Why Word of Mouth Marketing is a Cop Out

Why Word of Mouth Marketing is a Cop Out

Often, I have clients say – “I want to focus on word of mouth marketing”.

“…I want more word of mouth”.

To that I say – No.

What you actually want is to get more high-quality leads…

Practice owners here’s why I’m calling BS on “word of mouth”.

This is going to polarise a few people, but it needs to be said!

It’s not okay to rely on word of mouth marketing to grow your practice.

It’s a cop out.

And it drives me crazy, some people wear it like some sort of badge of honour!

Like – “I don’t need to market, I get word of mouth…”

It’s lazy, it’s reckless, it’s ignorant and if you depend on growing by word of mouth, then in all likelihood - you’re still in business in spite of yourself, not because you’re doing anything special.


So, let me tell you where I’m coming from and why I’m so passionate about this!

Before you get uptight about me canning “word of mouth” just keep reading because what I have to say is going to surprise you.

You see the overwhelming majority of practice owners I speak to, need more new patients.

In fact, it’s often the number 1 problem that they and maybe even you want my help with.

If you don’t have a predictable way of getting new patients consistently, then you don’t have a way to grow or even stay in business.

There’s three frameworks that I teach to my clients to help them shift from a trickle of new patients and unpredictable marketing results to a flood of new patients with machine like predictability.

  • In a nutshell – you need to be able craft a message that engages your audience.
  • YOU need to communicate your message at the right rhythm – that means consistency and frequency.
  • And you need to communicate your marketing message on the right platform – and the platforms that I love are email, Facebook, Instagram and Google.


The reason I like marketing this way is because it’s a system, it’s a process that I can and that you can control.

And anything that I can control – I like, and so should you.

You need to be able to control as many of your growth factors as possible – otherwise you will not be in control of the outcomes you get.

Now, let’s look at what word of mouth really is.

It’s quite simply – people talking about you.

That’s it!

Now, unless you have people that work for you – and it’s their job to get out there every day and physically sing your praises and they get paid on their ability to turn these conversations into appointments – then you cannot control whether it happens or not.

And that’s the problem – you can’t control it.

It’s not a strategy.

It’s passive. It’s naive. It’s dangerous.

Now, let’s say you do get a good volume of referral business.

Is that you?

Why do people refer to you in the first place?

Likely because you’re good at what you do, right?

Well, it goes without saying that you need to be good at what you do… you need to be good at what you do – at an absolute minimum! It totally goes without saying!


But, no matter how good you are, if you are competing with someone else who is good too (and they are btw) and they create more “connection” with their audience than you do by doing more active marketing – then it won’t be long until your future patients are going to see them.

Old school word of mouth used to happen at the coffee shop, at the pub, anywhere people get together. But now, social media exists, email marketing exists, reaching your audience with paid advertising is within reach for everyone.

Here’s the end to my rant and a little surprise for you that you’re not expecting.

If you want to stay in business let alone succeed, you cannot rely on just word of mouth.

You need an active marketing strategy that creates more connection with your audience.

And when you do that, you will be able to get a predictable flow of new patients every single day like my clients do.

And the funny thing is, you’ll get more word of mouth referrals too!

So what should you do if you’re relying on word of mouth marketing right now?

After coaching thousands of driven healthcare practice owners through the process of building profitable and powerful practices, I’ve come up with a list of REAL, bite sized, actionable tactics for getting a FLOOD of new patients.

Head on over to my blog where you can get my 37 new patient tactics and leave word of mouth behind!


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