In my opinion, dental practices are becoming more of a commodity in the marketplace. What I mean is that people can easily shop around and get the best price because there are at least 20-50 dental offices in a given city.
This is exactly why many dentists are fixated on lowering their prices to “match their competition”.
I always tell them not to lower their price to match the competition – doing so will turn it into a never-ending cycle where they end up losing money.
Instead, I ask them to do something dramatically different: Increase their prices by 20-30% over what competitors are charging. The caveat here is that they should provide a better patient experience and a much higher value to justify the price.
Remember, your ideal patient is not going to Groupon to save $50 on a dental procedure. People who go to such websites are deal-hunters who really don’t care about being loyal to a certain brand – if someone else offers them a better price, they will to the other business.
Now, you will only be able to charge a higher price when you effectively differentiate yourself from other dental practices in the area.
How do you do that?
By making sure that you come across as the #1 expert in your space.
See, in order to become the authority, you have to look the part – there simply is no other way around it. This translates into investing in the infrastructure of your practice.
Here are some proven strategies to help you become the #1 expert in your space:
There is a little more that goes into appearing as the #1 authority in your niche:
Here are some more avenues where you can build influence which will translate into higher revenue:
Yes, this is a lot of work which is why 97% of dental offices are not even able to do 10% of what I mentioned above. However the payoff is huge when you actually do it.
Our agency does most of the stuff mentioned above for dentists so that they don’t need to.
Remember, perception is everything – if people perceive you and your brand to be of high-quality, you can charge higher prices which will ensure that only the right people will come in. This results in higher revenue with a smaller number of patients, allowing you to work less and make more.
Also, people who come in and are ready to pay 20-30% higher for better quality of service are “less hassle” patients.
It is always better to charge higher than the market and differentiate yourself than to keep charging lower and lower prices in order to appeal to everyone.
Remember, your best patients are ready to pay you more as long as you can provide them better care and a wonderful patient experience.
Action: Look at the top dental offices in your city by going to Google reviews and seeing which office has the most positive reviews (around 200+ reviews with an average rating of more than 4.5 out of 5). Check out their website, call their staff, understand the systems they use and you will understand why they are dominating the entire city. Find ways to replicate the same into your practice.
If you’d like to increase your yearly revenue, you have to come across as a premium dental practice and not “just another” one.
There is a big distinction between the two.
A good idea to position yourself as a premium practice is by increasing your prices by 20-30%. However, you should also showcase how the increase in price will translate into more value for the patients.
The most common way to do this is to make others visualize that you are better than others in your craft. Remember, people like to “see” how you are different.
Most dentists copy the reviews they have on Google Reviews onto their site. While this works, it simply does not compare with the strategy I am about to mention.
I would instead suggest that you create 15-20 minute high-quality video interviews with some your previous patients who have seen exceptional results.
A good way to go about is to personally call the patient up and ask them if they’d be interested in spending some time with you so you could interview them.
You can give them a $100 gift card as a way of thanking them for their time.
The patient you interview needs to be someone you have delighted:
There is a very important distinction here.
You do not simply ask your patients how they felt after the treatment – everyone does that.
You ask them how they felt before they came in, what was the reason for their issue, how the dentist (or dental hygienist) helped them out, how long the procedure took, what the best part of the procedure was in their mind and finally, how they feel now after the procedure is done.
Remember, people buy on emotions and then justify it with logic.
If you create an entire story out of this patient experience instead of just sharing the end results, you will be surprised at the response you get from people watching this video.
Now, there are 2 ways you can do this.
Either your staff can hold up your iPhone while you interview your patient or you can hire a video recording team in your city for $2,000 to $3,000 and call them in for a 2 hour session.
In this session, you can interview 2-4 of your patients separately.
If you hire professionals, the video will look crisp – very similar to programs you see on TV. How people perceive you is everything so investing extra here will show you better results. Remember, you get what you pay for.
After the videos are created, they need to be put up in the the “Hear from our patients” or “Patient results” section of your website and into your email newsletter, the Facebook ad campaigns and also in the retargeting campaigns.
Depending on how good the videos are and the emotional rollercoaster they take people on, there is a chance that people start sharing them on social media, making them go viral.
If this happens, you will get a lot more business and might even get covered by news channels, resulting in a windfall of revenue.
Hire a video production team to come in for 2 hours so they can record videos of you interviewing your patients. Give it a formal and educational feel. Once people are able to “see” how delighted your previous patients are, they will trust you more and you will be able to close higher-ticket cash paying patients quickly.
In my opinion, dental practices would generate higher revenue if the dentist and the staff had a defined strategy to talk to your patients and get them to sign up for the treatment.
Usually what happens is that the front desk calls the prospect and ask them “if they’d like to come in for an appointment” which doesn’t work too well.
Notice that the front desk never asks them why they requested a call back. They also almost never ask the prospect what is bothering them, how urgent their issue is and how soon they’d like to remedy the issue.
Now, once the prospect comes in they sit in the lounge and fill out a form, waiting to be called in. Soon, the dentist or the dental hygienist asks them to come in.
The office staff makes small talk: “How’s the weather?”, “I remember seeing you a little while ago! How is life?” etc.
What they never do is ask these simple questions:
“Is something bothering you?”
“Is there anything you’d like to talk about today that we can potentially help you with?”
When these questions are asked at the right moment in the conversation, you make your patient a part of the process and they feel validated. Because of that, they would be more inclined to go with the treatment you recommend and might keep coming in for years since they would be getting a “personal touch”.
Another issue I see often is that the prospect is given too many treatment options going forward.
In some cases, I have seen 3 members of staff trying to “help” the prospect to decide between 3 different options! This is when the prospect gets overwhelmed and you get the dreaded response “I’d like to take some time to think about it…”
Ask yourself, how many times has someone who used this line come back and actually signed up for the treatment?
Not too many right?
It would be a good idea to give your patients no more than 2 options – ideally only 1.