The First Rule of Competing in Today’s Marketplace
Today’s patients have more forces clamoring for their attention and wallet than ever before. They may have said “I’ll think about it” while they were in the chair, but once they’re out the door, they’re thinking of other things; wherever their mind goes, their time and money will surely follow.
Comprehensive dentistry is a significant economic investment, so when you are competing at this level you’re competing with vacations, cars, iPhones and all the other latest “must-haves.” You’re competing against huge commercial interests, backed by massive marketing budgets and armies of salespeople promoting enticing, specially-crafted financing offers and promotional deals.
That’s not to say that you need to have the marketing power of Apple or the high-pressure techniques of a car salesperson to compete, but you do have to recognize that there are certain rules for playing at this level. The first rule: It’s about today.
A salesperson knows that they have a prospect in front of them, and if that prospect walks off the lot today without buying, he probably won’t be seeing them tomorrow. The same rule applies to you; however, because your motives are pure, it’s a rule you can apply with the highest integrity, without feeling like a salesperson.
You have an incredible advantage in that dentistry has established a re-care model that most people accept as a given—78 percent of the population has been to a dentist in the last two years. Your patients are practically mandated to spend time with you face-to-face on a regular basis. What are you doing to increase their level of trust and value during each of these visits? How do you use this time to establish your presence in this new consumer world? (These are questions, by the way, that are the focus of my recent e-books).
In today’s hyper-competitive business world, that face-time you get with patients takes on a new urgency. You have to do everything you can to get them to commit to a decision today, before the lures of commoditized dentistry or the travel agent’s mailer get to them.