Orthodontic Products asked a number of orthodontists to share their best and most creative referral generating ideas. Here are some ideas that may work for your practice as well.
Connecting with Referring Dentists
One thing I did, which still is useful, is to create photo books using case images [that can be given to referring dentists and potential patients]. It’s the gift that keeps on giving because it’s always useful.
—Howard Fine, DMD, MMSc, Fine Orthodontics, Mount Kisco and Katonah, NY
Our best event each year is our dentist and hygienist CE event. If you work with a major orthodontic company, they will usually provide one of their speakers, so that way the CE is covered. You can also register to provide your own CE, but the process is a little cumbersome. I recommend that either the doctor speaks for 10 minutes before the official speaker starts, or the doctor does the entire seminar themselves. We use Eventbrite to have people RSVP. We always run an Early Bird giveaway to incentivize people to sign up. There are many details that go into the process, but remember to keep it fun and professional and to promote, promote, promote.
—Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS, Saddle Creek Orthodontics, Germantown and Collierville, Tenn
Connecting with Referring Dentists
Twice a year my family and I get together to make homemade treats for the dental offices in the area. It’s a pretty big undertaking, but I get a ton of help from staff, family members, and even volunteers. However, one of the most important elements of a treat like this is making sure that people know that YOU, the doctor, and the family (wife and kids) helped with it. My wife does do most of it, but it’s so important to leave ample evidence behind that 1) YOU helped out with this; 2) This comes from OUR home to your office; and 3) We love you so much that only a personal gift with a hand-written thank you note from me and my kids will do. Make sure you get a pic of your adorable hubby or wife, and amazing kids, helping to put it together. Really there is nothing you could possibly give a successful dentist that they couldn’t get for themselves…that is, besides something cute, clever, delicious, and homemade.
—Cole Johnson, DMD, MS, Johnson Family Orthodontics, Salem, Ore
Connecting with Patients Directly
We do two large community events. The first is an End of School Pool Party sponsored by Kravitz Orthodontics. The day after the last day of school, we have simultaneous running parties in all the community pools near our office. We supply a DJ, pizza, and marketing materials, such as floaties and sunglasses with our logos. The waiting lines are around the block. We also sponsor 3rd of July fireworks. We have a huge community BBQ with live music and professional fireworks to end the evening. We do this event on the 3rd so families can celebrate the 4th elsewhere.
—Neal Kravitz, DMD, MS, Kravitz Orthodontics, South Riding and Ashburn, Va
We have found that being consistent is important. We have been hosting Patient Appreciation Movie Events annually. This will be the third year we’ve taken over the largest theatre in our area for a private showing of the latest Star Wars™ release for our patients and guests. Considering our office features an enormous collection of Star Wars memorabilia, the continuation of this movie series is perfect for us. Our staff dresses up as Star Wars characters and we roll out the red carpet, from goodie bags to photo ops—patients create memories, parents extend gratitude, and their friends rave about how they would love to become part of the experience.
—Courtney Ingle, Treatment Coordinator, Kalamazoo Orthodontics, Kalamazoo, Portage, and Paw Paw, Mich