How to boost patient numbers at your practice without spending an extra cent on marketing – Part 2

In an increasingly competitive dental market, you could be forgiven for thinking the only way to win is to outspend your competitors. Think again. In this multi-part series, founder of the Dental Profit System, Angus Pryor takes you through the different methods to boost patient numbers at your practice without spending an extra cent of marketing.

Hi everyone. Angus Pryor here, creator of the Dental Profit System and co-author of the Kindle smashing book, The Better Business Book, bring you today’s Marketing Monday, the weekly show designed to boost the marketing and your dental practice.

We’re in part of series here looking at what you can do in your business to actually boost patient numbers without spending an extra cent on marketing. Last week, I delivered something that talked about calculating, what is the average spend by your clients over a 12 month period? I call that average patient value. What that involves is basically, if you’re in a dental practice, hopefully you’ve got an electronic system and you run a report every 12 month period from high to low. Your highest spender to your lowest spender in that 12 month period and then you work at what the middle figure it.

Here’s a question. If you saw my show last week, have you calculated it yet? This is Angus, the coach, speaking to you because it’s really important that you find this figure. Have you calculated that yet? Because that’s a really critical figure in business.

Today, two other factors for you to look at and they’re related and they both related to the information that you capture around the time that you actually receive calls from clients. The first is about the monitoring the call source, where you say to people, and a friend of mine, Tony, gave me a really cool question, “Who do we thank for referring you to this business?” And that question does two things. First of all, it creates an expectation that you have a dental practice that’s worth referring to. The second part, of course, is you find out exactly what parts of your marketing are worth it or not. For something that costs you nothing to do, this apart from a little bit of attention.

This is so valuable, oh my goodness, because I did some market research early this year and the number one complaint from dentists, they said is, “We spend money on marketing and we never know what’s working and what’s not.” You can do it by Excel. That’s what we use with our clients. We’ve got a reasonably sophisticated system but honestly a sheet of paper by the phone is better than nothing. Start measuring. That makes so much difference.

The other part is about measuring core conversions and how I have a bit out of shout out to Jayne Bandy on this because I know this something that she’s very hard on and I completely agree with her. I write an article in one of the dental magazines recently called The Fastest Way To Kill Your Dental Marketing. I can tell you the number one way to do that is to have a … basically, where you kill the calls by how you answer the phone.

I did an audit on about 10 dental practices I spoke to and I can tell you I haven’t spoken to each one of those for about one minute. This was for a client. I did 10 calls in about 10 minutes and the end of that time, I had a very clear picture in my mind of who are the practices that I would like to be a patient of, who are the practices that I would never ever want to be a patient of, and who are the practices in the middle. That ability to turn an inquiry into an appointment is another thing that you can measure and make some massive difference to your marketing.

What does this cost you? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I really recommend, in addition to knowing the value of your average patient value. The second thing is, where are the calls coming from and how effectively are you converting those? Anyway, that’s two extra things you can do today to actually boost patient numbers at your practice and this stuff works. Honeslty, if I was opening a brand new practice or taking over a new client, this would be one of the first things I’d be doing. The best ROI you can get on your efforts is not spending an extra cent but actually measuring this because as we know, what’s measured gets done.

All right, well that’s it for me this week. Tune in next week same time. I’ve got some more pearls of wisdom to better boost the patient numbers at your practice without spending an extra cent, because in my experience, everyone loves not spending money. Otherwise, for me, Angus Pryor signing off. See ya next time.