Question: Do you have any tips for building a new referral base for my startup oral surgery office?

I am opening a start up oral surgery office. I am working on building a new referral base. Do you have any tips?

ANSWER: Thank you for your question and congrats on the new office. I have not written much on this topic in the past but here are some thoughts that may help.

  1. ) Referring Doctors – the first dentists to contact are the ones that you want referring to you. My suggestion is that you arrange meetings or a lunch with them and start to build some rapport. I also suggest that you find out possibly who they refer to now and why they like or don’t like them.[mepr-show if=”loggedout”]Members only resources[/mepr-show] [mepr-active memberships=”629,630,37388,37393,37672,37676,37670,37668,37674,44674,232156″ ifallowed=”show” unauth=”message” unauth_message=”Answer hidden, please login or purchase a membership to view.”] I would find out if they have issues with any of their existing referrals and what you can do to be given a chance with some of their referrals. Aim to find out clearly from them what they are looking for from you, what they are NOT getting from their current oral surgeon and how you can do it better. Talking with the doctors is the first step to getting your referral slips, or cards, into the office.
  2. ) Referring Doctor’s Team – Once you have won over the doctor, the next step is to win over that office’s team. I would suggest finding ways to get in front of the team, if possible. Host a CE event that they will find value in, offer a ‘Lunch & Learn’ for the team, or host a team appreciation event. Many times the dentist is the one that decides that the patient needs to be referred and unless they specifically say to whom, the team will refer the patient to the office that they prefer the most, or is the easiest to work with. Make sure that it is your team they are referring.
  3. ) General Public – If you want patients to call your office too, without a referral, then market to the public. I am not positive if this works for oral surgeons or not, so you might want to ask other specialists or social media groups, to see if others have had success. I would also suggest, possibly hosting some events for the public, such as, an open house when you open your new office, or educational events that people will find valuable. You could also reach out to different groups, or communities, and offer them a presentation on a topic that potential new clients would want to attend and then hopefully they will come to you when they are in need of your services.

You may also want to read my recent article, Can a Specialty Dentist Stand Out?

I hope this information is helpful.[/mepr-active]