Most would say the key to growing your practice would be getting new dental patients, but there’s more to it than just that. We work with a lot of dentists across the country, and the keyword you need to focus on and understand is attrition. You can’t be bringing in new dental patients and then leave the backdoor open for those new patients (or even your existing patients) to leave!
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If you are a startup dental practice, you have a world of possibilities ahead of you, along with potential roadblocks. Startups are the new kids on the block, offering a fresh face for dental needs in the community. On the other hand, the uphill climb that comes with that includes addressing your three biggest challenges: how to get new patients, gain “big” practice accessibility, and manage costs.
As a new practice, your goal is to be successful, be aggressive in getting new dental patients, and hire the right people to work for your office. Traditionally, you had to sacrifice one of these factors in order to achieve success, but with new technologies and advancements, going forward, you can have it all!
In our previous “Secrets of How Top 10% Dental Practices Build Their Marketing Budget” article, the goal you want to strive for when building your marketing budget is an average of $100 per dental patient. With that budget, if you get 30 patients a month, that comes to $3,000 a month and $36,000 a year… but, how do you know your dental practice’s marketing is working?
By now, you’ve learned there’s more to growing your practice than just following leads to get new patients. If you remember from our “How to Grow Your Practice: The Four Phases of Practice Growth” blog article, there are multiple ways to get to Net New Patients™: lead generation, conversion, treatment acceptance, and relationship building. While most practices focus on lead generation, the single most important phase is conversion. It may not be the most exciting, but if you can master converting patients, you can pave the way to doubling the number of new patients in your practice and simultaneously cut your marketing budget!
So, you’re ready to grow your dental practice. You might think the key to success is increasing the number of new patients coming in your door…and you wouldn’t be wrong, but that’s only a piece of the success puzzle. If you remember from our “Are 165 New Dental Patients a Month Enough” blog article, we discussed the importance of the rate of return, which plays a part in The Four Phases of Dental Practice Growth. You see, there are several elements in play that get you to your overall goal of “Net New Patients™.” Let’s take a look at these phases and what it means to truly grow your practice.
As you might remember from our recent “Exclusive Research: Inside the Minds of 3,735 Dental Patients ” blog article, we looked at the five factors patients consider to be the most important when selecting a new dentist. Capitalizing on the work of TNT’s Market Research Team surveying 3,735 patients last year, we were also able to determine the flip side of this – the five things patients don’t care about in their dental practice. While you may think some of these features should have a place on the “most important” list, think again.
So, you’ve assessed your dental patient profiles — you know their varying ages, how often they come in and what kind of treatments they get. But, do you have visibility to one of the most critical pieces of information: where your dental patients are located?
Sure, you have their addresses logged, but have you truly dug in and analyzed their locations in comparison to your practice? Have you looked at where you are marketing in relation to your office location? Your dental patients’ locations should not be overlooked; this data is everything when it comes to effective dental marketing.
When you think of your practice, what is your most valuable asset? (Hint: your patient base).
So, what are you doing to get an ROI on existing patients?
You might get overwhelmed with all the high-tech solutions and strategies available at your fingertips, but it could be time to reconsider a time-tested tool: email marketing.
If you remember our post about knowing your rate of return, you understand the importance of getting your patients to come back to your practice. By assessing your numbers and knowing your rate, you can capitalize on money being left on the table.
But, if you’ve got what you think is a good rate of return, you don’t need to read any further… right? As you’ve probably heard throughout your life, there is always room to improve, and this situation is no different. Just think, if you could get only 5% more patients to your practice, you could add $1 million in revenue!
If you’re curious about your rate of return, you’re not alone. A lot of dental practices are looking into their rate, and when you’re ready to take this step, let the team at TNT Dental know. We are equipped to do this analysis for you and help reclaim those unscheduled patients.
If you were to ask most of your fellow dentists if they know the number of new patients coming in each month, you can bet that the majority can rattle off that number with no problem. But, what if I were to ask you to tell me how many of your existing patients come back per month? Would that be as easy? I’d bet not. You see, most dentists spend so much time focusing on getting new patients that they forget you have to always keep recruiting and enticing your existing patients to come back to you.
As you can imagine, knowing the number of return patients over a six-month period is critical to building your practice. It also helps you to assess whether or not you’re wasting your money on new patient marketing. If you’re spending money on patients who are one-and-done, then you’re just throwing your money out the window. Instead, you need to be focusing on marketing efforts that will turn your existing patients into good, long-term patients.