If your office isn’t attracting the kind of patients YOU want, who do you blame? You might have to look at that person in the mirror.
Is it the economy that keeps patients away? Are you in a bad location? Does your staff not make it a friendly environment? Is insurance ripping you off?
The answer to all of those questions could be yes.
But what about the decisions YOU make? Are there things YOU are doing that could be driving people away?
Here are 5 things that keep dentists from getting the patients they want:
- You offer free and discounted services.
Sure, that is a good short-term ploy to get more patients into your office. But what kind of patients?
Patients who only care about costs. You think those patients are going to fund your retirement? They’re not.
And what does offering freebies and discounts say to patients who CAN pay? That your services aren’t worth much, that’s what.
- You tell patients what is important to you as a dentist.
99.9 percent of your patient’s aren’t dentists. They don’t care where you went to school. They don’t care if you have a CT scanner. They don’t care in what journals you’ve been published.
They don’t care about you – sorry. They want you to solve their problems – period.
- You work four six-hour days a week.
Success takes hard work. If you’re not attracting the right kind of patients with a high per-hour rate, you’d better be putting in the time to be a volume dentist. If you want to stand out, open before your competitors and close after they’ve quit for the day.There may come a day where you are so respected and sought-after that you can work four days per week.
But you’ve got to earn that.
- You expect solutions that come fast and come cheap.
There is no magic bullet to solve your problems, and the silver ones come at a price. It takes a combination of best practices in the right order to get more and better patients. And just as you have a skill that you expect to be paid for, so does anyone who is going to help you market that skill.
So when somebody comes to you with a “sweetheart” deal saying they will work for next to nothing, that’s also the result you’re going to get.
- You think any of this is dependent on how good a dentist you are.
What separates you from the most successful dentists in the world? Are they so much more skillful than you? Can they see remedies for patients’ problems that you can’t see? Are they more skillful with dental tools?
Even if you answer yes to any or all of these, are they SO much better than you as to explain how much more successful they are? Probably not.
In fact, you are probably a better clinician than some dentists making 10 times your annual take-home. But they have been able to capitalize on initiative, opportunity, promotion AND skill.
Fix these five problems and you’ll run off fewer patients.