How to Make New Referring Dentists Partners for Life

February 21, 2017    By Becky Sheetz ()

How to Make New Referring Dentists Partners for Life

A dentist you’ve never heard from before sends you a referral. That’s great news! But simply because that office tests the waters and refers a patient to you once doesn’t mean they’ll continue to do so. Getting the initial referral is an important start. But to build a lifetime partnership, it’s just as important to maintain good relationships with referring dentists and other health care providers throughout that patient’s treatment—and beyond.

Here are five simple and effective ways to keep a good thing going and those referrals flowing.

1. Make the referring dentist look good. Always speak positively about another dentist or health care provider in front of your patient. If another dentist has compromised the patient’s safety or health, that’s one thing, but if you disagree with a treatment plan, be careful to remain professional. Instead, try to compliment the referring dentist to the patient. This approach builds good will with the referring dentist and reflects better on your practice than a negative approach.

2. If you have a local seminar, invite the referring dentist. This will further educate the referring dentist about your field of practice and any advancements that have been made, all while demonstrating your credibility to your colleague. If there’s a cost associated with the seminar, covering the cost is a nice and recommended gesture.

As a bonus tip, send an invitation to each referring dental practitioner in your database along with your next referral generating newsletter! This takes us to number three …

3. Use a newsletter to update other dentists about the latest research in your field. This informs your colleagues and keeps your name in front of these dentists on a regular basis. It’s an easy, cost-effective way to make sure that future referring dentists always remember you, as you build credibility and expertise with a newsletter.

4. Remember the referring dentist’s staff. The staff is the link between the referring dentist and you. The staff can carry plenty of influence. Their speaking well of your practice can go a long way with an uneasy and uncertain patient. Similarly, a team member who is frustrated with poor communication or processes with a specialist can influence the practice’s decision to look elsewhere. The more you build personal relationships with that staff, the better.

5. Be accessible. When a referring dentist contacts you, be sure your team is prepared to treat this as a top priority. If you have emergency services, ensure that the referring office has those details. For top-caliber referring professionals, consider sharing additional ways to reach you personally.

These easy tips will put you on track for the start of a beautiful relationship—for your practice, your colleagues’ practice and for many happy and healthy patients.

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