2018 can be the year that the trajectory of your dental practice takes a steep upward turn.
That can happen, but it probably won’t if you keep doing what you’re doing now. It’s no secret that competition is increasing for dental practices of all kinds. It’s well-known, and much lamented, that dental insurance companies are shifting more and more costs to patients. Doing the “same old, same old” when the competitive and financial landscape is shifting under your feet isn’t a success formula. And it almost certainly won’t afford you the kind of retirement you deserve in return for long years of hard work.
It’s Time To Refocus Your Marketing Efforts
The key to winning the competition for new dental patients is to cast your marketing “hook” in a different fishing hole. Historically, the vast majority of dental practices advertise on price, specials, and insurance acceptance. That group of prospects is quite large, roughly 70 percent of any given market. But the really good “fish” – the ones you want and need to grow your practice – won’t bite at the same marketing bait.
People with the ability and willingness to pay more for the right dentist aren’t particularly motivated by low prices, discounts, or insurance. That’s not to say that those factors don’t enter into their decision-making processes; rather, they’re minor considerations.
What matters most to better patients is that they can trust and relate to their chosen dentist. What matter is that they regard that particular doctor as the dental expert for them and the only logical choice to solve their dental problems.
Don’t Chase Your Prospects, Attract Them
Since you won’t get these better prospects by advertising on price and specials, you’ll need to revamp your marketing. You need to position yourself as the choice for the prospects you want – the ones that will build your practice’s value and allow you to make handsome payments into your retirement fund.
You may need to revamp your messaging on your dental practice website. Better prospects are more interested in the experience and results they can expect rather than your credentials and expertise.
While you’re at it, you may also need to retool your social media marketing for a more defined audience. Social media is designed to foster engagement between users, and your marketing should be a mix of largely socials posts (about 80 percent of your postings) helpful and informational articles on specific dental concerns.
Be sure to respond promptly to comments and questions on your social media sites. You’ll also need to monitor your online reviews and engage (preferably offline) with people who post less than flattering reviews.
But Do You Have The Time?
The steps listed above are the beginning of rethinking your marketing approach, not the sum total. The steps are things that dental practices can implement themselves – if they have the bandwidth. Busy dental offices with a steady stream of low case-value patients may struggle to shift their marketing focus.
There’s a way to get more and better patients while spending your time making money, and that’s to partner with SmartBox.
Discover what more than 550 dentists on three continents have learned: that SmartBox’s industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ gets dentists more patients, more profits, and more freedom.
Visit smartboxdental.com and reserve your free, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™. Invest 20 minutes of your time to discover how you can have a consistent flow of new patients and spend about an hour or less each month on your marketing. We’ll take the results of that phone call and send you your personalized Patient Attraction Roadmap™ – again, absolutely free.
It’s the best step you can take to ensure that your retirement will be everything that you’re working so hard to realize. Here’s to you enjoying 2018 – the year that your dental practice truly takes off.