dentist.
"Nice to meet you. I love my dentist!"
Hopefully your patients will recommend you when dentistry comes up in conversation with their friends and family. But is there a way to make that happen more often?
I wrote a post, “How to Ask a Patient for Referrals,” which encourages you to take advantage of opportunities to ask for a referral when a patient is in your office.
Here’s another idea:
Think of a few patients who have been thrilled with their treatment outcomes. Pick up the phone and reach out to them personally. Say something like this, “Hello Mrs. Jones, this is Dr. Salierno, how are you? I was just calling to see how you’ve been doing with your new implant restoration.” After you get some updates and make small talk, say something like, “That’s nice to hear! Well I’m so happy everything turned out great. Thank you for being such a pleasure to work with and we’re all looking forward to seeing you on your recall visit.”
No need to specifically ask for a referral. The point of the call is to show you care. They will appreciate that you were thinking of them and be flattered by your genuine compliment. As a bonus, you and your office are now back on their radar. Out of the clutter of everyday life, they are reminded that you provided a great service and took great care of them. That friendly reminder might just pay itself back in the form of a new patient referral.