Does your practice stand out from your competition? Regardless of whether you have 20 other dentists within a dense city mile or you’re one of 2 in your small town, we’re sure you want your practice to be set apart within the minds of your patients, prospective patients, and referring healthcare providers.
We don’t know of any successful dentists who set a goal of being like every other practice. Instead, successful practices know the value of standing out, and they make differentiation an important objective of their dental marketing strategies. They recognize that it has a very real impact on their practices’ bottom lines.
Before we go too far, what does it mean to differentiate your dental practice? From a marketing perspective, it means to be better or preferred. Some dentists may seek to look or sound like dentists they admire. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, that approach won’t help your practice to stand out.
Here are 4 reasons why you should differentiate your dental practice.
Differentiated Practices Are More Profitable
Regardless of the product or service, people pay more for a brand that stands out than they do for a generic option. This is true in grocery stores, car dealerships, and clothing stores. Brands that appear more sophisticated, more modern, or of higher quality reap greater bottom line rewards.
The most profitable brands, like the most successful dentists, need not be the most expensive. Amazon, for example, rules retail, not because it’s expensive, but because it’s expansive. Amazon is a trusted brand that has terrific differentiation. It stands out, and just about everyone uses it. As for profitability, it isn’t rated a top tech stock year after year for nothing.
No matter how new or old your practice may be, it’s never too early to think about the future. When it’s time to sell your practice, a great reputation and proven ongoing marketing systems will command a better price than one that doesn’t stand out from the others.
Newsletters help practices achieve greater profitability through differentiation by demonstrating to your current and lapsed patients that you value them enough to provide useful education. This helps build loyalty, while educating patients about their oral health. And, practices that use newsletters have a built-in, turnkey, ongoing marketing system that demonstrates even greater value and patient loyalty when it’s time to sell the practice or bring on an associate.
Differentiated Practices Have Loyal Patients
Speaking of loyalty, brands like Starbucks and Apple have dedicated followings. Their best customers aren’t bargain shoppers, but people who come back to them again and again because they are loyal to a brand that they identify with and respect. The same is true for dentists. Practices that stand out reap the rewards in loyal patients.
Because newsletters keep your practice in front of your patients on a monthly basis, in a non-intrusive and patient-centric way, they help to keep your patients on track with regular appointments. Newsletters also encourage patients who have allowed treatments to lapse to get into a healthy routine. And for those all-star patients who make their oral health a priority, receiving a newsletter from their trusted dentist reminds them that you care about them and want the best possible health for them and their families.
Patients Want to Be Treated by the Best Dentists
Think back to how preferred brands stand out from generic alternatives. No one wants a mediocre dentist. Patients want safety, security, and confidence that you will always provide the best treatment. Whether it’s awards and degrees on your wall or clippings from local newspapers, most practices intentionally showcase their distinctions in their offices. They know these accolades help them stand out in the eyes of their patients.
But how are you showing patients that you’re a top performer when they’re not in your office?
Newsletters serve as ongoing reminders that you care about your patients enough to send them an informative and easy-to-read monthly educational resource. Timely and useful tips and updates on topics related to dental health illustrate to patients that you’re the best.
Educated Patients Are the Best Patients
Your best-educated patients are often your most loyal and most profitable. Never make the mistake of assuming your patients are aware of the full range of treatments you provide. Imagine long-time patients who go elsewhere for implant treatment that you could have provided in your office. They don’t even think to ask you because they don’t realize that you could provide this treatment.
Outside of your office, your newsletter is the best place to educate your patients about your practice and their oral health. If your dental newsletter is educational and easy to understand, your patients will read it. You can include practice announcements such as changes in hours, insurance policies, or new team members. Consider a regular feature that highlights a treatment to keep your patients well informed.
How are you actively working to make differentiation a part of your dental marketing strategy?
Mr. Klinghoffer is the president and publisher of WPI Communications. He founded WPI Communications with his wife, Lori, in 1984 and has helped hundreds of dentists build their practices with newsletters. To start a dental e-newsletter marketing program or to improve yours, contact WPI Communications at (800) 323-4995 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, no-obligation consultation, or visit wpicommunications.com.