Hitting the jackpot
Do you feel like you have reached the end of the rainbow or are you still struggling to find it? Most dentists answer this with a definite no. Well, I believe that most dentists have already found their pot of gold but are struggling to simply see it,
You are already sitting on a treasure cove; you just need the magic spell to uncover this hidden wealth. It lies before your very eyes and more importantly you have the power to make more gold for yourself! Now you’re probably thinking about what this is all about, especially with all the trouble in dentistry with UDA’s and PCT’s and the difficulty of lost patient loyalty. How can it be possible with all this struggle and hardship dentists are facing to realise such wealth?
Whether you are currently working within the NHS or prefer to set your own standards in the private sector, this treasure map will provide you with the unbounded potential you already possess!
The Hidden Potential
The one aspect dentists tend not to focus on is the potential they currently could enjoy. Every day dentists diagnose dentistry in the mouths of our patients that could be so beneficial to the patients and at the same time bring in revenue for ourselves. Every day we are looking to help patients with their pain and discomfort whether it be of a biological nature, one of structural deterioration or to emotionally charge our patients with confidence. And every day we provide solutions and answers to these maladies.
So if we are doing so much good and actually diagnosing these pains and concerns, why is it that we are not generating the kind of revenues and productivity we desire?
If we see mouths every day with the disease in them, why are we not growing the way we want to?
The answers to these questions and to unveiling your pot of gold lie in your awakening to the fact that you need to develop strategies to uncover the wealth within your practice. You need to design a treasure map to discover that hidden pot of gold! You already have a head start, in that you know it lies at the end of the rainbow!!! The rainbow of the multitude of patients you see every day.
If you were to take a closer look at your patient charts you will discover that there is a huge amount of dentistry that you have previously diagnosed to help your patients deal with their various concerns. However, not all of this dentistry is treated dentistry and hence has not been transferred from your patient charts to the mouths of your patients. Why not?
The Wrong Focus
The reason for this is because most dentists concentrate predominantly on acquiring new patients or utilise very traditional methods of marketing in dentistry. By following this trend most dentists will only have the opportunity to be 10-20% better than their competitors or other dentists. This is because most dentists are focused on improving existing strategies – this way they will only get improved results.
In order to make advances and see hidden opportunities, you need to change the strategies for changed results. In this instance, you need to step aside from traditional methods and seek out newer fresher methods and strategize them into processes that you can use to implement all the systems within your practice.
The first process you need to revise is how you can get patients to go ahead with the dentistry you have already recommended to them. You need to set up a “filter” system to determine what is still relevant to the dentistry you diagnosed and what is no longer needed.
It consumes far less time, money, effort and energy to re-focus on your existing patients than it does to re-assemble a new marketing campaign to acquire new patients.
In order to do this, you will need to implement the strategies of internal marketing and use all the media that are available to you to get a greater level of case acceptance.
Working on your existing database is crucial because:
- You have already developed a rapport with your patients
- Your existing patient’s know and understand you
- They know your work
- You already have a database to work from
- It is easier to find out what your currant patients want than to explore new territories.
- You have already talked to them about the dentistry they need now you will be just reinforcing that need and supplying “evidence” to support why they should go ahead with it.
Revenue generating processes of Internal Marketing.
- Personalised newsletters or letters informing your current patient base on all the latest news in dentistry and what you are currently providing for your patients. The aim is to remain in contact with your patient family so that when they think of dentistry, they think of you and no one else.
- Show off your work by providing your patients with before and after photographs. This you can display in your practice or you can directly show an interested patient with similar wants in dentistry.
- Use of a patient questionnaire to advocate any concerns the patient may have regarding dentistry. This can be sent to them in the mail or fill out in the practice and then marketing time allocated to discuss this. Often all patients need is time quality time spent with them.
- Any senior member of your staff or yourself can interview and spend time with your patients to determine any concerns the patient may have. This process can be made more effective if you were to go through a set of oral photographs. This will enable you to make the patients aware of the situation in their mouths. This will help patients to accept your recommended dentistry better.
- Put up pictures of other patients you have treated around your practice for patients to continuously be exposed to what you can do for them also.
- Customer service to all patients is king. Do whatever you can to make your patient’s life easy whilst they are in your care and with you. E.g. offer them tea and coffee. Use your imagination to explore all the small things you can do to become a talking point for your patients later on. It could be simple gestures such as remembering their birthdays and having a little in-surgery celebration.
We live in a service orientated world and increasingly patients are becoming more used to being treated with care. Create a motto to treat all your patients like celebrities. This is how patients are more likely to refer other people to you and help you to grow that pot of gold right before your very eyes.
Another element you need to understand is that of networking. Networking comes in many guises. But the type you need to focus on initially is networking with your existing patient base. The following are good pointers on how to do this effectively:
Understand who your patients are. Find out where they like to go and what fills their social lives. Are they in business or part of any local community organisations? This knowledge will allow you to communicate better with your patients and be seen more as a friend and advisor as opposed to just their dentist”. Also, it will give you the opportunity to be seen yourself at the same kind of events your patients attend. E.g. Charity shows or rotary clubs.
People like to buy from people they know and like.
Ask your existing patient base to refer you to more patients who they feel will benefit from the types of services you provide. In return for this give them rewards. E.g. Small gifts like tickets to the theatre or a bunch of flowers. Other gifts include discounts on treatment.
Imagine if every patient you currently have refers to two other patients to your practice by verbal recommendation, how much growth your practice will experience in a very short time.
Ask for testimonials of their experience with you so that you can better inform other patients of the type of dentistry you provide. Then display these testimonials to your existing patient base in the waiting or lounge area. Indeed you can use these testimonials in all your marketing efforts.
All the strategies discussed need to have associated systems drawn out within the practice and understood by all team members. This way it can become a joint cooperative, organised and measurable strategy to increase your revenues and benefit your patients. This can provide you with the power to find and grow your pot of gold. Hence, uncover and unveil the hidden wealth you currently possess.