We all know that proﬁtability comes from a combination of factors: how much dentistry we produce, how much dentistry we collect, and how we manage our expenses. The three main factors in controlling overhead are new patients, case average and overhead percentage. In this post weʼll focus on New Patients.
Techniques to generate new patients:
Referrals – This can be a great way to generate new business if you have customers who are happy with your services. It relies heavily on your ability to develop the kind of relationships where your clients want to tell their friends and family “Thatʼs my dentist. Heʼs great!” Beyond simple word-of-mouth you can entice referrals through offering bonuses (which are generally cheaper than other forms of advertisement.)
Direct Mailings – An effective technique as long as there is not a whole lot of competition in your market from other Dental ofﬁces. Otherwise the market can become diluted and these efforts can become less effective.
TV & Radio – These can be pricey and can also become diluted depending on the efforts of your competition. This can create notoriety for your practice. “Youʼre the dentist I always see on TV.” Some practices say these advertisements also help maintain current patients by staying visible.
Internet – There are quite a few ways to maintain and grow your presence online including social media, blogs, web pages, and videos. All these avenues require time and effort. Social media and blogs canʼt thrive without new content.
Print Advertising – Obvious examples are are newspapers and the yellow pages. Whereas they may not be the powerhouses they once were, they may still be able to yield worthwhile results.
Some important points to note about successful techniques:
• There is no perfect answer for every practice. Finding the best techniques or best combination of techniques will require some trial and error. Experiment with different approaches, track your progress and analyze your attempts to see what techniques best serve your market.
• Techniques that are effective in one market may not be effective in all markets. For example, one areaʼs market may be over-saturated in the media with dental advertisements while another may not be.
• Once you have a good idea what techniques are most effective, spend your funds where they have the most impact. Also, remain open to adapt. What was the most effective two years ago may not what is most effective today or most effective two years from now.