Hidden Dental Practice Marketing Costs that the Majority Doesn’t Understand

Dental Practice Marketing

Some dentists say they incur nothing or very little on dental marketing costs.

On those rare occasions when I speak at a regular dental meeting, I’ll often ask the audience, “how many don’t spend anything on marketing their practice?”  Usually 30, 40 and sometimes even 50%+ of the room will raise their hands.  Following that question, I’ll ask how many practices are contracted with at least one insurance company and 90% of the hands will go up.   I’ll then go on to ask a few of those who “don’t spend anything on marketing” but do have insurance contracts what their annual “write off” is on fees related to insurance and the answers are $50K, $60K, $100K, etc.

Accountants aren’t going to call this top line “write off” a marketing expense since tax rules don’t allow such but in reality those “write offs” are just that—dental practice marketing expenses.  It’s an upfront payment made to the benefit company for which in return they provide the PROVIDER with patients via their lists of dentists who are on contract.

Dentists who are the most committed to insurance and write offs and do not pay enough attention to dental practice marketing often compound their errors by:
1.    Advertising for more insured patients who need simple, basic services which only adds more reduced fee business.
2.    Continuing to waste resources on advanced education courses learning how to do procedures not covered by the insurance contract.  Often and incorrectly believing that clinical expertise equals patients automatically picking the practice.
3.    Expanding capacity to “make it all up on volume.”   Larger volume means more management expenses and physical destruction to the facility and equipment.  Few went into dentistry to become a founder of an “Aspen-Heart-Willamette-land” chain of discounted clinics where scale can pay off.

Does any of these sound familiar?  For a fair number of those reading this today, the real risk is waiting too long to think about where the bus is headed and not leaving enough time or wiggle room in the practice’s case flow to make better business choices to gradually restructure how you acquire patients and operate. Waiting too long ultimately results in either being relegated to eking out a meager existence, closing the doors or becoming an employee.  If there’s no more wiggle room, there’s nothing I (or anyone like me) can do.

Here are the least costly ways to start changing your practice’s direction toward a brighter future and keep dental practice marketing costs low:

1.    Learn to sell very well and to do it with the highest level of ethics.  It is truly the foundation for all fee for service dentistry.  Nothing in this world sells itself.  Better dental services absolutely do not sell themselves.  World class training for less than what some pay for their family gym memberships comes to your door step via the online training we’ve put together. Check out my website here.
2.    Focus on your team.  Train and train and train.  Hire better ones if needed.  They are your biggest asset since no one is an island in practice especially when one needs to create a high level of service which is a must with fee for service care.
3.    When 1 and 2 are doing well, gradually begin to market your way to patients who care about what you do.

You can also learn more about the do’s and don’t s in my #1 top selling book on Amazon.