|News You Can Use from New Patients, Inc.|
|Dear Barbara, |
Getting high quality new patients to call your practice is what our company has been all about for the last 18 years. Our goal for these periodic newsletters is to give helpful marketing advice that will assist you in building your practice. In this issue we have articles by Mark Dilatush and me. We're also very pleased to have a special "guest speaker" - Mr. Jay Geier of the Scheduling Institute.
|What's Wrong with Emergencies?
By William Howard (Howie) Horrocks
Occasionally I pound my spoon on my high chair about some aspect of dental marketing that I feel is being overlooked or under-considered.
In this issue my spoon bashing rant is about emergency patients. It's called: "Why do so many dentists hate emergency patients?" Subtitled: "What's wrong with making some good dough today?"
Yes, I've heard all the arguments - "Oh, they're just one timers - get them out of pain and they never come back." That's a good one, and it has the rather attractive feature of also being true. Here's another - actually a spin off of the first one: "Well, they aren't going to join our 'family of patients' so why should I bother with them?" Another nice one - and also quite true.
But my favorite is: "They mess up our schedule!" I really like that one. It's like complaining that when you won the lotto you had to actually drive down to the office to pick up the million bucks. I mean why can't they just bank wire it? Sheesh, how inconvenient!
So what is an emergency patient? It's someone who calls or comes into your office and they are in PAIN. What does this almost always boil down to? Root canal, build-up and crown, Right? I mean isn't that right about 95% of the time? And being that they are in PAIN and want relief (like right now!!!) - that seems to me to be a MOTIVATED patient, wouldn't you agree?
You could actually tell them that they have to make peace with their 6 ex-wives and pay all back child support before you'd treat them and they'd say, "No problem, and I'll even send my Mom some flowers and oh, do you need your car washed?"
I'd call that an easy sell, wouldn't you?
These services amount to what? $2800? (No matter what your fees are, it's a good bit of dough isn't it?)
And it also has these features and benefits:
It's not like veneers - RCT and crown are covered (fully or partly) by insurance.
This is unplanned for money.
This is unexpected money.
Your advertising expense for this money is low or none, consisting mostly of a line in your ads or mailer that says, "Emergencies welcome."
So what if they never return to join your "family of patients?" Who cares? You just made 2800 bucks you didn't expect to make that day! And, if you didn't hurt them, or make them feel guilty, they now think you're wonderful.
At that point they will either change their behavior and decide to see you more often or they will continue their neglect and you know there will be another emergency for you down the road. Either way you win.
I don't know - I think I'd give up my lunch or shuffle a couple of patients to make low cost, unexpected and unplanned for dollars.
Howie Mr. Horrocks is the author of two dental bestsellers, Unlimited New Patients, Volume One, and Unlimited New Patients, Volume Two; Trade Secrets of America's Dental Marketing Guru. His agency, New Patients, Inc. produces advertising campaigns for private dental practices all over the US and Canada. For more information call (866) 336-8237 or on the web at www.newpatientsinc.com
|What is an Active Patient Anyway?
|You were LIED TO your whole career! OK, maybe not lied to, but I had to get your attention. Over the history of dentistry, you were taught to measure active patients as those patients that have visited the office over the PAST 18 months. Even people who estimate/calculate the value of an existing practice do the same thing! It's HOGWASH! (what exactly is hogwash by the way?)|
Below, I will teach you how to better measure the true number of active patients in your dental practice. Why? How would like to actually PREDICT the financial future of your practice? Good! Now you're motivated to do the homework. Let's do it.
Active Patients (Definition): A truly active patient is any patient who is currently in the schedule or due to be in the schedule in the NEXT 12 months. Notice the word NEXT is capitalized. It is capitalized on purpose. I want to draw your attention to it.
Active Patients (Tracking Instructions):
At the same time each month (the 1st, the 15th, the last day, it doesn't matter), I want you to do the following:
- Run a re-care report for the NEXT 12 months. As an example, let's say it's September 15th 2007. I want you to run a re-care report for 9-15-2007 to 9-15-2008. I want you to count the number of re-care patients and make note of the total number of patients.
- Run an appointment list for ALL dentists for the same time line (the NEXT 12 months). I want you to count the number of patients currently scheduled in all of the doctors schedule(s). Make a note of this number.
- Add the number of re-care patients and the number of patients in the doctor(s) schedule(s). This gives you the total of truly active patients for your specific dental practice.
- Do this every month on the same day of each month. Do this every month for the rest of your dental career.
Then, build a very simple spreadsheet (as shown below) in MSExcel. Each month, enter the total of truly active patients in the appropriate column. In the next edition of this newsletter, I will show you how to calculate the TTM Revenues portion of this spreadsheet.
Mr. Dilatush has a unique combined background in dental technology, dental practice management, practice marketing, and dental business analytics, which was built over the past 23 years in dentistry. He and his team are responsible for building client marketing plans that pose the least risk to client marketing budgets with the highest potential return. Howard Farran said of Mark, "multitudes of dentists have benefited from the wisdom and integrity that Mark brings to every project. His thoughtfulness and sincere approach has aided scores of dentists in finding their path to greater dental success."
What If You and Your Staff Are Cannibalizing Your Own Marketing? Read This and You'll Find Out In Less Than 5 Minutes
By Jay Geier
| If you're reading this newsletter you're a wise dentist. You obviously understand that marketing is a necessary component to growing your practice and it's not something that can be taken lightly. On the same note, you'll probably agree that making marketing decisions is very challenging - probably one of the biggest decisions a dentist has to make. There are tons of opportunities, hundreds of experts vying for your business, and tracking ROI on marketing activities can be difficult. If you're following the advice of New Patients, Inc. you're on the right track.|
For the last 20 years I've been helping doctors market their practices and learned something very valuable you should know. To find out what it is, call 770-518-7575 or visit www.JayCanHelp.com. In a study of 985 dental practices, I discovered that 88% of dentists don't believe the telephone has an impact on their practice, yet it's the only point of entry for New Patients. You've assigned a very important responsibility to your staff to answer the telephone and handle the calls that come in. Have they received adequate training and been equipped with the skills they need to do their job effectively?
Does your front desk staff know the value of a New Patient and how it impacts your practice? Almost every dentist we've worked with says, "No". If they don't know this, how could they appreciate a loss or gain?
Let's take a look at the impact if just one New Patient is lost each day. If you're practice is open 4 days a week, that's approximately 16 days a month. If your average New Patient is worth $1,500 and you lose one a day that would cost you $6,000 a week, which would be $24,000 a month and $288,000 a year. In most cases we've studied, it's more than one a day.
We've also learned that an untrained staff treats questions as objections, when in fact questions are buying signals. Your staff needs to be trained how to recognize them and how to respond. Most staff are courteous and helpful and go above and beyond to answer patients' questions. We have discovered that this has nothing to do with scheduling an appointment and one doesn't guarantee the other.
Do you have a New Patient goal? Does your staff know it? Ask them. If yours is like most, they don't. Our research has proven that a clearly defined and locked in goal produces dramatically different results than if there is no goal and no tracking. You must set a monthly New Patient goal (I recommend 10%) higher than your past average and track New Patients every day so you'll know where you are compared to where you should be.
Implementing these things in your practice is very time consuming and can be quite challenging. Training and accountability is critical and can't be watered down. It must come from an expert. Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Tom Brady all have coaches. You probably even have a coach. Your team needs to be trained by a coach.
We have more than 20 years experience training staff on how to impact the practice. If you are marketing in any way and would like to see growth...we can show you how.
If you think you have this down pat, the only way to know for sure is to allow me to send you proof that there's still opportunity you're missing. No Cost, No Obligation. Call 770-518-7575 or log on to www.JayCanHelp.com. I'll evaluate how your practice is performing in these areas
We hope you've enjoyed our newsletter. Please let us know if there's a particular subject you'd like to hear about. And we always appreciate your feedback.
|Marketing Plan Built For You:|
|Let us prepare a customized marketing plan for your practice which includes: demographic report, complete budget and marketing plan. Absolutely No Cost or Obligation and you won't be hounded with sales calls.
New Patients, Inc.
The ad agency exclusively for dentists
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