As patient referrals decline many practices are reaching beyond the standard professional relations approach to practice growth and promoting directly to the source…potential patients! I have outlined below several community projects that result in active referrals and a healthier practice outlook:
“Taking part in community events is an excellent extension of your practice brand,” says Jessi Swift, founder of J. Swift Marketing. Ms. Swift encourages her agency’s orthodontic clients to donate their time and resources to community events whenever possible. “Speaking at schools, civic events and charitable functions allows an orthodontist to communicate with key audiences who can positively affect their practice, whether by enhancing brand awareness or acquiring new patients,” says Ms. Swift. She adds, “Community involvement champions your brand, enhances your reputation and helps you gain a true competitive advantage. It shows your friends and neighbors that you really care about the community where you practice.” Lastly, bringing professionally produced marketing materials to your speaking engagements is very important according to Ms. Swift. “Informative material such as a custom written and designed practice brochure can continue to speak for you long after the community event has ended, and also help generate new patient starts down the road,” she says.
Potential patients will be alerted to your practice through several layers of contact from the community fair to school screenings, to a charitable promotion and beyond. An entrenched and well-planned approach to community relations will help your practice stay at the forefront of awareness for potential patients.
Nancy Hyman is a speaker and practice growth consultant specializing in referral systems and increased case acceptance. Nancy developed the Practice Representative program for Practice Builders orthodontic division and established marketing plans for their clients from 2003-2009.She now shares this same program through Ortho Referral Systems. Ortho Referral Systems focuses on developing a marketing team utilizing current staff. All aspects of Nancy’s training strategies have been tested in the office of Dr. William R. Hyman and other orthodontic offices. Contact Nancy via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (323) 723-3535.