Are you promoting your practice in the community you live and work in? Yes, I said, your practice. Even as a dentist, hygienist, assistant, front desk, or office manager, you should look at the practice you are working in as your own.
Why, you ask? Well, if the practice you are working in does not have the cash flow that is needed to pay the bills, then your salary may not be available either. Therefore, it is imperative that when it comes to promoting the practice, you realize that it is as much your responsibility as every person in the practice.
The doctor may be the owner-operator, but his or her practice can only pay what it can afford. So, if you want to possibly get a raise, increase your hours, become fulltime, or receive more benefits, I recommend that every person in your practice be responsible for promoting and marketing the practice in the community.
There are many ways the staff can help do this that are very easy and low cost or no cost to the doctor and staff. First, every employee should have their own business cards with their name on them. This way, if they meet somebody at church or little league baseball that is looking for a dentist, they can extend an offer for them to come to their office, simply by handing them a business card. Now, if that card only has the doctors name on it, the person they handed it to may forget where and whom they got it from, and just toss it. However, if they look at the card, and remember that Jean works there, they are more apt to come see a friend.
At the same time, give the staff the power and protocol needed to offer a discount of $20.00, $30.00 or even $50.00 off the first visit with the doctor. Have the employee write it on the back of their business card just as they are handing it to the person. This gives the person receiving the card the feeling of being special to the practice immediately.
The amount given and the protocol is something your office members will have to agree upon. An example may be to give $50.00 (a common deductible amount) towards the first visit with the doctor costing more than $100.00. So the back of the card may read, $50.00 off, 1 st $100.00, on first visit. This amount should only be offered to new patients.
Another way to promote your office is by attending fundraisers that your patients are promoting. Yes, I pay for the tickets myself when I do this. Of course I pick things that my husband and I will enjoy. When the patient sees me they immediately turn and introduce me as their hygienist to their friends. What a great impression this leaves on them. Every person I meet at the fundraiser I look at as a potential new patient and friend. The good news, in many cases, the amount paid may be tax deductible. This is something you will have to check out on an individual basis.
Promoting the practice can be as easy as doing a walk or run in the area of the office, even if you don't live in this area. Patients like seeing their dental staff participating in the community.
I just recently went to a play that four of my patients were in. I had a great time and ran into three other patients that were there to watch the play as well. Even then, they mentioned to the people they were with that I am their hygienist and how much they love our office. The beauty of it is, many times the people they are with will say, “I need to find a good dentist or hygienist.” This is my cue to get a business card out of my purse and hand it to them. Making sure to let them know how great it would be to have them as patients.
Not only are new patients the lifeblood of your practice, but so are the existing patients. It is equally important to keep the existing patients, as it is to get new patients. Promoting the practice by participating in community events is a fun, easy way to promote your practice. Take pride in ownership.
Your ownership is in the satisfaction of helping others, providing quality care, and knowing you are helping to build a prosperous future for yourself and your practice. Don't practice “Out of sight. Out of mind.” Get out there and put yourself in the sight of your patients and future patients.
Jean conducts 2 day Hygiene Performance Enrichment Programs for The Center for Dental Career Development and McKenzie Management in La Jolla/San Diego, CA. Contact her at Jean@mckenziemgmt.com or call 1-877-777-6151 for more information on her Advanced Hygiene Training Programs.
Interested in having Jean speak to your dental group? Email us at email@example.com or call 1-877-777-6151
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