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Attract New Dental Patients... And Keep Them

Jul 1, 2008
"All I got from my doctor was the four letter word." Today I want to talk about how to stand strong on the front lines of your practice, handling your patients in a way that will make it impossible for them to turn and run.

Last Thanksgiving I attended my annual Turkey Bowl for a friendly game of tackle-football at my hometown school. It was a miserably rainy and muddy day; perfect football conditions. Around the third quarter of the game, I made a tackle and tore the tendon from the bone in my ring finger.

*Don't take your patients for granted!

Staring at my finger, I started to think about the lack of protection I had for my body. You see, I wasn't wearing my gloves. I had them. They were stashed somewhere in my house, but I didn't take the time to find them. Instead, I took my hands for granted and went to the game without protecting them, and as a result, I lost thousands of dollars fixing the problem.

This all could have been avoided, had I used the tools that were made available to protect me. I had the tools right there but I just chose not to use them. Luckily, the damage was reversible, but at a cost that could have been avoided had I taken the necessary preventive measures.

*Stand Out!

I made the journey to my surgeon's office week after week for months, and it got tiring and costly. I appreciate the work that he did for me, but if I have another hand injury, I'm going somewhere else.

All I ever got from my doctor was the four letter word, otherwise known as the BILL! Do not get me wrong, my hand surgeon did a good job. However, he did one thing wrong and that was not building a stronger bond between us.

I think we all know the point I'm trying to make, so I'm going to come right out and say it. Your patients need more than a bill. Of course they are getting what they paid for, your valuable services, but please don't make the mistake of having the last thing they get from you be the bill. This is how your patients see it - bill, bill, bill. If you were them, wouldn't it be nice to be surprised with something thoughtful. Leave a positive image of you in their mind, not a bill.

By giving a low-cost gift (like a monthly Newsletter) you will be sending a message through to your patients that will tell them how valued they are to YOU. In return, you will be gaining increased loyalty and more referrals... one of the strongest ways of advertising.

It doesn't matter what kind of a doctor you are. If you're just giving your patients the four letter word, then you should only expect them to have a limited, financial-only, commitment with you. I can say this because I had a real life experience with it. If my hand surgeon had given me more than the four letter word, then I would feel more inclined to go back to him vs. starting a new relationship with a new doctor. I would go back!

If you're the doctor who is only giving your patients the four letter word, well, I hope I didn't make you feel absolutely horrible. It's not too late to reverse the damage and stand out from the rest.

I found out that I can not only learn from my mistakes, but I can learn from the ones others are making as well. Please use this information and my life experience to your advantage and "change how your patients see you!"
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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