If You’re NOT Doing This, You Won’t Get Implant Patients
When your goal is more dental implant patients, it’s not so much what you’re doing as what you’re not doing. Many dentists go about their daily affairs without giving a thought as to what they could be doing differently. Luckily for you, I have compiled just the list you need. So, doctor, I implore you to set down your dental instruments and read this post carefully. Once you start doing the things listed here and using dental implant marketing, your implant appointment book should start filling up nicely.
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Define Your Ideal Patient
When is the last time you’ve sat down and created a profile of your ideal implant patient? If you’ve never done so, now’s the time to do it. Whether you’re marketing to college students, senior citizens or middle-aged parents, you should give thought as to who might be receiving your marketing messages, and who might be responding to them positively. Here’s how to do just that.
1. Find Your Most Profitable Patients
Go through all the dental implant patients you’ve serviced in the past year and pick out the ones that were the most profitable. You’re now getting closer to creating the perfect patient profile.
2. Identify Referral Patients
Out of the list you’ve just comprised, pick out the patients who are more likely to refer your services to others.
3. Find Common Characteristics
Now you should have a seriously pared down list. From the patients you do have left, try to find some commonality. Do they all live in wealthy neighborhoods? Are they all professionals? Are they parents?
4. Understand Your Patients’ Behavior
Now go through your list and find out what makes those patients tick. What motivated them to schedule an appointment for dental implants and follow through with the appointment? What made them ideal candidates for dental implants?
5. Draw a Biographical Sketch
Using the information you’ve just compiled, begin to draw a fully developed biographical sketch that can then be used as a marketing guide. When you know who you’re marketing to, creating the perfect marketing message becomes that much easier.
Develop a Strategy that Helps You Stand Out
When did you last sit down to figure out why your patients come to you instead of going to the guy down the street? What is it that you do differently that doctor so-and-so doesn’t do as effectively or at all?
Another way to look at it is like this – if one of your implant patients referred you to a friend, family member or co-worker, what would they say about you? Would they say you were cheaper, more skilled, or that you had a phenomenal chair-side manner?
It is vastly important for you to figure out how to set yourself apart from all the other dental practices around you. Because, the very fact of it is, if the first word out of patients’ mouths when they call or walk-in is “How much do you charge?” you’re obviously not setting yourself apart very well.
In order to attract more patients for implant services, work this analysis out and discover what it is about you that’s different than all the other implant specialists out there. Instead of merely offering a free consultation, which everyone does, for example, consider making it easy to switch dentists, or do a price match for dental implants, allowing you to undercut any competitor.
Form a Cohesive Content Structure
What do patients find online when they search for dental implants in your local area? In an ideal world, your dental practice would show up every time. To make that happen, you need a cohesive content structure that is regularly published and consistent across the board. Here’s what that structure would look like.
Blog: Patients interested in dental implants usually have copious questions to ask. They have concerns they want alleviated, and they want to know that the specialist they opt for is the best qualified for the job. A well-written blog satisfies all of these needs beautifully.
With one, two, three or more posts published each week, you can answer frequently asked questions, alleviate the concerns of your patients and establish yourself as the end-all-be-all of dental implants in one fell swoop.
Social Media: Sending regular posts out through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks is the perfect way to connect with current patients and attract new ones. What do you post? Anything implant patients might be interested in. The aforementioned blog posts are great social media fodder, as are funny memes, important facts and enticements to call or come in whenever the urge to improve their smile strikes them.
Online Reviews: These days online reviews are trusted as much as a personal recommendation from someone close. Before patients trust you with their mouths, they want to know that others have had a positive experience sitting in your dental chair. Logging on to Yelp, Four Square and other online review sites allows patients to see, in a few sentences, where their money is best spent. This means that you should be urging your current and most loyal patients to leave their thoughts on today’s most popular review sites. For best results, pass our postcards to patients as they leave your office that have printed on them the URLs of said review sites, along with a few sentences guiding them on how to leave the most helpful reviews.
Testimonials: Your website and social profiles should also include testimonials from your best patients. These will have the same effects as online reviews and can even be accompanied by a video or photo of the patients who leave them.
White Papers: A downloadable white paper on your website and social media accounts can provide potential patients with the education they need to make a good decision as to where to go for dental implants. Provide the most useful information and they’ll choose your dental practice every time.
Success Stories/Case Studies: Last but not least, patients who are deciding between you and another specialist for the dental implant procedures will want to know that you’ve handled other cases successfully. Online reviews and testimonials are but one way to establish yourself as the prime candidate. Providing downloadable case studies, or blogging about the success stories of your other patients can help to sway prospects who may need a little prodding in your direction.
While providing all of this content may seem time consuming, there’s no hard and fast rule that says you have to write or otherwise produce all this content yourself. You don’t even have to leave it up to your staff. You would be better served to hire professionals to do the work for you, such as digital marketers who are experienced in advertising dental implant services.
Adequately Train Your Staff
Even if you put all of the above into practice, you won’t fill your appointment book with dental implant patients if your staff isn’t trained to receive those patients. The simple fact is, nearly half of all prospects who call your office won’t be ready to commit right then and there. And if your staff isn’t answering the phones properly, you’ll never get those patients to commit. Therefore, you should be training your staff to provide an excellent experience on the phone and in person for maximum results.
Phone Calls: Your staff should be answering the phones with a friendly and consistent greeting so as to start all conversations off on the right foot. You would also do well to arm your staff with a list of the most frequently asked questions so that hold-times can be kept to a minimum. Finally, instruct your staff to guide prospects and patients who call into one of two appointment times. For example, “I’m glad I was able to answer your question, Mr. Gardner. I have two appointment times available, one on Thursday and one on Friday. Which would be best for you?” This is much preferable to the standard question, “Would you like to schedule an appointment?” The latter just begs the patient to answer ‘no’ which is most definitely the wrong answer.
First Time Appointments: Patients should feel welcome during appointments. They should be introduced to staff and given a tour of the office. Their questions should be answered in a friendly and professional manner and all wait times should be kept to a bare minimum. Finally, always invite the patient to schedule an appointment before he or she leaves. This insures that the appointment book is always properly filled up.
All Other Times: Whether the patient is in the discovery phase, where he or she wants to learn more, or whether they’re coming in for a second or third appointment, staff should focus totally on the patient and his or her needs. When it comes to implant patients, the goal should always be to push the outcomes of the procedure. For example, the patient should be urged to envision their new smile, their return to oral function and the exceptional first impression they’ll make on everyone they come into contact with, personally and professionally.
Do all of this, doctor, and you will have few problems scheduling more dental implant patients. And remember, if at any time you become overwhelmed, call us to handle all the implant marketing for you. We know how to fill your appointment book up with viable candidates so that you can focus on treating those patients with the best dental implant treatments money can buy.