Every OMS practice will have a unique approach to marketing based on things like the size of your office or the community you call home. If there’s one thing we can probably all agree on, it’s that we are in a referral-based business, so it never hurts to have a few local marketing techniques you can use to help boost your referral numbers. More importantly, to help create long-lasting relationships with dentists in your area.
Whether you’re working on building doctor to doctor or team to team connections, remember to have some fun. Organize a special, annual luncheon where everyone (either doctors or team members) can spend some time together on common ground while getting to know each other. Try making it more than just a meeting and some lunch, make it an event to remember that inspires conversation and camaraderie.
Try scheduling activities that have a common goal or focus on something that both OMS administrators and dental office professionals face on a day-to-day basis at the practice. For example, try setting up an emergency simulation with your local EMS/fire official to help everyone remember what to do if there’s an urgent situation in your office.
If your office has someone in charge of public relations, encourage them to grow your community presence by attending local lunch and learns with dental office employees, so that they’re able to put a face to your business name. Also, if there’s a dental office that sends you a high volume of cases, have your PR person reach out to them in celebration of birthdays or have them drop off an end-of-year gift basket. This extra level of attention and care goes a long way in maintaining a professional, yet personal relationship with them. They’ll remember your OMS office the next time one of their dental patients needs experienced, trusted care.
As we said before, doctor to doctor relationships are an essential part of ensuring referrals come your way. An effective way to get your doctor or team of doctors to meet with dentists is to have them attend study clubs. Depending on where you’re located, there are options to choose from that will bring your doctor together with local, referring dentists. Again, it’s about coming together to get to know one another on both a professional and personal level that facilitates an ongoing relationship that leads to referrals.
It’s beneficial for your practice to set outreach goals. You can create a comprehensive plan that outlines what you’d like to accomplish for the entire year. If you’re interested in starting out on a smaller scale, try creating a monthly goal to help get the ball rolling. You’ll want to focus on how you can continue to reach out to local dental offices and maintain good relationships with offices who already send you patients. You’ll have to figure out if you want to simply maintain the number of referrals you currently have each month or year, or decide if you’re looking for an increase in cases and how you’re going to do it. Try creating a social media plan and brainstorm ideas for posts that will keep you in the eyes of the public and dental offices. And don’t be shy about asking dentists and patients for reviews. They’re a great way to boost your presence in the community and online.
We hope you’ve learned a few helpful ideas to help your OMS office stay on top of the competition in terms of referral business. If you have any questions about what to do at your practice, please reach out to your colleagues in our SOMSA members-only forum. It’s a great resource for discussion and ideas!