You heard it right! If you’re good friends with your pastor, you might want to tell him to look the other way because these 8 tips for marketing for dentists are far too sexy…they might cause a man to stumble. There is a lot of fluff out there on how to market your practice, and fluff is exactly what these tips are not. What you’re going to learn below are the foundations for a practice where month over month, revenues are increasing and patient satisfaction and referrals are skyrocketing.
8 Sexy Tips – Marketing For Dentists
1) Have a Plan
It sound stupid simple but the fact is that many practice owners neglect this essential step for success. Before your able to create a plan though, you have to determine what your goals are. If your practice is making $600k/yr gross and you want to break the $1m/yr mark, then your plan of action needs to reflect that goal. Once you have established your goal and more importantly WHY you want to reach that goal, then and only then can you formulate a plan. Your goal will determine what course of action you will take with your marketing efforts, both online and offline.
2) Establish a Marketing Budget
One thing that many dental practice owners dont know is their cost of acquisition, i.e. how much it costs you to get a new patient. You have to determine how much you’re willing to spend in order to obtain a new patient. If the lifetime value of a new patient is $5000, is it worth it to you to spend $1000 to obtain one new client? This is something you have to decide. You will never have a successful practice until you can understand how much you’re paying to get new patients. This is why many of our clients choose facebook and google adwords campaigns, is because you have a predictable ad spend with a predictable new patient flow. Then you can scale up from there and know down to the dollar and day how much you need to spend to obtain X number of patients each month.
3) Define Your Patient Avatar
You mean like those tall blue aliens from that James Cameron movie? No…great movie though! Another way to describe your patient avatar would be your ideal patient. What’s their age, economic status, gender, what problems do they have that you can solve, where do they “hang out” online. You have understand who you’re targeting. An online friend of mine, Dr Jason Emer is a plastic surgeon down in Beverly Hills. He has made quite a name for himself by focusing on sculpting procedures for men. Its a small niche, but he has clearly defined his client avatar and is reaping huge financial benefits as a result.
4) Ensure Patient Satisfaction
Patient satisfaction is a combination of BOTH clinical quality AND customer service quality. Patients do not care how wonderful the crown margin is if they feel like your staff was rude or inconsiderate, have not been informed about additional fees, have been kept waiting, or hurt. Patient satisfaction is a complex mixture of patients’ past experiences (good and bad) with other dentists, as well as their personal needs and values.
Studies show that dissatisfied patients tell at least 11 other people about their terrible experience. This has been amplified by social media. 70% of people will pay more for exceptional service. How can you and your staff WOW your patients? First and foremost is to pay attention to the patient as an individual. You have to be keenly aware of their individuality, needs, pain threshold, and limits at this time. Take the time to find out these factors with a questionnaire. Satisfied and enthusiastic staff AND dentist are the primary influences of patient satisfaction. You are not allowed a bad day.
5) Keep Your Referring Dentists & Physicians Well Informed
You need to find a way to provide value to those who are sending you business. Create a monthly newsletter that gets sent out. If you feel as though someone else might be better qualified for a certain procedure, then refer YOUR patients for a little quid quo pro. Networking with your referrers is essential as well. Meet for lunch regularly to discuss industry trends and what your plans are for the weekend. Really develop those business relationships into friendships.
6) Become the Expert
Demonstrate your expertise by holding workshops or seminars that position YOU as the authority in the industry. Whether you want to do that on the local level or expand that statewide or nationwide; its up to you. But determine what you’re excellent at and then share that knowledge. Not only is this a great opportunity to network, but your potential patients will have greater confidence in choosing you over your competition when they see that YOU are an authority in your field.
7) Ask for Referrals
Seems simple enough right? Then why do so many dentists neglect it? What I have found is that they dont want to overstep their bounds with a patient by asking for a referral. But if you’re doing #4 well, then referring someone to your practice can be part of the requirement for taking them on as a patient. You can quickly increase your new patient flow by 2-3x by doing this. And dont be scared to make this a requirement. Lets role play:
Patient fills out their new patient form and on the form they find the question
are you willing to refer 3 people if you’re completely satisfied with your care at [insert dental practice name]?
Dentist completes work and patient is ecstatic. Patient walks up to the front office to schedule their next appointment and your office staff asks:
Office Staff: Would you be willing to fill out a quick 60 second survey?
On your survey you ask something like this:
If you rated your experience as “excellent”, what are the names of three people you would recommend our care to?
You follow up with your patient three days later with an email asking for the contact info of their referrals. As an added bonus, you offer $50 CASH per referral to your existing satisfied patient, and offer $50 to their referrals as well for switching to your office for their care.
8) Online Visibility is a Must
We live in a social media age and if you’re not sharing fun and engaging content on platforms that your target market are hanging out on…then you will quickly become irrelevant, or at the minimum, your new patient flow becomes stale and unpredictable.
In addition to social media, there are a number of ways (as discussed in #2) to get your practice in front of your target audience, your patient avatar. One of the quickest ways to get new patients in the door is through a facebook or google adwords campaign. You need to be vary careful in who you choose to build these campaigns for you though…just sending people to your website homepage is not enough…in fact its a huge mistake that many dentists make and they lose patients to the competition because of it. Thats why at Elevation Surgical, we develop custom tailored marketing funnels for EXACTLY what your audience is looking for. This way your ads are converting at a much higher rate and your cost to obtain a patient goes down as a results. We make your ad budget work for you by tirelessly testing and optimizing your campaign to increase conversion rates.
A longer term solution for our clients in tandem with PPC campaigns, is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This takes time, but when your SEO campaigns are setup safely and with integrity, you can count on another reliable source of leads and new patients. This is where Elevation Surgical started, and remains a member of the most successful SEO mastermind group in the nation in order to stay informed on what’s working and what to stay away from. This ensures your practice gets to the top of google and stays there permanently.
If you’re interested in establishing a predictable flow of new patients each month so that you can focus on what you do best, and not stress about your online marketing for your dental practice; be sure you schedule a strategy session with Todd Warren, Founder & CEO of Elevation Surgical. He can analyze your practice, find the areas that need to be improved and develop a strategic plan to boost your revenue month over month.