No more Nordstrom vs. Wal-mart

Walmart’s Full Hybrid TruckFor years, when talking marketing, this was a common question to ask, “Are you targeting Nordstrom clientele or Wal-mart people?” For dentists and physicians, this question is useless. Worse than useless, in fact, because it puts your focus on the wrong goals.

People follow their insurance. They choose a hospital and physician from the list. They choose a dentist from the list. This trend is here to stay. So, if you want patients, you have to join the list. If you’re lucky, you only have to join a few. If you’re not, then you join a lot. Lucky?! It sounds harsh to say luck has anything to do with it, but dental insurance companies are now controlling our patient flow and we have to adapt.

If you’re still focusing your marketing to Nordstrom clientele – you’re missing the boat. You’re wasting your time and can end up totally ineffective. Today’s dentistry isn’t about having the fanciest reception room or the largest operatories. You no longer control your fees!! Suddenly, you just dropped your fees 15% – 40% and you have to completely change the way you look at your practice.

Now, your job is to make your practice the one they want to come to when the barrier of high fees is off the table.  So, how do you do that? It’s not just marketing – it’s changing the way you see your role in dentistry. As the new trends of total health and measuring health care outcomes grow, you can look at how you know your patients are healthier because they come to see you – rather than another dentist. By focusing on your patients right now – look at the patients in your hygiene schedule – how are these patients better off by coming to see you instead of the dentist down the street?

It may take making significant changes to your style of practice to answer the question above. I will tell you, the answer isn’t just “customer service” in the form of more smiling and friendliness. It needs to be tangible benefits that any normal Wal-mart person can see. Once you have that figured out and your staff is trained – now you can market for new patients.

Dental marketing is just one way you can run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog:

One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

Author: Jill Nesbitt

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AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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