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:

  • 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
  • invite them to an annual VIP event (some of my clients have arranged this overseas) with 20% CPD and 80% fun
  • take them to dental conferences as a gang
  • invite them to a quarterly evening session with alternating guest lecturers on clinical and business related subjects
  • if you can host on site – do so – if not, choose a quality location
  • prepare your schedule A YEAR IN ADVANCE – and make sure that all dates are booked and confirmed
  • 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
  • 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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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.