How Will You Compete Against Corporate Dental Practices?

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Patient Attraction Episode 1141

Have you ever heard of Pacific Dental Services? I just found out about them. I was surprised to learn that they support 600 dental practices and plan to add another 50 or more offices a year. Now, it’s not earthshaking news that dental service organizations are out there, but many of them are flying under the radar. When we come back, I’ll discuss the challenges of corporate dentistry for your dental practice and the best way for a truly independent dentist to compete. Stay tuned.

– I’m Colin Receveur, founder and CEO of SmartBox.

– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

– As of February 2017, the ADA estimated that roughly 8 percent of dental practices in the U.S. were aligned with a dental service organization.

– Or a dental support organization – the terms are used interchangeably.

– Regardless, roughly one in 12 practices nationwide are aligned with some form of corporate dentistry structure.

– That may not sound like much, but corporate dental practices represent a trend that’s catching fire.

– I mentioned that Pacific Dental Services plans to add at least 50 more practices a year.

– Over 8 years, that would represent 40 percent growth for that company.

– Heartland Dental is another chain that’s on fire with over 1,000 dentists.

– Then there’s Aspen Dental with over 600 offices, and – well, you get the idea.

– Those practices enjoy discounts from consolidated purchasing services, state-of-the-art practice management services, and a host of other benefits.

– That’s tough for a truly independent practice to compete against.

– When you consider that the Association of Dental Support Organizations alone has 50-plus members right now, you’re talking serious numbers of dental practices.  

– So the odds are pretty good that you have one or more corporate practices in your market.

– You might be thinking that you should join a chain.

– Reports differ on whether dentists who join a corporate dental chain are truly independent in their clinical decision-making.

– Reports also differ on whether they’re under pressure to maximize profits.

– I know quite a few dentist entrepreneurs who simply hate the idea of being told what to do for their patients.

– If you’re one of them, you need a strategy to help you succeed against dentists who enjoy economies of scale that you can’t hope to match.

– Let’s face it – practices that spend less can afford to cut prices.

– If you don’t have those economies, you can’t afford to cut prices to the same degree.

– But why should you compete where corporate practices are strong?

– That makes no sense.

– Instead of focusing on price in your marketing, you need to be focusing on the segment of your market that doesn’t see price as a motivator.

– In just about every market, that segment is around 30 percent of your prospects.

– These are people who wouldn’t be caught dead in an Aspen Dental office.

– These are people who want to establish an ongoing relationship with the right dentist and dental practice.

– They’re also people who are able and willing to pay more.

– You’ll need to retool your marketing if you’re going to attract those better patients.

– Because the right dentist for your better prospects is someone they like, relate to, and trust.

– It’s someone they regard as the dental expert to solve their dental problems.

– Establishing yourself as the right dentist for better prospects is a long-term process.

– And it’s a lot of work, frankly.

– You’ll almost certainly need to revamp your website, your social media, and your blog.

– You’ll need email content streams for each specific condition and a way to manage your drip email marketing effectively.

– You might need to update your office and add some comfort amenities.

– People who are willing to pay more expect more.

– Like I said, attracting those better patients is a lot of work.

– Of course, you could outsource that marketing to an innovative, full-service dental marketing firm with a proven track record of success.

– That’s what Dr. Raleigh Pioch did when he partnered with SmartBox.

– Here’s what he said about his experience.

–  “SmartBox helped me take my practice from $800K to $3.2 million in just 6 years.

– “We couldn’t stop the growth.” 

– Discover what SmartBox can do for your dental practice.

– Visit smartboxdentalmarketing.com and click on the “Get Started” button to reserve your free, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™.

– Invest 25 minutes of your time to discover how you can get more patients, more profits, and more freedom.

– You can join the 550 dentists on 3 continents who enjoy the benefits of working with SmartBox.

– And you can stop worrying about what corporate practices are doing.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– Until then, keep moving forward.