Your intuitive response to this question might be to just get more patients. But the truth is a bit more complex.
As many practitioners in the early 2010s who offered $49 Groupon whitening deals will tell you, all new patients are not created equally. When reviewing their finances, some dentists who aggressively offer low-price deals for one-off treatments are shocked to discover some new patients are actually costing them money.
The key then is to get more of the right patients. The right patient for every practice varies but tends to have these key factors in common:
- Financial stability — Either they receive dental insurance through their job or they are comfortable paying cash to a fee-for-service practice. They are ready, willing, and able to pay for the care they need.
- Health focus — Patients who care about their health are likely to need less of your time as a dentist. Their routine care and cleanings can be handled by a hygienist, freeing up your time for more challenging and profitable cases.
- In need of treatment — Patients with dental problems today are likely to be a great financial opportunity for your practice. They’ll need treatment right away and will be ready to get started ASAP.
- Reliability — You can set your watch by them. They schedule their next appointment before they leave your office and never no-show. They’re a steady source of predictable income.
You already know what I’m going to say next:
- These patients don’t grow on trees
- Every dentist in your area wants these patients
Dental practices grow organically through word of mouth, referrals, and foot traffic. But that alone isn’t enough to build a thriving dental practice. To acquire the highly sought-after and profitable patients that will help your practice grow, you must invest in a marketing and advertising plan.