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Volume-Practice Dentists Are Getting The Shaft

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Patient Attraction Episode 1177

Let’s face it– conspiracy theories are all over the internet. But every so often, something happens to show that there’s substance behind some of the accusations. It turns out that, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the three biggest vendors in dental products engaged in a conspiracy against small dental practices. If you’ve wondered why your costs for materials and products were so high, this might explain part of it. As a solo or small group practice, you don’t have the pull to prevent something like this from happening again. But you can make the cost of supplies pretty much irrelevant to your success. I’ll be back after the break to tell you how. Stay tuned.

– I’m Colin Receveur, CEO of SmartBox.

– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

– I’m a business owner like you, and the thought of companies conspiring to drive up my costs makes me see red.

– Here’s what the FTC in February 2018 alleged against the 3 largest dental products distributors in the U.S.

– These companies – Benco, Henry Schein, and Patterson – control some 85 percent of the distribution of dental supplies, equipment, and services.

– The complaint alleges that the 3 companies entered into an agreement to withhold discounts from certain buying groups and to not compete for those groups’ business.

– Those groups were composed of solo and small group practices.

– Without those discounts, those practices wound up paying more than they would have otherwise … practices like yours, most likely.

– There’s an additional allegation that Benco committed “invitation to collude” by repeatedly inviting Burkhart Dental Supply to join the conspiracy.

– Okay, enough with the news recap.

– Your practices and others like it have been shafted by big business.

– You’ve almost certainly paid more for products, supplies, and equipment than you should have had to.

– For small practices that don’t have great margins, those higher costs can be a big deal.

– Almost all dental practices advertise low prices, insurance acceptance, and discounts.

– And since almost all practices in a market do the same, there’s an ongoing price war.

– Price wars are bad for margins.

– High costs are bad for margins.

– Frankly, this is bad business.

– Hopefully, you and other dentists like you will be able to enjoy the discounts you deserve.

– But there’s no question that corporate dentistry and large group practices have advantages of scale that you’ll still struggle to match.

– So, how about we make the whole thing irrelevant?

– No, seriously – when your average case value is much higher, the costs of supplies and equipment is a minor factor in your success.

– The way you get higher average case value is by attracting better dental patients.

– Better patients make up around 30 percent of most markets.

– And they don’t care about low prices or discounts.

– Better patients actually have the discretionary funds and the willingness to pay more for the right dental expert.

– Don’t get thrown by the word “expert” – it doesn’t mean the same to patients as it does to dentists.

– Better patients are looking for a likeable, relatable, and trustworthy dentist to solve their dental problems.

– That’s a very different proposition from price-driven patients.

– Attracting better patients requires an integrated approach to all your online and offline marketing.

– You can’t simply tell prospects that you’re the right dentist for them; you have to show them in your doctor videos, social media, and blog.

– They need to hear it from other patients, too, and that’s known as social proof.

– There’s a lot more that goes into creating and maintaining an integrated approach to attracting better patients.

– It’s a big ask for busy dental practices.

– Dr. Jonathan Gilbart of Hagerstown, Maryland, knows this.

– He said, “I’ve had different companies in the past.

– “They’re good at this, they’re good at that, but they don’t put it all together.

– “I don’t have time to put it all together.

– “I want to focus on my patients and focus on what their needs are.

– “I like to tinker with the stuff, but to be honest, I’m not that great at it.

– “So, I wanted to find a company that could do everything, as far as marketing, for me.

– “I decided to make the leap of faith, and I’m glad that I did because I’ve been very happy with SmartBox …

– “… and their ability to take all the stuff, put it together, and handle that aspect so I can focus on my patients.”

– Visit smartboxdentalmarketing.com and reserve your free, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™.

– We’ll schedule a 25-minute phone call with you at a convenient time.

– The results from that call will allow us to create your completely personalized Patient Attraction Roadmap™.

– Your free, no-obligation Roadmap will give you recommendations for thriving in your market.

– There’s always going to be bad business – of several types – but you don’t have to be affected by it.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– Until then, keep moving forward.

READY TO THRIVE?

If you’re ready to begin getting the only result that matters from your marketing - more and better patients in your chairs - get started today and schedule your Practice Discovery Session™. They’re free to serious dentists who want to see a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or even triple their practice.