Networking with Other Professionals
Whether your practice is new, recently relocated or has been around for a while, it’s important to have a network of professional resources. You can then rely on these relationships to gain information, share opinions and build referral networks.
Many of your patients will be referred to you by a friend, a neighbor or one of your patients. In many cases, they may also be referred by another healthcare professional or someone in your business network.
Developing a professional network in your local community can be beneficial not only for your practice, but also for the other professionals and business people you get to know.
- Think beyond dental. Although you may get great information from fellow dentists, don't be afraid to look to other professions, as well.
- Start a breakfast or lunch group. If one doesn't exist, invite a small group of professionals in your area to meet once a month and share a meal together. The informal nature of this meeting will help break the ice while giving you a great opportunity to learn what is working in other businesses.
- Be prepared. Consider a few issues or topics you'd like to discuss and bring them to the meeting. This will help you start conversations and make the most of your contacts at any meeting you attend.
Tips to Increase Referrals
- Ask for referrals. As you meet with other professionals in your community, be direct about your goals in providing quality dental care and compliment them by acknowledging their success. Then, ask if anyone they know is in need of a dentist.
- Refer people to others. One way to generate referrals for your office is to refer people to other businesses and professionals in your community. Whether someone is looking for a physician, car mechanic, lawyer or other expert, refer them to someone you know. Tell referrals to mention your name when they call to make their first appointment. You'll be pleasantly surprised when the favor is returned.