When it comes to the dental industry, the best marketer wins (even if that dentist was a C student in dental school). As marketing is so essential to success in dentistry, an important marketing principle to understand is the USP. A USP is a Unique Selling Proposition , or what sets a business apart from the competition in the minds and hearts of consumers. So, if you want to win in dentistry, your first step will be establishing a killer USP. This is because without a USP, the only clear differentiator between competitors will become price, and, as everyone knows, “In the race to the bottom, everyone drowns.”
Rule Number 1: There are Riches in Niches (so pick a really strong niche!) Zero-in on a service or two or three that you are strong in, and let your associates do the rest. An excellent example of this is an office in Utah called “Wisdom Teeth Only.” And with just that name, that office became the community expert. It’s not like they can’t do other services, there’s just no room in the schedule.
In 2016, there are so many rewarding, interesting, and deep niches you can make your own. Here are some great examples:
- Oral sleep appliances for Sleep Apnea
- Six Month Smiles
- Tooth Tattoos
- Orofacial disorders (TMJ, migraines, Tinnitus, vertigo, etc.) treated by adjusting bite
- “After Hours” Dentistry (only open in the evening)
- …and lots more
Choose the niche that you find most compelling, what you are good at. Focus on using that service improve the quality of lives of people around you. One dentist whose chosen niche is Invisalign and Implants said she chose that niche because she loves changing the lives of her patients by improving their self confidence. She loves sharing the stories of her patients, and the energy and passion she brings to that niche blows every dentist around her out of the water (at least the ones who might want to enter her niche).
If you “differentiate” yourself as a general dentist, then your specialty must be cleanings. And if that’s all you ever want to do, then stick to that.
You don’t have to change the name of your practice to differentiate yourself. Just use your marketing to relay the message to the community, “If you need *implants, dentures, veneers, etc.* I’m someone you can trust.”
Rule Number 2: Have one, strong, clear message in your marketing. Choose one message for the community and stick to it. Your chosen niche can guide the message you create. A great example of this is a car dealership in Utah whose slogan is “We hear you.” and all of their marketing focuses around one clear message: Our dealership focuses on listening to the needs of the customer. And it comes across loud and clear! Not all of their billboards say the same thing, but they all hover around one, strong, clear message. What makes Johnson Dental different from Valley Dental Care? If they don’t develop one strong, clear message to define their practice, there isn’t a difference! What sets you apart? Who are you (or who do you want to be) in the market? Make it CLEAR.
Rule Number 3: You can’t be everything to everybody. And don’t try! Because that would be exhausting. Be really clear about your philosophy, who you serve, what you’re about. Emphasize your core competencies and stick to that. What is your team good at? What are you good at? Figure it out and be that . Apple is a brand that really excels in this area—they are really clear about what they are (and what they aren’t), and they celebrate as much the things they got into as the things they did. As a doctor, are you the funny guy that brightens up the office? Are you the meticulous guy that gets everything done right? Are you the most efficient team? Does your team do humanitarian trips around the world twice a year? Establish your values within the office and stick to those as your driving influence in the office.
In reality, nothing sets you apart in the minds and hearts of the community if you do not differentiate yourself. More than just marketing, you need to let the community know what your specialties are. If your office sits with 60 other Google results as a dentist in the area, your chances of getting randomly clicked might as well be one in sixty .
Just remember that without a USP, you might as well just start eating away at your prices, because that will become the only clear differentiator in the marketplace. So, in summary, choose a core competency, stick to it, let everyone know loud and CLEAR what makes YOU different, and let that guide you and your marketing strategy. Pretty soon you will have the lion share of patients as the best marketer in the industry.
If you are asking yourself, “How do I sell my dental practice?” or just want to see a boost in your production, give Platinum Recall a call. We will increase patient retention and get 10-40 new patients on your schedule every month or your money back! We provide Dental management services, a 24/7 dental call center offering call answering for your office, dental accounting and dental bookkeeping, and a dental practice tool called Platinum Stats that helps you and your staff visualize your progress and areas of improvement.