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What’s the old joke? “The race is not always to the swift, nor victory to the strong… but that’s the way to bet.”
When it comes to corporate dentistry versus you, the smart money is on the corporate chains. They have economies of scale that you can’t hope to match, meaning they can beat you up on price every time. They can afford to offer extended evening and weekend hours because they’re staffed for that situation. They may provide a broader range of services. And their marketing budget is almost certainly many times what you can afford.
That sounds hopeless, but then again, so did David versus Goliath… until David decided to play his game rather than the giant’s game. Look at it this way – if you’re neither one of the swift nor one of the strong, you’d better be one of the smart.
Play To Your Strengths
For all their advantages, corporate dentistry has a fatal flaw that they’ll never be able to overcome. Their practices are the epitome of high-volume dentistry; basically, “Get ‘em in and get ‘em out.” That’s not a formula that builds trust with patients and prospects.
You might think that money trumps trust, and that’s true for many of the prospects in your market. Many, but by no means all. In any given market, roughly 30 percent of dental patients have the ability and willingness to pay more for the right dentist.
Clearly, if you work in an economically disadvantaged area that percentage may be much lower. Otherwise, figure on at least one prospect in five having the resources to go fee-for-service. In more affluent markets, the percentage can be far higher.
These prospects, by and large, wouldn’t be caught dead in a corporate practice. They’re not overly concerned about cost or what insurance will cover. What does concern them is finding the right dentist, the one who they can relate to, who they like, and who they trust to understand their concerns and to solve their problems in a non-judgemental way.
Market For The Patients You Want
Price-driven advertising isn’t the way to go if you want better dental patients because they just don’t care. Rather than chasing prospects by advertising the lowest cost, your marketing needs to position you as the dentist of choice for people who can afford to be choosy.
That’s not something you can do in a radio spot, a postcard, or a display ad. There’s a nurturing process that must take place to help move your better prospects down your new patient funnel, and it requires a systematic, coordinated marketing approach.
SmartBox helps thousands of dentists on three continents thrive by providing them with a steady stream of better dental patients. Our doctors are free to focus on doing the dentistry on fewer patients while making as much or more money. Not only that, but SmartBox dentists enjoy the freedom to have time away from the practice for family, friends, and themselves.
Are you ready to get started on the road to beating corporate at your own game? Then that makes you one of the smart, and the smart money’s on you.