10 Dental Marketing Myths

1. You get what you pay for.

Almost every dentist I work with has been burned in the past by an over priced program that has under delivered.  Price and results do not always directly correlate.

2. As a dentist, you should just walk into the operatory and go to work, without having to worry about your staff, meetings, marketing or any other facet of your business.

This ideal is unrealistic and a ploy to get you to buy into that HUGE marketing and consulting plan being pitched at that seminar. With a well-trained and positive manager, you can focus more on dentistry.  This doesn’t mean that you should ever completely let go of your business decisions including marketing and hiring.

3. Patients think that dentists who market their services are desperate for business and must not be that great at dentistry.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Marketing for dentists and other medical fields is not only accepted, it’s well received.  Patients tend to trust a well branded practice.  Patients rely on dental marketing to help encourage them to get the regular professional dental care.
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Good News, Bad News and More Good News

The Good News

You’re looking for new patients, and they are looking for you too!

With the dawn of the social media age, the buying process has been flipped upside down.  Now, instead of making a decision based on just what has been presented in ads and websites, consumers are also making buying decisions based on what their friends recommend.

The Bad News

Unfortunately, when consumers don’t have access to their friends’ opinions, they are often relying on the opinions of complete strangers that are posted on dental review sites and social media platforms. As you may know, most people won’t go out of their way to post a great review about your practice, even if he or she has been a patient for 20 years. However, the angry patient can destroy your reputation with just a few lines of text and the click of a mouse.  They can even post a review from an app on their phone in seconds!
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10 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

10. Greet your new patients with a handshake and kind introduction.

9.  Offer water bottles, coffee and tea in your waiting area.

8. Let your patients know that as a courtesy you will submit to their insurance company.

7. Take at least 10 minutes talking with the patient and asking specific questions. When seeing a doctor of any kind, patients want time with the doctor himself/herself.

6. Present treatment at a desk at a private office, not in the dental chair.

5. LISTEN.  If the patient mentions to the front desk that she left her last doctor because he did treatment before she was completely numb, front desk should make a note of this.  Doctor should address this and assure the patient that he will check and verify she is completely numb prior to beginning any kind of treatment.

4. Provide information from a third party.  If you are diagnosing gum disease, provide information about the disease.  Help the patient understand what he/she can do to prevent further deterioration. Send the information home so that the patient has time to understand and research your diagnosis. Always share the good news: “It’s a good thing we caught it now and can prevent…”

3. Make it easy for patients to make payments, schedule appointments and get in to see you.

2. Treat your staff with respect.  Patients can sense disrespect and office turmoil.

1. Don’t rush.  Patients hate feeling like they are just a “butt in a chair”. Connect, respect, and provide excellent dental care.

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New, Simple Way to Attract New Patients

Affordable Dental Marketing

As you may know, one bad review may prevent a new patient from calling your practice.  Did you know that you are on these review sites whether you like it or not? It’s true!  Just Google search your name or practice name and watch as you come up on sites like Healthgrades, Yelp, Doctoroogle, Google+, Yahoo Reviews, YellowPages, Angieslist, InsiderPages and more!

Maybe you don’t have any bad reviews now, and that’s just great! However, referred new patients will often search your name on Google to see what others have to say about you. Upon finding your name with no reviews, they may also see a competing practice has 20 excellent reviews. Before you know it, those patients find themselves skimming through your competition’s website for more information about dental veneers.
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Time for a New Sign?

The other morning on the way to work I noticed something interesting while waiting for a light to change. Off to the left was a small shopping plaza. It was not much different from any of the others found scattered along almost every busy road and highway. But what really caught my attention was a sign above an awful green-colored awning that read simply: “DENTIST”.

totally-legitIt was a single, two-syllable word, with a very basic font design. The letters were fifty shades of off-white, indicating that it probably hadn’t been cleaned in months. The word itself was meant to promote a dental practice in the plaza, but its message was more of a “Please believe me! This place is totally legitimate!” Why would any dentist show so little respect for their practice? A dirty sign like that only screams one thing — sketchy.
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Desperate Times and Backyard Dentists

A recent study by the University of Washington Dental School’s Dental Fears Research Clinic found that an estimated fifty percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of a fear or their anxiety. That adds up to roughly about 150 million people. It is a shocking figure, but not as shocking as the 73% of Americans who do not go to the dentist because they think they cannot afford it.

Americans between the ages of 18-34 are the most likely not to receive dental care for this reason. When dealing with a toothache they turn to pain medication, instead of making a much needed dental appointment. Low-income families earning under $50,000 per year are also less likely to see a dentist when experiencing pain. But it is hard to blame these families and individuals who face an economic recession and depleted job market. Certain sacrifices must be made in order to stay afloat, but sometimes these good intentions can lead down a bad road.

backyard-dentist

Reports are surfacing nationwide about the use of “backyard” or “garage” dentists. The concept is similar to mechanics that work out of their homes, but instead of working on your car, they work on your teeth. Families are blinded by the low-cost dental work provided by these amateurs and choose to ignore the obvious dangers. These “dentists” lack appropriate tools, years of medical school, and often operate in unsanitary conditions. Complications brought on by their work seriously endanger the health and lives of those desperate enough for their services. Like the 14-year-old girl from Miami left permanently disfigured by one of these “dentists” when her only problem was a broken tooth.
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Dental Office Scripts

So you’re looking for some scripts, eh?  Now I’m not totally against scripts.  In fact, I often devise custom scripts for my clients. However, I do have my reservations. Scripts, like many marketing tools have been exploited by marketing companies.  The same script doesn’t work for every office, even though companies may try to sell a one sized fits all script.  For example, maybe a patient is leaving you because you are not in-network with their insurance company.  Your script would have to incorporate your exact financial policy.  Maybe you have in-office insurance/payment plan options. Maybe you are very competitively priced to where the insurance isn’t going to affect the patient portion of fees.  Perhaps, you have a very targeted niche and your patients come to you because of your excellent patient service. Your script will need to incorporate your personal benefits.

Scripts can be helpful in a variety of situations. Maybe a patient is leaving and she just doesn’t want to schedule her next appointment with you. She says that she’ll call you when she looks at her schedule.  How does your staff handle this?  Do they handle it politely without being pushy?

Scripts fail because the people implementing them don’t have them memorized and don’t have the sales skills necessary to keep the conversation going after the script is in motion.

A conversation can never be 100% scripted because there are 2 parties. You cannot always guess what the patient will say next.  Your staff must be prepared to ask the appropriate questions at the appropriate times to keep effective communication.Scripts are just the foundation for the sale. Scripts MUST be paired with skills in order to be effective.

We offer sales training and scripting to assist you and your staff in even the most difficult conversations.

We’ll help you to keep your patients smiling!  Call (847) 629-4646 for a free consultation.

dental-scripts

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