Let’s face it. If you want your dental practice to be successful, you need to bring in new dental patients.
How many do you need? Well, that depends on several factors.
Most dental practices should acquire anywhere from 10-25 new patients a month. But if you are a specialist, brought on a new doctor without a patient base, or your practice is new, you need a lot more than that. With my help, you can understand all your numbers and learn how to attract new patients.
I’m Jennifer Pearce, founder, owner, and lead coach at Prosperity Dental Solutions. I have been involved in dentistry and improving dental practices for almost 25 years. If you don’t know how many new patients you need, you should.
But before I focus on how to achieve new dental patients, let’s talk about who really pays your bills.
New Dental Patients Vs Current Patients
Of course, bringing in new patients will always be important, but don’t let that focus keep you from caring for your current ones. You want the loyal patients who come to you two or three times a year to keep coming back.
Who do you think will be more likely to accept a treatment plan for a root canal, filling, or scaling and root planing? A patient you just met? Or the one who has known and trusted you for years?
In my next blog, I will discuss keeping the patients you already have.
Acquire New Dental Patients With Referrals
When someone is looking for a dentist, they have a lot of options. Why don’t patients just go to the closest dentist? Because all dentists are not the same.
People aren’t searching for a dentist who knows dentistry. They expect that of all dentists. What they want is a dentist they can trust. A dentist who will care for them with respect, kindness, and friendliness. So, they ask friends or family or go online to get feedback.
Believe it or not, patients are trusting online reviews more and more. In fact, many people trust an online review as much as a referral from a friend.
Don’t just be a dentist. Be the dentist patients come to for the way you deliver dentistry. Be the dentist your current patients will want to refer others to and make positive reviews about you.
And when you are that dentist, you can ask your patients to make referrals and post online reviews. As long as they like you, most patients are happy to help out when asked.
The more positive reviews and feedback you receive, the more new patients will walk through your door.
Ramp Up Your Online Presence
In today’s world, people are constantly on their phones, computers, and tablets. Online searches are so popular—Google has become a verb. You want to do everything you can to be where potential patients land when searching for a dentist. And once they land there, you want them to feel like you are the dentist they want.
Some ways to improve your online presence include:
- Have an engaging website that funnels potential patients to the all-important “Contact Us” button. Unless you went to marketing school along with dental school, get some help with this. After all, you wouldn’t want a marketing person performing dentistry, would you? It may cost more to have someone else do it, but when you consider this is your 24/7 salesperson, it’s worth it.
- Include a blog on your website. But not just any blog. Make it informative. Give out helpful information. The more time patients spend reading things you have to say, the more they trust you. Keep them reading with interesting and educational content. End each blog with your contact information and an invitation to call and schedule an appointment. It may seem obvious, but many blogs forget to do this.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is incredibly important and frustratingly complex. If you don’t know how to maximize SEO, you need someone who does.
- Utilize directory listings. If you don’t have listings, get them. If you have them, update them. Fill in all the profile information. Add a picture. And make sure your information is consistent. Google likes consistency. For instance, don’t have your practice name on one site and your doctor name on another.
- Respond to every review. If you can’t, assign someone else to. All reviews deserve a response. Even the negative ones. (They sometimes happen to the nicest people!) When you respond with an apology and make some kind of offer, like a gift to give you another chance, it lets others know you care and want your patients to be happy.
Engage in Social Media
Unless you want to avoid millennial patients, you should be utilizing social media. With this group of potential patients—if they don’t see you on social media, you don’t exist.
Social media can be a very powerful tool. That is, if you use it the right way. While it can be a great thing to link all your wonderfully written blogs to social media accounts, they are called social for a reason.
Get personal. Engage with people. Show what life is like in your practice. Include pictures of your office and staff. Post about your office party. Tag your manager on boss’ day. Get creative.
Which social media site is the best? By a longshot, Facebook is number one. One of the best parts of Facebook is Facebook Ads. You can target ideal patients in specific locations about services you love to provide.
If you can do more than one social media site, a second choice would be Instagram or Twitter. If you can handle three, do them all.
Are you ready for more new dental patients?
If you would like to learn more about attracting new dental patients and keeping your current ones happy, I would love to help you. Call me at (817) 975-4576 or contact me online today to schedule your free consultation.