In spite of the tight economy, the market for cosmetic services remains strong and stable. Although patients have generally become more cautious about spending, the desire to improve their appearance has not diminished. Factors contributing to this include:
With the right marketing strategies, a dental practice can increase cosmetic production with existing patients and even attract new patients interested in improving their appearance. Key strategies include:
- Upgrading case presentation — Present cosmetic dentistry with excellent scripting and visual aids, such as a shade guide, to dramatize the benefits of treatment. Make the case with enthusiasm, emphasizing those points that will be most persuasive for individual patients. Conclude by asking for a commitment. Even if patients say no, the seed has been planted and it may yield positive results in the future … with follow-up.
- Offering financing options — In some cases, the main barrier to treatment acceptance is the cost. This can often be overcome by giving patients options that can make the cosmetic service affordable, such as payment by credit card, outside patient financing, or discounts for paying cash up front.
- Promoting at-home whitening — Patients who are reluctant to commit to more expensive cosmetic services will often respond favorably to this option. With its modest cost and very visible results, it can serve as the perfect introduction to cosmetic dentistry — and eventually lead to more services.
- Creating an attractive cosmetic dentistry section for the practice website — Both current and new patients can be effectively pre-sold on esthetic services with a well-designed web presence, including images showing beautiful results, and testimonials praising the practice.
- Asking for referrals specifically for cosmetic services — When current patients are told that the practice welcomes new patients for cosmetic services, it builds the practice in two ways. First, it brings in new patients, and second, it indirectly suggests that the current patient might also benefit from cosmetic treatment. To heighten this second effect, offer a free whitening treatment as a thank you for a referral.
Even in the current economic environment, cosmetic services can play a major role in a dental practice’s marketing plan — and make a significant contribution to total practice income.
To learn how to run a more profitable, efficient, and satisfying practice, visit the Levin Group Resource Center at www.levingroup.com— a free online resource with tips, videos, and other valuable information. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (Levin_Group) to learn strategies and share ideas.