Rethinking Convenience to Increase New Patients! Dental Practice Marketing from New Patient Group!
Brian: Hey, New Patient Group nation! Welcome inside the broadcast booth. Brian Wright here, and welcome to season four, episode number three. Coming off a really good one with guest Chris Benson – if you haven’t had an opportunity to go back and listen to that, you should. It’s talking about future-proofing your practice and it’s a really good one. I always enjoy having Chris on the show. As you know, we don’t have a lot of guests around here. So I always feel that when we do have a guest, they’re very legitimate and very much, I believe, know what they’re talking about. So Chris is a guru on multiple fronts and I really enjoyed having him on.
Also, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to the very first episode of season four, I really want you to go back and listen to that one, because I think that one really sets up the rest of your year and honestly, potentially the rest of your career, on viewing implementation differently. Today, we got a good one. The other day, something happened to me at the AT&T store while working on our business phone account that really kind of proves the point of what we teach for a living. And to tell that story today, and really pick up on a flow of why people are willing to spend more for convenience. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there on if they if you’re going to see him less, if there are fewer appointments, you have to charge less, or they’re going to wonder why they’re being charged more. And it couldn’t be further from the truth.
This happens in our daily lives every day, and I’m going to paint that image with a story that really is gonna really I think, put a different mind or a different picture in your mind on convenience and what it can do for your business, your practice and why you need to make sure you are the most convenient in town. And that does not mean that you’re cheap, okay – convenience and cheapness are two separate things. And again, we’re going to dive into that today. And hopefully, this really has you looking to your future very differently than you may see it today. If you already see it that way today, I still think the story is going to paint some good images in your mind and how you can look at your business and make sure that every touchpoint you have with consumers is simple, it’s convenient, which leads to an increase in sales. All right, looking forward to a great one. Thanks for tuning in. Hope you’re doing great out there. Before we get started, let’s fire up the music.
Intermission: Welcome to the New Patient Group podcast where doctors, office managers, and other healthcare professionals learn how to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace by mastering the business, consumer, and marketing aspects of the practice. If you want to make more money, dominate the competition while working, spending, and stressing less, this podcast is for you.
Now, your host: he is the leading authority in the new era of practice growth, founder and CEO of New Patient Group, Managing Partner of Wight Chat, speaker and consultant for Align Technology, the makers of Invisalign, author for the Benson Kapil resource, international motivational speaker, business and life coach Brian Wright.
Brian: Welcome inside the broadcast booth, I hope your 2021 is going well. A lot of great things are coming up and I’m looking forward to speaking at the Schulman Group event in Naples, Florida coming up here in a couple weeks, that’s gonna be awesome. We’re at that event for the entire week, it’s Tuesday through Saturday, we’re going to have a booth there. For those of you who don’t know, we are the official digital marketing company for the Schulman Group. We handle their digital marketing for their company as a whole, and they’re also the preferred vendor for their members. We also have a lot of their members that really trust us for employee training and business coaching as well. It’s been a great partnership and I’m looking forward to discussing it. What I’m going to be talking about at the event is the $2 Million Two Employee practice. I’m going to be talking about the close to four-year journey of Dr. Bob Skopek. That is something they wanted me to talk about, because a lot of their members are having issues with employee turnover. People are leaving, they’re not coming back, and it’s hard to find people.
One of the big things we teach at New Patient Group is how you can see less and make a lot more. There is a very specific methodology that you have to implement into a business in order to allow that to happen, but it’s a beautiful thing once it’s accomplished. And so we’re going to be talking about that on stage and I’m looking forward to doing that. It’s not one that I’ve done on stage before, though I have done it as a webinar a couple of times. We also offer it as a free course through our on-demand learning portal, NPGUniversity.com. The course, titled Achieving the Two Million Dollar Two Employee Practice, is intended to change your mindset on really everything, from how you do your digital marketing and run your business to how your team acts internally and even how to write job descriptions that will attract the kind of talent that will go the extra mile for your patients. It really changes the way you think about how to provide a unique experience, and increase conversions. I think you’ll enjoy it and really get a lot out of it. Again, to sign up for the course, visit NPGUniversity.com. Click on the Online Courses tab and then click on the course name.
We’re looking forward to a lot of other great things. The OAO is coming up here in a few months, still don’t know if that one’s going to happen in Canada. I am their keynote speaker. So we have three hours on stage to get that event kicked off. Really looking forward to that. It was supposed to be last year, it didn’t happen because of COVID so we’ll see where that goes. But I’m really looking forward to getting back on stage, which as all of you know, especially if you’re a New Patient Group client, is definitely one of my most favorite things to do. I love to motivate and inspire, so I’m really looking forward to all that great stuff.
Recently, the New Patient Group Mastermind, we’ve been on this trend of the Virtual Consult. In January, Dr. Boyd Whitlock kicked off and talked about dental monitoring and we really got a good discussion going among our Mastermind attendees. Then in February, Dr. Regina Blevins talked about how she uses the Invisalign app for patients that are in treatment as well as her protocols and processes. It’s been a really good start to the New Patient Group Mastermind and I’m so proud of all the members of that group.
The interaction that happens in that group is just awesome. The unfortunate truth is that there are so many study clubs out there that just want to sit around and complain about things they cannot control – Smile Direct Club, competition, shoppers, millennials, Gen Z, technologies, the list goes on and on. When really, if you look at all those things, and understand every one of those provides a very unique growth opportunity for your practice that your competition is just not going to commit to. I love our mastermind group and how forward-thinking it is from a clinical perspective as well as a business and marketing perspective. It’s just awesome. And I’m really looking forward to the name of that mastermind group getting out there more and more because it really helps people move the needle.
And I bring that up today because we’ve been on this virtual kick. In March, we’re going to be talking about the new patient Virtual Consult – how you do it, how you advertise it, how you get more people to want it, what tools you use, things like that. As we’ve been talking about virtual consults and dental monitoring, it’s been on my mind how there is this big misconception in healthcare around the concern that “If I’m going to see the patient less if they don’t have to come into as many appointments, don’t I have to lower my price? I don’t see how they’re going to spend six or seven thousand dollars, when they’re only seeing me four or five times over the course of a two-year treatment.”
The reality of the situation is that no, you don’t. You can actually increase your prices because people will pay more for convenience. And that’s really the theme today. If you’re not moving towards the Virtual Console for your patients in treatment, you’re falling behind the times. And you’re also costing yourself a very unique opportunity to become more efficient and to not need as many employees. That does not mean you go out and fire your employees, of course. What it does mean, and this is what that Achieving the Two Million Dollar Two Employee Practice teaches, is that in most businesses – I don’t care if you’re a lawyer, a plumber, an orthodontist, or whatever – if you lose an employee or two, to you have to go out and replace them with an employee or two, which means more training, more headaches, more HR, etc. But if you have your business model right, if you organically lose people over the course of your career, you don’t need to replace them with anybody. So if you have 20, today, all of a sudden, in five years or 10 years, you have 15 or 12 or 10, but you’re making more money, you’re still growing at the same time.
The virtual monitoring of patients in treatment is exactly what that leads to. It’s also a reason why people will buy from you to begin with because again, people will pay more for convenience. If they’re shopping around and you’re the practice that can say “I’m going to get you better clinical results and you’re only going to have to see us five times over the course of your 24-month treatment” after they’ve just come from another practice that is recommending braces that require them to come into the office 15 times over that same period, you instantly have an opportunity to close that person, because convenience in 2021 and beyond is a key brand differentiator.
You need other things as well – excellent clinician, good person, good people skills, the team is nice, well trained, etc. All of those things obviously matter as well, but convenience must be one of the things that comes to mind in the community when they think of your brand. That means you’re going to have to shoot content about it and things like that. It’s important for you to look at every single aspect of your business and say to yourself, “Is it simple? Is it convenient?” Because those things lead to more sales. No matter what business you’re in, simplicity with proper education and convenience gets people to spend more money with you. Take a wine menu at a restaurant for example – if your waiter knows how to properly educate the table on the wine, they will spend and purchase more expensive bottles of wine. It’s just a fact. If you’re an orthodontic practice and your receptionist or your TC know how to simplify the exam process, if they know how to educate new patients on what they value – not what you value – it is going to lead to more sales.
It’s the same way with convenience. If you can make things convenient, people will buy at a higher level. The other day, I was at the AT&T store switching our business account and it’s amazing how long I was there for something that should have been so simple but somehow they managed to turn it into a weirdly complex process. I was there for an hour and a half just to get two new lines, which is ridiculous.While I’m sitting there, this lady walks in and she’s talking to one of the reps about how she either lost her SIM card or it didn’t work and she needed a new one. The rep says to her, “Well, ma’am, we have to charge for that here, because we’re not a core store.” A core store, from what I understand, is one where they white label it with the AT&T name but they’re not an actual AT&T employed store. The rep directed her to a different store, explaining, “Look, just three minutes down the road, go down the parking lot and hang a right and it’s right there. They will give you as many as you need for free.”
While they’re having this conversation. my mind is spinning. I’m starting to think of all these conversations I’ve had with business owners for so many years in and out of healthcare, teaching them that people will spend more money with you for the convenience you do or do not offer. So if you do offer it, you’re able to charge more than the person who doesn’t offer it. Now you have to understand how to sell its value, you have to understand how to use it to drive in people to begin with. You have to set up your new patient experience to articulate and educate properly, so there are things that come with this. But if you’re able to do that people will part ways with their dollars at a higher level if you are convenient.
So while this lady is talking in my mind, I’m say to myself, “I bet you this lady says ‘I don’t want to drive down there. I’m already here. Let me buy it.’” So they get done with their conversation and this lady’s rebuttal is exactly that. She says, “You know what, I’m already here, just let me pay for it.” And this is exactly what we do as humans every single day. There are so many disconnects. Take the financial presentation, for example. There’s this thing in people’s mind that they have to present 0% interest options first, which you never do because it results in a higher fee for your practice. Whether you use OrthoFi, Care Credit, Lending Club, Lending Point, etc, 0% should never, under any circumstances, be your first option. The reason being is is it’s a higher monthly payment to the consumer and it’s a bigger fee to you.
I hear a lot of orthodontists say “but our patients won’t pay interest.” The reason why they won’t pay interest is twofold. First, it’s how you’re presenting it – your verbiage and presentation skills. Second, consumers only part ways with interest if they value what you’re selling them at a high enough level. We all do it, right? Couches, cars, homes, jewelry, TVs, the list goes on and on. People buy things with interest all the time but there’s this mindset inside of healthcare all of a sudden that, “Oh, we can’t do it with interest. That’s terrible. No one will pay for it.” I see it all the time with New Patient Group clients. But if you verbalize it properly, people will do it. Will every patient do it? Of course not. But if you can get two or three more out of every 10 do it, your cash flow goes up and your fee to your business goes down, so you make more money.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t still move towards a 0% interest financing option, but it’s just not where you start. We’ll be talking more in-depth about this very issue in a podcast episode either this season or next season when we dive into TC financial presentation, because we’re about to come out with a really cool course on a bunch of financial presentation tips on sales fundamentals, presentation, things like that. But the point of me bringing that up is that it illustrates the disconnect between the consumer world and inside the practice world. Overcoming that disconnect can mean the difference between growing or not growing at a high level in healthcare and that requires removing the mindset of everything you know about inside the practice and putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes.
Back at the beginning of the season, I did a podcast called Ready, Shoot, Aim that I want you to go watch because in it I talk about convenience and the speed of implementation. The reality of the situation is that you’ve just got to go do it. New patient virtual consults, existing patient virtual consults, you’ve just got to go do it and you can’t worry about the cost. Because whatever it might be, if you’re paying 20 bucks a month per patient, that’s far cheaper than them coming in and sitting in your chair. You need to design your business and practice in a way that is convenient for the consumer and you need to be able to have your team articulate these things in a way that places more value in the mind of the consumer on why they should spend more because you’re more convenient. You’ve got to shoot content around it in the digital marketplace and you have to understand how to speak about it on the phones, during the new patient experience, during the TC and Doctor exam, etc. It has to tell the story from A to Z and if you can do that, you will create a brand that allows you to charge more for convenience. It will also allow you to see a lot more people, and allow you to double your practice without having to worry about additional chairs.
I want you to ask yourself ‘how convenient do I make things for my patients?” Look at every aspect of your business. Do you have online scheduling as at least an option? We still live in a time where most people will call but we also live in a time where a lot of people will click that online scheduling button. If you don’t have that, you are not as convenient as the practice that does. When a prospective patient calls, does the person answer right away? Or do you have an annoying hold message that talks to him for three minutes? The practice that answers right away is more convenient. It’s also more efficient, it saves the patients time, and it’s a better overall experience.
Convenience is a direct indicator today of experience. You can no longer have an exceptional experience, but not be viewed as convenient. I don’t care what type of business you are. Convenience is a direct indicator of the experience that people believe you have or don’t have. If I’m the patient, I’d be asking myself, “Did they greet me right away? Or did I sit in the waiting room like every other business I’ve ever been into in my life?” Well, guess what, if you’re one that greets me right away and starts my appointment on time, you are more convenient, and you respect my time. Your patients’ time is the only thing that matters, so you cannot have people waiting in your waiting room. When they walk through the door, you need to greet them and you need to make sure your schedule is booked in a way where people don’t have to sit and wait. Why? Because the second they sit, you are no longer convenient.
Convenience even extends to your digital marketing efforts. Do you have a robust YouTube station built out with all kinds of selfies and off-the-hook videos that you do of yourself? Do you have all kinds of educational content on there? If I need to look up something about my appointment, can I go to your YouTube station and get an education on what that next appointment is going to look like? Or do you have what most people have, which is just nothing? Well, guess what? If you have the content I need available for me to watch, you are more convenient.
All of this other stuff that requires training of your people. Business Coaching, digital marketing, rethinking how you do all those things that go into an exceptional experience with a brand differentiator of convenience. What we want for our clients, especially with New Patient Group, is convenience, clinical excellence, and an exceptional experience that is unexpected from the time they shop for you to the time they call to the time they walk in. And the list goes on and on and on – an unforgettable experience that every one of your team members carries out. A convenient brand experience that no other business offers. And then exceptional results. Right? I always tell people that the unique thing about New Patient Group is the fact that all of our teachings come from outside of the healthcare end. So it’s real sales fundamentals, real customer service, real hospitality, real presentation, real consumer psychology. It’s real, legitimate training, marketing, and business coaching because it comes from those industries. But we’ve been inside the practice for so long that we understand how to customize those things to the journey consumers take with your practice.
It’s on each one of you to commit to making sure your brand is convenient, you provide exceptional results, and then that the non-clinical experiences are unforgettable. You cannot accomplish those things anymore in a competitive marketplace if convenience is taken out. Humans are built to remember the negative, you have 10 positive experiences with a business and then you have a not-so-good one. People remember the not-so-good one, all right, probably. And that honestly, is why it’s so hard to provide an exceptional experience. Because people will remember the one time. It’s like when I was an umpire in professional baseball back in the day. If you see 300 pitches in a game behind the plate, you could nail 298 of them. The only things people remember are the two you may have blown. And that’s probably the best analogy and how it relates to how human beings are.
Here’s a perfect example. We had a practice come on board the other day and they were telling me about this patient who got exceptional results. Everything was going great but then the practice got too busy and when the patient called to make appointments, they had to tell her that they couldn’t get her in for several weeks. So she goes and writes a negative review on Google. She doesn’t say a thing about awesome clinical results, how her teeth are beautiful, the team is so nice, the experience, etc. Because they weren’t convenient, all of a sudden, all the other stuff that went well throughout that journey goes away. That’s the world we live in. Convenience equals experience. You cannot have an exceptional experience if you’re not convenient.
But the biggest thing I want you to take away from this is that you can charge more for convenience, this misconception that you have to charge less because people are coming in less is a farce. It is not true. And it’s shown every day in our personal lives with what we do. And that AT&T story that I talked about? I guarantee that if you really think about your daily life, you’ve been in that situation before at some point where you’ve paid more for convenience. Or in her case, she just paid for it because the other one was free and she still paid for it. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done that in some aspect of our lives.
I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. I’m looking forward to the next episode and to some great events coming up. We’ve also got some really cool things coming to NPG University so be sure to go there and sign up for some free courses. I’m also going to be giving out some discount codes for our paid courses. We have a membership option as well, so you have choices.
Sign up for some of our free courses. Purchase individual courses that interest you and keep them for life. Become a member and get access to all of our online courses.
Our online course library contains hundreds and hundreds of hours of material that you get and your membership opens up a lot of other really cool goodies that we’ll deliver to you as well. So go check that out. A lot of really cool things are going on with the company and I’m just so proud of our clients out there. So proud of them for their forward-thinking and their commitment to doing the things that competition just will not do. It’s really awesome. So thanks for listening today. Until we see you again, appreciate all of you out there, and we’ll talk to you soon.