Is Your Internal Dental Marketing Strategy Really Working?

I recently had perhaps one of the most interesting coaching calls I have ever had.

First, the client tells me, “The newsletter isn’t working.” This coming from a seasoned dentist who has been doing a newsletter for YEARS suddenly thinks his 20+ new patients a month from referrals are due to something else… a Care To Share card. Yes, those work, don’t get me wrong.

So, my advice was, “Hey, quit doing the newsletter and see what happens.” Bad advice, but I want to prove a point.

Reminds me of a private client who insisted that, after 6 months of patient newsletter internal marketing, that patients were referring to him because he had a new location, new carpet and so on. Well, that HELPS, but believe me, since he stopped last month, I’m betting money he’ll be back once referrals die off because he stopped asking for them!

In this day and age, one gets what one asks for. Nothing more. BUT, a lot less if they stop asking!

LESSON: If things are really cooking in your practice, but you’re not sure WHY, the best thing to do is keep on doing what you’re doing! Don’t stop doing what seems to be working even if you can’t put your finger on it.

Anyway, back to the coaching client. He also insists he needs more new patients. Last month he saw 49 NEW patients. He’s already working 40 hours a week CHAIRSIDE and 50 hours a week total. He claims his biggest problem is more new patients. Yeah. Right. Oh, and he takes just two weeks of vacation each year. This poor fella is going to be burnt out before he’s 45.

This is a sad situation. In his mind, it’s about jamming more new patients in the door. Really, it is about generating more production from the almost 50 new patients.

He claims their biggest barrier to treatment acceptance: FINANCING. Well, gee. Problem solved. Here’s how to add $500,000 per year in production without adding another 50 new patients per month: YOU FINANCE THEM!

And no, not through DFP or CareCredit. You finance them yourselves. So, in reality he has a systems problem, not a marketing problem.

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How To Finance Dental Implants

Dental implants offer patients the ability to enjoy life without worry of pain, loose dentures or embarrassment caused by missing teeth. While there are few dental insurance plans that offer coverage for this treatment, prices are becoming more reasonable as years go by. If you’re intent on moving forward with your dental implant procedure but are unsure of the best way to finance it, the steps below will help you decide on the best route to turn.

Step 1 – Head down to your bank, credit union or favorite lending establishment and apply for a line of credit to be tied to your home or car as a way to enderwrite your treatment. This method works wonderfully, and will allow you to keep your property while making low interest payments to the lender over a period of months and years. If you’re credit is tied into real estate investments you even have the ability to write off the interest on the loan. If your tax return is itemized, you should discuss the ability to write off a portion of the surgery with your accountant.

Step 2 – Get in touch with the physician who will be performing the procedure and ask whether their practice offers financing. Many dentists work with banks, offering credit as a way to gain more business. It is rare to find a loan that is interest free, but they are out there. Ask for any necessary application paperwork and go over all of the fine print before signing anything.

Step 3 – Contact your relatives for a loan with the understanding that it will be paid back with interest. Make up a contract and have it notarized by your local bank. When you go to your initial appointment, bring the money in hand, and ask whether there is any discount available for a cash payment.

Step 4 – If you can find one, try applying for a no-interest credit card and use it to pay off the costs associated with your procedure. Check out all of those offers you receive in the mail and look for one that looks promising. You’ll want to find a card that offers a long period before accruing interest. Check your math and figure out whether you can pay off the dental implants within the year. If you have a one year, no interest credit card, and can afford the balance in increments of 12, then you will be able to finance your procedure interest free. You may even be able to enhance your credit score due provided you keep up on your payments!

Step 5 – Apply for a credit card that is issued for the sole purpose of dental and medical emergencies. This will allow you to pay off your bill over time, with some even offering interest free plans to qualified applicants.

Step 6 – It’s a rough option, but there’s always saving. Try taking 20% of your income and putting it aside for your procedure. If you can’t afford 20%, then opt for 10%. Not only will you not have to worry about paying off the debt after the procedure is over, but you will owe less in the long run by avoiding the interest you would otherwise accrue.

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Dental Insurance Considerations

The cost to get major dental work these days has skyrocketed and for those who need major dental work it becomes quite urgent. If a patient has advanced decay on multiple teeth and is getting into a risky place with regards to gum disease, they must take care of this problem immediately. Ah, but what if they do not have dental insurance? Most folks in the middle class cannot merely come up with $20,000 in cash right away.

Now, many dental groups offer financing, but it is amazing that those who pay cash or pay through the in-house financing actually pay more than those who have group dental insurance as part of their health care plans. If you or your family does not have health-care insurance that includes dental insurance as part of your employment, perhaps you should look into a supplemental policy or ask your employer to increase the coverage and raise the premium accordingly.

Today, with all the food we eat and the junk we drink, your families teeth are not going to last their entire lives. You must take care of problems as they arise. Some dental groups have in-house plans and insurance programs where you pay a monthly fee and your dentist office takes care of your family’s teeth. Some of these programs work very well and might be a better way for your family to solve the dilemma of dental insurance.

If you are self employed or work for a small business, you will need to deal with this issue and look into dental insurance. Be sure to read the details carefully on the insurance policy, especially with regards to co-payments, deductibles, costs and coverages. Think on this.

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Is Dental Financing Help Available For Dental Procedures?

Where can I get dental financing as I need $2500 worth of dental work? Will Credit Care help me? Is there a minimum credit rating requirements for getting dental financing from them? A reader asked this question some time back.

Credit Care is a company that works to help finance things in doctors offices. So, they should be able to help you if you have a reasonable credit rating. They provide help with dental financing for dental work and many dental offices are open to this option. Bad credit history is a problem but I have seen many people with not great credit history getting help through dental financing.

Another option is to go through your local welfare office. This option is open for people who are really destitute and can’t afford any dental or medical care without dental financing from the government.

Try to make a payment plan with a good dentist. Explain your circumstances to your dentist and ask for deferred payment plan. If you are able to convince them about your ability to repay over a longer period of time they may be willing to take you as a patient.

Another option is to go to a local dental school near you. Find a university near you that has a dental program and find if they will take you as a patient. You can good quality cosmetic dental care from students and supervising professors for your teeth and the costs work out much cheaper.

The dental schools are cheaper but it’s takes a longer time to all the work done. Find out how you can register and start your treatment. For instance at the Memphis dental school you have to call the school on the first weekday of the month. The whole month’s appointments fill up before 10am that first day so start calling early. The work is top notch and it’s less than half price.

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