Benefit your patients and your business by marketing to your current clients.
Did you know that, on average, it costs five times as much money to bring in new clients as it does to keep existing ones? In your efforts to grow your dental practice, have you considered doing so from the inside out?
Internal dental marketing is the practice of appealing first and foremost to your existing clients. It means making sure they know the full breadth of services you can offer, and following up on prescribed treatment that they haven’t yet pursued.
By taking this approach, you can build your reputation, and ultimately your bottom line, without many of the costs often associated with other types of campaigns.
Today, we’re sharing a few reasons why this is a smart area to focus your attention, and how you can get started today.
What is internal dental marketing?
Consider all of the times you’ve proposed a specific treatment to one of your dental patients. For instance, if you’re a general dentist, then you might have recommended a dental implant for someone with one or more missing teeth. While many patients will follow your suggestions and guidance, others may be reluctant. There are many reasons why this might be the case, ranging from dental anxiety to concerns over costs.
Internal dental marketing is the process of reaching back out to those clients and following up on your original proposal. If you don’t pursue patients who are on the fence, then you could be leaving a significant amount of money on the table. This is especially true of larger cases like orthodontics, which, on average, can bring in an additional $6,000 in production.
This doesn’t mean employing pushy or flashy sales tactics to reel them back in. Rather, it means gently reminding them of your recommended treatment and making sure they understand their options. Often, this can be achieved through a simple email or text campaign that’s both affordable and effective.
Marketing at No Additional Charge
We might be in the middle of the Digital Age, but there will always be a need for powerful word-of-mouth marketing. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), most dentists receive around 70% to 80% of their new patients from referrals.
When you cater to your existing patient base, they’ll turn into some of your practice’s most influential spokespeople. A successful dental treatment can be life changing, and many patients are unaware of what they could gain by taking the next step and moving forward with treatment.
When you’re able to share why they need the treatment and the benefits it can provide, you will be encouraging them to take the next step for their oral health. While their bright and healthy smile will speak for itself, they’ll be doing plenty of talking, too! When they do, that’s some of the strongest marketing you could hope for, at the lowest possible cost.
The Opportunity to Grow
When you turn your focus inward, you can gradually but sustainably build your reputation, one appointment at a time. These are efforts that will serve you for years to come. While you can achieve similar results through external marketing, the end is often dependent on the means.
In other words, once you stop ad campaigns, they come to a halt. Internal marketing, on the other hand (like good organic marketing of any kind), never stops. It works around the clock and helps your team become more professional and patient-focused.
Leverage a Foundation of Trust
Apart from the strategic benefits of internal marketing, let’s talk about one of the most important operational advantages: It’s quicker!
When you go this route, you can market straight to the source. On their end, your patients already trust you as their dentist. On your end, you already have their contact information and you’re well-versed in their full dental history.
Not only do you know the types of treatments that they need, but you also know how your additional services can benefit their lives. There’s no better person on the planet more qualified to appeal to them than you.
Highlight Your Core Skills
If you’ve taken the initiative to invest in your dental skills, then it’s critical to make sure your patients are aware of them. Especially if they only visit twice a year for their biennial cleanings, there’s a good chance that they aren’t up to speed on all of the different treatments you can provide.
For example, if you’ve completed orthodontic courses through the American Orthodontic Society (AOS), do your patients know that you now offer advanced dentistry services?
Encouraging an existing patient to pursue these types of treatments naturally increases production in your practice. This can be more profitable than simply trying to book as many new appointments as possible.
When you can offer more types of services to your existing patient base, satisfaction ratings go up. The same goes for your online business ratings, testimonials, and reviews. You’ll have more to market when your patients are happy—and talking about it.
The number one reason to invest in internal dental marketing.
We’ve covered a few of the different ways internal dental marketing can help your practice. However, the number one reason you should pursue these types of campaigns is that it’s the most organic type of outreach possible.
When you invest in your practice by appealing to your existing patients, your reputation will precede you in the very best way possible. Those patients will turn into raving fans, who will take the advertising reins, and make sure others know all about you. If you’re interested in elevating your career even further by adding orthodontics to your general or pediatric practice, join AOS today.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.