Grow Your NHS Dental Practice (part II)

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

Getting Referrals To Work For You

referralsBefore I get onto referrals I'd just like to tell you a little about one of my best clients who I had a meeting with last week. She isn't one of my best clients because she spends more cash with me than most. No it's because she's totally switched on to marketing her practice and making it work.

She has been with me for just over a year and has just completed a new surgery, has taken on a new hygienist, a new associate and is just starting a new podiatry service all in the last 12 months.

Her website is specifically designed to attract new patients and get them to take action. We are running her Google Adwords campaign. Her Facebook and Twitter accounts and her Facebook advertising as well as her search engine optimisation and yes it all works.

But what I want to talk about is her referrals strategy. Yes she has a strategy in place for this too and so should you.

Every patient knows about her referrals strategy. They know that if they refer a friend, colleague, relative etc. to her they will receive a voucher worth £25.00.

She has one patient who is saving up the vouchers to have her teeth whitened. Whitening is £300 and she has £250 worth of vouchers already!

This means that this single patient has referred ten of her connections already and when she has two more, she'll use the services of the practice even more. Its a complete win/win scenario for the patient and the practice.

It doesn't really matter what rewards you give your patients for referrals, but it is vitally important that you let them know about it.

How To Make Referrals Work

  • Ask everyone if they know anyone who is looking for a great dentist and would they recommend them to you
  • Advertise your rewards in the practice
  • Talk about your referrals rewards on social media
  • Email the rewards information out to all your patients
  • When you send out a reminder text or letter, mention the referrals rewards
  • Put your referrals rewards information on all communications you have with your patients

We provide many of our customers with a mobile app which has referrals built in to it and manages the whole process for you. But it's not about the technology it's about making sure that all your patients know that you want them to refer people to you. A referred patient is without doubt the best patient you can have. They are normally more loyal than other patients and tend to spend more money with you. So get your referrals strategy in place and start benefiting from it now.

If you want help getting new patients into your practice. Call me on 01767 626 398. Eemail me at or visit our website at See our Facebook and Twitter pages too

Posted on by Neil Sanderson

How To Grow Your NHS Dental Practice (part II)

I wrote part one of How To Grow Your NHS Dental Practice a few weeks ago, the reason that there has been a little delay is that I have been putting into place a new product to help solve this problem.

So let's have a look at the issues for most NHS dental practices. Unless you can get the local PCT to give you some more UDA's you simply can't grow your NHS dental practice revenues and because staff costs, and inflation continue to grow this in effect means your revenues fall every year.

Add to that the growing uncertainty about the new contract, it puts practices that are wholly or mainly dependent on an NHS contract in a difficult position.

So what is the solution? Well of course there really only is one solution to grow your NHS dental practice and that is to sell private treatment, which I assume doesn't come as any surprise whatsoever, in fact it is blindingly obvious.

But here's the catch, just how do you grow your NHS dental practice with private work, because there are some very difficult obstacles to overcome when trying to sell private treatment when you depend on your NHS patients and that contract.

Let me put one myth to bed straight away, it doesn't matter where your practice is or what the demographics are, there are people out there who will find the money for private treatment, however deprived your area is, please believe me on this one. despite what your associates may tell you.

However there is one practical problem to growing your NHS dental practice you will have to overcome and that is this. Can you actually deliver the private treatment e.g. straightening, whitening, implants, smile makeovers. If you can't deliver then you need to find a way to do this. But I am going to assume that you can deliver private treatment in some form or other.

So we know what the problems of how to grow your NHS dental practice are, how are you going to overcome them. The biggest problem you have to solve is letting your patients know what you can offer them.

If you take nothing else from this article remember this statement... It is not your patients job to find out what you can do for them. It is your job to tell them what you can do for them!!!

So how are you going to sell private treatment, let's just remind ourselves of the issues again:

  1. You don't have time to discuss with your patients the various private options you offer.
  2. Your patients subsequently don't know what you do.
  3. There is now an information block, your patients don't know what you can do for them and you don't have time to tell them.

It's not often I plug my products or services in these blogs but I now have the perfect solution, it is our  "Reception Information Centre", this comprises of three elements.

  1. The first is a bespoke video which will run on your TV from a DVD, computer, iPad, YouTube etc. etc. It tells your patients exactly what you can offer them in a 5-10 minute video. This video can either be an animated type of video or a professionally shot video where we bring in a film crew, not only can it run in reception but also on your website, via email or on a tablet.
  2. The second element is a practice brochure which matches the video EXACTLY it is designed specifically for your patients to take away and remind them exactly what they saw when they were waiting to see you.
  3. The third element are pull up exhibition stands which will have the bullet points of what you can offer and again matches exactly the style of the video and the brochure. It will guide them to watch the TV and pick up a brochure.

In order to grow your NHS Dental Practice you need time to tell your story and you simply don't have it in an NHS practice so this system does exactly that for you, it will encourage your patients to ask what you can do because they are now informed, even asking for a white filling rather than a standard one. All the above is bespoke to you with your logo, colours and even YOU in it. It is the perfect solution to the age long problem of how do you sell private treatment to NHS patients.

I will have examples of the above in a couple of weeks with pricing to match.

There are other options for informing your patients what you can do and I'll cover these in a couple of weeks, but they all involve much more expense and time and effort on your part.

So if you would like more information on the "Reception Information Centre" or how to grow your NHS dental practice or any other dental marketing issues, call me on 01767626398 or email me at or visit the website