Summer is vacation time, and vacations require preparation. The approaching season is one of the best times to get your promotional specials in front of your patients and prospects. However, your competitors will be doing the same thing, so you have to make your offers stand out.
The most common way to accomplish that is to offer the lowest price on a specific product or service – teeth whitening, cleaning and exam, preventative care, or what have you. That’s the most common way, but it’s not the best, because it requires you and your staff to work for less than you’d normally receive.
It’s time to get creative with your specials. That takes more than a catchy name, although that doesn’t hurt. Getting creative means increasing the value of what you offer.
Think Outside The Brush
Specials are thought of as one-offs. That mindset limits their appeal and their usefulness to your patients and your prospects. It’s primarily a retail, one-and-done approach.
Dentists can take a lesson from other major retailers, notably in the communications industries – telecoms and online providers. Those companies rarely, if ever, offer one-off products or services. They bundle their offers to earn more with each purchase and to take advantage of economies of scale. Love them or hate them, bundling is a “thing” that dentists can use.
What sorts of products and services could you bundle?
- Percent off whitening when they schedule a cleaning and exam
- Discount on minor cosmetic work – bonding, tooth contouring – when they purchase both in-house and at-home whitening programs (or vice-versa: discount for teeth whitening programs with minor cosmetic work)
- Group rate for children’s cleanings and exams
Basically, you’re limited by your imagination and your margins.
However, bundling offers isn’t the only way to get greater value from your specials.
Specials Are Just A Ticket To The Dance
Recurring revenue from your current patients and prospects is great, but it won’t grow your practice appreciably.
When you stop thinking of specials as one-offs, and look at them as conversion opportunities, you’ve got something really valuable.
To that end, the patients you see as the result of a special offer must have a superb experience in your practice. Not only that, but your hygienists – usually the first in-depth contact prospects have in your practice – need to be trained to advocate for patients to receive the care they need.
That’s often not the case in a lot of practices; treatment recommendations are made by the dentist. But if your hygienists are skilled, experienced, and trained to spot problems and gently advocate treatment, you can significantly turn one-off prospects into appointed patients.
This is where bundling your offers can come into play. Each aspect of the bundle requires another appointment; exceptions should be rare. The more contact a prospect has with your practice, the more opportunities you have to convince them to choose to become an ongoing patient.
If your one-off prospects don’t agree to further treatment, you should think of them as inactive patients. It’s five times less expensive to retain an existing patient than it is to attract a new patient, so considerably follow-up effort is indicated.
SmartBox provides a balanced approach to attracting new patients and retaining existing patients… which is the optimal way to grow your practice.
If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our Digital Practice Consultants by calling (502) 509-1413.