If you are like most dentists, you probably expected to set up your practice in one location and be set for life financially.
But once you have set up your dental practice, the hard reality is that now you have need to wear two hats:
-the dentist hat and the business owner hat.
And as with all businesses, you are going to have competition.
This article will show you the 4 key ways you can achieve profits and growth in your dental practice.
Understand and master these 4 key areas, and you will have a prospering, growing practice.
Neglect any of these areas, and you could end up being another statistic.
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The 4 Key Areas to Grow Your Profits
So what are the 4 key areas in growing your dental practice?
Here they are:
- Getting new enquiries
- Converting enquiries into paying patients
- Increasing your margins
- Getting repeat clientele
In this article we will focus on getting new enquiries and converting those enquiries.
Why is it important to get new enquiries?
This is where all business starts.
Without new enquiries, you are not going to get new patients. Period.
New enquiries and patients are the lifeblood to your business.
Most dentists do very little to try and generate new enquiries.
It’s no surprise that many dentists are struggling to increase profits!
Many dentist unfortunately adopt a ‘hope and pray’ attitude towards generating new enquiries. Basically they do nothing and simply hope for the best.
I’ll be straight-up with you: you can be the nicest guy and have the biggest heart, but if there is no marketing in place to generate new prospective patients, you are as good as a dead duck!
I’ve seen too many ‘nice guys’ with big hearts fail in business.
At the same time, I’ve seen many ‘not so nice people’ with good marketing succeed wildly in business.
The good news is, you can still be a nice guy AND have a flourishing dental practice with good marketing in place!
The Golden Rule in Marketing
There is one golden rule in marketing:
“The business who is willing to spend the most money getting a new customer, at a profit, is the one who wins.”
What does this mean?
Well say you have a service like Invisalign where you might have a profit of $3K.
The dentist that is willing to pay the most in marketing cost to get this client that’s worth $3K is the one who will win.
In other words, if one dentist is willing to pay $500 in marketing cost to get one Invisalign client, and the other is willing to pay $1K to get this same client.
The one who is willing paying $1K will always win.
Because the dentist who is willing to pay $1K will have more exposure, give customers a better experience and invest in better systems to get more clients.
This is the principle of using money to make money.
Even for lower level products, such as teeth cleaning and checkups, if you are willing to spend say $200 to get a new client and get no profit from the first visit, you can still make profits when they become regular patients and bring the rest of their family to see you.
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So what are the steps to a successful marketing campaign for getting new enquiries?
The 3 Stages of a Successful Customer Marketing Campaign
There is actually a very scientific process in acquiring a new customer.
You need to understand that people in general, go through 3 key phases before buying anything.
Your marketing needs to correspond with these 3 key phases to make it successful.
If you try to skip any of these phases, you will find that your marketing won’t be as effective.
We call it, ‘The Marketing Funnel’.
Phase 1: Awareness
First thing is, people need to know that you actually exist!
So the first thing to do is to create awareness of your practice, why you are different, and what you specialise in.
Your prospective patients also may not be aware that they have a problem!
They could be walking around with a tooth missing and not even know that you can help them!
So phase one is to make sure you educate your prospects and make them aware.
(By the way, if you are reading an article from me the first time, I’m also creating awareness)
Phase 2: Evaluation
In the second phase, your prospective patients are evaluating what to do.
You need to convince them why they should choose you, as opposed to the dentist down the road (or choose to continue living with a missing tooth).
This is where you can use your communication to convince them that you are the best choice for their needs.
One effective way to do this is to use testimonials and pictures from your past happy patients.
Another way is to ensure that your service is guaranteed in some way or form (e.g. A 5 year warranty on any implants).
This will help sway your prospective clients towards your offering.
Phase 3: Conversion
This is where you need to convince the prospective patient to take the next step with you.
Basically what you need to do is to make it as easy as possible to take the next logical step with you.
This could be calling in for an appointment or using your online booking system schedule an appointment.
There are many strategies you can employ here. Here’s some ideas for you:
- Limited time offers
- Free consultations
- First time customer offers
- Discount coupon for a particular service.
Remember, the idea is to cultivate a long term relationship with your patient to make the business relationship profitable.
So make the first visit as easy and logical as possible.
In this article, we covered the first two steps: generating new patients and increasing your conversions.
In my next article, I will show you how you can increase your margins and improve repeat visits.