I recently responded to the proverbial question which was how to market your dental practice in a down economy. What the dental professional was asking for was to get some feedback to generate new ideas that were user-friendly, practical and low cost. I had several pragmatic concepts that I shared & this was one of them.Marketing in a down economy means that you essentially have to be creative in your approach to attracting new patients. One easy method to boost your internal marketing efforts to increase referrals to your practice is as follows:Target your satisfied patients to increase referrals. Patients who have experienced positive results from their dental treatment & who trust & like your practice are your best advocates. Train yourself & your staff to be alert & ask for a referral during a "peak" patient visit. One comment I used often was "Mrs. Jones, we wish we had 100 patients like you!" The patient would then ask why that is and I'd tell them what a wonderful patient they were because they were __________ (fill in the blank with a descriptive adjective). They were quite touched by this exchange & the sincerity of the compliment. From this interaction, I was able to plant a "seed" for a future referral. Look to target & focus on the patient if they are the decision maker in the family.They can become your "dental missionaries." Pay attention whenever you have an opportunity to elevate a patient's confidence, trust & satisfaction with any in-office interaction. Patients really do remember these things & you will gain their loyalty. Loyal, enthusiastic patients will bring you more customers.Please feel free to respond. I welcome any comments on this topic. Sharing information together is a wonderful opportunity for all of us on this forum.Helen@e3coaching.com
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  • Thanks Cherie for your comments. I feel that dentists need to tap into their existing patient population for their "internal marketing" efforts. There are many ways to do this. Like you, the reason I am a dental coach is to help dentists get more satisfaction from managing their practices & to help them reach their goals & get results. Many creative marketing ideas do require consistency in energy, time & committment. They don't always have to be expensive ideas to yield results.

    How do you help improve productivity by teaching wellness? With patient education? With products? Please enlighten me, that sounds fascinatiing! It sounds like you have found a great niche.
  • I believe...YES ...you must find creative outlets for overcoming the economic times. Very very true Helen! That is exactly the reason why I branched into Wellness. I teach and demonstrate how Dentists and many others can improve productivity in their practices with, as you said, their existing patients. You are right, you need to build on what you already have and maybe not put forth all efforts to gain new patients perhaps. thank goodness for new options!!!!!!


  • Great post Helen. I wish we had 100 great members in our community like you! Have you found that formal referral programs would work well for a practice? Such as offering a gift card or some other benefits for each patient referral?
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