How to generate more than $100,000 per year from a dental membership program
Dr. Brady Frank has had great success with in-house membership programs. Here he shares how his fellow dentists can spread the word among their patients and encourage membership.
Jordon Comstock has been helping dentists nationwide develop in-house membership programs since 2013, and has guided them in the process as their membership base has grown. Are you thinking about starting an in-house membership program? Read Jordon’s previous articles on DentistryIQ. Click on his byline above or the links below.
IN-HOUSE MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS, DISCOUNT PLANS, OR SAVINGS PLANS HAVE BEEN GROWING IN THE DENTAL SPACE DURING THE PAST FEW YEARS, AND FOR GOOD REASON. There are many benefits for practice owners to create and manage their own in-house membership programs. These programs help practices reduce dependence on dental insurance, offer an alternative to uninsured patients, generate predictable recurring revenue that makes cash flow management fun and motivating, and increase case acceptance. Here I’ll discuss many practices that are pursuing these programs to not only help their patients, but grow their practices.
I spoke with Dr. Brady Frank to learn about his success with membership programs. Dr. Frank grew his program in just three months from zero to over 400 patients, and he’s still adding new patients on a daily basis. Here are some tips from Dr. Brady in his own words.
The importance of systems
Most practices try to manually manage a membership program, but this is a lot more challenging than they may think. When you rely on a staff member to manage your entire program, this creates some pretty big bottlenecks and burdens for your staff.
What happens when a staff member leaves the practice? This results in a membership program that crumbles and fails. Having a system that automates payments and tracks patients is essential, especially if you want to scale this type of program in your practice.
The importance of external marketing
External marketing means consistently reaching out to your local market to attract new patients. This is one of the biggest tasks you need to have in place because you want to grow your membership program. Your practice needs to have a strong external marketing strategy to consistently grow and maintain any attrition. Direct mail marketing is a great marketing strategy for targeting people who are retired, and Facebook advertising is effective for attracting young families and tech savvy patients. External marketing can be a great asset for your practice, especially if you want to grow your membership program.
Presenting to patients
Presenting your membership program is critical to growing your practice. Most practices just print flyers and posters but then don’t mention a word about the program to patients when they visit the practice. While flyers and posters are a great tool, it is extremely important to speak to patients and educate them about the benefits of your membership program.
To grow new enrollments, the most successful practices invite each patient into a consultation room and show them flyers, videos, and testimonials from other patients. The principle of contrast, discussed by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence, is a wonderful technique to use when you present your membership program to patients. The principle of contrast is where two or more elements that have opposite qualities are placed together.
Think about contrast in terms of the tension created between opposites, such as black versus white; fine lines versus solid shapes; thick and thin lines; and high cost and low cost.
When you present a treatment plan, you can say this to a patient: “If you decide to get the crown today it will cost $1,000, but if you join our membership program you’ll pay only $800.”
Patients will usually choose the lower price, and in return you will be able to sign up many (hopefully hundreds of) patients to your program and generate a predictable recurring revenue stream for your practice.
A great asset
Thank you for sharing these ideas, Dr. Brady. Creating a membership program can be one of the best assets for your business. Increased patient loyalty, case acceptance, and recurring revenue are some of the many benefits of growing your own membership program. Dr. Frank and I have created a webinar and case study to help dental practices learn how to grow a membership program and generate over $100,000 per year. Watch our case study webinar here.
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Jordon Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a software company that allows dental offices to easily create, organize, track, and automate an in-house membership program. You can download a free e-book about membership programs or watch a free demo. Contact him at (801) 753-8586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.