5 Ways to Cultivate Referrals for Your Practice
While conventional marketing materials such as brochures, postcards and newsletters will help you improve brand awareness and encourage more patient visits, there are many more effective ways to keep your appointment books full each quarter.
When you make cultivating referrals a priority, you can maintain a steady flow of patients and clients — even when you?re not executing a direct marketing campaign.
Here are just five simple strategies for cultivating referrals for your practice:
1. Host a seminar or event. Build relationships with your Chamber of Commerce, local radio and TV stations, and complementary businesses, and host an event, workshop or seminar to generate interest from local patients. Personally invite your existing clients to the event, and encourage them to bring a friend. This is a prime opportunity for you to market your services to prospective patients.
2. Encourage patients to send your email newsletter to a friend. Make it easy for existing clients to ‘pass along’ your marketing message by posting a referral link within your email newsletter, or by providing a gentle reminder to “Send this email to a friend”. Many patients simply need the prompt to forward your message along to a prospect.
3. Execute a referral rewards program. If you have a group of clients that are coming back for touch-up treatments, a series of procedures, or are interested in booking appointments over the course of a few months, invite them to join a referral rewards program. You can give them credits towards future services, or discount their next service if they refer you to a friend.
4. Become an educator. Position yourself as an authority in your niche, either by blogging about your practice and industry on a regular basis, writing articles about different procedures for your website, or by creating FAQ materials about popular procedures. Patients who trust you will be more likely to refer you to their friends, associates and relatives.
5. Send birthday greetings or seasonal gifts. If you have a steady stream of regular clients, consider sending them a signed birthday card, holiday gift or even a gift certificate towards a future service. Sending an exclusive gift will help build goodwill and may just encourage the patient to share your contact information with someone they know.