Dentists have it bad. Not only are they the primary workers in their business, they also have to market their practice. They basically have an all-around job and are fully accountable for whatever outcome. While this article won’t give you the hard and fast rules on how to sell your services to random people, it will touch on the basics of marketing. Before you can dream of sophisticated marketing ploys, you must have a firm grasp of the basics.
1. People appreciate the people who help.
While it is true that you’re running a business and that you cannot expect patients to think of your practice as an altruistic organization, they do expect you to have a heart. In some dentists bid to accumulate as much profit as they can, they end up giving not-so-sound advice. More expensive treatments are being endorsed even if a cheaper solution is available. While some dentists can get away with doing something like this, patients will eventually find out. And once they know that you made them pay unnecessarily for an expensive set of veneers when they explicitly said they were on a budget, then that may be the last thing they ever buy from you.
2. People demand to know why, why, why.
Gone are the days when patients were just passive consumers who simply nodded when the dentist said that they needed oral surgery. These days, they want to know why you’re opting for this kind of anesthesia and not the organic one or why they have to be on antibiotics for so many days after a tooth extraction. It’s not that they don’t trust you; they just want to know the rationale for why things are done either so that they can learn from it and know what to do when they’re in the same situation or so that they can run the things you say through the internet and fact-check you. Because of how inquisitive patients are, blogs and dental websites where you can post educative articles have become really helpful.
3. If you want to sell, make an offer.
The two points have basically covered all the things you have to do to be a good, caring, humanistic dentist. But you have to sell treatments, too, and you cannot do so if you do not make an offer. Tell your patients that you’ll be offering discounts on the cost of braces during the summer to entice them to bring their kids in. If money is tight, then they’ll pass on it (in this case, offer financing if you can). But you’ll never know if there’s a parent who has just been waiting for such an opportunity to open up unless you start making offers.