Attracting high-quality patients may not be as difficult as you think. Something strange happens to our brains when we become experts at something. We forget what it was like to be ignorant. There was a time when you felt differently about dentists and dentistry than you do today. Your patients still feel the way you used to feel—before you became an expert. Do you know what most people think about dentists? They think they are all pretty much the same. Even if they have a high opinion of dentists, they don’t see much difference between dentists. If you want to attract greater numbers of higher quality patients to your dental practice, you need to show the people of your community what makes you different.
Why Differences Matter
In the sales and marketing world, salespeople are focused on a concept called the unique selling proposition (USP). Every successful product or service has a USP. It is what makes that product or service different from the competitor. People don’t make rational decisions. They make emotion-based decisions that they justify with facts. Having a USP in a competitive marketplace serves three key purposes:
1. It differentiates you from all of your competitors
2. It gives people a reason to choose you
3. It filters out people who would not be happy with you while attracting people inclined to love you
When a patient believes all dentists are the same, they will make their choice based on convenience and cost. Successful businesses can never win in the long-term competing only on costs. Your dental practice isn’t mobile. If convenience is the sole determining factor, you will be stuck with a narrow section of the community as potential patients. You need to give patients a reason to choose your practice. Our Dental Systems Optimization can help you stand out and own your differences.
How to Find What Makes Your Practice Special
You know that not all dentists are the same. What makes your dental practice different? Do you specialize in a type of patient or problem? If you are stuck, ask your staff and your existing patients. You may be surprised to hear why other people like coming to you. Here are some of the ways your dental practice may be different from the competition:
• Types of patients you serve—Do you work with people who are afraid of going to the dentist? With women? With children?
• Types of problems you solve—Are you a crown expert? Do you have the best teeth whitening process in town?
• Financing—Do you have a unique way to make dental care more affordable?
• Personality—Are you funny? Are you a big booster of the local high school? Is your waiting room decked out like a pirate ship?
Tactics for Showcasing Your Differences
Once you have figured out what makes you different, you have the hard job of showcasing that difference. One reason people think all dentists are the same is that their dental marketing is all the same. You’ve seen the flyers of the smiling dentist and staff standing in front of the reception area of the outside of the building. What does that tell you about their practice? Nothing.
You need to tell people what makes you different. Your differentiating factor, your USP, needs to be at the front and center of all of your marketing. Some daring dentists and orthodontists have YouTube channels that show them being silly with their family. They then market their practices as family-friendly. It works because people can see these professionals in a different light. Instead of sending out the same flyers as every other dentist in town, send one out that focuses on the types of conditions or patients you want to treat. Speaking directly to a narrow segment of the community will deliver better results than trying to market to everyone. Use email marketing to reward your best patients and incent them to refer their friends.
Once you embrace what makes you different as a dentist, your practice will start to stand-out from all the others in the area. You will become a beacon for your ideal patients.