Periodontists, Do You Want More Referrals?

September 20, 2017    By Becky Sheetz ()

Periodontists, Do You Want More Referrals?

Most periodontists would agree that asking for referrals can be awkward at best, and extremely challenging at worst. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you want to generate more referrals to your periodontal practice, you could, conceivably, block off patient appointment times and schedule regular meetings with potential referring dentists in your area. There are probably many professionals you could meet, and many from whom you could seek recommendations.

But there are a few problems with that approach:

1) Shortage of time. If you’re like most periodontists, you don’t have time for so many meetings. Your top priority is seeing patients. Every hour you spend outside the office takes your focus away from the people you serve. And, if you’re meeting with colleagues who have excess time, they probably won’t be a great source of patient referrals.

2) Lack of interest. Many periodontists we’ve talked to have told us that even if they had the time, they probably wouldn’t want to spend it in meetings with local dentists. Asking your colleagues to entrust you with their patients isn’t easy. It makes most periodontists uncomfortable—to put it mildly.

3) Inconsistent results. The third problem is that this approach, despite its great intentions, doesn’t always work so well. Who says the most successful dentists who could endorse you as the periodontist of choice have time in their schedules—or the inclination—to meet with you? Chances are, they don’t.

Newsletter marketing is an easier way
Marketing to referring dentists with newsletters is a much easier strategy, and it requires far less commitment on the part of your colleagues. You won’t have to try to reach them or have them struggle to find a free spot on their schedule that coincides with yours. And, after you meet with them, you won’t have to wonder, “now what?” and hope they begin sending you patients.

Reach every referring professional in your area
You probably don't know every dentist in your area who could make a dental referral to your practice. With a periodontal newsletter, you won’t have to cold call or ask them to send patients to you. Instead, you’ll educate referring professionals so you can be top-of-mind when it’s time to send out patients for a periodontal procedure. Your newsletter gives them valuable information and positions you as the leading periodontal expert in your community.

How many dentists in your practice area could be making referrals to your practice but are not? If you’re unsure of the answer, or want to double-check your numbers, contact us. WPI Communications can generate a list of all the periodontal referring dentists in your practice area and help you ensure that health care professionals send their periodontics patients to you.

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