Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Where Did All The Patients Go? Dentistry Down?

ask-the-right-questions  This is the single biggest question I have been asked in the last 2 months. And if you are in the 80% of the 80/20 rule then it is the same question you have been asking yourself. Yes, dentistry has been down for most of the region and there is no simple answer as to why, but we can speculate.

This year is an election year and regardless of your political beliefs, you have to admit that it has been the most negative one and a half years that we have witnessed in modern memory. You feel depressed, your team feels depressed and your patients feel depressed. Dentistry is not high on their agenda and your chair is the last place they want to be.

The market has changed, the emotional climate that we all live in effects our daily activities and keeps us adjusting our priority lists. Out of Sight, Out of Mind! That may explain what has happened to your daily schedule.

It’s time to re-focus, look at your marketing program and plan a coordinated effort to re-engage “lost patients” and attract new patients. Do you have name recognition? Who are you and what makes you so different? All your competitors are great dentists and they all accommodate insurance plans of some sort. Why should a patient choose you? Marketing 101 “Packaging is 95% of the Sale”, what does your package look like? Does it fit in with the demographic you are marketing to?

Let’s talk about demographics … How does your practice environment relate to your patient base and potential new patients? When I hear an office complaining about not having enough quality patients or patient referrals it usually points to the patient (customer) experience. If you want a general family practice, your external marketing effort should focus on women in the 35-50 year old range. Your practice environment should accommodate their expectations and appeal to their comfort. Marketing research shows that woman make the majority of healthcare decisions within their family structure. They bring hubby and the kids. They also talk about daily experiences and you want that great visit to the dentist to be in that conversation.

To establish a good marketing program that grows the practice the internal marketing program needs to compliment the external one. I have been very impressed with some of the patient referral rewards programs that I have seen. Sometimes it’s not the “thank you” gift but the way it is presented. Stu Lenard, my marketing guru, once said “Retail is Detail” presentation is everything. What does your package look like? Let’s face it, the cost of up-grading your environment is equivalent to 1-2 crowns per month. What’s the ROI? Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

william-arthur-ward

 

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November 10, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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