Ground marketing to medical locations, such as private practices, specialized clinics, plastic surgeons, and urgent care, can be an effective strategy to get new dental patients and grow your practice. Not only can you attract and gain referrals from the employees at these medical facilities, but it is also an opportunity to build partnership referrals from their clientele into your practice.
Research Within Your Community for Viable Partnerships
When it comes to any type of ground marketing, (i.e., a people-to-people approach to attract, engage, and invite people to your practice) the first step is to do research within your community. Although medical locations may be more difficult to find than other commercial businesses, there is a three-step process to make community research easier.
Step 1 - Use Google to search local urgent care facilities
- Make sure the business has a professional website
- A well-written blog
- Social media such as Facebook and Instagram pages, and a Twitter handle.
While they do not need to have all these, make sure the urgent care you intend to ground market to is active in the local community. The more active they are within the community, the more likely they are to have an established and trustworthy presence.
Step 2 - Discern how engaged they are with their own ground marketing
- Do they have their clinic active and present at health fairs, sporting events, and anywhere else a booth can be set up?
Having a clinic that is more active with its ground marketing efforts can lead to an easier partnership as they will understand your strategies at a deeper level and may also be looking for referrals themselves.
Step 3 - Look for any urgent care clinics that might be donating services
- Is there an urgent care in your neighborhood donating free physical exams or consultations at local pharmacies or community centers?
To be even more thorough in your community research efforts, drive around and scope out urgent care centers. While Googling should always be part of the process, there may be an urgent care (or two) that is not showing up in your searches.
Getting your Foot in the Door
Next, show your value to them. Start by going in and asking for their business cards or flyers. Talk to them about your practice and what kinds of services you offer. Inquire about the kinds of medical services they offer. After you get your initial information, take it home and see where your services complement each other and what services you may be able to provide to their patients.
At your next visit, make sure they know your practice accepts new dental patient emergencies and ask if that is something they are interested in referring out. Navigating these conversations can be a little nerve-wracking so preparing a script can ease your nerves and help you to be more prepared for the discussion.
The Benefits of Marketing to Urgent Cares to Get New Dental Patients
There are many benefits of ground marketing to your local urgent cares. The biggest of these is the cost. This type of marketing will not cost very much to execute but it will take time. Block out an hour or two (depending on how thorough you want to be) each week on research and implementation. More than likely, this technique will not impact your budget.
Another benefit is that you get to make a long-lasting impression. Unlike dropping off cookies or a gift basket, which usually does not even get to the doctor, this strategy will build more rapport and a deeper relationship with the team. Building an in-person relationship will make getting referrals much easier.
There is a larger likelihood of a doctor referring your practice for any dental needs when you have a strong relationship in place. An urgent care facility alone could bring in thousands of dollars of revenue each month to your practice simply because you are active within the community and understand the importance of building these close relationships.
Other Types of Medical Facilities Can Also Help You Get Referrals
While focusing on ground marketing and patient referrals from your local urgent care is a high priority, you can also use this strategy to ground market to other local medical facilities. Reaching out to all types of medical facilities from specialized clinics, such as pediatric offices, to cosmetic and plastic surgeons can provide big results. Seek out ground marketing opportunities within your neighborhood and start building lasting partnerships to get new dental patients and a stronger community network.
Michael Arias is the host of The Dental Marketer podcast and founder of a ground dental marketing firm.