Best Marketing Plan Dental Office You Can Buy

Published Aug 08, 19
5 min read

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Referral patients are the best new patients. Of course, when it comes to referral marketing you have limitations (considering you can't refer yourself). However, there are tactics you can use to encourage patients to refer you. First step, just ask! Leave a piece of marketing collateral at your front desk that might encourage patients to tell their friends about you. Also, new patient surveys are a great way to get internal feedback about your practice, while also stimulating referrals. Check out Smile Marketing's New Patient Survey technology to see how it works.

When marketing your practice, you need to look at the “big picture.” That means not only evaluating the marketing happening outside your office, but looking at what happens inside as well. Is your staff able to convert the potential patients that call in? Are they friendly? Knowledgeable about your services? Do they answer calls in a timely manner or are too many placed on hold? You can do all the marketing in the world, but it won’t matter if new patients are lost during the first phone call. Here are a few suggestions for talking to potential new patients over the phone.

Don’t believe what you’ve heard — marketing is not a bad thing! It’s possible to employ dental marketing strategies without sounding like a salesperson.

While the reputation of dental marketing is improving, there are still plenty of dentists and office managers who resist using marketing techniques entirely. They assume marketing involves a moral compromise — slicked back hair, a fake smile, and a sales agenda. Others see it as a necessary evil. Unfortunately, marketing is a taboo phrase in many practices, unappreciated for what it really is — a way to help patients improve their dental health. Marketing is all about knowing your patients, and connecting them with services they need or want. It doesn’t have to involve a sales pitch. In fact, it shouldn’t! .

Of the many misconceptions related to dental marketing strategies, there are two very common beliefs that keep most practices from succeeding. One is that marketing is done externally. The other misconception is that the primary goal of marketing is to sell.

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Some office managers approach marketing as a separate department, hired out by agencies and salespeople to do the work for them. While getting professional help with marketing is always a good idea, the most effective work happens internally. What does internal marketing look like? It is a hygienist reminding patients to schedule their next appointment in order to maintain great oral health. It is getting your team in the marketing mindset to elevate your level of service. Internal marketing is all about inspiring patients and gaining their trust. Good marketing training founded in authenticity improves patient care and boosts recall because it makes patients feel valued.

Clear communication, confidence, and a genuine desire to help is at the core of effective dental marketing techniques. Your job is to make patients feel comfortable about their dental hygiene, not to constantly upsell. Long gone are the days of blindly following a bottom line. With the surge in ethical branding and increased corporate consciousness, the goal of dental marketing strategies has shifted. With these misconceptions out of the way, it’s time to get down to specifics. These do’s and don’ts will help you and your staff promote your dental practice and advocate for your patients while avoiding the most common pitfalls of a bad sales pitch.

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You get one chance to make a first impression, and since new patients are worth well over $4,000 to your practice, you better make it a good one. Give patients your undivided attention. Even if it’s for only fifteen minutes, this helps you get to know them. Moreover, it instantly sets an expectation of personalized care from the start.

Patients should always be at the center of your dental marketing strategies. Giving them extra time in consultations is great, but not if you spend the whole time talking about yourself and all the endless benefits of your services. Listen to your patients. Ask questions in order to avoid that whiff of salesperson that can be smelled a mile away.

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You will be hard-pressed to run into any patient not wanting a beautiful, healthy smile. Whether you offer preventative, restorative, or cosmetic services, you are filling either a need or a want. While discussing options, be sensitive to the difference between the two. It is your job to address both wants and needs while delivering the best care.

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Cost can be one of the biggest reasons people stay away from the dentist. Create messaging to display subtly in your office and train employees about how to address the cost of services. Once you have your financial manager in place, he or she will be able to clearly explain the costs and set up payment options with your patients. Be empathetic to patients’ financial situations.

Transparency is everything. Tell patients how long a procedure will take, what it will feel like, and what the consequences of not getting the treatment are — especially when there are large payments or lengthy recovery involved. Always take the time to give as much information as you can.

Marketing is key to the success of any business and dental practices are no exception. For a dental practice to grow, a single dentist should be seeing 24-50 new patients per month. And in order to attract new dental patients, a practice must offer a competitive product at competitive pricing, along with convenient quality services – all backed by a solid dental marketing plan. When trying to figure out how to market your dental practice, the first step is always a SWOT session. In case you’re not familiar with this term, it’s simply a structured way to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

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