The Big Marketing Secret: Generating more profit by focusing on existing patients instead of chasing new patients.

You have likely heard the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  It’s better to value and appreciate what you already have. It’s cheaper, too. A lot of dental practices have no idea what their cost-per-patient acquisition is.  Have you calculated your costs for every new butt in your chair?

More Time Not More Money

Dentists, and a lot of marketers for that matter, almost completely ignore the profit potential sitting idle within their existing patient base.  If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ve likely heard me promoting the idea that dentists and their teams need to spend more time on their marketing, not more money.

You don’t have to discount dentistry or constantly chase higher new patient numbers.  The truth is, there is likely a mountain of profitability right where you are.

The Power of Storytelling In Your Marketing

It all starts with storytelling.  You have a story. Your practice has a story.  Your patients have a story. Dentistry is unique in that there is a high-level of intimacy between you and your patients, plus a pretty universal anxiety/fear attached to your relationship.  Understanding and expressing empathy is a great starting point for building a valuable connection.

Maximizing your patient experience is where I always recommend dentists start. Are you packing as much into your schedule as humanly possible?  What do you think that is doing to your patient experience? Could case acceptance increase if you or a member of the hygiene team spent a little more time chairside?  I don’t mean to play Devil’s advocate, but I always encourage practices to think about the experience, start to finish, as honestly as possible.

Next, all elements of the brand need to be reviewed and synergized.  Your website, social media, SEO strategy, and reviews and testimonials all need to work together to promote integrity, trust, professionalism, cleanliness, etc.  Consumers put a lot of emphasis on the experience of others even after a referral from a trusted friend or family member.  Analyzing, optimizing and executing a cohesive marketing and branding strategy is no easy feat.  

I know many, if not all of you, are already actively asking for reviews.  What are you doing with those reviews after you have them? Are you just leaving them on Google or Facebook?  Are you posting them on social media, along with photos and video of other happy patients?  You need to be.  Your existing patients wield the most power of persuasion for potential new patients.  Not stock photography models.

Your Dental Practice Sales Approach

Aside from just reviews and a strong social media following, you should review your sales process.  What happens once a patient confirms their appointment?  Stop chasing sales after the appointment.  Sell in the lead-up time to the appointment.  

Over the years, I’ve had the honor of spending time with Revenuewell founder, Alex Nudel.  Alex is a huge proponent for preemptive selling to patients once they confirm their appointment.  It really works and it can change the profitability of your practice.

All you need to do is send a quick video message promoting products and services, like whitening for example, on the front end of hygiene visits.  Most people want white teeth. Give them the option to add it before their visit.  They can know and adjust their schedule for the added time during the appointment

Most people say “no” chairside because:

  • They don’t feel connected to you.  You haven’t gained their trust.
  • They haven’t been presented financing options beforehand.
  • They don’t fully understand the value of the treatment
  • They simply don’t have time. 

Spend a little extra time and send this information and their options ahead of the appointment.  Use video!  It’s powerful and will get much more engagement than standard text. 

You’ll be surprised how many people say yes!

Conclusion

I’m not saying new patients aren’t important.  They are. However, focusing on existing patients will always provide tremendous upside for the practice.  With a little extra time and care you will connect and build a bond that promotes loyalty and case-acceptance.  Each member of your tribe will likely promote you to their family and friends, leave you great reviews, engage with you on social media, and stay with you for the long-term.

Start marketing products and services in the lead-up to appointments, not after the fact.  Understand that patients are busy and need to “pencil you in”, to their lives, too. Maybe they would love to accept professional whitening after a cleaning, they can’t because they didn’t plan the extra time.  This is a silly reason to lose revenue. Give options for treatment and products before. Shoot quick videos and add them to your confirmation, reminder and reactivation email sequences. Have your team text or call. You have options!

This marketing approach is slower.  It’s not flashy or sexy. It will take more time and effort.  But the ROI is there. Understanding human behavior and maximizing the relationship with each patient can and does lead to strong, steady growth.  

Look at your patient experience and overall marketing presence.  Give it an honest review. You can chat with a Dental Marketing Expert on our homepage anytime, too.  Stop by today for a risk-free, zero-obligation audit of your existing website and SEO strategy.

You can email me at sean@growpracticegrow.com for more information or call 913.214.8502.    

How to Use Other People’s Content to Get More Website Traffic

Getting more traffic to your dental practice website, blog, and/or social media channels is a want of every dentist.  In the modern digital age, it’s harmful not to have a strong online presence. Sadly, there is no “silver bullet” for increasing traffic.    

Your content strategy and approach need to be FSCP.  Focused. Strategic. Consistent. Patient.  Those are the ingredients to success. I see practices that are doing a good job initially, but after a couple of weeks they abandon their strategy because it didn’t “do anything”.  You have to commit and persevere in content marketing. There is a lot of noise out there and it will take time to cut through.

In this blog, I am going to show you a quick, easy way to get more traffic without spending more money.  Who doesn’t love that?

Getting More Traffic to Your Dental Practice’s Website

Let’s face it, sharing curated content is much easier than creating content.  Start by thinking about how you, your friends, and family use the internet. You read and share articles, right?  We all do (and we spend WAY too much time doing it).

I want to introduce you to Snip.ly.

Snip.ly is an incredible tool that allows you to use content curation to drive traffic to your website.  What’s better? It’s free!

Every time you share an article, on any social network, you will share the Snip.ly link versus the original link.  The Snip.ly version appears the same as the original, only it includes a call to action at the bottom of the page.  This allows the reader to go straight to your website or landing page.  See below:

You can always include credit to the article’s source.  It is a great way to build relationships with influencers and engage their audience, but it is not required.

Get started with Snip.ly

Here is an easy, step-by-step guide to get going.

  • Go to snip.ly and sign up for a free account.  Yes, you just type “snip.ly” into your browser.
  • You will need to create a practice account with an email.
  • Setup your brand profile.  You are going to want to upload your logo and decide on where you want to drive traffic.  

I would advise you have a dedicated page to send traffic to. Do not just drop them on your home page.  Send them to your Contact page or to a landing page for the service you are promoting (whitening, Invisalign, CEREC, etc.).

  • Once your brand profile is set up, find an article you want to share.
  • Copy/Paste the URL of the article into Snip.ly.
  • A box will appear where you will customize your CTA.  Choose what you want to readers to see as a message, customize your CTA button, and input the URL of where you want your web traffic to go.
  • Click “Create” and you will see the new URL you’ve just created.  It will be shorter and should start with http://snip.ly/.

That’s it!  You just created your first snip!  Copy the Snip.ly URL and head over to your social media accounts and start sharing using the new link.

*Additional Dental Marketing Tip – Install the Snip.ly Chrome extension.  It will make snipping much easier! Any time you come across a great article, you can immediately “snip” that content in your browser.

Powerful Content Marketing

There are various levels of Snip.ly pricing.  As stated, the free version allows up to 1,000 clicks per month.  Paid versions give more customization options for logos, buttons, etc.  It’s fully customizable! Create multiple CTA’s for various services, different seasonal drive times, different types of content, or for more than one office location.

Every Snip.ly account includes some really helpful analytics and tracking information, too.  Your dashboard will give you data such as the number of snips you’ve created, clicks, average time on your pages, etc.  This is powerful for your dental practice as it allows you to gauge what content worked and what did not work in generating traffic. 

Tracking your marketing ROI shouldn’t just be about money.  You need to spend and track your time intentionally, too. Stop wasting valuable time on things that aren’t working.

 

Conclusion

Snip.ly is powerful and awesome.  It will allow you to use influencer content to drive traffic to your website.  It allows you to share relevant, engaging content with your audience and continue to build those important relationships that keep your brand strong and your patients referring.  

If you want to build strong relationships and get your patient referral network running like a well-oiled machine, we are here to help!  Chat with us anytime at GrowPracitceGrow.com.

I would love to hear about your experience with Snip.ly and how it helps boost your website traffic!  Email me with questions, thoughts, or comments at sean@growpracticegrow.com.  

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All Dental Practice Management Software Is Not Equal

Like many industries, the dental profession has been transformed by the digital revolution. Technology has moved from a small but important part of your practice to center stage. Technological change is happening faster than ever before, and consumers expect your practice to offer the same convenience and value they get from other services.

Mission Possible

So how do you choose the right software to run your business? It seems impossible — the software has to manage patient records including integrated imaging, keep track of referrals, provide online access for patients, maintain accounting records, send invoices, track collections and more — all while meeting ever-increasing government regulations and HIPAA reporting rules.

Step by Step

Choosing the right system may seem overwhelming at first, but there are steps you can take to minimize risk. First, select the software that can manage your practice now and easily expand as you grow. Next, get the best price from the vendor of your chosen software package —make sure you have a strong support agreement in place. Finally, plan out the installation schedule and make sure your vendor is closely involved.

Solid Support

You want a vendor that has a good reputation for support. Work with them by describing critical software features your practice needs, as well as secondary items you’d like to include if the budget allows. Perhaps electronic prescribing takes precedence over something like extended reporting capabilities. It just depends on your needs and preferences.

Grow With You

Ask about the technology behind the software. Is it a proprietary system that no one but them can service? Will it be able to grow with you as you gain more patients over time? And finally, what support and training do they offer? You’ll never feel lonelier than the day your staff can’t figure out the system because they haven’t been trained, and the vendor suddenly doesn’t answer your support calls.

Vendor Demonstrations

After evaluating your options, set up vendor demonstrations. But don’t let verbose vendor sales teams take over the process. Stay focused on making sure their product meets your needs. You want a vendor that communicates well, asks proper questions, and is interested in a long-term partnership. If they are long on promises and vague claims yet short on specifics and follow-up, beware.

If all this sounds daunting, don’t worry. You can manage the process yourself or bring in qualified consultants to run the show. Either way, remember that you and your staff must live with the software for years to come, so it makes sense to make a careful choice.