Top Ten Strategies for Dental and Orthodontic Practices

March 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm
1.  Take nothing for granted.
You are in a zero sum game.  There are only so many patients to go around, especially if you are in orthodontics.  Make sure you stay open to the new technologies and especially the new media.  There is one thing for sure, if you stick to the old ideas and ways of operating your business, you will lose market share and your practice will not thrive.  Invest in your practice as much as possible.  Remember,  your practice has residual value and can be sold when you are ready to retire, but not if it looks like a sad old practice that has not kept up with the times.
2.  Update to a  Fully optimized SEO friendly website.
Forget flash folks.  You site has to have content as well as movies.  Blogs, articles, interesting content.  The longer they search through your site the better it is.
3. Create Informative Customized Movies.
These are not your average videos.  Unprofessional piecemeal videos will not work!  You need movies that bring you to your prospective patients: Movies that resonate.  Nothing helps your SEO more than Google believing you have rich content worth viewing on your website.  Nothing makes your prospective patients more comfortable than meeting you, your staff, and your satisfied patients BEFORE they meet you in person.  Nothing makes them feel better than getting their questions answered in video/movie form so they don’t have to ask questions that make them feel silly.  And most importantly, since you have only a very few seconds to impress a web viewer and only 2% of verbiage on your site will be read, nothing will increase your market share like well-crafted, consultant-driven movies.
4.  Use social media.
With all the fanfare about social media you can’t ignore this any more.  While it won’t get you new patients per se, it will help with their decision process so be open to this new form of getting your name out there.
5.  Be a rock star!
 Today, you can’t thrive without this mentality.  It allows you to be comfortable with putting your personality out there.  I don’t mean selling, though.  Leave the selling for the car salesman.  I mean telling.  Tell your story: who you are and what makes you love what you do.  Get it out there via well crafted movies and don’t be shy.  Put YOU on your site and in your lobby, but make sure the pieces you make a superbly crafted.
6.  Have a facebook page.
 Again, this will probably not directly bring you new patients but it is expected in the open media world in which we live.
7.  Advertise.
Remember that there are still great forms of old guard advertising, BUT all roads lead to Rome.  Your website is the final destination for all those advertising leads and dollars.  IF your site is not Rich and Visually appealing you will not convert those dollars into new patients.
8.  Get involved in the community and get yourself out there.
Nobody loves a doctor more than when he gives back time and possibly some money to his community.  Just a few hours a week of good community face time will help.
9.  Manage the internal sales process.
Yes, I know that is anathema to most doctors, but hiring an office manager and expecting that to work is not the way to go here.  Sure, you need a great office manager and a treatment coordinator, but you need to drive the process.  If you need outside consulting,  by all means get it.  Your craft is all-encompassing, but the more you take an active role in the nuts and bolts of your office process, the better your practice will be.
10.  Use online Dental Directories.
Get your name out to every list there is for optimum searching.
 
Edward J. Loew,  National Sales Director
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