Posted by: juliegriffey | June 28, 2010

Building Your Practice Through Referrals

Let me start with a disclaimer – I am not an expert in this area.  I do not run an optical practice, or any other type of medical practice. Nevertheless – I do have some thoughts about a simple way to grow an optical practice based on my willing participation in referring patients to  my  Boston dentist (Sal Angelo in Newton, MA – the best dentist in Boston).

I started seeing Dr. Angelo because he was referred to me by my friend, Michael. A few weeks after my initial visit, Michael asked me how I liked Dr. Angelo and mentioned that his office sent him two free movie passes to thank him for the referral. After I got over my initial jealousy, I marveled at what a generous and gracious thank you gift this was and set out to start referring Dr. Angelo to other friends.


So, of course, when my friend, Stuart, mentioned that he needed a dentist – I was quick to make the recommendation – and voila! – movie passes arrived in the mail. And, I did it again at work when my colleague, Tom, was complaining of a toothache.  I actually dialed Dr. Angelo’s office phone from my colleague’s desk.   Tom knew about my dentist’s habit of sending thank you movie passes to patients that made referrals and – he actually asked when I would be getting mine ( how embarassing!)  But I still got my movie passes.

Clearly, the free movie passes were a great motivator for me to send Dr. Angelo more patients. What a brilliant idea, I thought. Dr. Angelo understands the value of  a new patient , so the cost of the movie passes is well worth it.

Unfortunately, I can no longer go see Dr. Angelo as we are no longer living in Boston. But this experience has stuck with me. I have a new dentist, physician and eye doctor, but I have never made a single referral to any of them.  It just hasn’t occurred to me, probably  I no longer have the motivation of a free trip to the movies.

So, perhaps this will strike a chord with some of you optical professionals that are looking for ways to build your practice.  Or maybe some of you have even better ways of thanking patients for referrals.  Let me know and I’ll send you some patients your way!



  1. we give patent’s who referr a $10 certificate to use on anything in the store….even copays!

  2. My dentist (Peggy Chandra in Arnold, MO) also rewards patient referrals. They have business cards made up that patients can hand out to family/friends & a place to write the “Referring Patient” and the “Referred Patient” names on the back. The incentive is a $25 credit to your patient account!

  3. […] Consider another scenario… let’s say a friend asks for an eye doctor recommendation.  My reaction would be – “Oh sure – I’ll send you the info…” But I may or may not actually remember to do so.  When the weekly/monthly email newsletter from your practice hits my in box, simply forwarding it on is an easy way to refer the practice to someone else (especially if there is an incentive to do so!) […]

  4. […] have been inspired to write a post by a visit to to my dentist. Maybe you recall a while back when I posted about how my dentist thanked me for referrals with free movie passes. I wrote about this practice on the blog, suggesting that eye doctors might also do the same to […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: