4 tips to make your practice stand out in any location

May 19, 2016
"Location, location, location."

Jay Geier

"Location, location, location." It's a phrase we've all heard, and for some of you, it might have been the ultimate deciding factor for which building or practice you bought. After all, what's the point of having a beautiful office if it's out in the middle of nowhere?

But wait a second . . . what if I told you that location isn't as important as you think? Sure, practicing on a bustling city block has its competitive advantages, but it's not the be-all, end-all that you've been led to believe. In fact, you have an equally great chance of success whether your practice is located in a small town, a big city, or right next door to a corporate competitor!

Here's the truth: if your practice creates a truly memorable experience that is leagues beyond the rest, patients will come-regardless of your location. So . . . how memorable is your patient experience? Are patients genuinely excited to visit your office? Are you the name on everyone's lips?

No? Then roll up your sleeves. You've got some work to do! It's time to take your patient experience to the next level.

Let's take a look at the top four tips that will make your practice stand out in any location. To prove my point, I'll compare two of my clients, Bob Lalor, DDS, and John Lhota, DMD, who followed these exact tips and saw significant results. The only difference? Dr. Lalor's office is located in a rural town of 28,242, while Dr. Lhota's office is in New York City, population 8.49 million.

Give away a car

It doesn't have to be a Ferrari. It doesn't even have to be brand new. Just give away a car! You can run a contest and award patients with entries into the contest for being on time to appointments, referring, purchasing upgraded services, testimonials, etc. "Our office gave away a smart car," says Holly, Dr. Lhota's practice manager. "We had no idea how many referrals we would get for it! Definitely a worthwhile investment." This strategy is so effective that it is used by many of our top-performing clients. It's a great way to get your patients excited, increase their engagement, and supercharge your referrals in the process.

Make your patients feel like royalty

Most people don't enjoy visiting the dentist. In fact, most people despise it so much that it's become a running joke-often compared to hellfire, family reunions, and paying taxes. So how do you slip out of this awful cliché? You make the experience decadent. Relaxing. First class. Memorable.

"We always give new patients gifts. We installed televisions in each treatment room with pillows and headphones," says Dr. Lalor. "We even provide freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies to our patients in the reception area. And those little details seriously paid off. We've now surpassed our goal of 400 new patients per month." You read that right: 400 new patients per month in a small, rural town in New York!

Create a schedule that's patient-centric

If 90% of your patients are (1) in school or (2) at the office during your practice's typical hours, you need to rethink your understanding of the word "patient-centric." You need to start doing what's most convenient for patients even if it inconveniences you and your staff. That means extending your hours and staying open on weekends and bank holidays.

Holly, from Dr. Lhota's practice, puts it this way: "Our hours are one of the reasons we've grown so fast, because we are available when no one else is. And it's a commitment. It's a commitment to our patients to be there when they need us. The only days that we are closed are Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we're open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. We're trying to stay ahead of the curve."

Trust me. If you aren't willing to go the extra mile, your patients will find another practice that is.

Host events for your patients

Show how much you appreciate your patients by treating them to some fun or educational events. You could host a webcast on new dental fixes, do a giveaway, or plan patient appreciation days. "For one patient appreciation event, we rented out the entire theater for 'Free Movie Night' and gave out free concessions to over 2,000 patients! It was a huge success," says Dr. Lalor. Events like this help the practice stay connected to the community by boosting your brand and creating engaged patients. The more engaged your patients are (and the more they like you), the more willing they are to stay, pay, and refer their friends and family.

Don't let your location limit your practice's success. By creating a one-of-a-kind patient experience, you can become the top practice in your city.

Jay Geier is the founder of the Scheduling Institute and creator of the world-renowned five-star telephone training program that has revolutionized the way dentists attract new patients to their practices. He is finally revealing his secret for record-setting results, 600+ new patients in one week. Visit schedulinginstitute.com/DE to learn how he did it.

Learn more about increasing your new patients, referrals, and collections-no matter where you're located. Visit SIonsitesolutions.com/.

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