What Happened to Your Referrals?

How to Increase Your Study Club / Association Membership and Get More Referrals!

Dentistry is in transition and the status quo is unsustainable.

The changing nature of dental patients and their providers, along with altering patterns of demographics are significantly impacting the ways we practice and our membership dynamics.

Proactively setting a new strategy will influence your referral potential.

To get clear picture of the industry challenges, let’s reveal several of the current dynamics that are occurring.

Aging population

As dental problems begin to escalate, many of our patients are retiring and losing their dental benefits.

  • Traditionalist and Baby Boomer (BB) patient pool is shrinking, which means less patients to refer
  • Less frequent appointments in these categories as well

Association/ Study Club Impact

As dentist retire, so do the leaders of the traditional associations and study clubs.

If we ignore the shifting landscape, the future of our study clubs will be unpredictable and unsustainable. A succession plan is imperative for membership growth.

Diversity and Needs

According to a study conducted by the Hispanic Dental Association together with Proctor and Gamble, the Hispanic population is the fastest growing in the US.

  • 45% lack dental coverage and are dependent on community dental clinics

Consider the value of Spanish-speaking dental professionals and Spanish marketing materials.

  • Invite the Hispanic dental professionals to participate in your membership by speaking their language in your marketing

The other major ethnic shift taking place is with Asian‐Americans. They are >6% of the US population, affluent, well educated, and tech savvy.

  • 40% geographically concentrated: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York

To broaden diversity in your membership, focus your marketing on this demographic if you practice in the concentrated areas.

Gen Z are entering the dental professional workforce. They are more likely to forgo solo practices for joint, group, or corporate practices. These types of practices often keep referrals in-house and provide study club environments.

More women in the field who are restructuring traditional dental practice patterns, with many working part time. This will influence the availability to attend traditional SC events. Consider adjusting your standard event agenda:

  • Offer childcare during meetings
  • Breakfast or lunch meetings
  • Record live and virtual events
  • Varied event lengths

Dental Insurance

The variety of dental insurance plans and payments are shifting and slowly evolving.

Commercial

Using highly selective networks

Demanding more evidence / data

Pressuring providers to reduce fees

Public

Demanding increased accountability from providers

Memberships – plans vary per state and are becoming more popular

Personal

Out of Pocket fee for service

Dental Tourism

Patients are traveling abroad to receive dental treatment at a reduced cost.  The four countries leading the movement are:  Mexico, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe and Asia.

  • The younger the generation, the more likely they are to investigate this option

To keep your dentistry in-house and have a larger referral pool, emphasize the safety / infection control standards in the U.S. Highlight that convenient follow up is included in the fee post procedurally. And of course, advertise your high standard of care and professionalism.

Continual adaptation to the new dynamics of dentistry will keep your practice, study club and association cutting edge. New members will be enthusiastic and loyal. The referrals will grow from the relationships you are building and nurturing.

Dental Relationships

iRONMAN Communication Increases Business Productivity

Lisa Copeland RDH, CSP
GLOBAL SPEAKER  IRONMAN™COMPETITOR /GEN X

_________________________________________________

iRONMAN Communication Tip

_________________________________________________

Dental Drills

The “R” in iRONMAN is for Relationships.



According to Positive Psychology, people make an immediate and lasting assessment of you in the time it takes to snap your fingers.
Known as the two second rule, a first impression is a lasting impression! In dentistry, great first impressions are important when building relationships and brand loyalty with your patients and team.

The relationships you build with your patients are the cornerstone of your success. When   people like you, and feel emotionally connected to you, they are more likely to follow through with recommended treatment….which translates into practice growth. 

Have a look at my latest blog about dental relationships.

The other aspect of relationship building that contributes to your success is the education and training of your team.  Everyone should understand all of the procedures you are providing and be speaking the same language to each other and the patients. Consistency is critical to build trust.

Discover Lisa’s Seven iRONMAN communication principles here.

_________________________________________________

Are You Getting to the Root of Your Problem?

If our patients are distracted or disengaged it’s up to us, the dental professional team, to break the patterns of expectations and re-engage them.
A friendly smile / greeting for every patient. We have all encountered the administrative assistant that knows every patient and their family members the moment they enter your office. They even remember vacation destinations, birthdays and graduations! You may be working with “that” person right now! Never let them go! They are an incredible asset to your practice.

Collaborate in your huddle, (you are having a huddle right?), with your team and identify ways to engage patients scheduled for the day. Be sure to use the “generational language” suited best for each patient. Brush up on generational language customization here.

When we are comfortable and conversation is easy, it puts the patient and the team at ease.

Upcoming events: graduation, wedding, family reunion, vacation, sports,…

Discuss a personal story

Share a family connection

Thank them for a referral

_________________________________________________

Where in the World is Lisa

After living in Seattle for 20 years, my husband and I sold everything and moved to Park City, UT.  Our four criteria for selecting a new  location were: more sun, less traffic, abundant mountain biking, and awesome snow. Check, check, check, and check! It was a huge decision to make such a dramatic change to our comfortable life in Seattle. However, it was the right decision.  We are incredibly happy in our new home, making new friends, and taking on new adventures every week. 

It did not just happen.  It took a lot of hard teamwork, collaboration, sweat, tears, and weight gain too if I’m being honest, to make it a reality.

I’d like to challenge you to think about how dramatic change could impact your dental business.  The world around us is rapidly changing. If we continue to practice the same way we have, attrition will inevitably occur.  Human nature defers change. It’s: challenging, painful, and disruptive. 

What if change brought new ideas and increased productivity into your practice? 

A great place to start is with team building and customizing your internal and external communication. 

_________________________________________________

Read Lisa’s Blog

_________________________________________________

What Communication Challenges Do You Have?


What dental communication topics would you like to know more about?
Share your ideas here and we’ll include them in upcoming newsletters.


_________________________________________________

ABOUT LISA COPELAND, RDH, CSP

IRONMAN™ training taught me how to be successful in business communication.
As a competitive athlete, I effectively apply lessons learned to help clients transform business communication into profit, performance, and productivity.

My experiences allow me to share meaningful / memorable stories that positively impact your bottom line. In fact, my iRONMAN Principles of training drive my lessons on the importance of generationally effective communication in business.

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa or book her to speak at your event please email or call / text 206.465.1637