How much better is it to get a surprise gift than to get something you asked for? After all, you got something you wanted in either case, right? But getting an unexpected gift that you love shows that someone put some thought into your gift.
They know you. They noticed something you said or did that made them think the gift was perfect for you. They did the work, and you reaped the benefit. They GAVE you a gift.
On the other hand, it is certainly nice to get something you asked for. But you really did the work of thinking of the gift. The giver, though generous, really just followed through on fulfilling your request. They may have had to pick a brand, color and type. But they didn’t come up with the idea. They GOT you a gift.
Bringing in more patients is a lot like that. Dentists drive patients in by offering discounts and free services. That is an example of “getting patients.” You convinced them to come in by giving up something of your own. You bribed them, in a manner of speaking.
So they have no loyalty to you. No trust. They’re just there for the freebies. So ultimately, you’ve driven them away.
But when patients comes to you of their own volition, because they’ve met you or researched you or heard about you, that’s an entirely different matter. They’ve chosen you out of every other dentist they could have seen. They trust you. They respect you.
That’s the difference between “getting” patients and “attracting” patients.
A dentist who positions himself to “get” patients always has to find an incentive for prospects. He will churn through his rolls and always be chasing more, more, more.
A dentist who positions himself to “attract” patients has prospects who will do whatever it takes to have him as their dentist.
Do do you want to chase patients so you can be their dentist? Or do you want patients to choose you so you can be their dentist?
If you want patients to choose you, you’ll need to make your practice attractive to them. You have to give them reason to believe that you are THE choice to treat their problems and concerns. You won’t accomplish that by giving away freebies.
In fact, it’s really hard to accomplish that by “doing” advertising. Why? Because dental practice advertising, as it’s generally approached, is a sometime thing. Few practices have deep enough pockets or enough internal resources to constantly provide new, engaging, relevant, fresh content to their potential patients.
Advertising certainly has its place, but it’s not going to attract more and better patients who choose your practice because you’re the obvious choice.
To accomplish that, you need a system that will attract patients, convince patients, and convert prospects into patients that will stay, pay, and refer.
And once you have that system in place, you’ll discover over time that more and more new patients are choosing to “give” you the gift of their trust.