It’s all too easy to view dentistry as transactional – you provide services, and the patient and/or the insurance company pays you for your efforts. For dentists who market based on price, specials, and discounts, holding that view is understandable.
But that view doesn’t go nearly far enough if you want to grow your practice. Dentists today are assumed to be competent. Unless you give dental prospects reasons to choose you to solve their dental problems, there are any number of dentists with whom they can “transact business.”
Those patients are generally price-shoppers, insurance-driven, or one-and-dones. Your margins aren’t great, and you’ll work too hard for too little, as a rule.
If you want new patients who will pay for more than the absolute minimum dental care they need, you need to communicate the value of what you offer.
It’s Not About Procedures
Let’s be honest – the vast majority of dental patients don’t know or care about the details of dental procedures, and few of them want to. They’re interested in something else – the results of their particular procedure. Better dental patients, the ones who will stay, pay, and refer, are looking for the exact result they want – to be able to smile confidently, eat what they want without pain, or realize social or occupational success, for instance.
The better patients you need to grow your practice are also interested in the experience they can anticipate in your practice. It’s not necessary to offer concierge dentistry for most of these better patients. What your practice does have to provide are reasons for prospects to choose you. You can try promoting low prices, specials, and discounts, but that will get you more price-shoppers and one-and-dones.
Those two patient interests – results and the patient’s experience – form a dentist’s value proposition. The value of what you offer is what will get you the patients you want and need.
What’s Your Value Proposition?
You might not think that your dental practice is unique, but it is. Your practice is unique by virtue of its location, its history, the services you offer, and the people who provide those services.
Have you been serving your area for 20, 30, or even 40 years? Then loyalty to your community is part of your value proposition. Are you an “under one roof” practice? Another plus – your patients deal with one staff and one bill. Are your people unusually good at helping people deal with dental anxiety, or do they give the most thorough and painless cleanings around? Is your post-appointment follow-up something that should be the standard for the profession?
You see where this is going – by promoting what you’re good at and how you’re different, you create your unique value proposition. And that gives prospects who are looking for what your practice provides reasons to choose you rather than a competitor.
Promote your practice by marketing your unique value proposition, and you’ll attract the better better dental prospects you need to grow your practice.