In the current orthodontic market, very few orthodontists can afford to neglect any of the major sources of referrals. To attain a consistently high number of starts every month and for years to come, review your efforts… and results… in these five key areas:

1. Patient Referrals

For sheer cost-effectiveness, nothing beats the word-of-mouth power of current adult patients and parents recommending your practice to their family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others in their lives. The great value of this technique derives from two facts. First, you already have relationships and communications with these referrers, so it costs little or nothing to generate referrals from them. Create at least 15 patient referral strategies you can use simultaneously and monitor results so you can replace those that aren’t working as well as others.

2. Doctor Referrals

Even though some potential referrers may be using new, simpler technologies to provide orthodontic treatment themselves, there should still be many opportunities for winning referrals from general dentists, pediatric dentists, pediatricians, and other medical offices in your area. Use educational events and materials, social events, food deliveries, and other proven strategies to build relationships and make sure your practice comes to mind first when doctors (and their staff members) are asked for an orthodontist recommendation.

3. Observation Program

Get serious about your observation program and it will yield a steady supply of new patients year after year. Recruit siblings of current patients, whose parents already know, like, and trust you. Focus on relationship-building during brief periodic exams. When the time comes for initiating treatment, few parents will go “ortho shopping” at that point.

4. Community Outreach

For another kind of word-of-mouth advertising, work to become known as the “go-to” orthodontist in your area. Provide orthodontic education at schools and health fairs, support charitable activities, and sponsor teams and events. Before long, prospective patients and parents will think of you when they think about orthodontics.

5. Self-Referrals from the Internet

Social media blurs the line between advertising and socializing. Establish an engaging, informative and active presence on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter… all backed up by a professionally designed and up-to-date website… and you’ll be able to attract new patients very economically.

Like a diversified stock portfolio, this mix of referral sources will keep the starts coming regardless of changing conditions in your local ortho market. OP

Want to Boost Doctor Referrals? Host a seminar by Dr Roger P. Levin. Orthodontic Products readers can receive a substantial discount on his speaking fee. To learn more, go here or contact Seminar Events Manager Rebecca Luwisher today at [email protected].