New Patient Attraction for Specialists
Before we get into techniques for new patient attraction for the dental specialist, I’d like to talk to you about fishing. I don’t know about you, but I love to bass fish. My uncle, who recently retired from dentistry at the age of 61, introduced me to it when I was about 11 or 12 and ever since then I’ve been hooked (excuse the pun).
The more I reflect on what it takes to catch fish, the more I realize how similar it is when we talk about new patient attraction.
Mark 1:17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Jesus teaches us to reach others by “putting ourselves in their shoes” so to speak.
When we put this into fishing language: “To catch fish, you must THINK like a fish.”
Now, If I want to catch fish, then I have to care MORE about what the fish want than what I want.
If you’re a recreational fisherman like me, you know what I mean. There’s a reason WHY those that are REAL fishermen, catch more than people like me.
I recently went fishing in our local bayou with a high school kid that routinely fishes local tournaments. He KNOWS how to fish. Why? He cares MORE about what the fish want than what he wants.
Me, I want to fish when it’s CONVENIENT for me. Could be after I sleep in a little bit, or later in the evening when it cools off or on the weekends when I’m not working. It doesn’t matter. I’ll NEVER be as good as that kid because I don’t care MORE about the fish, it’s all about ME.
Stay with me here. I’ll get around to making my point, I promise.
Best time to catch fish
Bottom Line: When’s the BEST time to catch fish? Not a surprise here….when the fish are HUNGRY.
Our chances go WAY up of catching more fish when THEY are ready to eat, not when I’m ready to go. It’s ALL about the fish’s schedule. Not mine.
I know what you’re thinking….Jeff, after 300+ words you still haven’t told me anything about getting more patients.
Here’s my point.
Best time to catch patients
In order to catch more fish, I mean patients, you’ve got to learn how to:
- Think like your prospective patient
- Look for the hungry ones
Fish for patients when THEY are hungry.
- Call your office
- Send you an email
- Message you on social media
- Land on your website
…they may truly NEED dentistry, but not everyone of them is READY to start.
They’re NOT hungry.
Is this starting to come together for you?
3 New Patient Attraction Actions We Must Take NOW
It’s no secret that GPs are encroaching on our territory. Whether we like it or not, it’s a fact and something that is going to continue to get worse as time passes.
Here are 3 things that we must do in order to start beginning to ween ourselves from relying on them 100%:
1 Speak their language – Whenever you or your team is talking to patients either on the phone or face to face, it’s imperative to speak their language. We went to school a long time and had tons of technical jargon shoved in our brains. It’s easy to talk to your team or other docs about what we do but our patients don’t have a clue. Describing an implant as a “titanium post screwed into the bone” is NOT their language. Again, they may not be ready to have treatment performed yet.
Build rapport, find out the the main reason when they’re are there in the first place. It can only be one of two reasons:
a. There’s a problem that they have and don’t want….or
b. There’s a result that they want but don’t have
Once we know the REAL reason they called or came in for a consult, we can now focus in on the “emotional” reasons that caused them to want to address this NOW instead of later.
2 Tell your story – Everyone has a story. Including you. Tell it. Trust me, your patients want to know it. If you want someone that is considering having major treatment to say “yes”, then they want to know that they can trust that “someone.”
One of the best ways to do that is buy letting that person know that you’re a human being just like them. You have problems like them. You’ve had struggles like them. They can relate to that. If you’re not sure what to talk about, start off by telling your story about WHY you became a dentist in the first place. That should have been one of the first items placed on your website. Once you’ve earned their “trust”, they’ll be more likely to allow you to treat them over anyone else.
3 Follow up – You’ve probably heard the phrase, “The fortune is in the follow up.” Remember, NOT everybody that calls your practice or visits your website is hungry. Some are going to take longer than others. That’s OK as long as you are generating those leads daily.
Do me a favor. Open up a new tab and go to your website. Is there anything on your home page that is capturing the contact info from your visitors? I’ll be willing to wager a lot of $$ that the answer is no.
What’s the point of a website if we don’t know who’s visiting it? If we don’t know who’s interested in what we have to offer, how are we going to communicate with them? How are we going to know when they get hungry?
That’s just it. We’re NOT. People like me research before making purchases. I’m sure you’ve heard that CONTENT is king. The person that provides the MOST content wins. What are you providing to your prospects?
- Thumb drives?
- Before & After pics?
Make it a priority, tomorrow if possible, to contact your IT person and have them to place an area on your home page that captures at least a person’s name and email. Next, you’re going to have to give them something in return for their information.
I’m sure you have something on your hard drive or laying around your office that you give out each day. Start with that. So give them your guide, checklist, e-book, brochure, whatever and they’ll give you their contact info. Now you can follow up with them and when they’re ready to eat, you’ll be waiting.
What do you think? What are you currently doing for new patient attraction in your practice?