The age-old question comes up: what exactly can you do to grow your business, help more people and make more money? It sounds callous, particularly as my most recent articles dealt with the ethics of upselling services and increasing revenue, but this is a different issue. You’re running a business. I don’t have any ethical issues looking at how to increase the volume of patients coming through your doors. This is business development that will impact your bottom line and keep your doors swinging open.
Here are 16 things you can do:
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- Advertise. I remember seeing a sign on the street and finding my dentist simply by driving past the sign. Potential patients need to know you’re out there.
- Bridal parties before the big day. Bridesmaids usually get their hair and nails done. What about whitening their teeth too?
- Gift certificates for whitening packages.
- Discounts or packages for certain bundled services.
- Word of mouth. Are you asking for referrals? Why not? If someone likes your services, ask him or her to post it online.
- Career Day speaker at a local school. Educate kids about what dentists do. Pass out coupons and toothbrushes they can bring home to their parents, who are the decision makers.
- Better utilize your website and social media by hosting drawings for free cleanings. Make sure you reach out with marketing materials to anyone who signs up for the drawing. Follow up is critical.
- Follow-up phone calls with patients who had challenging dental work. Providing exceptional dental care will make all the difference in having a satisfied customer.
- Sponsorship at fashion shows. The beauty industry as well as the health industry have opportunities you may not have considered.
- Articles in beauty magazines about cutting-edge technologies to improve the whiteness of one’s teeth. This is a multibillion-dollar industry. Think outside the box.
- Provide teeth whitening for all your staff free of charge. Your staff members are your brand. You want them to have gleaming teeth when they work on your patients. It demonstrates how incredible your services are when your employees’ teeth sparkle.
- Before and after pictures. Show your audience the impact you make on dental care.
- Speaking engagements partnered with health food products. Provide educational information about what nutrition does to teeth.
- Develop relationship building with health and wellness industries.
- Work with a coffee vendor or someone whose product discolors teeth. It would be a win-win situation to address something that will impact their bottom line. Think about ways to keep your teeth sparkling when you have a three-cup-a-day coffee addiction.
- Partner with a pediatric dentist to refer 18-year-olds to your office and for you to refer children of your patients to him or her.
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The ideas are endless. Sit down with your staff and brainstorm. My money says your staff will have incredible ideas on how to bring in business. What about a referral incentive for new patients referred by your staff? Your staff needs to be brought to the table regarding marketing and gaining more patients. If you make it worth their while, I guarantee you’ll see results. This is a team approach to increasing your patient load. Be creative and have fun! Remember that you have a team-and they have you.
Email me at email@example.com with your creative ideas on what you’ve done to increase the number of new patients who walk into your office.