Dental Marketing

Use These Tips To Reach Out To Your High-Risk Dental Patients

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Many patients, especially high-risk patients, are scared to walk into your office. Technology can make it so that even the most fearful patient can get the care they need.

It’s no surprise to anyone that COVID-19 has made a lot of patients nervous to walk through the front doors of your dental practice, even now that quarantine has lifted. And for patients who are at a higher danger of contracting the coronavirus, the reopening of your office can seem especially scary. However, bacteria, plaque, cavities and other dental problems wait for no one and no virus. No matter their risk level, more and more of your patients need to come in for their much-needed dental appointments.

 

Overdue routine cleanings, procedures half-completed before quarantine began, and dental emergencies—it’s absolutely critical to both the success of your office and your patients’ dental health that they all feel safe and comfortable getting the treatments they need. That’s why I’ve spent these past few weeks discussing and problem shooting this issue with over 50 dental offices across the country. Together, we’ve identified and tested a few ways you can make even the most vulnerable patient feel like they’re in the best hands with you and your dentists.

 

One of the most important focuses we’ve found is communication. Proper communication with your office can help you overcome the fears your patients have built up over the months. You need to build their trust so that they feel safe enough to come into your office. While some patients may need only a single phone call to do this and get them booked, a lot of others, particularly special patient populations, will need a lot more care and consideration to get them past their valid concerns and worries.

 

A really great and unique way to tell them about your office’s safety measures is to show them. A picture’s worth a thousand words, after all. Create a short video tour of your post-quarantine office and send it your patients’ way. In it, you can explain just what you’re doing to follow the CDC’s recommendations and keep them safe when they come in for their visit. If you’re going above and beyond those safety regulations, then don’t hesitate to include those, too! This video doesn’t need to be long—keeping things as sweet and simple as possible has proven to be the most effective—but it does need to show the level of care that you’re putting into their well-being. You’ll want to cover things like:

 

  • Your processes
  • The equipment that you’re wearing (gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, etc.)
  • How you’re spacing patients out appointment-wise and in your waiting room
  • The care you’re taking to keep your office clean in between patients

 

Another thing you should take advantage of is the number of ways you can get in touch with your patients. Don’t be afraid to use as many forms of communication as you can to reach out to your patients. Email blasts, mass broadcast text messages, and phone calls are all essential to crossing that distance barrier between you and your patients. If you reach them by phone, go the extra mile to personalize their call by letting them speak to the dentists and hygienists they’ll be seeing. As nice as your front staff might be, your patients need to trust you and your judgment so much more.

 

Once you get in touch and book their upcoming appointment, don’t wait until they finally come in to talk with them again. In these uncertain times, you need to make sure that their confidence in you, your staff, and your office is unwavering. Continue to contact them periodically to check up, remind them of their appointment date and time, and overall continue to make them feel good about coming into your practice. Using a drip email sequence, which notifies your patients of their upcoming visit at scheduled times, is a good way to do this. Just a few lines about your COVID precautions in each one can do a lot to show patients your dedication to them.

 

The way you talk to your patients can make a huge difference to your success, as well. Constant phone calls, emails, and text messages are great ways to get your patients’ attention, but if you don’t use your time with them well, all of your efforts can all be for nothing. Your message and delivery are the most crucial aspect of your patient outreach. Is your content easily understandable to your patient? Does your tone show you as friendly and approachable enough to encourage questions, responses, and, of course, that all-important call to schedule their next appointment?

 

If, after your conversation, your patient still doesn’t feel comfortable coming in to see you, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, you have a unique opportunity at your fingertips: teledentistry consultations. Quick 15 minute digital consultations allow you to check in on your patients’ teeth and dental health all while allowing them to stay safe and self-quarantined in their homes. This is a great option especially for your high-risk patients. For more accurate results, you can try sending your patients a camera before the appointment so that you can get dental-grade photos in real-time.

 

Teledentistry calls can also work two-fold. Not only can you use these digital appointments to perform long distance exams, but you can also let your cautious and high-risk patients know how you’ve changed your office post-COVID to stop any possible spread of the coronavirus. Talking with them face to face can go a long way to help them feel safe enough to come in for their next appointment. If they’re open to the possibility, you can even use this time to book their overdue cleaning in a few days or weeks’ time.

 

If you need help writing a script for your office video or what you should say in your emails and texts, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and my team. We’ve been focusing on these exact methods to help our dentists bounce back from quarantine stronger than ever, and we’re happy to help you accomplish the same as well.

Preparing Your Office For Your Post-COVID Patient Backlog

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Changing how you manage your office can maximize your schedule and get you caught up on your growing list of overdue patients!

Now that we’re entering the final stages of COVID and our country’s beginning to open up again after quarantine, it’s time for you to figure out just how to make up for months of missed patients. You can’t rely solely on telling your patients everything you’re doing post-quarantine, either. Making them feel safe during your reopening can get them to agree to come in, but that doesn’t solve every issue. I’ve spoken with a lot of dentists over the past few weeks, and they tend to be in one of two situations. Either their schedules are completely booked with everyone rushing back for their long-due visits, OR they’re struggling to get patients through the front door.

No matter what their schedules look like, however, these dentists have the same problem: their office isn’t booking the number of appointments they need to catch up on their lost patient revenue. Where your office is at right now—the amount of manpower, the number of patients you can see in a day, even your hours of operation—is not enough anymore. The way you ran your ship might have worked before the pandemic, even without CDC recommended restrictions, but now your schedule can’t keep up with the level of output you need. To compensate for those months you were closed or operating only at 10% capacity, things need to change. And the first step is looking at how you run your office.

How many patients can you see in a single day when you’ve fully booked your schedule? 10, 20, or maybe even a few dozen? You need to get that number up as soon as you can both by looking at your schedule itself and your staff operation. One thing you can do is expand your schedule to allow patients to come in when it’s not during their work hours. Try either opening your office earlier in the morning or stay later in the evening when they’re just getting off the clock. Maybe even do both!

For those of you that only work on weekdays, think about opening up on Saturdays and even Sundays to reel in those patients whose own schedules make it hard for them to come in even in your extended hours. This change doesn’t have to include full treatment availability requiring all hands on deck either. Many of your patients are overdue for their 6-month dental cleaning. Solely offering hygiene appointments on the weekends can make a huge difference and start making a dent in that building backlog.

Another way to make it easier for your overdue patients to fit into your schedule is setting up assisted hygiene in your office. Instead of having a single hygienist work alone to treat each patient one by one, you can bring in an assistant to speed up the process a little. Together, the two can efficiently work out of two chairs at once, going back and forth to finish up both appointments faster. This can shrink your usual 45- to 50-minute appointments down to just 30 minutes. And by cleaning their teeth at the same time, you can see nearly twice as many patients in a single day.

Now that you’ve opened up a lot of time and slots in your schedule to see your overdue patients, you still need to make sure that you have people coming in to fill in those new holes. Availabilities are awesome, but they won’t do you much good if you don’t use them to their full potential. This is where your patient outreach comes in, and I don’t just mean putting in a good word over the phone about what your office is doing post-COVID. You need to make sure people pick up the phone in the first place.

We live in an age of rapid advancement in technology. It’s time to put all of your available avenues to good use for your office. Simple things like predictive dialing, mass broadcast text messages, and email blasts make it easy for you to directly reach patients and get them booked for their next appointment. Don’t hesitate to use all three together rather than choosing and sticking to just one. Different people have different preferred modes of contact, and utilizing multiple channels better ensures that at least one of them will make their mark.

It’s also crucial that you don’t stop contacting your patients until they finally pick up. I know that it might feel a bit weird or pushy at first, but you’ll be approaching hundreds or maybe even thousands of patients a day rather than the usual 40 or 50 your staff might be used to. Reaching out to them only a single time, especially when they might be at work, have their phones off, or just unavailable at the time, means that hundreds and thousands of potential patients will continue to slip through the cracks. Keep calling, emailing, and texting them these reminders to make sure that as many of them as possible can answer and get marked down in your schedule.

If you need any help getting these systems set up or you’re unsure how to use them to their maximum potential, you can reach out to my office and me. We’ve been working with over 50 dental offices across the country for weeks testing and ensuring these methods work effectively. We can even supply you with the people you need to get your patient outreach working at full capacity. There’s nothing like a 24/7 response team to tighten the gaps in your operation and to make sure no patient falls through the cracks in these strange and stressful times. Together, we can make sure your office reopens out of quarantine stronger than ever before.

Months of Overdue Patients — Just How Do You Get Them In The Office?

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How reaching out to your patients (and your approach) can mean all the difference to shrinking your extensive backlog.

Right now, businesses are reopening, and we’re all getting back to work in the wake of COVID-19 and quarantine. Dental offices are no exception. For many of you, your office has been shut down for months or may still be shut down. You have a seemingly endless list of overdue patients you need to get out of the reactivation bucket and back into the office. I know that the number one question on your mind right now is, “How do I catch up on my patient backlog and compensate for all the lost revenue while my office was closed?”

 

Doing both of these quickly can seem like a tall order, which is why I’ve spent every moment I could since this whole thing began to make it easier and more achievable. And my aims are a little higher than just making up for lost time. I want you to make the best of your reopening so that your dental office can come back stronger than ever.

 

I’ve been working with over 50 different dental offices around the country for months putting together a plan to make this possible. After weeks of discussions, studies, and field tests, we’ve broken down which variables you need to hit out of the ballpark to get through our current post-coronavirus environment with a dental practice that’s thriving.

 

Your top priority right now should be getting your patients through the front doors of your office, and that starts with your patient outreach. First and foremost, you have to make sure your patients feel safe and comfortable coming into the office. I’m sure this seems like a no-brainer since the same was true even before COVID-19, but now it is more important than ever as we finally see the other side of quarantine. How to do this depends on how they feel about our current strange times.

Not everyone holds the same beliefs about our current health crisis. So you need to understand exactly where your patients are coming from the moment you get on the phone with them to schedule their overdue appointment. Typically, patients tend to be from one of two camps about our nation’s response to COVID-19. One side thinks that the coronavirus is a big deal and that our quarantine efforts are essential. They may even believe that we haven’t done enough, and lifting shutdown orders is a huge mistake. Other patients, however, believe the exact opposite, and they think the severity of the situation has been exaggerated a bit too much.

 

It’s absolutely vital that you quickly identify which side of the debate your patient is on. This is as simple as asking them how they’re doing when you reach out to them. How you talk to your patients will depend on which camp they’re in. You need to be like a mirror, reflecting and addressing the level of urgency and concern of your patients.

 

If you’re on the phone with a patient who’s worried and afraid about COVID-19, use this time to shine a light on how much your office cares, and to let your patients know that they’re safe and in good hands with you. Be sure to let them know what measures and precautions you and your staff are taking to keep them safe. Tell them about the CDC’s recommendations, like COVID-19 screenings, masks, gowns, gloves, and restricted patient capacity. Explain how your office is going above and beyond these safety regulations to stop the possible spread of the virus. Maybe you’re using ozone therapy to clear and kill viruses and bacteria or multiple air filtration systems in the patient operatory. Also, don’t be afraid to let them ask any questions so you can directly address their specific fears and anxieties about the situation.

 

However, if your patient thinks COVID-19 is no big deal, then book their appointment like you usually would. Match their level of concern, but let them know the precautions they need to take when coming in and nothing more unless they ask. You might still want to tell them the updates and upgrades you’ve made, but don’t do this. I promise you that patients sitting in this camp will be much happier with your service.

 

Making up for the hundreds of overdue patients in desperate need of hygiene appointments or who were mid-treatment when quarantine went into effect isn’t going to be easy. It can be frustrating at times, especially as you first start getting into the flow of gauging patients’ reactions, but you can’t give up. To make up for lost revenue these past two months, you must continue to book and stack up patient appointments over the next weeks.

 

It will take a lot of hard work, energy, and determination to work your way through the list and get your overdue patients back into the office. However, just as with anything else worth doing, you’ll only get better and more efficient at it with time, as we continue to move forward and hopefully away from the worst of these stressful times. Soon, this will be a smooth and well-oiled process for you.

If you need any further advice or help adapting your office to the post-coronavirus environment, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office and me. We’re happy to help you out and guide you down the right path to getting your schedule back in order and filled. We want to make sure that your practice’s transition is a massive success so that you’re not just surviving but also building your practice up to levels it hadn’t reached even before this crisis began.

Free teledentistry to keep your practice going during Covid and grow it afterwards

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To say these are hard times for dentistry and the rest of the nation is an understatement. While your practice is closed for all but emergencies and your staff is worrying at home, I found something that might help. A dentist friend of mine founded a software company that is offering free video conferencing for everybody.

Dr. Sam Ahani originally built Refera to automate the referral process. As a GP, he was always troubled when he referred cases to specialists and then never knew if the patient went, when treatment was complete, or whether the case needed follow up work. When Sam investigated, he discovered 30-40% of referred patients never go, and the specialists had no clue.

So Sam invented Refera. Sam refers all endo cases to the endodontist next door. Once they were both on Refera, that endodontist saw a 50% increase in patients in the chair from Sam’s office (from 12 patients per month to 18). You know RCT fees and can do the math: six more patients per month equals 72 more per year, or another $80,000 to $100,000 of production from just one referring office! Texting patients the referral and reminders help, and automatically informing the endodontist who has been referred helps even more. Sam also saw a 30% increase to his own bottom line from using Refera. Those RCT patients need to come back for a CBU and crown, and that’s a lot of production.

What does this have to do with COVID-19 and saving your practice? A lot! Refera includes a secure HIPAA-compliant video conference feature. This was designed to help GPs and specialists discuss cases while showing models, x-rays, and CBCT scans. Recently Sam has been using it for teledentistry sessions with nervous patients. He remotely ensures they’re complying with treatment, checks if they need a new aligner, or assess whether their dental emergency warrants in-office treatment. Sam has also been conducting weekly huddles to keep his staff reassured and motivated.

Sam is offering Refera and this teledentistry component free to everybody, both during this pandemic and afterward. This is something you’ll get a lot of use out of now to maintain patient and staff loyalty, and even market to new patients.

Medical insurance has been pushing telemedicine for years, and now it’s common with everybody stuck at home. Just offering your patients the option of teledentistry will reinforce the image of your practice as cutting edge and patient-focused. In addition, teledentistry will free up your chair for more productive procedures when you can check aligners or discuss treatment options remotely for five minutes, instead of taking up a valuable half-hour of office time.

Because many insurance plans are now accepting teledentistry as a procedure, it will also become a big part of your future. Patients accustomed to telemedicine will expect and appreciate a teledentistry option. This is finally becoming the new norm—and it’s about time dentistry started adopting a technology that has been common in other industries for over a decade.

I’ve played with Refera and the video conference myself, and I can tell you it’s really easy to use. Even if you can barely open your email, you’ll be able to use this. It took me 42 seconds to create a free Refera account (yes, I timed myself), and you can’t miss the big video chat button. Your patients receive a text inviting them to a video conference that requires just one click, so there’s no learning curve for them either.

I hope this helps you and your practice. For now, we all have to get innovative and try new things during this period of uncertainty and isolation. And afterward, we’ll need to get even more creative to rebuild our businesses and come out of this strong. I’m thrilled I can bring you a technology that is easy, useful, solves short- and long-term problems, and is free.

If you have any comments or suggestions please post them in the comments below.  I look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts!

Dental Marketing: YOU Are Your Brand

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If you are looking for “an edge” in your dental marketing that will make you stand out from your competition, professional pictures and videos are it. Seeing an image of the dentist upon arrival to the website creates an immediate connection to the practice for the patient. The images on your website are the first items of information that a visitor to your website will process. Around 90% of the information processed in the brain is visual and the brain actually processes images 60,000 times faster than text! This definitely lends some truth to the well known adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

And of course you won’t want to stop with just images. You can further build on that connection with quality professional video. It can be nerve racking to search for a new dentist for any patient, and so the ability to feel like you’ve gotten to know the dentist a little before walking through the door is simply priceless. Check out a professionally branded dental marketing video created for two of our dentists, Dr. Israel Salin and Dr. Dimitri Salin.

Once you have created your professional images and video, you want to make sure to splash them everywhere, your website alone is not enough. You’ll want potential patients to see you everywhere they go… images on yelp, yahoo, all your local listings, facebook, youtube, etc. You’ll also want to play commercial snippets and use your images on banners for re-marketing ads that target users who have visited your site in the past. You’ll want to add these images to direct mail postcards and emails that you send out. When a patient sees you everywhere they look, they will begin to believe you are absolutely the most obvious and best choice in town.

 

Loyalty is a Two Way Street

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It probably goes without saying that the most important aspect of running an effective practice is building on patient relations. It makes sense in any business to strive to provide a service that promotes an organic sense of loyalty. This approach will always result in a more concrete outcome than mere frequency. In the long run your business will prosper greater while continuously learning more from the patient about the service you are providing than to simply invest in repeat service.

Now, imagine from a patient’s perspective the results of having this kind of experience. Wouldn’t you feel compelled to share these results with family, friends, and even casual acquaintances when conversation provided a relevant opportunity? Of course! We all love to discuss quality customer service interactions that far surpass the average day-to-day encounters. This is because it feels good to be treated as a valuable individual rather than just another face standing between you and the end of a busy day on the clock. In fact, the only thing that could make that appreciation feel even better would be if you were rewarded for your satisfaction!

…And this is exactly what the “kudos!” loyalty program represents. An incentive-based opportunity for patients to redeem points that are directly acquired through expressing the sincere satisfaction they already feel.

Patients that enroll in this loyalty program are already genuinely excited to praise the sincere service they were provided by the office, staff, and doctors. The kudos! loyalty program encourages these individuals to get out there and spread the good word to friends and family on a wide array of social media platforms. This form of business representation is without a doubt an imperative deciding factor for new and prospecting clientele in our modern times.

Just think of the number of people that are out there right now meticulously scanning review sites for the perfect restaurant, barber, or yes… even dentist. This form of research has become so popular for the basic reason that we want to hear real experiences, not advertisements. Promoting a business is much more easy and effective when done internally. Acquiring new patients can be an expensive process compared to nurturing those we already have. Simply put, retaining current patients and keeping them fully satisfied is a much more efficient way to promote any practice. This method becomes a self-sustaining machine that provides research on specific incentives and dislikes that will fuel patient’s decisions.

Another glimmering attribute of a loyalty program such as kudos! is the client’s incentive to share these experiences on personal social media pages. The result is increased local exposure towards any number of vast individuals that may witness it through some form of association. Social media allows a multi-channel vehicle through which to communicate a voice to others. This builds real customer relationships based on relevance and allows loyal patients to directly impact a company’s profitability through actively referring others to your business, saving you the marketing and advertising costs of acquiring them as customers in the first place.

It is infinitely more profitable to lose bad patients than to invest the time and energy that it costs to acquire new ones. The kudos! program rewards our best patients in the same way that it gives the extreme alternative less of a reason to stay, providing the room for a plethora of quality new patient arrivals and interest. Excelling in customer service and problem correction through an insight of authentic reviews builds trust, a key element for all long lasting relationships. Also, the more activities that a truly satisfied client participates in, the more promotional material you have available online, resulting in more satisfaction among the clients that you already have and will inevitably gain in the process.

Every business must develop and deliver a consistently branded experience for its customers, and the essence of this brand should be evident in every interaction a customer has with the company. This enables the client to form an emotional attachment with the brand. Actively engaging patient’s and public relations will finalize in making them WANT to promote your business and the highly responsive services it has provided.

The best loyalty programs in the world are ones that are truly customer-centric in every way. Taking a look at your average experience with your average business will reveal that the most common method of approach is to be either product-centric or service-centric. Meanwhile, those who have fully realized the immense value of a customer-centric approach have thrived well beyond competitors. Adopting this ideal approach usually means changing several generic procedures, however. All marketing and sales services must be merged without a stitch. Examined data is going to be much more useful when segmented by customers instead of products.

The kudos! program provides data that is already customer-centric by its very nature, and implementing this loyalty program as the cardinal opportunity that it is provides a merging of data that crosses all platforms and data pools. Differentiating your business from others in a way that focuses less on the claims of your own products and services, and instead more on the real-world results that are being proudly exclaimed by the patients that are sustaining it.

Rescheduling cancelled & no-show appointments…

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Lets face it… we are all human, and have a lot on our plates. I am sure every single one of us has forgotten an appointment, or double booked our schedule. So as a practice, how do you take in to account human error?

Here are a few ways to remind patients of their appointments, and encourage re-booking when something else comes up.

1. Call your patients and remind them.

–Everyone needs a reminder now and then, and we find that it works best when it comes a few days in advance. When you call your patients the day or heaven forbid the night before, often times this is too late to move around schedules when double booking has happened, and typically the dental appointment loses in the priority game.

2. Don’t expect your patients to call you back.

–As previously mentioned… people are busy. If you rely on your patients to give you a call when they have a free moment, it might not happen for several months. Have a list of patients to call back and schedule, or reschedule.

At Dental Game Plan, every appointment booked is followed up with by our call center operators when the patient cancels, or is simply a no show. We find that speaking to the patient, that we pursue, allows us to reschedule, find out why the appointment was not kept, and helps us to better ourselves when it was not kept for a specific reason on the office’s part (i.e. not getting an appointment soon enough in an emergency case).

3. Do not be afraid to be tough.

–When extending a promotional deal (low prices) to a new client, do not be afraid to ask them to pay in advance, especially when a large block of time will be held for their appointment. This will ensure that you have a patient booked who will most likely show up. It also is reassuring to the patient that no hidden fees are associated with the visit. We find this works best in non-emergency cases, such as routine cleanings. However when a patient is coming in for an unknown visit, like a tooth ache, it makes it nearly impossible to ask them to pay anything upfront.

–When you have a existing patient no-show, or cancel, remind them of your cancellation policy. Of course use discretion, but when you have a repeat offender, applying a no show fee or late cancellation fee is acceptable. Many offices use a three strike system, and the patients who come to the office are informed on the policy, and warned when they have used up a “strike”.

4. Tracking your results.

–Companies like Dental Game Plan track your monthly results. Each appointment made is followed up with through the office to be sure that the patient made it to their appointment. If they did not, the call center follows up with the patient to see if rescheduling can happen.

Knowing that people are busy, and your office is also busy, makes having a third party company who tracks your appointments and no- shows very beneficial to everyone involved.

 

 

Don’t Just Count Your Reviews, Make Sure Your Reviews Count

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Once you have your patients ready to leave reviews, please remember this advice.  Do not encourage them to post from any device in your office that may be using the same IP address.  I know it seems like a simple way to get your reviews done.  You are already talking to the patient about leaving a review.  Why not go ahead and let them leave the review from your office?  Here’s why…

These review sites are smart, and they want to make sure the reviews are fair and honest.  The have different systems in place to catch what they believe are fake reviews.  Several reviews coming from the same IP address will appear to be reviews coming from the same person, and these reviews can get removed.  Even if every review is from a different person, just being from the same IP address will raise a flag against those reviews.

If your office doesn’t offer wireless internet to your patients, then you’re mostly in the clear.  Just don’t let them post their review from one of your computers or devices linked into your internet.  If you do offer wireless internet in your office, even posting from their own tablet or phone while using your internet could get that patient’s review filtered.  Try your best to get them to leave their review later from their own home.

This system really is in place to protect your office.  Not only are the sites making sure that someone is not falsely leaving positive reviews for your business, they are also watching for people posting fraudulent negative reviews.  I’m sure your patients are always happy with your office, but imagine some occurrence where someone is not pleased. They could go home and create multiple accounts and leave multiple negative reviews for you that place your office in a bad light.

Don’t be afraid to ask your patients about leaving reviews, just remember that they need to leave their review somewhere other than your office.  You want all the reviews you can get, but you want to make sure these reviews count.

Get On Top, Stay On Top and Leave Your Competition Behind

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As a dental practitioner your number one goal is to take care of every patient that comes through your doors by giving them healthy, beautiful smiles however, sometimes there just aren’t enough people coming through the doors. To get more new people into your dental chairs you must have solid marketing strategies. I’m going to assume you aren’t investing in mass-market, big-budget, TV and radio promotion — good glad you’re not wasting your money.   Here’s the question I ask doctors when we meet for the first time; What’s your current strategy and is it based on strong marketing fundamentals?

First, let me say this I don’t believe competition actually exists. I believe you can completely dominate and  control your market place. Dentists that buy in to the approach I’m advocating in this article are going to get the biggest piece of the pie by doing things bigger and better than everyone else. Not just by a little bit, by a lot!

The main thing you need to know is that you can’t just rely on the basics. Sure, working with your existing patients to generate referrals will always be a part of your marketing strategy but it’s just one small piece, and to be honest I haven’t met a dentist yet that can’t improve this part of their business, so the good news is that everything your doing can and will get better! If you want great success you have to appear to be the best right from the get-go. You must have an omnipresence, you must be everywhere and the quality of your brand must stand far apart from everybody else.  The marketing areas you must focus on are:

1. Direct/Outdoor (Postcards, Mailers, Door Hangers, Billboards)
2. Search Engine Marketing
3. Social Media Marketing
4. Internal Patient Referrals
5. Reputation Management
6. Patient Re-Activation

If you ignore any of these areas, you are losing ground exponentially… conversely by doing something in each of these areas you are compounding your gains. If I were to give you the choice of taking 3 million dollars right now or a penny that doubles every day for 30 days what would you choose? The 3 million bucks right? Guess what… I’m taking the penny and here’s why; by day 10 I’ll only have $5.12, but I know that the power of compounding results will get me all the way to $5,242.88 by day 20 and when it’s all said and done I will have 5,368,709.12 over 2 million dollars more than the person who takes the 3M right of the bat. I’m here to tell you that putting together all of your marketing techniques you can stand to see the same kinds of compounding results for your dental office. Why? Because by being everywhere you create the perception that you are the best!

You’re probably thinking that to do all of these things will be expensive, and how can you be sure that you will see a return? I’m not going to tell you that marketing is a sure thing, it IS a gamble and so many dentists have failed by trying just one or two of these strategies, before giving up — because of the wrong approach… and that would definitely make anyone a little “gun-shy”. That’s why if you follow our plan to the letter, we guarantee new patient results! We know that if you do all of the right things, the right way, you will see huge increases in your new business which means more profit.

You need to have a strategy for each one of the six (6) marketing avenues outlined above and it should be comprehensive and work seamlessly with the other five. So, if you’re too busy to sit down and plan all of that out, you can simply hire us to do it for you. If you are looking for an assessment on how you are currently doing in many of these areas, we are providing a comprehensive report card on where you are and where you need to go. If you are interested in seeing this report give us a call today at (323) 285-0016. We look forward to speaking to you soon!

“You Want Me To Do What?!? Give Away My Services? Are You Crazy??!?!”

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Over the years, we have found that dental internet marketing hinges on new patient specials. Yet with every new client that comes to our program, I spend countless hours working to get them on board with the notion that new patient specials are not just needed but critical to growing their business long-term. So I would like to take a minute to discuss some of the objections I listen to over and over again and how I’m likely to respond should you and I ever have this conversation in person.

Client: I really don’t want the kind of new patients that are shopping for a deal
Jessie: You must play to your audience! The vast majority of surfers online are shopping for a deal. This is the current trend in our internet based society. We have gone back to coupon clipping and deal hunting. Why pay more if you do not have to? The dental office down the street that you are competing with has new patient specials and accessible offers out on the web and in print. If a potential patient is looking at several offices online and all have great reviews and a good internet presence, why would they choose the office not offering a deal? After all, most people have a try-before-buy mentality as there is no guarantee that they will like the location, staff, or the dentist, so why not choose the business offering service at the least initial out of pocket expense?

Client: My hygienist makes 40+/hour, her time is expensive so I don’t want to offer a cleaning, exam & x-ray deal
Jessie: If you give no other offers for new patients, this is the one to give! I cannot stress this enough. Patients looking for a cleaning, exam and x-ray are dream patients that will be gold for you in the long run.  The patients who are concerned about their dental health and are making it a continual priority are the patients who will opt to get a root canal and a crown immediately when the problem arises instead of letting the problem deteriorate until they are in pain and have no other choice but to come in and have the tooth extracted. Patients who are actively seeking a cleaning when they have no other underlying issues forcing them to seek out a dentist are the patients you want. Also, cleanings and exams are where you find that a patient may have issues they don’t know about and you’re able to schedule them for a return visit. Not only should you offer new patients a cleaning, exam and x-ray special, you should roll out the red carpet for them and congratulate them on being mindful of their dental health.

Client: You want me to offer too many specials, can’t we just have one new patient special?
Jessie: Again, you must play to your audience! A patient who just broke their denture does not care about a cleaning, exam and x-ray offer. The patient searching for Invisalign or Veneers is not interested in your Implant offer. We make it a point to have one “closing” offer and one follow up “treatment acceptance” offer for each and every major service your office is marketing. If you are running ads and ranking organically for lets say root canals, you absolutely must have a root canal offer and if you are running ads and ranking for the keyword implants you absolutely must have implant offers and so on.

Client: They just come in and take advantage of the deal and never come back…
Jessie: This answer may sound a little harsh and I will admit to saying this more diplomatically for our clients but the truth of the matter is that… “This is on you!” Our job is to get the potential patient through the door and the your job to make the experience one worth coming back for.  In other words, you need to WOW them with your very best customer service and do whatever it takes to make them comfortable in your office. Then, as much as you may hate it, you must offer them a SECOND INCENTIVE to entice them back. Once you have them in the door with a low or no cost incentive for a consultation, you need to follow that up with an additional offer geared towards treatment acceptance. If they come in for an emergency consultation and you determine that they need an extraction, follow that up with an offer for a percentage off an implant. And make sure to provide the patient with payment plan options.  Then and only then will you have cemented yourself as their long-term provider.

If you take nothing else from this read, please take this; The value of a new patient is not merely found in how much they spend during one visit. The value of a new patient that is inspired to become a returning loyal patient, who is committed to their oral health, is found over the potential years they are with you, the friends and family that they refer to your business, and the potential compounding effect of those referrals that lead to other referrals and so on.

Please keep in mind that with our front-loaded, incentive based approach immediate results are not always easy to see, but stick with it. I find that even after hours of discussion, some clients reluctantly agree to offer the incentives we require solely based upon the fact that they are foisted upon them as a condition of our guaranteed results. Over the course of the next several months, while these client adjust to the new way of doing business, we inevitably hear complaints, rebuttals, case studies and other myriad reasons our incentive based approach just isn’t working.  These dentists are looking for ways to be right and so they tighten their grip and shine a spotlight on each and every new patient that comes to them and fits any earlier objection and parade those stories into my inbox, with an unspoken “I told you so!” And without fail, about 3-4 months down the line when patients are flooding in and the numbers game is playing out, I magically stop hearing those objections. By this time in the process we are getting so many awesome patients with the incentives that the occasional ‘dud’ doesn’t even factor in. And in truth, I often have clients who come back to me months down the road with their own great ideas for new and exciting incentives!

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