In previous posts, we’ve touched on the hard facts about referring dentists, so now we want to focus on the importance of developing a great orthodontic referral program to upkeep the flow of new referrals into your orthodontic practice in 2015.
What you already know…
People remember people, not logos or emails. When you think about your top referrers, you know they can be in one of four referral placements:
- Top referrers: Responsible for 40% to 60% of production.
- Frequent referrers: Bring in 20% to 30% of production
- Occasional referrers: Refer 1% to 10% of production
- Non-referring dentists: Not sending orthodontic cases to your practice.
Step One: Break Down Your Patient Referrals
To implement a successful orthodontic referral marketing program, your team must be aware of who is currently referring, at what level, and what potential opportunities will be available in the near future. Your orthodontic success depends on knowing the current status of your referral base.
How do you get there? The easiest way to tackle this is by starting with the dentists that fall into the first two referral categories. If they’ve referred patients to your practice before, they are the ones most likely to do it again. Work with your orthodontic team to create a spreadsheet that breaks down your referring relationships and your current strategic initiatives.
Once you have a list, you will feel more confident in creating a program strategy that works. You will start asking questions about your referral marketing strategy that you never thought before, such as: Did some stop referring patients in the last year? Why? Did you reach out to them quarterly thanking them for their referrals?
Step Two: Create Your Orthodontic Referral Strategy
There are many ways that you can build relationships with neighboring dentists to score that orthodontic referral. The key is to be authentic and thoughtful all throughout the year! Dr. Benjamin G. Burris has some great (and proven to work!) ideas via Dentistry IQ that include:
1. Visit the dentists in your area in person- Seeing the dentist should not be your main objective. Take donuts, cookies, lunch, or whatever to the office and spend time with the front office staff and hygienists. If you can befriend the lady at the front desk and the hygienists, then you’re set.Take lunch, donuts, or coffee and introduce yourself.
2. Deliver a tooth-shaped birthday cake with a bracket on it to the dentist on his or her birthday. The staff members can make a big deal, take balloons, and even sing to the dentist. This is probably our most popular activity with the dentists.
3. Give handwritten notes from the doctor to each new patient you see! This only takes a couple of minutes, but the patients and parents really appreciate it. We used to call our patients, but we now text them and have found that the note “souvenirs” are useful and have staying power because the kids keep them and show them to their friends.
4. Deliver Christmas baskets. This is another one that has been around forever but it’s still effective if done correctly. Make sure you do baskets that look awesome and truly reflect your practice. Presentation is everything. Fill the baskets with goodies and even include your referral notepads
Step Three: Bring in More Patients in 2015
It’s that time of year where everyone likes to feel special and remembered, so why not start with your referring dentist offices? Start your Orthodontic Referral Program with one goodie that will guarantee that you are the first in line for that dentist referral: Custom Referral Notepads! Here are Ortho Print Source we know that an orthodontic referral is the best compliment you can receive, so we’ll ensure that your design is exactly how you want your brand showcased. We are here to help you achieve success in your orthodontic practice! Fill out the form or contact us directly to for a free consultation on referral notepads.