You’ve started reading this article, so something about the title resonated with you. Unless you’re in your 60’s – and maybe even then – that’s a damned shame. Dentistry should be something that is a joy to practice. After all, it consistently ranks in the top 2 best professions in the United States.
So, if you’re yearning for retirement before your time, something has gone seriously wrong with your practice of dentistry.
What Seems To Be The Problem?
Dentists are usually unhappy for two reasons – they’re not being challenged, or they’re not making enough money. The lack of challenge comes from a seemingly endless stream of low-value, routine cases – one-offs, drill-and-fills, routine restorations, and insurance-driven patients. Those patients make up the “dental treadmill.” You keep plugging along, but it doesn’t seem like you’re getting anywhere. And you’re working too hard and probably too long.
Not making enough money can be due to any number of factors.
- Too low a return on investment on your marketing spend
- Advertising on price
- Price-cutting competitors
- Failure to differentiate yourself from the other dentists in your market
- Marketing to the wrong prospects
Just one of those factors is enough to take the sheen off the profession of dentistry. But the odds are that if you’re experiencing one, you’re experiencing more. Price-cutting leads to low-value patients. In turn, that reduces your marketing ROI unless you work yourself half to death. Advertising on price is basically the definition of marketing to the wrong prospects.
Failing to differentiate yourself from the competition – being “just another dentist” – gets you one-and-dones with no loyalty to your practice. Typically, those patients aren’t looking to spend any more on dental care than they have to. You’ll continue spending big bucks on marketing to replace those vanishing patients.
You can grow your practice that way, but it won’t be quick, fun, or easy on your or your staff. There’s a better way, and that’s to market to attract better dental patients.
Market to the Money In Your Market
In almost any given market, about 20% of dental prospects have the discretionary income and the willingness to pay more for a dentist who they like, trust, relate to, and regard as a dental expert. Those are the patients you need to attract if you want to work less, earn more, and put the fun and satisfaction back into dentistry.
You won’t get those better patients by advertising on price, insurance acceptance, or specials. Those aren’t motivators for people who can afford to be selective when it comes to choosing a dentist. Better patients are interested in the experience they can anticipate with your practice, and being able to trust that the dentist and staff will always have patients’ best interests at heart.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to convey those ideas in one-off advertising. Besides, your better patients overwhelmingly begin their search for a dentist online. Your practice needs to have a strong online presence – your website, your social media, and your blog – that gives those patients reasons to choose you rather than your competitors. That requires a lot of carefully focused content, superb doctor and patient testimonial videos, outstanding online reviews, and much more. It’s a tall order for most dentists to accomplish, particularly while they’re busy working too hard for too long for too little.
If you’re serious about putting the pleasure back into the practice of dentistry, here’s a suggestion. Go to smartboxdental.com and click on “Get Started” button to reserve your free Practice Discovery Session.
We reserve these calls for dentists who want to see a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or even triple their practices. You can get more patients, more profits, and more freedom. And you can begin enjoying the practice of dentistry again.
In fact, you might just decide that retirement can wait.