Post comments about new dental patients to our blog.
In this survey, the median number of new patients per month was 20, with referrals the leading source of new patients.
- Referrals are the best source of new patients; 68% of dentists called referrals "very effective."
- Dental websites, TV ads, and radio ads are "somewhat effective," reported two-thirds of dentists.
- Dentists were split over direct mail — about a third find it very effective, another third say it’s somewhat effective, and a third say it’s not effective.
- Yellow pages seem to be falling out of favor; 71% of dentists say that phone book ads are "not effective" at attracting new patients.
Here are some other avenues dentists cited for
targeting dental patients:
- Article published in newspaper once or twice monthly
- Insurance company member dentist lists
- Other health care providers, i.e. M.D.s, Osteopaths, chiropractors, etc.
- Our location: we’re very visible from the freeway
- School Programs
- Word of mouth, listservs
It’s all about referrals
- "Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals." (Georgia dentist)
- "Referrals from existing patients are THE BEST sources of our new patients! Also, we reward the referring patient AND the referred patient with a $25 discount off of future dental care. We often get GREAT referral patients from our existing patients and it results in a win-win-win situation for everyone involved." (Ohio prosthodontist)
Take a multi-pronged approach
- "Keeping your name out there using multiple sources seems to be the most effective method of attracting a significant number of new patients." (Tennessee dentist)
- "Networking with other businesses, especially chiropractors, podiatrists and MDs." (New Jersey dentist)
Get involved in the community
- "Through community involvement, like coaching, service clubs, social organizations like gourmet clubs or newcomers clubs." (Illinois dentist)
- "We take pamphlets and seasonal items to local businesses, so each month it’s fun and we meet out local merchants." (General dentist)
How many new patients do you need?
- "At this point, 12 new patients per month is all our practice can handle with one dentist." (North Dakota dentist)
- "The number of new dental patients is not a good barometer. A PPO practice getting 20 new patients/month is equivalent to 10 new patients/month in a fee-for-service practice." (Virginia dentist)
The times, they are a-changin’
- "Yellow pages used to be a fairly good source, but internet access and websites are taking over." (Texas dentist)
Note: Survey sample included 58 respondents.