It has been an honor for 8 years to help dentists discover how to increase their productivity and take home pay through perfecting their clinical systems and increasing their capacity to do lots of dentistry.
Until now, I have left the subject of new patient acquisition largely alone.
Even though most if not all of the dentists I coached were seriously concerned with getting new patients, I felt that there were enough good ideas out there that any serious student of marketing should be able to get the flow of patients through their It has been an honor for 8 years to help dentists discover how to increase their doors up to the levels that they wanted and that the real bottleneck in any practice had to be the limited amount of space, staff, equipment, and primarily time management of all those assets.
I was wrong!
In my defense it had been years since I had to worry about the number of new patients coming through my doors.
I had a successful practice, but it was top heavy and geared toward patients wanting high end cosmetic dentistry. I knew more security would come if I could become a better general dentist to my community.
That very year, I formed a Strategic Practice Growth Plan using 11 Simple Action Steps. You can get a copy of your very own by visiting this page. <insert link>
The first step in my plan was to market in such a way that I would ensure a larger new patient flow. My initial goal was to attract 50 new patients per month.
I did better than that and within a couple of years we were averaging 150 new patients per month.
That overwhelming patient flow led me to fall back on my engineering background and create systems and tools that have revolutionized patient delivery for so many dentists around the country.
Practice growth rolled along very nicely until May 21st, 2013, when I discovered exactly what a disaster looks like.
I was called to my office at 9:00 pm only to be met in the parking lot by firemen and was forced to watch a fire devour my practice.
My practice was destroyed to the point that it had to be demolished.
I moved from my spacious dental office into a former nurse practitioner’s office 7 miles out of town.
Through creativity I was able to convert that 1250 square foot space a few small treatment rooms. It was a shock to our system of how we operated.
We were no longer able to see a high volume of new patients logistically and we had to get creative again.
Unique workflow systems temporarily saved the day in that our production didn’t dip all that much and we bided our time until we could return to a reasonable facility.
By June of 2013 our 13 month exile was finally over and we moved into a georgeous new structure.
I had entertained thoughts during our exile that once we opened the doors to our beautiful new office, the new patients would flock back in droves, maybe without even having to externally market anymore.
Well, that was just a pipe dream.
We had to go back to marketing square one and along the way we discovered a secret to why many dentists always focus on new patients first.
It was always a mystery to me as to why any dentist wouldn’t want to be as efficient or productive as humanly possible first.
Now, I KNOW!!!
What difference does it make how efficiently you practice or how many procedures you can do well in a given workday if you aren’t getting enough patients through the front door?
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I have finally seen the light. I should have been teaching doctors how to get tons of new patients FIRST. Then, we could have worked on the practice systems afterwards, not before.
I won’t make that mistake again. I am committing from this day forth to make sure that you have a practice full of good new patients so you can then learn how to build a Top 1% practice from the ground up.
To make this happen, I have gone back and dusted off our new patient playbook from 2005 and revamped it up to 2015 standards. A decade has passed and tons of things have changed.
In 2005 there was no such thing as social media or at least very little. Webinars were in their infancy. Email existed, but email marketing was a virtual unknown save those nefarious individuals sending the occasional spam. Technology has changed the modality of everything, but in the end the same principles of marketing apply.
Media – This is anything that you use to get the word out about your practice.
Message – This includes the Reason Why you are talking to the people you want to become patients.
Market – This is the potential pool of patients you want. Be sure to think carefully through WHO you want as your patient before you launch marketing.
Match – The congruency of your message, market, and media. It has to make sense for you to show up wherever you choose.
Those 4 things must exist for any of us to be successful. Now we will be using different medias than before but don’t be fooled, any great marketer can get their message out no matter how often the media changes.
As we get our message out about the Griffin Dental Group rising from the ashes and rebuild our new patient acquisition machine, we will give you a front row seat to what is working and what isn’t.
Through necessity, the sleeping giant has awoken and won’t be lulled back to sleep until all our new patient number goals are met.
I invite you to take this journey with us and welcome you as a partner in building an impervious practice that can survive almost any catastrophe and create your own little paradise for you and your family.
Let’s get started.