We know you are always on the lookout for new patients, which nowadays, due to the ever-fluctuating economy, are not so easy to come by. So how can you continue to expand your practice when everyone already has their go-to dentist? We sat down with the successful Dr. Leonard Weiss, of Plantation, FL to gain insight on how his marketing techniques grew his business into a million-dollar practice. Here is what he had to say.
There is no one medium.
Let's face it. As with most things in life, there is no simple solution. If you want to expand your practice, it is going to take time, investments, and patience. Be mentally prepared to invest an average of 10 percent of your gross monthly income if you are really set on making an impact with your advertising. You can try nearly every marketing technique under the sun. You may find out that advertising your practice on the radio increased your practice by 15 patients in April, and then have only one new patient in May. It is a constant trial and error process.
So be creative! Try different outlets and do not be afraid to try something new. And to successfully identify what marketing techniques are working for your dental office, track your results and engage your front office staff to ask new patients how they heard about your office.
If you do not have an Internet presence, you are missing out! Our world, like it or not, operates nearly entirely online. Did you know that when determining whether to purchase a product or service, people generally have completed 58 percent of the buying process before they contact you? Now more than ever, people are doing their homework and finding information online and on social media outlets. Yes, that means places like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. Some benefits for social platforms include:
- Visual content is Instagram’s main purpose, let your images and videos do most of the talking, but you can write captions for them as well. Utilize Instagram Reels and a trending sound to boost audience reach.
- TikTok is taking the world by storm. Whether it be a 9-15 second advertisement or a 1-minute breakdown of your best assets to a trending tune, the results will speak for themselves.
- Twitter is one of the top platforms to keep up with the latest trends and conversations and gain valuable insights.
Additionally, your practice needs a website, somewhere that prospective patients can go and check you out before they check in at your office.
- Easy accessibility and readability: Provide quick and easy-to-read charts and graphics
- Rotating, captioned photos: Show of your best photos of your office, staff, patients, and quality care to create a welcoming and warm environment
- Two landing pages: one for click-throughs where potential clients can gain more information on each of your plans, and one for them to find how your office and contact you
Remember, people talk.
Word of mouth. It is the oldest trick in the book, and the best one to date. People listen to friends and family and feel more comfortable visiting a dentist who has been referred to them rather than one they find in the provider directory. The clients that tell their friends about you are the same ones who end up writing your Yelp and Google reviews. Keep that in mind the next time you have a patient in the chair.
Give them a freebie.
With all the fees your patients must pay, they are going to flock to you if you give them anything for a discount, let alone for free! So why not make them feel a little special and do just that? Hosting a free cleaning day, for example, will bring traffic through your door.
Now you are probably thinking, if I give away a free cleaning to eight patients in one day, isn't that a loss to me? Well, think of it this way, you know the bulk of the cost coming out of your pocket is your hygienist’s salary, an average of $25 an hour. If you are utilizing the 10 percent of your gross profit for advertising practice, chances are you are spending quite a bit more each month than the $200 to $300 it will cost you to have a free cleaning day. Getting patients in your office is more than half the battle. Give them that great cleaning that will encourage them to tell their friends and family. Once you know they have had a wonderful experience, send them on their merry way and ask them to write a nice review for you - remember people talk. While you have them in your office, it is a wonderful time to talk to them about other dental services you offer, too! Establishing trust, offering them a service for free, and by creating as positive in-office experience, these free cleaning clients can quickly turn into new, loyal patients.
No one ever did it alone.
You may want to take on the dentistry world all on your own and be the big kid on the block, but sometimes it is good to have a little help getting there. There are tons of other providers out there who, just like you, are trying to expand their practices. So instead of spending more funds than you may have to compete with all of them, partner up with one or a few that you trust. If each of you can agree on a few different outlets of general advertising and split up the cost, you will cover more ground at a better price while making new friends. Who does not like making new friends?
If these tips did not give you a direct course of action, hopefully you have taken away some ideas to consider in the future for your practice. As cliché as it might sound, the sky is the limit, especially when it comes to smart ways to market your business.
Have you considered if you are the type of dentist patients are looking for? Check out our checklist to get you started.