word of mouth marketing


How to Ask Your Dental Patients for Referrals – Without Actually Asking!

by Naomi Cooper August 2, 2017

There’s no doubt that asking for patient referrals is a simple and cost-effective way of sparking word of mouth for dental marketing consultant naomi cooperthe practice, but this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy.

Many dentists feel as though asking for referrals makes them look desperate for new patients, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s all about how you approach the conversation. Here’s how to make asking for referrals less awkward and more effective:

Get comfortable with it!

Make sure the entire dental team, including the doctors, has the verbal skills necessary to comfortably and confidently talk with patients.

Start by asking patients how their visit was.

More than likely they will pay you a compliment, providing the perfect opportunity to get a referral.

Respond with gratitude.

Explain to them that their good experience wasn’t a fluke – it’s something that you and your team work hard to accomplish every day, with every patient.

Now engage the patient.

Remind the patient that, if he or she knows of any friends and family who would appreciate the same commitment to care, your practice is accepting new patients and welcome referrals.

This helps patients understand that you are in fact accepting new patients, which isn’t always obvious to patients. And it demonstrates that you would welcome the opportunity to care for their friends and family. Ending the conversation on such a high note will help motivate patients to spread positive word of mouth and demonstrate your continued commitment to providing top-notch oral care.

Check out my video on how to ask your dental patients for referrals for more one-on-one advice!


Adopting the Marketing Mindset at Your Dental Practice

by Naomi Cooper February 18, 2014

Adopting the Marketing Mindset at Your Dental PracticeThe term “Marketing” is often associated with external advertising, or activities aimed at attracting new patients to the practice, and while this is certainly an important part of the marketing process, it doesn’t paint the entire picture. In fact, to start growing your practice, you may not have to look any further than your current patient base. When working with my clients, there’s a common piece of advice I always give: Don’t forget about internal marketing!

Internal marketing is the art of establishing relationships with current patients so that they decide to become ambassadors for your practice, referring friends and family to you. Internal marketing drives word of mouth and while it doesn’t cost a lot of money, it can pay off big time in the form of short-term practice viability and long-term sustainability.

I sometimes hear from my clients that asking their patients for referrals (or online reviews) can be intimidating or even uncomfortable. But when you have the right mindset – what I call the “Marketing Mindset” – asking for referrals and reviews becomes an easy and natural part of the day. And remember – while internal marketing isn’t difficult, it does require training on the parts of the doctors and staff. We all have to remember that verbal skills like asking patients for referrals do not necessarily come naturally, but need to be taught – and that just as with clinical skills, practice makes perfect!

With some practice, asking for referrals will no longer feel awkward or “sales-y”, but instead will become a habit…and a good habit, at that.