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Attracting Non-Insurance Patients


Dear Sharyn

We’re anticipating that we’ll be phasing out of the Big D in the next six months. Unfortunately, a high percentage of our base is with this plan and I would like to attract more patients who aren’t so insurance driven. How do we find patients who will go to a fee for service office?


Dear Perplexed,

The best and most cost-effective route to get new patients is to ask for referrals from current patients who match your ideal patient profile.  Everyone should be  involved in launching a referral campaign. Work as a team to define the qualities and characteristics of your ideal patients. Then, at huddle, identify which patients match those qualities. You’ll target them for referrals. Assign the team member who will ask for the referral (and/or review).

There is a formula for asking. First, offer the patient a genuine compliment (“I love your sense of humor). Then add that you would love to see more patients with that quality (“In fact, it’s patients like you that make my day. Would you be willing to take a few business cards in case your friends or family would also like to come here?”)

Once you ask, write AFR (asked for referral) and the date in their chart notes, so that you don’t continually ask this patient. If a patient comes in as a result of the referral, note that in the chart too and send the referring patient a thank you card. Then, flag that patient’s next appointment  so the team can also verbally thank the patient.

Also target the non-insurance patients who gave you 5-star online reviews. Thank those patients online, send them a card and then ask for a referral when they’re next in the office.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

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