5 Tips to Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet
It’s my strong opinion that dental practices are either growing or they are in decline. A case could be made that there is a third option of staying the same, but with ever-rising overhead, staying the same is just another form of decline. This article will share 5 specific tips that will help you make 2014 your best year yet!
Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan New patients are necessary for a growing practice and often times the difference between a good practice and an amazing practice is the volume of quality new patients. Spend some time this year crafting a comprehensive marketing plan that includes internal, external and digital marketing activities. In my own practice, our most effective internal marketing strategy is the Dentist calling all new patients and any patient who receives an injection on the evening of treatment. An effective external marketing strategy for us is making NFL-Quality mouth guards for our local high school football team. One very effective external marketing strategy for us has been getting online patient reviews. An appropriate marketing budget for a growing practice is 4-5% of revenue.
Embrace Whitening Growing your whitening business is a great way to create better patients. Here are 3 simple things you can do to grow your whitening business:
1) Take a shade match at the beginning of the hygiene appointment. Then show the patient their current tooth shade on a shade guide organized chromatically from dark to light.
2) Value price whitening. Consider value-pricing whitening as a means of making it more affordable and accessible for your patients. The real economic benefit is the restorative & elective treatment that results from increasing your whitening.
3) Offer lifetime whitening. Consider providing your whitening patients with free gel provided they keep their recommended hygiene appointments. This is a win/win strategy that patients love!
Use Digital Photos for Patient Education Take the following series of 6 digital photos on all new patients:
- Natural smile
- Close up retracted view
- Upper occlusal view
- Lower occlusal view
- Left buccal corridor
- Right buccal corridor
Load the photos onto an iPad or tablet for patient viewing. This will convert the process from a passive process to an active process for the patient. Be prepared to hear two frequent comments from patients; 1) “Wow, I have never seen my teeth like this before”, and 2) “Yuck!”
Add Clinical Services Adding clinical services is an excellent way to grow your practice. Existing patients already know and trust you and will likely respond well when you introduce additional services. Some services worth considering are; Adult orthodontics (6 Month Smiles or Invisalign), Implants, Sedation dentistry and Treatment of head and neck pain (TruDenta).
Provide a Remarkable New Patient Experience The first visit to your practice should be an awesome new patient experience that helps the patient take a greater interest in their oral health. Take some time with your team and design a new patient experience that is ideal. Consider beginning with a simple office tour that shows the patient some services that are available in your office. Include a new patient interview where a team member takes the time to get to know your patient and understand their ‘dental story’. Make it a ‘wow’ experience where patients leave saying, “Wow, I have never been treated so thoroughly before!”
Consider the 5 tips presented in this article as an excellent way to make 2014 your best year yet. As you begin to implement these recommendations, think of the following axiom. To achieve what you have never achieved, you must do what you have never done. Here’s to your success!