As an owner of a dental practice it’s easy to get bogged down in the product or services your practice provides. Knowing what you offer is obviously very important. How you communicate your product or service to your patients is even more significant.
Most practices try not to think of themselves as marketers or salespeople but that’s what you are. Regardless of the product or service oyu offer, if no one commits to treatment your doors aren’t going to stay open very long. Now is the time to get back to the basics and start thinking like a business owner. It’s time to figure out the best way to market your product or services. So what’s the best approach?
Price- Before you start discounting you need to decide if your product is viewed as a commodity or not. This is crucial these days with many different mediums available that allow people to discuss the functions of your product or service in a public forum.
If you sell rubber bands most people know the uses of rubber bands and don’t necessarily have a specific brand they are loyal to. Therefore, they will just buy the cheapest ones they can find. In a dental practice teeth whitening is a great example of this. You don’t necessarily have to give it away for free but understand people expect it to be discounted at the very least.
It’s important to keep mind when you discount a product you are almost forcing it into commodity status so decide if your product or service provides more of a function than the next closest competitor. It’s important to look at your brand’s beneifts and market accordingly. It’s a good practice once a year to look at all of your services and decide where they fall on the commodity scale.
Quality- Some brands do a great job of pushing the quality of their products. If what you sell is not a commodity and you can sell it for a little bit more than your competitor because of perceived quality than get to marketing. This can cost you more in marketing dollars because you have to create the perception. Once this is accomplished and people review you in a positive way your brand will be established and the marketing expense will be well worth it. I describe this to most docotrs as an investment in yourself. If you truly feel you are one of the top in your profession at a procedure market yourself that way and keep price integrity.
Lifestyle– This is the number one area where practices fail. They don’t take the time to look at the products and services they sell and figure out how their patients will purchase it to improve their lifestyle. If you’re a dentist it’s important to make your patients understand a better smile leads to better first impressions and higher self-confidence. This could lead to better jobs and better relationships. Sell them on the lifestyle your product or service will provide for them and then pricing won’t be as big a deal.