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Attract New Dental Patients, 6 Steps to Securing "Shoppers"

Jun 16, 2008
Tire-kicker, freebie-seeker, shopper... these words are enough to send a shudder up any dentist's spine.

But what is it about shoppers that frustrate you? Is it the fact they almost force you to compete on price, or is it the fact that they leave you talking about "the one that got away?"

In any case, a lot of businesses have come to love shoppers. Shopping malls, car lots, and especially grocery stores. Without "shoppers" these businesses wouldn't be multi-billion dollar industries like they are.

If you can follow the six tips below, you too can capture your fair share of the "shopper market."

Six Shopper Secrets

1. Change Your Attitude on Shoppers

Just because someone asks for a price doesn't mean they will become a bad patient. Don't write them off immediately. Everyone shops based on value; they would be stupid if they didn't.

2. Build Value in Your Services

People don't buy on price, they buy on value. Shopping for a car is a good example. If everyone bought on price, they would own a Hyundai or a Kia, but people like value, so there are many different prices for many different colors and styles of cars. Do you ever hear a Mercedes dealer promote that the car has 4 tires and a windshield? No. It always has leather and heated seats, and people can justify the price based on that.

3. Don't Be Afraid to Quote Prices

You should be proud of your fees and the dedication they represent. People aren't stupid, and if you dodge the question, they will automatically assume it is expensive. Be honest, and don't just tell them the price, build the value.

4. Convert to Patients

Create a "test-drive" offer. 9 out of 10 test-drives result in a vehicle purchase. Once the sales person gets the customer to drive the car, it is a done deal. Create an offer for your practice, and once you get them in the door, use the "show me" principle... Show them that your service is a bargain for the price you charge.

5. Present Price in Their Terms

When a person asks for price, find out how they will pay. Would they want to pay monthly? Or all at once? This will allow you to tailor your answer, and show the person that you take payments (an added benefit to them).

6. Show Superior Service

The first point of contact for many people with your office is the front office. Make sure they are superstars and do a good job of building value in your practice through testimonials and thorough explanations. Also, ensure their attitude does not turn sour once they get asked for price. This is a common cause of losing a patient, with the excuse being "they were just shopping." This is never a good excuse.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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