How To Get Tons Of Dental Referrals

Chances are, a good chunk of your revenue comes in from referrals.
Sometimes it is your active patients sending in their family or friends to you. Other times it might be other practices in your area sending you their patients for a specialized procedure.
The point is, getting more referrals can increase your revenue considerably for a couple of reasons:

  1. Since they come from a trusted source or a happy patient, the chance of them going ahead with the treatment is around 70-80%.
  2. There is virtually no marketing cost attached to getting a referral (unless you have an elaborate referral program that requires active maintenance).
  3. Referrals can spiral out of control (in a good way), assuming you do a good job.

The main challenge I see here is that dental practices don’t actively ask for referrals.
They might have something similar to cards or pamphlets placed on the front desk saying “If you send us referrals we would appreciate it”.
However, these too rarely work because unless you actively ask people for referrals, most of them will not do anything to benefit your cause.
Here’s a simple way around it:
When someone comes to your office and fill out a “New Patient” form, just get the front desk to ask them, “Do you know of any family member or friends who can benefit from a free dental consultation?”
40% of the times you will get 1-2 contacts.
10% of the times you will get 3-5 contacts.
Here’s the important part:
As soon as you receive these referrals, they should call them within the next hour saying “Hello, I am calling because <name> mentioned that you could potentially benefit from a dental visit. Would you like to come in for a free consult?”.
If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail and a text message.
If they still don’t answer, call them again in 2 days.
This approach works really well because someone they personally know has referred them.
The key here is to ask them for referrals before they have even received a treatment at the dental office. They don’t need to “experience” the treatment or see astounding results for them to refer someone to you. This is a mistake a lot of practices make.
Another point to consider is that as the service provider it is your front desk that needs to do the heavy lifting.
I once went to a chiropractor and when I filled out a “New Patient” form, the lady there asked me if I knew other people who’d like to come in for a complimentary 15-minute massage.
I told her that yes, my family could benefit from it.
She said “Great!” and gave me 3 other forms for my family members to fill out.
The right way to do this would be to get me to tell her the names and phone numbers of people I wanted to refer so she could then call them in the next hour.
Needless to say, the forms she gave me were not filled out and she potentially left some money on the table.
That being said, you would have to offer incentives to your staff so they ask for referrals actively.
Here are some strategies to get that done:

  • “If you successfully ask for 20 referrals every month, you get $100 gift card”


  • “If you successfully ask for 50 referrals every month, you get a $500 gift card”


  • “If you successfully ask for 100 referrals every month, we will give you 2 days off fully paid”

This can easily turn into a win-win for both you and your staff and can considerably increase the monthly revenue of your practice.

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