I’ve been doing a lot of reading and studying lately and I wanted to share with you a common sense lesson I recently learned about how to increase profits in the dental practice.
Now I mean “common sense” because it is very basic, but many people get caught up in excuses as to why they cannot implement these methods. So these steps are easy and they do “make sense,” but you must start by changing your thinking, otherwise your excuses may hold you back from increasing your profits.
Also, to note, these steps which we’ll cover do not involve pressuring patients to more treatment, nor do they involve spending any additional money on marketing.
Profit in Your Practice Explained
In the simplest terms, the profit you make in your practice is an equation:
Income – costs = profits
So, in order to increase the profits, the income needs to go up (Brilliant, right!?) I know, stay with me here a minute…
Going back to what I mentioned above, there are only a few little things you need to do STARTING TODAY in order to increase the profit side of that equation without adding more patients.
3 Steps to Increase Profits
1. Increase Your Prices
Let’s say you have a book of 1000 patients in your practice doing routine hygiene appointments. You already have a relationship with these people so if you increased your fees 10-25%, granted you would lose a few customers, but the increase would not only offset the loss but any NEW patients moving fwd would not know any difference.
What if I price myself out of the market?
On your journey to creating a lifestyle practice, you want to continually separate yourself from the up-and-coming Wal-Mart-style dental offices. You are not a commodity, and if you operate that way you will never reach your full potential of success and the lifestyle you wish to have.
As my good friend Scott Manning says, you want to become a “premium provider,” offering high value treatments and procedures. This will not only start to get rid of those pain-in-your-rear customers who whine about pricing all the time, but you will start to see a trend of customers who VALUE your level of care.
2. Give Options
Dr. John Nosti is good at this, for those of you who have seen him lecture on esthetics. When you are presenting a case, give 2 options, otherwise the patient may not know that you can do that.
Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but do not assume they cannot afford it. I used to sell $400 book packages door-to-door when I was in college and I would get financial complaints from people in half million dollar homes, meanwhile the folks in single-wide trailers would pull the money out from their mattresses to help their children to better in school.
It’s all about value, education, and the relationship you create. Give options, and tier your treatment if they really can not afford the treatment at this time.
Remember to SELL HEALTH and the life that their dental health will give them rather than “new teeth.”
3. The “Nip-Tuck” Method
This is a method I came up with from watching the show Nip-Tuck – so if you try to research this you will not find it by that name:-)
When people visit a plastic surgeon, one of the questions they ask is,”Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.”
NOTE – there is an eloquent way of working this into a conversation as to not be put-offish. During your consults, you can show pictures of before and after cases and politely ask “Is there anything you don’t like about your smile?” or something along those lines.
Again, the delivery is more important than the verbiage, but your patients cannot tell you what you do not ask.
Here are 2 other things to remember:
1. Most patients do not know the plethora of services you provide
2. Continue to educate your patients on the Health benefits of your services (remember the Medical model)
As you plan for your dental success in the future and implement your changes and grow your practice, start with these steps and let me know how it goes!
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