Referrals Are Your Future
Published by Michelle Haupt on
By Roger Levin, DDS
Orthodontists are well aware that referrals, at the right level, determine the number of practice starts. It is a simple calculation to assess the percentage close rate of a treatment coordinator or new patient consult. I do use that percentage to determine how many referrals are needed.
Referrals are the lifeblood of the orthodontic practice, but unfortunately, practices often cycle between paying attention to the referral marketing programs, and not.
Inconsistency Kills Referral Marketing
Orthodontic practices have numerous opportunities and categories in which they can market. Levin Group talks about five focus areas that include patients, parents, referring doctors, social media, and the community. All five of these are viable. Different practices will benefit from an emphasis in various categories. It will also change over time. Regardless of which category is most important to your practice, what is important is that your referral marketing program be consistent. I’ll say it again. Inconsistency kills referral marketing.
If you have an excellent referral marketing program you want it to continue and if you don’t, you want to build one. Ask yourself the following questions. Which of the five focus areas are you trying to reach? How many strategies do you have in each area? Who is carrying out the strategies and responsible for results? Believe it or not maintaining a strong referral marketing program is actually that simple.
The term that truly applies to this topic is “radical consistency”. Radical consistency, which simply means that there are no (zero) times where referral marketing lags or lulls. Psychologically, it is very easy to put off referral marketing because it can always wait until tomorrow or at least it seems that way. An emergency patient, unhappy patient, or staff member out sick all seem to take precedence, leading to inconsistency in the referral marketing program. But none of those come close to the importance of referral marketing and strong referrals plays in the overall success of the orthodontic practice.
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email email@example.com