Most doctors see asking others for referrals as beneath them, or they see it as groveling for their future success. I don’t see it this way at all. Life is a relationships business. Whether it’s your butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, you ought to learn how to build relationships with everyone around you so both parties can mutually benefit. Knowing that most vendors, employees, business partners and referring dentists will eventually go “lame” on you, it’s not a game you ever finish playing. If you want to be successful, you will be in a perpetual relationship-building mode until the day they put you in the ground.
Even if dentists don’t refer to you, it is your job to maintain a relationship with anyone who might see one of your patients. I have a great referring dentist who will never send me a patient in her life—and I don’t blame her. Both her father and brother are orthodontists, so it’s understandable that they get her referrals. But we still maintain a good working relationship with this dentist because she has a popular practice, and so do I. We see a lot of the same patients, even though they are never referred to me....
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... and how you can help their patients—and they need to learn to trust you. You want them to like you and respect what you do so they think of you when they need to refer some of their patients.
Take a look at your current networking efforts to see where you could—and should—make some changes. If you are not networking with dentists in your area, it’s time to step up your game and make it a priority to start. Networking is easy and can help you build the foundation for the relationships you need to start getting referrals from those dentists. Even if there are dentists who will never send you referrals because they already have someone they send them to, it’s a good idea to make the connection and help them build a favorable opinion of you and your office. You never know when they may be speaking to others regarding your office, and you want those words to be positive.
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