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a blog by Chris Barrow

The 5%’ers – How to create an environment in which 5% of your team members are asking fo

How to create an environment in which 5% of your team members are asking for patient reviews, testimonials and referrals from 5% of your patients (so that you don’t have to!).

The problem isn’t that you don’t have patients who will gladly become your brand ambassadors.

If you do a good job, some patients will agree to tell their family friends and colleagues about you.

The problem is that you personally don’t have the time to ask and/or you have a team of people around you who don’t really know where to start.

Step 1 – Dealing with the self-limiting beliefs and managing expectations

Hopefully, were can make a start by stepping over the roadblock that begins with:

“our patients don’t like being asked”

“our patients don’t have smartphones/Gmail accounts/Facebook profiles/Instagram accounts”

“our patients don’t know how to write reviews”

“our patients don’t like having their photographs taken”

Let’s remind ourselves at this early point of an 80/15/5 rule.

80% of your team will not want to step outside of their comfort zone and ask for reviews, testimonials, photographs and video.

80% of your patients will not want to give them either – not because they don’t like you – just because they don’t like being asked.

15% of your team will tell you that they will ask for reviews, testimonials, photographs and videos – and then never seem to get around to it.

15% of your patients will promise reviews, testimonials, photographs and videos – and then will never seem to get around to it.

5% of your team will relentlessly ask for reviews, testimonials, photographs and videos – and will get them from the……

5% of your patients who will be delighted to help.

There is NO POINT in trying to convert the 80%’ers to your marketing religion – they will remain steadfast non-believers.

There is NO POINT in nagging the 15%’ers to follow through on their promises – they will keep finding excuses.

There is EVERY POINT in identifying and nurturing the 5%’ers who will carry your business forward.

That begins with a look at your team.

Step 2 – Picking the 5%’ers

Team – how will you know who the 5%’ers are in your team?

The reality is that they usually identify themselves through their attitude and actions.

If these people already exist in your team, you will know who they are right now.

They shine.

If you cannot identify 5%’ers in your team – it’s probably because you don’t have them – in fact your team is just 80/20.

If so, then hiring a 5%’er is a PRIORITY for 2020. You’ll find them

  1. by writing to your existing patients to ask for recommends

  2. working in customer service or in retail – they are the baristas, the waiters and retail managers around you. They find delivering good customer service a doddle and a joy.


Your 5%’ers can make brilliant Treatment Coordinators (TCOs) and make patient reviews and testimonials flow.

Equally, 5% team members may work on Front Desk or in Nursing – it doesn’t matter.

What matters is knowing who they are and teaching them the language of engagement with the 5%’er patients.

Patients – how will you know who the 5%’ers are in your patient list?

The reality is that they usually identify themselves through their attitude and actions.

You will know them when they arrive in your practice, you know who some of them are right now.

Put the 5%’ers together and the magic just happens.

Step 3 – Finding needles in the haystack

So we need some systems to identify the 5%’er patients.

Here’s where I’m going to sound like a scratched record.

  1. The Daily Huddle (see attached)

  2. The End of Treatment Review (EOTR) and The MRCREST list (see attached)

Simple though it may sound, clients tell me that bringing huddles and the EOTR into their normal working practices is “a game changer”.

Step 4 – Technique

Knowing how to ask is as important as knowing who to ask.

So Mr. Patient, now that we have arrived at the end of your course of treatment, I’d like to ask a couple of questions:

  1. Are you happy with the clinical outcome?

  2. Are you happy with the customer service that the team have delivered?

If so, I’d like to ask for your help (device which off these questions you will ask at your Daily Huddle)

  1. we are growing the practice at the moment, we are looking for new patients and would love to see more people like you, because we like you! Would it be OK to give you three of my referral business cards to pass on to any family, friends or colleagues who may be interested in visiting our practice?

  2. Is it possible that we could take a selfie photograph of you with your dentist and nurse, to celebrate the end of your current phase of treatment?

  3. We have noticed that online reviews are growing in importance and would like to invite you to submit a review of your experience on Google, Facebook or any other review site that you may be connected to. We have a brief printed guide showing how to create those reviews and I’d like to give you a copy of that guide now.

  4. In particular, if you have an active Facebook profile, we would love to ask for your help in raising money for a local charity X. Don’t worry, we will not asking you for money but simply support. We’ve challenged ourselves to raise £1,000 for Charity X and have pledged to donate £1.00 for each of our patients who checks in to the practice on their Facebook profile and a further £1.00 if they write a brief review when Facebook remind them 24 hours later;

  5. we also love to collect testimonials from happy patients, they are great for our marketing and can also give confidence to others who may be nervous. We find that 95% of those who do consent to a testimonial prefer a written commentary, as they are uncomfortable if there is a video camera recording, whereas 5% are happy to be filmed and photographed. May I ask – are you a 95%’er or a 5%’er?

  6. If a 95% I’d love to organise a written testimonial from you by letter or email;

  7. If a 5%, we would like to invite you to one of our quarterly video testimonial evenings here at the practice. Every 3 months we set aside some time early evening and invite 4-6 of our 5%’ers to come along for some light refreshments and to have their photograph taken professionally (at our expense), then to be filmed for 4 minutes or so. The questions we ask on video are

  8. How did you hear about us originally?

  9. what was it that had you looking?

  10. How was your customer service experience?

  11. What difference did the treatment make?

  12. It would be lovely to invite you to our next event – the dates are……

Step 5 – Measurement

Delegates at our Extreme Workshop Marketing Day this month will have access to three important Excel templates:

  1. The Extreme Marketing Plan – which outlines activities for the year ahead and budgets for them financially;

  2. The Extreme Monthly Marketing Report – which measures your reach across web site and social media channels;

  3. The Extreme TCO Conversion Report – which measures the success of your Front Desk team, your TCO and your clinicians at converting patients to treatment.

To quote business author Harry Beckwith:

“There is no performance without accountability and no accountability without measurement”

Step 6 – Deciding to do things differently

Here’s my New Year request.

That you decide NOW to make internal marketing a cornerstone of your success this year and follow the 5 steps I have outlined here to make that happen.

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