What is the best form of Dental Marketing?

If you answered Internal Marketing, you are on the right track. While both external marketing and internal marketing are very beneficial to the practice, statistics show internal marketing is cheaper and it builds up a better client base.

Internal vs. External

  1. External marketing includes any marketing print, radio, etc.
  2. Internal marketing includes asking patients for referrals, comes from within the practice.

Let's look at the cost comparison based on the example and analysis used in this show's discussion. These are real numbers from one of our clients.

External Marketing

Internal Marketing – Asking for Referrals

While the cost is lower and revenue is higher with internal marketing, it is still important to have external marketing campaigns going as well.

Getting a patient referral for internal marketing should be well thought out as to who to ask from your patient base.

For example, you would want to stay away from asking patients for a referral if they never make payments on their account or are in default on their account with you. More than likely, they will refer patients to you that have similar habits as the patient.

The best option, ask patients for a referral who are paid up on their accounts and have good account activity with your practice. These patients will refer patients to your practice that have similar good habits as them.

How do you select awesome patients for a referral?

  1. Determine the right person to ask. This would be the person who pays their bill.
  2. Ask a female for a referral. Women are great networkers and marketers!
  3. What is the best way to ask for a referral? A heartfelt/genuine request. Something to the effect of: "We love patients like you and would love to have your friends and family join our practice as patients as well."
  4. What's the best gift exchange for a referral? Note: State laws on gifts are different across the states. Be sure to check your laws first before making empty promises. Once you have that checked out, give a gift that will get the patient's attention. Listen in to the show on specific ideas and low cost options with high dollar value.
  5. Best way to deliver the gift or incentive to the patient? Do not mail it to the patient. Keep the gift giving personal and genuine. Send the patient an email or phone call. Let them know you have a gift for the patient and invite the in the office to pick up. Have the doctor available to personally shake the patient's hand and deliver the gift. This should be done in the lobby of the office, let other patients see the relationship building and referral recognition. Take pictures and post it on your practice Facebook page.

Retain your current patients, build new patients, and always be aware and drive for the referrals daily. This is a consistent action plan that will keep your dental practice in motion!

Catch the rest of the marketing series on AMP TV!

If you have questions and want to learn more, contact one of our coaches for help.