Ask for Referrals


You want your patients to know you accept patient referrals (no, they just don’t know—many physicians and other healthcare offices are closed to new patients).

Desired Result:

To consistently attract quality new patients from other patients by asking for referrals.

How To:

In order to generate more patient referrals, focus on providing excellent customer service, a great patient experience and quality dental care.  Don’t be shy about pointing out the great care they received.  Help them know they made a good decision to go ahead with treatment and they will receive the results they are looking for (i.e. beautiful smile, long lasting restoration, conservative care etc…).

One effective method of asking for referrals is to “fish for compliments”. When a patient has a fabulous dental experience, ensure that you “get the word out” by asking them for a referral.

Here are the 5 steps:

  1. Ask your patient an open ended question that will lead to a compliment.
  2. “So what did you think of today’s visit?

  3. Accept the compliment graciously and make a values statement about the practice.
  4. “I’m glad to hear that! We work very hard to make certain we keep our patients comfortable and relaxed. And you’re right, we do have fun!  I’m glad you enjoyed your visit with us.”

  5. Transition Statement
  6. “Many people avoid dental visits out of fear. They don’t know a visit to the dentist can be enjoyable!”

  7. Ask for the referral
  8. “If you know of anyone who might benefit from a visit to our office, please let them know about us. We’ll take great care of them!”

  9. Thank the patient

“Thank you again for the nice compliment, it’s nice to know we are doing a good job.”

Asking for referrals is not begging for patients. It is a subtle way to let patients know about the excellence you provide and how important they are to your practice. Start fishing for compliments and watch new patients call your office.