I always tell dentists in my practice management lectures that one of the best ways to recruit and retain patients is to support their businesses.
As dentists we are in a unique position to become a keystone of networking. Think about it: (1) we have a captive audience twice (or more) a year, and (2) we know what people do for a living. This gives us the opportunity to help connect our patients who could use each others services.
During a casual conversation with a patient, if I learn that they are looking for a nice restaurant, plumber, dermatologist, real estate agent, or whatever, I will make it a point to refer them to another patient who can provide what they’re looking for.
I’ve found that a great way to do this is to keep business cards and brochures from patients on display.
Here’s my coffee machine in my reception area:
Look more closely in the upper left-hand corner:
Next to some literature for dental products, I also have business cards and brochures. A patient of mine called recently to thank me for some business he received from another patient of mine who saw his card next to our coffee machine. I’ve generated good karma for my practice and it didn’t cost me a thing.