How To Get More Patients Into Your Australian Dental Practice

Hi everyone, Angus Pryor here, creator of The Dental Profit System, co-author of the Amazon-crushing book The Better Business Book, bringing you this special video looking at how to get more patients into your Australian dental practice.

Now, the reality is that every business virtually that I come across in Australia in dentistry is struggling to get more patient numbers in. It’s very rare to find a practice that’s not actually looking for more patients. So how do we get more patients into your Australian dental practice? Well, the first thing that I need to let you know about is that it’s really important in a marketing context that you actually stand out as being different, something special for whatever reason. One of the ways to do that is to consider who your avatar is.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard the term avatar before, but it relates to your ideal client. Because the reality is trying to be all things to everyone is not a good strategy for success. If I could put it to you this way, I know I’m not a brilliant drawer, but let’s imagine we have this car, and then we have this car. They’re both cars, but the fact is this is probably more of a people mover, this is a smaller car, let’s imagine. Would it make sense for these cars to be trying to market themselves to families? Would it make sense for these cars to be trying to market themselves to young professionals? The answer is of course not.

Yet that’s exactly what I see happening in dentistry all the time. People go oh no, we’re for everyone, because everybody’s got teeth. Well, everyone needs to get from A to B, but that doesn’t mean their needs aren’t different. The way you identify your avatar is to look at your practice records, and the fact of the matter is whether you like the concept of avatar or not, you have one. The nature of your practice and where you are and your data, you actually already have one, and all we really need to do is identify who’s that ideal client, and attract more of them in, because it fits with your business model, it fits with the kind of business that you’ve got, and it’s better for them, too.

The simple way to do it is to run a report, look at the clients that have … Look at expenditure from high to low over the last year, for example, and then isolate those top 20 or 30 clients, the ones that have spent the most money with you, and the fact is, in this context, spending is a proxy for trust, isn’t it? If they spend money with you, that shows that they trust you. So you have a look at those top 20 or 30 clients, work out what the common characteristics are. If there’s any people on the list that you go look, they are a top spender, but I don’t want more of them, then cross them off the list. Then look at the common characteristics, and you’ll end up with a kind of a theme for what that ideal client is for your practice. That’s the first part.

The next part is to describe your circumstances, proposition. That’s also another marketing term for what is the offer that your practice makes to the marketplace? Now that you know who this ideal client is, your job is to present that in a value proposition in such a way that that ideal client looks at that and goes wow, those are the people for me, that’s who I want to be dealing with.

Now how do you do that? It’s a matter of looking through your avatar’s eyes and saying, well, if I’m this person, and by the way, even go to the extent of saying it’s male or it’s female, what age are they, what’s their occupation, there’s a whole range of stuff you can do there. Then, imagine looking through their eyes and going, well, we’ll give them a name. Let’s say they’re Mary. Often, in dentistry, your avatar will be women, because even though you’re serving men as well, the fact is it’s often the women that are bringing the family along. That may not be the case in your practice, but I’m just telling you that [inaudible 00:04:55].

This step here is about looking through Mary’s eyes and going well, imagine if I was Mary, what is it about this practice that I really value? What is it about the practice that helps me overcome my fears, and gives me the outcomes that I’m looking for? That is how you work out your value proposition. For Mary, it might all be about trust. It might be about feeling special. It might be about being in control. You give her options. You can work all of this stuff together and actually present that on your website and in your marketing materials so that really, what you’re doing, is you’re targeting your offerings to Mary, and not just to everyone, which is a thing that I often see.

The next part of the equation is we know who our avatar is, we’ve now sort of put the words together to come up with this value proposition. What you don’t want is hey, we’re just the same as everybody else, because if that’s the case, why would anyone deal with you? You’ve specially described what you do in a way that would be attractive to Mary. Here’s the third part. Now you’ve described what you do. The second part is to think about, well, what could we do? What is it that Mary would value? Is Mary a mom with kids? In which case, what are we doing for kids? Is there coloring info? Is there potential child mining?

There’s a dentist that I know where they’ve got a, now, maybe this is just lucky, but they’ve got a park, sort of an indoor park that’s about two doors down from them. That might be a thing they can do for the kids. What are they doing surgery to make it fun? Or they’ve got little routines that make it sort of fun. Just thinking about the kind of services. Maybe Mary is a bit older. Maybe you’ve got to bring in some Botox and fillers. Maybe there’s something else that she values.

The better targeted that you can have your services and this value proposition, how you describe what you do to the marketplace, the more of those people you’re going to get, and ultimately, more patients into your business.

Then the third, I guess fourth part here is around referrals, because let’s face it, if your ideal client is Mary, guess who Mary is friends with? Other Marys, and so if you can ask her if she’s happy with the service, and say, “Mary, we really love serving the local community, have you got friends and family that we could help too?” Chances are, you’re going to get more of them.

Let’s summarize. Find our who your ideal client is, resist the temptation to say we’re for everyone. Remembering back to my car example, if you’re selling a Toyota Corolla, you don’t want to be marketing to big families. If you’re selling, I don’t know, a people mover, Tarago or whatever, you don’t want to be promoting that to young professionals. Figure our what your value proposition is having looked through Mary’s eyes, then think about what impact that would have on the services that you offer. It could be big picture, it could be just tiny little things you do at reception, that you do in the surgery that helps. Finally, ask for referrals, because if your ideal client is Mary, you want more Marys.

All right, well, that’s it for me, Angus Pryor. Until next time, see you later.