We are looking for sources of referrals other than general dentists. What better sources of referral could there be than your patients? I had the feeling when we were totally a referral practice that it was the other doctor’s patient, and it is. Essentially the patient is on loan to you if you are working with a referred patient, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage that patient to refer somebody else to your office. If that person is referred to your office from that patient, you then have the opportunity of referring that patient back to the referrer’s general dentist. So it is certainly a win-win situation for the patient as well as for the referring dentist. If you are concerned, just let the general dentist know what you will be doing and advising him or her know that any referral that comes in from a patient that is referred to you will also be referred back to that dentist for restorative dentistry. There are lots of different ways to do it– Care to Share cards; there could be a particular discount that you could put in for referrals and let the patient know that his friend or loved one can come in perhaps at a reduced rate or perhaps free x-rays as a result of his/her referral. And of course you can also reward the referral source with a small gift or perhaps a free prophylaxis or something along that line. Lots of different strategies here. The first thing that you have to do is ask for referrals. Then be as creative as you want in developing those additional patient referrals.
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