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Thursday, June 2, 2011

A New Spin on Specialist Gift Baskets

Dental offices tend to be a dumping ground for gift baskets around the holidays.
Cookies, candy, popcorn - you name it- they give it. Orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists saying "thank you" for the referrals by adding pounds to your hips.

An orthodontist that we refer to has taken the gift basket tradition to a new level- one that we actually feel good about using. One of his team members dropped off a basket with individual packages for each of our team members- each package contained a nail polish, file and toe separator. There was an envelope with instructions not to open until everyone had picked out their polish. The note inside the envelope instructed every one to look at the bottom of the polish and the one with the star sticker on the bottom was the winner of a pedicure- whoo hoo (I won- yay)

He also hosted a March Madness basketball pool that all of the offices that refer to him were able to participate in- I didn't actually make any picks, but I loved the idea.

I started thinking that I wanted to do something like this for the specialist that we refer to. I know that traditionally they are the ones to give the gift baskets but it could go both ways. Often times people will seek out specialists even if they don't have a general dentist, granted the specialists are going to spread their referrals around but why not try to get you name at the top of the list. Also its a great opportunity to introduce yourself .

In January we dropped off gift baskets from Harry and Davids containing fruit to our periodontist, orthodontist and endodontist- we also included an invitation for complimentary preventative services for their team members (cleaning, exam and xrays) As long as the team member is employed at that particular office we will continue to provide these services free of charge.

In April we delivered a gift basket to the plastic surgeon that we refer to, each bottle in the sand includes a poem inviting the team member to our office for complimentary whitening trays. This would also be a nice gift for our other specialists since these offices typically don't provide whitening services.

Each of these gifts provided the recipients with something they were glad to receive and gave us an opportunity to introduce them to our office, services we provide and form a relationship outside of a referral slip.

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