[Updated 8/18/17]

Setting up a referral program for your practice is one of the easiest ways to increase your business.

It’s said that the easiest customer to sell to is a previous customer. The second easiest customer to sell to is a referral. So let’s look at several reasons why a referral marketing program can be beneficial to your practice.

1. A referral is basically a pre-sold customer. Referrals are the most powerful form of advertising. A study by Nielsen found that the most trusted source of advertising is a recommendation from people you know.

2. Referrals are the easiest and fastest way to increase business. When someone is referred, it is usually because one of two things:

A. Their friend or family member says they know someone who can help with the issue.

B. The referred patient asks people if they could recommend someone or something to resolve their issue.

Either way, the referred patient has a need for your services. Unlike ads that you hope reach someone at the perfect time, a referral is going to be the potential customer who learns about you at the right time.

3. A referral costs far less to acquire. With referrals, you are not taking out advertisements. You are utilizing your current patients to help spread your name. You may offer patients a discount at their next appointment if they refer someone, but that will cost you much less than advertising.

Some other incentives to start a referral program include:

  • A referral is less price resistant
  • A referral is more likely to refer another person
  • A referral is less likely to complain

The reason a customer refers another customer to you is that they believe their friend or business associate will truly benefit from your product or service.

Should you offer a free gift for the referral?

A thank you note or gift is a great way to show appreciation for a referral but it will not be the reason someone refers business to you.

Excellent service is the most influential factor in getting referrals.

A referral program does not necessarily have to have an incentive attached to it in order to make it work, but that may make it a bit easier to ask for a referral.

Are you interested in implementing a referral program in your dental practice?

Creativedge Marketing can help your practice create a referral program that is easily implemented in your practice and gets patients excited about referring new people.

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Author: Kathy Jiamboi

Owner of Creativedge Marketing, where growth-oriented dentists find dental practice marketing strategies and advice to take their practice to a new and higher level.

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