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15 Ways Dentists Ask for Referrals… And What They’re Doing Wrong

Dental ReferralsThe following are examples we found around the web– from dentists, dental marketing “experts”, practice managers, dental assistants, salespeople, and consultants– of how to ask for referrals. (In some cases, we edited for clarity.) These are examples of the exact phrasing people think dentists and staff should say to their patients, and– surprise– most aren’t very good. What most fail to do well is let patients know

– How much you appreciate the people who refer you new patients

– How referrals benefit your practice

– That they are the only ones qualified to make convincing referrals (you can’t refer yourself business)

– How referring the practice can benefit the patient

As a result, these scripts tend sound canned, desperate, or out of place at a dentist’s office. Let’s take a look and see what the common themes are, good and bad. (I’ve bolded some of the phrases that stand out as effective.)

“I love working with patients like you. If you were in my position, what would you do to find more people like you?”

“I‘m glad we have been able to help you and to hear how pleased you are with our work. You’ve been an excellent patient, and we would be honored to see your friends and family.”

“You know, Mr. Jones, I always look forward to seeing you. I wish all my patients were as easy to work with as you are. If you ever run across someone who is looking for a new dental practice and who values quality dental care like you do, please refer them to us.”

“I bet you have friends or family members who would benefit from the same positive experience you have had with us. We would love to have the opportunity to celebrate the same success with them. So many people endure unnecessary dental problems, and we would love to have more patients like you.”

‘Do you know of anyone who needs a dentist?’

“We want more people in our practice just like you. Is there anyone you can think of that we can help?”

“We have finished your dental treatment. You are in Class I shape. Isn’t that great? However, we will not be making much more money from you (tongue in cheek – with a smile). We want to ask you to replace yourself in our practice by referring people. Is there anyone you can think of who we can help?”

“If you have any friends or family members who would like the same warm experience, please recommend them to us. We would like to fill our practice with patients just like you.

Thank you for the compliment. We enjoy having you as a patient. And if your friends are as nice as you, please send them our way.”

Thank you for the feedback and for being our patient. And if you have friends or family looking for a dentist, we would love to have them.”

We’re always looking for more patients like you. That’s why I put our business card in your goodie bag.”

We love having patients just like you. If you know of anyone that you would like to recommend to our office, please take one of our referral cards!”

“Susie, Dr. Jones does great work and really cares about her patients. Let me give you one of her cards. I’m going to put my name on the back. If you have any trouble with the crown we did for you today, please give me a call so I can help you. I’m also going to give you a couple of extra cards. We know that many people have friends or family who may be looking for a new dentist and it would mean a lot to us if you’d share Dr. Jones’ cards. We’re always happy to see more new patients like you.

“Joe, we’ve done a lot of dentistry for you in the last couple of months, and you’ve expressed how happy you are with the care, which is excellent. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to give you a few of my business cards to share with your friends and family. We’re always glad to see more new patients like you. You can be sure we’ll treat them just like we’ve taken care of you.”

“Maria, we always enjoy seeing you at your regular visits and know that you’ve been happy with the care and treatment we’ve provided. If you have friends or family looking for a dentist, we would love to have them as patients as well. Here are a couple of the doctor’s business cards for them. We promise to provide them the same high quality of care that you’ve received.”

At, we work with dentists to reach more patients and get more referrals. Call or e-mail the marketing machines to learn more: (800) 808-0249 or