Happy day after Halloween! Or, in some circles, All Saints Day.
Halloween might present a dilemma for many of you. On the one hand, those little trick-or-treaters are expecting something delicious, sweet, and sugary in their bags or baskets. On the other hand, you’re a dentist and don’t want to promote tooth decay.
Sugar-free gum probably seems like a “trick” to those youngsters who were expecting a treat.
Some dental marketing firms are like that. They promise you delicious treats, in the form of impressions, views, clicks, and followers, making it sound as if those will get you what you need.
Those things are the “sugar-free gum” of dental marketing. They have their place, but the payoff isn’t there.
The only metric that matters is more new patients in your chairs. All of those “sugar-free” things that your marketing company may be promising you are just a means to that end. By themselves, they won’t get you a single new patient.
This isn’t to “dis” SEO firms. Up-to-date SEO is absolutely crucial if you’re going to be found by new patients on local search. Many firms, though, present their services as if those hits, clicks, and so on are all you need.
That’s a trick when they’ve promised you a treat.
Your new patients need a reason to choose you over your competitors. If your blog, your Facebook page, and most of all your website aren’t giving them those reasons, new patients will click away.
Price is one reason to new patients to choose you. There’s a problem with marketing to the price-conscious, though – they’re looking to spend as little as possible for the treatment they need or want. The lower your price, the lower your margin, which means you have to see lots and lots of price shoppers to make any real money.
Can you see yourself doing that for the next 10, 15, or even 25 years? Is that the kind of dentistry you saw yourself doing when you graduated from dental school?
Rather than attract new patients on price, think about attracting them on value. Those two things aren’t even remotely the same. New patients who have reason to value what you provide will be willing to pay more.
The value proposition for dentists today is that they offer superior experiences and outcomes for their patients. “Superior” is determined by:
- How well the patients are treated once they contact your practice
- How well they’re listened to
- How accommodating you and your staff are
- The comfort you provide while they’re actually in your practice
- The trust that patients feel they can place in you;
- And, of course, by the outcomes that you provide in solving their dental problems.
Those are reasons for new patients to choose you and your practice over your competitors. When you provide a superior value proposition for your new patients, they’ll pay more to get that value.
If your phone’s not ringing with new patient calls, the problem might be your SEO. Or, it might be that you need to look to your online presence to make sure that you’re communicating the value of choosing you.