valueThe first is by creating the right physical environment. You're asking people to spend discretionary dollars with you, after all. This puts you in competition not only with each other, but with other service experiences and with all those other purchases, such as cars and clothes, that are always saying "buy me." So you need to think the way high-end retailers do.

You need to have a facility that instantly communicates "high value" to anyone who walks in—one that creates the kind of energy that motivates people to act. Just think about the distinct feeling you get walking into an Apple store, or a Tiffany's location, or even a Starbucks. They each have created an atmosphere that is its own persona, and that "speaks" to each person who enters about the kind of experience to expect.

I'm not saying you necessarily have to create an expensively-appointed, luxury setting in order to perform great dentistry. What I am saying is that the first impression new patients get when walking in the door should tell the right story. Whether you're creating a high-tech experience, a family-friendly atmosphere, or an elegant spa-style boutique practice, your facility should be an accurate reflection of your personality and a powerful indicator of your value.

Maximizing on Your Value

The second way you get patients to understand your unique value is through the interactions you and the team have with them. Great practices are built on great relationships—relationships based on genuine trust and appreciation that lead to decisive commitments. You can't just rely on patients picking up the right cues from the environment you've created. You also have to communicate your value explicitly, in the things you say and do.

You have to coach them, early and often, that comprehensive clinical and esthetic care is a lifelong need for any value-conscious person—and that your practice is the place to get it. That doesn't mean they will all say yes to your recommendations right away, but if you are consistent in your message, many patients will eventually surprise you with a breakthrough in their mindset at some point.

Obviously, it's impossible for me to outline here a one-size-fits-all process to making a one-of-a-kind practice. But there are some common denominator techniques good practices do to make that value connection with patients—to focus their attention, shape their perceptions, influence their behaviors and really make them feel that they're a part of something special.

They create a memorable new patient experience, for instance, complete with an informative tour of the premises. The team talks about the doctor. The doctor talks about the team. And they all talk to the patient about the value of lifelong care. They tell patients outright how everything they do will always be in the patient's best interest, and they are not afraid to say that they will earn that patient's invitations.

In this hyper-competitive marketplace, it always comes back to how effective you are in creating the right value that makes people want to participate. That starts with the image you project through your environment, and it ends with the patient saying yes because you have earned their trust through your words and actions.


If you find topics like this helpful, check out Imtiaz Manji's practice management courses available to you through our Course Library. Not yet a member of Spear Online? Click here to learn more.