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4 Marketing Strategies for Bringing in New Dental Patients

Infographic - 4 Marketing Strategies for Bringing in New Dental Patients

Despite the fact that dentists provide an essential service, finding new patients can sometimes be difficult. Some potential patients are put off by the prospect of having to make dentist payment plans, while others simply neglect their oral care longer than they should. Luckily, there are proven ways to get the word out about your practice. Here are four marketing strategies that help to bring in new dental patients.

1: Postcards and Flyers

Sending postcards, flyers, or door hangers to select houses in your service area is a method known as repetition marketing. The cost is relatively low, and if you keep doing it for several months at a time, you will get a good return on your investment. The strategy behind this marketing style is to highlight your practice and what you have to offer, including ways that your office can enhance patient financing. By putting your key selling points out there, you are more likely to get new customers when one of them needs a dentist.

2: Facebook Advertising

The majority of potential patients out there use Facebook on a regular basis, and the social media network’s targeted advertising is quite cost-effective, especially for smaller service areas. Having a bright, attractive graphic or photo is essential for Facebook advertising, and highlighting key points about your office, including dental practice financing for those who need it, helps to draw attention. This method is also most likely to reach people who are actively looking for a new dentist or who are doing searches for things like dental payment plans, which gives you more bang for your buck.

3: A Highly Informative Website

To get your website listed at the top of page and search rankings, you need to make sure that the content is clear, consistent, and informative. Providing information about your office is essential, but you should also make sure to provide links and information to aspects of your practice that patients might not normally consider. For example, if you provide dental financing through medical financing companies like SimplePay.com, make sure to provide an explanation of how that benefits your patients and links where they can find more information.

4: Local SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an essential marketing practice. For most dental offices, SEO is most useful if you focus your efforts locally. This means that people in your immediate area will see your office information when they do a Google search for dentists in your area. Depending on your site content, you will also turn up more often when people in your service area do a search for terms like “dentist with payment plans” or “patient financing.” To optimize your local SEO, make sure to mention your location in the text of your website, as this will improve your search rankings.

Whether your patients are looking for an office that can provide them with great service or simple want somebody who will work with them to create a dental payment plan, using the marketing techniques listed above can improve your overall reach and make sure that you bring in plenty of new patients.

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5 Things to Know Before You Buy a Dental Practice

Infographic - 5 Things to Know Before You Buy a Dental Practice

Are you thinking about buying a dental practice? If you’ve done your research, you know this is a big investment. Buying a dental practice for yourself can be very expensive, and you’ll want to make sure you have a solid business plan in place before you make the final purchase. From managing cash flow to handling dental financing options, here are five things you should know before you invest in your own dental practice.

1: A Reliable Cash Flow is Essential

The up-front costs of buying a dental practice go beyond just paying for the space and its associated bills. You also need to purchase and maintain equipment, hire a staff, and execute a marketing strategy that will help draw patients to your business. Because the early days of a practice can be unpredictable, handling your cash flow is a challenge. This can be mitigated a little bit with patient financing programs like SimplePay.com. Allowing financing options makes the practice attractive to new patients and lets you get some cash into the business even if your patient can’t pay all at once.

2: Dental Payment Plans Help Early On

Allowing your patients to make a dental payment plan is an attractive way to bring in newcomers, but it is also almost essential to staying afloat early on. If you offer ways to enhance patient financing such as giving a no-credit check financing option, you will make a large dental bill more palatable to your lower-income patients. Moreover, you will have a way to get reliable payment for procedures, which greatly aids in the budgeting process.

3: History is Paramount

Before you buy the practice, you should know why the seller is exiting the business. In some cases, this is merely a matter of an older dentist retiring. In other cases, however, there might be significant hurdles that the previous owner couldn’t overcome. If there is a shortage of new patients, a low-income populace, or a pre-existing problem with various medical financing companies, you should know this up front and have a plan in place to overcome these issues.

4: Location, Location, Location

Investigate the region you will be moving into before you make any final decisions. This gives you a head start on planning your marketing campaign and can also reveal some of the potential problems mentioned above. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the patient population lets you identify which procedures are most attractive to locals and what dentist payment plans might work well for the majority of the area.

5: Know Your Staff – Current and Future

You should have some staff in place before you even open your practice. This should include a skilled accountant, a marketing professional, and somebody who is well-versed in dental practice financing. You should also know what features you need in front office personnel and assistants, and how they fit in with the location. Visit other offices if necessary to find out what features work effectively in your area. Hiring the right people can bring you a guaranteed customer base and make the early days much easier.

Ideally, you want people in your new business area to recognize you as a skilled dentist with payment plans for those in need and a friendly, competent staff. By doing your work before the sale is final, you can make this major investment pay off for you.

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5 Tips for Making Financial Conversation Easier in Your Dental Clinic

5 Tips for Making Financial Conversation Easier in Your Dental Clinic - Infographic

Discussing dental payment plans and other financial details with patients can be a very difficult subject. At the same time, knowledgeable dentists have options that can enhance patient financing and give them a chance to get the care they need and deserve. This is a fine line to walk, but here are five good ways to make the financial conversation a little bit easier and ensure that patients get their care without breaking their budget.

1: Start the Conversation Early

Even though financial discussions can make some people nervous, you should not hold off before talking about dentist payment plans that might appeal to your patient. Getting into the subject early lets you set expectations and gives a chance for your patient to take control of things. The longer you hold off on this conversation, the more likely you are to have a patient who cannot afford to pay for treatment planned and received.

2: Invite Questions

You do not know what your patient expects or what worries you need to confront unless the patient says them aloud. Some individuals may have spoken with medical financing companies and learned information that runs counter to your way of doing business. Others might just not have a firm idea of what financial options are available to them. Make sure to give your patient lots of chances to ask questions and voice concerns. That way, you will not have unspoken worries lingering over the rest of the process.

3: Provide Flexible Payment Options

Very few patients have the ability to pay for the dental care in full up front. For this reason, having a flexible dental payment plan available is essential. Your financial conversation becomes much easier if you can give your patient a way to handle payments without having to put costs on a credit card or take on a similar high-interest debt. Several existing options, such as SimplePay, provides patients with no-credit check and 0% interest financing. This means that even patients who have a poor credit history can get some peace of mind through a conversation about their care.

4: Offer a Payment Chart

Even with a simple, 0% interest dental practice financing option, some patients might have an issue dealing with large numbers when they see the total amount that they will pay over the life of their care. One of the best solutions to this is to give them a chart or similar written document that shows a hypothetical payment schedule. This breaks down the large amount into smaller, much more manageable monthly payments.

5: Be Patient with the Patient

Do not try to rush through the financial conversation. Even if you have had a long and trying day, make sure you have good posture, excellent body language, and remain attentive throughout the conversation. Notice cues and make sure that all questions have been answered before the patient leaves. Financial conversations can sometimes be long and trying, but remaining patient through the process makes matters much easier to deal with in the end.

The average patient is looking for a dentist with payment plans who is attentive and willing to help them through the difficult financial conversation. By following this advice, you will be able to generate a better relationship with your patient.

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Increase Dental Treatment Plan Acceptance with Motivational Interviewing

Increase Dental Treatment Plan Acceptance with Motivational Interviewing - Infographic

Motivational interviewing is a counseling method used by successful dentists to help patients understand the reasons for changes in their treatment. By using this method, dentists get patients more invested in their treatments plans and increase the likelihood that they will commit to the changes needed. Using motivational interviewing can benefit both the dental provider and the patient in many different ways – here is how to use it effectively.

Analysis of Buying Motives

When interviewing your patients, examine their reasons for wanting treatment. Are they in pain? Do they want to improve their oral appearance? Are they just looking for necessary maintenance? This is the most important aspect of motivational interviewing because it sets the ground rules for what you can work with. This is also a good way to figure out if price is a worry for the patient. If it is, you and the patient can discuss payment options like SimplePay to help enhance patient financing and ease their worries.

Identification of Problems and Solutions

One of the hallmarks of motivational interviewing is the way in which dentists get patients to identify their problems in their own words. It is very important to make sure that the patients use their own words when listing their problems, because by doing so they are guaranteed to have a full understanding of the issues they face. Once the problems have been identified, the dentist can make treatment suggestions as needed, and the two parties can proceed from there. During this time, financial elements like dental payment plans might come up, allowing patients to examine both the problem and the solution side by side.

Providing Affirmations

Patients need to feel as though they have made some progress in certain areas, even if they are struggling in other aspects. By providing them with an affirmation that identified the progress they have been made, the dentist gives them confidence and a feeling of control over their situation. This part of motivational interviewing can be as simple as saying, “I see that you have been flossing lately,” but it can pay off in a big way later on. If patients feel that a solution to their problems is close and within their power to achieve, they may be willing to take bigger steps to solve their larger problems.

Budget Planning

While financial concerns have a role in every aspect of motivational interviewing, there comes a time near the end of the process where the dentist and the patient should discuss a dental payment plan in earnest. At this point, the motivational interview has allowed the patient to be proactive in identifying problems, considering solutions, and taking stock of where things are right now. The next step is to find a way to enhance patient financing. By taking control of the financial aspect during the interview process, the patient gets better peace of mind and is more willing to engage in treatment going forward.

The greatest gift for a dentist can often be a patient who is motivated and aware of the treatment process. For this reason, motivational interviewing is a technique that you should engage in to give both parties better peace of mind.

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