Most periodontists these days are looking for alternative ways to bring patients through the door. Unfortunately, most do NOT have a systematic referral system in place. Why? Mainly they are NOT fully aware of the benefits it could bring to their practice. They think they would get a few new patients from their efforts, but they don’t see the OVERALL picture of just how lucrative a referral system can be.
Before I get into any specifics, let me give you an analogy. I LOVE to deer hunt. In the South, we hunt whitetails. There’s nothing like leaving the office, getting to the woods and up in my stand to relax and clear my mind. I’m happy whether I see anything or not (I’d rather see something!). Anyway, if you’re a deer hunter, then you know that one of the main ways we can attract deer to our stands is by planting food plots.
When you first start to make one, the area must be cleared of debris and trees and the soil has to be broken up typically with a tractor or tiller. The hardest time to get this up and growing is typically the first year. After that, you simply break up the soil and replant. Using the old plots vs finding and making new ones is much easier in the long run.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What in the world does a food plot have to do with patient referrals?” Hang on there partner.
Most of my clients simply think asking for more new patients will solve ALL of their problems. Unfortunately, this leads them all over the place looking for love in all the wrong places (here, there, everywhere). Too often however, they completely OVERLOOK the patients in front of them and that is a HUGE mistake.
So what they end up doing is failing to put a referral system in place that harvests (food plots anyone?) the relationships with current patients for the mutual benefits of both parties. In other words, they already have done the hard part:
- Performed some type of marketing to get a lead
- Staff used great phone skills to get them through the door
- Diagnosed and performed treatment
So the land was cleared, seeds planted, crop harvested and now….don’t just move on, reuse that food plot (patient) for more patients!! Don’t overlook this!!
3 Ways Periodontists Are Missing Out On By NOT Having a Consistent Referral System
- Lower Cost-per-lead (CPL) – Each referral you get from an existing patient will cut your CPL in HALF. How much do you spend a month on advertising? Some of my clients are easily spending $5,000+/month (imagine how they feel if they can half that!)
- Higher Case Acceptance % – Patients that send their friends/family will much more likely accept your treatment recommendations because they already TRUST you. Why? They know the person that is sending them to you would only send them to the BEST periodontist, right? Also, most of these referred patients are typically easier to get going with their treatment ASAP.
- Decrease Price Resistance – When you center your focus on building TRUST, you will attract better patients hands down. Typically these referred patients will not only spend more, but will be MUCH less likely to haggle with your staff regarding cost.
Now I hope you understand WHY most periodontists don’t think through their referral strategies. If you look at the 3 items above, you can’t help but begin to focus on getting this system in place TODAY.
Do you have a referral strategy that you and your staff consistently have working for you?
Do me a favor and tell me about it in the comment section. You never know, if it’s something cool, I may share it with the other members of the Perio Success Academy.
To Your Perio Success,