Recently, corporate dental offices & DSO’s have been attractive targets for investment capital.
What do savvy investors see in dentistry? Lots of market share to be gobbled up and profit, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, you’re their main target.
Investment firms have told me that the rise of corporate dentistry demonstrates that dentistry can be extremely profitable… and investors have discovered the potential.
My certified practice advisors at our dental marketing agency talk to thousands of solo dentists and medium-sized practices each and every month. Frankly, most are in denial over the fact that corporate dentistry is a REAL viable threat to their practice. I’m here to tell you the threat is VERY real and you need to take it extremely seriously… because gone are the days when “corporate dental” meant bad dentistry. They are going out and hiring experienced dentists who no longer want the “day to day” of running a business and paying them handsomely to come on over to the corporate side. The end result is that corporate dentistry now equates to “good dentistry” or at least good enough for the patient.
Now before you say, “Graig, I get patients from these practices all the time complaining about the treatment, they are no threat to me!” Listen to me very carefully…sure you get a few patients here or there that come to see you because of a bad experience, but you need to look at the bigger picture. While you might get a handful of patients every month this way, they don’t care, because they’re getting 100’s of new patients a month. It’s like a grain of salt in the ocean to them, it’s all about gaining market share over you!
Without pulling any punches, one of the main attractions of investors to corporate dentistry is the “competition,” in other words – you! And what investors and managers find attractive is that they don’t see you as competitive.
What investors see in the marketplace is that most practices are managed by unseasoned business-people; folks who would rather “do dentistry” than plan a marketing campaign. And in most cases, they’re identifying doctors and practices who do NO MARKETING and only have “word of mouth” patients. When investors see this, they start to salivate at the opportunity to crush the local GP.
This is bad news for the independent dentist – and their patients.
There is ONE extremely simple and easy way to fight back and WIN.
What is it? A REAL DENTAL MARKETING SYSTEM!
Corporate dental organizations know that this is your biggest weakness, and they leverage the heck out of it. They know all their numbers. They’ve calculated, down to the penny, exactly how and what to spend to acquire a patient by using marketing systems. That means they can outspend you any day of the week to acquire a new patient because they know that over the lifetime of the patient, they will make a profit.
And to be quite frank, they outsource this process to companies like mine, Local Search For Dentists ®.
Corporate dental practices are NOT cheap; they know their numbers and invest thousands and thousands of dollars per month in the marketing and selling of their dental practices. That is how they break private practices in half and steal their best patients. It’s that simple!
BUT it’s not all bad news for you, the solo practitioner, because I see that as a HUGE opportunity! They may have systems and deep pockets, but at the same time, they’re LARGE and slow to make decisions. A smaller practice can be nimble and act fast since there is no board of directors or bureaucracy to get things approved, especially when it comes to marketing campaigns.
So what kinds of marketing should you be focusing on? Start simple (and powerful):
- Consistent branding across the internet. Branding isn’t just a shiny logo and a fancy website. Branding is your entire image; your presence on social media sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. It’s your responses on user review sites. And most importantly…
- Google reviews. Google can arguably be the most powerful tool in your marketing toolbelt. I know doctors who have boosted their production 10X just by getting their Google house in order and showing their satisfied patients how to leave them positive reviews. The potential for getting you higher production is staggering, and there are still many markets across the country where no other practice is leveraging this gold mine. (Meaning you could dominate the market very easily.)
- Video reviews (what we call 6 STAR reviews): YouTube reports that 1,300,000,000 people use their site and that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Video is not going away anytime soon. Video reviews from your best patients are extremely powerful when it comes to attracting high quality patients, because of their personal nature, feel more real and genuine, and thus carry more weight when a potential patient is vetting you because they see how much you care and how well you take care of your patients. Remember majority of people have dental anxiety, so REAL life patients bragging about you really takes your practice to the next level.
BOTTOM LINE: You have to market your services properly (beyond the unreliable “word of mouth”). The harsh truth is that if you want to flourish in the upcoming months, keep your doors open and survive the incoming wave of large private and corporate dental practices (which, trust me…are not going away), you need to set your practice apart from corporate dentistry by communicating that through proven online marketing. I’m not talking about building ANOTHER website or putting a paragraph and page on your website. A website is NOT marketing, it is no longer the deciding factor when it comes to patients choosing you as their dentist. In this day and age, it is just a glorified brochure that patients know you designed and wrote yourself. They want content and opinions from real patients. You need REAL proven marketing systems.
It’s time to shift your approach at dealing with real market threats and you will see that you can thrive – and your competition will become irrelevant.
The Modern “Word Of Mouth” Referral Has Moved
From Offline to Online!
Trust me… you are 100% losing referrals, production, market share and PROFIT (pure cash flow) to other doctors down the street who have their “Google House” in order, with loads of FRESH AND CURRENT Google reviews, videos of their best patients bragging about them, blogs, photo websites and other online reputation marketing that they’ve been doing for over 10 years, while you might be relying on “outdated” marketing methods, like a “website” (which is just a glorified brochure in this day and age), word of mouth, playing on Facebook, or worse yet, you’re doing NOTHING to attract referrals and new patients.
Please allow me to explain, let’s say Kelly, a great patient of yours refers you to Suzy down the street because she just moved into the neighborhood. Does Suzy ever call to book an appointment? Maybe, maybe not. Data from Comscore tells us that 93% of the time she is going to Google you and your business. If she goes on Google and sees that you’re branded as the best dentist in town, using the tools I referenced above, then she’s going to call. There is instant trust. I was just talking about this with Dr. Nathan Ho, who is a tremendously successful dentist in the Dallas area and influencer in the industry to over 6,000 dentists on his podcast, called Dental Win-Win. He consistently gets large cashing paying cases because the patients already come in trusting him because his “google house” is 100% in order. In the modern era we live in, you have NO CHOICE but to do these things or you will go the way of the “dodo” bird and become the next Kmart or Blockbuster…EXTINCT. And I don’t say this to scare, the data backs up my statement, you simply will not survive, and I’ve seen this all too often over the last 15 years!
Instead, your patients and their families are searching for your services through different means. Forget meaningless coupons or braggy, boastful commercials. Instead, they are first turning to the world’s largest and most trusted media outlet…Google Search. And believe it or not, you actually have the power to control the way your potential patients are perceiving your office. In fact, by claiming and managing your Google listing (and related properties, like your YouTube channel), you are doing more to build your brand than anything else.
If you want to have a dog in this fight and battle for your own survival, I URGE you to RIGHT NOW to focus on getting your Google house in order.
There’s no better time in history to create a windfall of business for your practice through Google. Instead of falling victim to public suspicion of dentists and other doctors in the community, use Google to build an aura of trust and quality. Plus, the entire thing is free!
Patients don’t understand the difference between a respected service provider and “the cheaper, easier alternative.” That is unless you actually show them why and how there’s a difference.
Too many doctors believe that
“What used to work will keep me successful forever”.
This is why it’s so essential that you control the conversation between you and your prospective patients. And the best way to do that is through your own powerful marketing, led by loads of FRESH and NEW beaming Youtube videos and Google reviews from real patients of yours bragging about how you impacted their lives and made everything simple and easy.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and it’s time to take action and let me, someone who’s helped 1000’s of dentists all over the world systematically improve profit and cash flow via more quality fee for service patients…
If you’d like to learn more about how to utilize Google and other online platforms to attract more highly qualified Fee for service patients WITH MONEY…click here for a proven practice specific dental marketing game-plan => https://localsearchfordentists.co//game-plan
Have Fun & Do Something Great!
Graig J. Presti MBA
CEO Local Search For Dentists ®, The ONLY 4-TIME Inc. 500/5000-Approved Dental Marketing Agency
CEO New Patients For Life™ Podcast
#1 Best Selling Author
Dental Economics and Dental Products Report Magazine Author & Contributor
PS- Life does get in the way but THIS is the simplest way to keep patients on track, reactivating patients and SPARKING that REFERRAL fire all in one fell swoop with almost ZERO effort what so ever….
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One of my private clients using this action plan (who will remain nameless) is already breaking his competition in half … taking market share and just killing doctors who won’t change.
So, if you’re struggling with making heads or tails of what to do that can specifically help you grow your practice then this action plan is a “glove fit for you”.
Check it out by clicking the link below: