Arndt Article

Dental marketing: What's in it for me?

June 6, 2013
You must have something unique to offer your dental patients

Why would I choose your office? This is what your patients ask themselves when they are considering staying with your practice. Prospective patients ask the same question when they are considering becoming patients in your office. What they are really asking is, "What's in it for me?"

A strategy for positioning your practice in your patients’ minds is a tool called a USP, which is your Unique Selling Proposition. It’s a concise statement of your practice's most compelling features and benefits. It answers the “What’s in it for me?” question. That's all a USP is.

What’s scary is that patients often feel there is not much difference between one dentist and another. The reality is that many dentists do nothing to change that perception.

So what's your compelling benefit? What can you offer that no one else in your geographic area can offer? “Quality Dentistry,” “We Cater to Cowards,” “Cosmetic Dentist,” or “Dependable Dental Services that You Deserve” are slogans that have been around a long time. However, they just don’t work because they’re not points of differentiation.

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An effective USP communicates your practice’s unique ability to fill a void in the mind of your patient. The USP shows your target market how you’re uniquely qualified to solve their pain (literally and figuratively), or enable them to avoid that pain and keep their teeth a lifetime. A USP can be your practice’s single most powerful marketing weapon.

To develop your unique USP for your practice, consider making a list of all the benefits of doing business with your practice. Now is the time to be creative and engage all your senses. Why do patients really come to your office? What is it that attracts them? What are they telling you?

Ask yourself the following questions — What benefits are truly unique to your practice? Which of these benefits is most important to your patients?
Which of these benefits would be difficult for other dentists to copy? Which of these benefits can be easily communicated? What will you do to communicate these benefits?

After answering these questions, narrow your list to the top one or two benefits of doing business with your practice. Now here is the key — inject your USP into everything you do. Make certain all communications promote your USP. Put a USP statement on your stationary and business cards, and build your USP into all of your patient conversations.

Your marketing goal is to become known to the market as whatever your USP promotes. In order to do this you must deliver on the promise that is communicated in your USP. Failure to do so may actually do more harm than even drifting along without any marketing focus.

Take the next step and identify “what’s in it for them,” and you will discover an unending flow of new patients, and you will retain the majority of your current ones.

Dr. Ron Arndt is a certified professional dental coach, and he coaches dental professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Arndt is the author of a series of ThinBooks© and web-based Right Hiring and Retention for the Dental Team© learning modules. He is the author of Killing The Practice Before It Kills You: How Throwing Out My Business Model Saved My Life. He can be contacted at 440-748-6161 or [email protected]. Visit his website at

Copyright © 2011-2013 Dr. Ronald F. Arndt