How do I get more new patients?
The most commonly asked question in the dental industry! No simple answer, but certainly setting the foundation for you to be successful at gaining new patients must be determined before you do anything.
First, you need to designate a team member that has some experience or knowledge of how to market a dental office to be the Marketing Manager. If you designate someone that has neither of these, then they need to be trained. Not having a marketing manager in your office is a mistake.
Second, a plan and budget needs to be set up with exactly how we are going to market our dental office and services.
Third, the Manager needs to report to the owner of the business once a week on new patient numbers, where the patients have come from and the level of their acceptance to ongoing care. All three of these components are required to begin successful marketing of your office.
Obviously the best possible new patient is a referral. Do you have a referral system in your office asking patients to refer their friends and family members to you? Do you have the visual communication tools inside your facility to communicate that you are accepting new patients? In Ontario, more than 50% of current dental patients do not
think that their Dentist is accepting new patients.*Take advantage of this very important opportunity in your office to build your practice.
Are we asking our patients to let their friends and family members know that we are accepting new patients? Take advantage of your morning huddle to discuss who and when we are going to ask for referrals. As well, certain opportunities occur during the day that team members need to take advantage of. For example, when a patient compliments you on something reply with “thank you John; that is very nice of you to say. If you know of any friends or family members that would like to receive this type of dental care please let them know about our office, as we are always looking for nice people like you to take care of! It only takes a moment to ask for a referral, but if you can get your current patients to send you in their friends and family, you will find that this is a much less expensive way to build your practice than outside advertising. Gaining new patients in your dental practice is not easy, but if you are searching for the path of least resistance, internal referrals is definitely the way to go!