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a blog by Chris Barrow

Building your GDP Referrals

I am often asked how best to establish and maintain good quality GDP referrals, whether it is for implants or any other area of special interest. The response from me can be a surprise to some:

building a referral practice is 98% knowing what makes the individual GDP’s tick and 2% clinical excellence – you have to have 100% of the 2% but its the 98% understanding people that makes the difference

Contrast that with some dentists who tell me that they hardly ever meet their referring GDP’s? There is an 80/20 reality about this – an analysis of your business over the last 12 months will likely reveal that 80% of your referrals came from the top 20% of referrers – a common result. So you may well focus your main efforts on that top group and I would encourage you so to do. Here’s a quick list of things to do for the top 20:

  1. arrange a private dinner with each one of them – 1:1 – at least quarterly – so that you can listen to what’s happening in their lives

  2. invite them to an annual VIP event (some of my clients have arranged this overseas) with 20% CPD and 80% fun

  3. take them to dental conferences as a gang

  4. invite them to a quarterly evening session with alternating guest lecturers on clinical and business related subjects

  5. if you can host on site – do so – if not, choose a quality location

  6. prepare your schedule A YEAR IN ADVANCE – and make sure that all dates are booked and confirmed

  7. create a referral liaison officer in your practice and make sure that she/he is BEST MATES with the Practice Managers at your top 20 referrers

  8. organise a quarterly evening for the Practice managers and TCO’s at your top referring practices

Above all – make sure you know what makes them tick, what their 3-year vision is – what they want more of and less of in their lives. Become one of their mentors. On a more practical note, you will see below a link to download a brochure prepared by Marcus & Louise Spry at Fresh Dental Care in Maidstone, Kent, for an implant special workshop they are running shortly. Yes – OK – I am one of the speakers along with my good friend Brian Weatherley from SOE – but the overall point is that here we have a small family-owned practice taking a positive step to grow their referral business – by investing in the branding, presentation and delivery of what promises to be a superb event.

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