How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist: Part 5

Dr Silverman: How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Last week, I shared with you the fourth step in this series: How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 4: Effective Use of a Smile Analysis Form.

Now that you understand how to utilize the information gained in your Smile Analysis Form, you might be wondering, “What’s next?”

You’ve likely heard the expression, “Image is everything.” Well, this is especially true in a cosmetic-focused dental practice. What your office looks like sends a message to your patients about the type of cosmetic dentist you are.

Realistically, we all know that the office atmosphere has nothing to do with the level of clinical skills, however it’s the patients’ perception that matters the most. That perception could inevitably influence their decision of accepting cosmetic treatment.

Step 4: MOTIVATING OFFICE DÉCOR

What type of artwork, posters or other silent motivational tools relating to cosmetic dentistry do you have in your office? Are they of smiling, happy folks who project self-confidence? Do you have a few before/after posters that demonstrate dramatic smile transformations?

Even upscale offices can place effective materials that help educate and distinguish the cosmetic component of your dental practice without impacting the overall appearance of your office.

My suggestion: If you are married to your artwork and do not want to make any changes, let’s look at augmenting what you have. When you send me a few photos of your reception area in jpeg format that I previously offered (in Step 1) make sure I can see the artwork and where you may have some barren wall space.

While we do not want to have clutter, we may want to look at creating a Smile Wall that silently motivates your patients.

Below is an example how you can create your own Smile Wall if space is a premium —

create your own Smile Wall

LifeLike Veneers™ performed by Dr Harvey Silverman, Beachwood, OH

 

Another example is from Dr Mireya Ortega, a very talented dentist from Lake Tahoe, CA. Dr Ortega had me visit her office and do a Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program for her practice because she wanted to take her cosmetic practice to the next level.

After our Boot Camp Program one of the many things she did was to slightly modify her office décor. She started with one poster photographed during the hands-on training component at Boot Camp (see below) and ultimately created her own Smile Wall —

 

Dr Mireya Ortega Smile Wall

Dr. Mireya Ortega Smile Wall

 

One word of caution: Creating a Smile Wall will be most beneficial when you use these tools as a spring board to power educate your patients about how recent advances in technology can benefit them. Please review the articles I have published in Dental Products Report or in Dentistry Today if you care to learn more about how you might accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community Part 6:

Step 5: WHO’S YOUR SMILE CONSULTANT?

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

Dental Botox is Big Business These Days (video)

Americans spent $1.9 billion on injectable procedures in 2010. Botox™ is big business these days and some dentists are getting in on the action by offering cosmetic Botox™ for their dental patients.

One dentist told The Wealthy Dentist, “I want to do Botox™. I don’t know why we have not started earlier. Who better to give injections than a dentist? We do it all day long. We have great touch. It is a great add-on to all the cosmetics we do!”

In this TWD survey, we asked dentists if cosmetic dentists should offer non-dental cosmetic treatments, such as Botox™ injections.

Click on Play to hear how dentists responded to this dental survey question –

Three-Fourths of Dentists Happy with Dental Lasers

Half of Dentists with Lasers Offer Facial/Cosmetic Treatments

In this survey, three out of four dentists who have purchased a dental laser said they have been satisfied with their purchase. Only 25% have been disappointed by the performance of their dental laser.

Lasers can be used on more than just teeth and gums; they can also be used for facial cosmetic treatments.

Of dentists who have a laser, half of them report that they offer such cosmetic skin services. The other half do not use their lasers in that manner.

Urban dentists in this survey were a lot more likely to be satisfied with their laser purchases than were their rural and suburban colleagues.

This may be because urban dentists are far more likely to use their lasers for facial/cosmetic purposes. Two of three urban dentists use their lasers for facial treatments. One out of two suburban dentists do. Only one in three rural dentists does.

Some dentists really love their lasers, while others are distinctly unimpressed.

  • “Once you do laser dentistry, nothing else compares!” (California dentist)
  • “Overrated and too costly….” (California dentist)
  • “I would like to purchase one for cosmetic/facial purposes too. Especially hair removal.” (Minnesota dentist)
  • “If lasers are so ‘in vogue’ in periodontics, why is it dentists, not periodontists, who are buying lasers?” (Florida dentist)
  • “I have no need for a laser. A scalpel and electrosurge work just great.” (California dental implantologist)
  • “One of the best purchases ever for an orthodontist.” (Michigan orthodontist)
  • “Not the cost benefit I thought I’d get. Very high maintenance costs.” (Wisconsin dentist)

Read the complete dental laser satisfaction survey results, or post your own comments on dental lasers

Convincing the Cosmetic Patient

Aesthetic consultant Catherine Maley Successful Aesthetic Patient Consultations
By Catherine Maley, MBA

It’s imperative to know what your patients want, what they think about you and your staff, and how to set expectations for the greatest amount of patient satisfaction. So I decided to research aesthetic patient consumers personally to learn, first-hand, what they were looking for when searching for an office and physician to perform cosmetic enhancements.

Know Your Target Patient

The 75 aesthetic patients I interviewed had had both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The median age was 44 years old. Respondents were 97% were female and were located throughout the US.

My objective was to determine trends and commonalities. Here are some of my findings:

  • The main reason both genders were considering cosmetic procedures was to feel better about themselves and improve their looks.
  • 90% of the time, confidence in the physician’s ability and staff interaction were more important than price.
  • 86% of them referred at least two other people to that practice.
  • 40% researched their procedure on the Internet ahead of time so they felt well-informed.
  • 75% went for multiple consultations before making a decision.
  • 80% felt they knew what to expect from having watched Extreme Makeover, Dr. 90210 and live surgeries and treatments on TV.
  • Long waiting times were a recurring complaint .

Variation Among Aesthetic Patients

While the data was interesting, it was also apparent that I could not generalize about patient relations. This is especially true as pertains to people’s preferences; everybody is so different and their perceptions are so varied. For example:

  • While some thought an aesthetically gorgeous office indicated pride and success, others found it was over the top and intimidating.
  • While some thought the doctors did not spend enough time with them and felt rushed, other patients thought too much time with the doctor made them wonder why the doctor wasn’t busier.
  • While some thought the physician thoroughly explained the various procedures available, others felt oversold and confused with so many options presented to them at one time.

The Deciding Factor

Probing further, I asked patients the bottom-line question: why did they choose that particular physician over the others?

The consistent answer, over and over, was that the aesthetic patient felt a “connection” with that physician. Their “gut feeling” or intuition was telling them this was the right physician for them. They had developed rapport. They trusted that particular physician to understand them and give them the best possible result.

Aesthetic patientsCatherine Maley, MBA, is the author of Your Aesthetic Practice: A Complete Guide: What Your Patients Are Saying. As a speaker and consultant, she helps doctors market themselves to cosmetic patients. For free tips, resources and strategies, visit Cosmetic Image Marketing or give Catherine a call at (877) 339-8833.

Dental Practices Can Offer Cosmetic Services, Too!

Introducing Botox to Your Dental PatientsAesthetic consultant Catherine Maley
By Catherine Maley, MBA

By thinking outside of the box, dentists can reach a valuable target demographic: aesthetic patients looking for treatments such as Botox, Restylane, or cosmetic facial lasers. I’ve got some easy marketing strategies that will help you reach these patients.

Last week, I discussed how to prepare your staff and prepare your office for offering Botox to dental patients. Now, let’s examine some simple marketing strategies.

Prepare Your Patients

Creative marketing strategies will help spread the word about the aesthetic services you offer.

  • Mention Botox in your on-hold phone message.
  • Mail out an introductory letter explaining what Botox is and why you are offering it.
  • Include an “invoice stuffer” when you send out invoices.
  • Keep existing patients in the loop with a quarterly postcard.
  • A niche-segmented database can help you target the right audience.
  • Tempt patients with special offers. Use tight expiration dates to entice them in right away.

Leverage Email Communication

Email marketing is by far the cheapest and fastest way to communicate with your patients today. Thanks to advanced technology and streamlined processes, you can literally send out a message and, within minutes, have your telephone ringing with eager patients.

Email marketing is not a “nice” thing to offer your patients. It’s becoming mandatory if you want your patients to remember you when they are ready for aesthetic enhancement. In today’s competitive environment, it’s vital to keep in touch with patients on a regular basis. This will help ensure their loyalty to you and keep them coming back throughout the year. You also want to “market through education” since a true aesthetic patient wants to know what’s new in the world of cosmetic enhancement.

Be sure you are asking your patients for their email address so they can receive your very exclusive web offers and event announcements. And, your email messages must be brief, eye-catching and include very special promotions so they continue to want to receive communications from you.

There are certain times of the year that are more emotional than others for the aesthetic patient and you want to capitalize on that. Since aesthetic medicine is based on emotion and perceived need, develop a marketing plan around holidays. You will get a much better response when you promote your services around these themes:

Email Promotions at the Right Time of Year

  • New Year: New You
  • Valentine’s Day: Love Your Looks
  • Spring is Coming: Rejuvenate
  • Mother’s Day: Do Something Special Just for You
  • Summer is Coming: Are You Ready?
  • Holidays: Sparkle This Season

Start a “Botox Beauty Club”

Offer patients a Botox Card after their first treatment. They might receive $25 off their next visit and $50 off all visits after that. Really, it’s just like at the coffee house or the car wash. Your Botox vendor may help you with it as well.

Like the coffee house and the car wash, you can also give patients a Botox card that you punch each time they have it done. This way, after a certain number of treatments, they can get one for free.

The point is to keep them loyal to you.

Send Patients Birthday Cards

There is something about a looming birthday that will send the aesthetic patient into a tales spin. And, that makes sense. The aesthetic patient who cares about their looks will really care when their birthday is approaching.

To take advantage of this special time in the year for them, send them a fun birthday card that says, “Come Celebrate with Us” and offer $50 off any rejuvenation procedure listed. This is important – handwrite your signature and the address on the outside envelope. Use a stamp on a plain white envelope with no return address. You want this to look like very personal mail so it is well received and opened.

In addition, you might send the upcoming birthday month on the 15th of the previous month and have it expire two weeks after their birthday to add a sense of urgency so they pick up the telephone the minute they receive it.

Push Your Refer-a-Friend Program

We all know your best patient is the referred patient. They are not as price conscious and are already pre-sold on you. You do not want to take these referrals lightly. Every practice has their group of cheerleaders, and you do too.

Go through your database and pick out any patient who referred someone to you in the past year. Now, send them a personal letter telling them how much you appreciate them and how much you would like more patients just like them. Handwrite your signature and add a personal note such as, “Thanks for all your support, Patty!” Include two “$25 off your next aesthetic visit” cards: one for them and one for a friend. You can even give them multiple cards for multiple referrals. After all, the value of the referral is far greater than $25.

Ready To Jump In?

The above strategies are geared to setting up a winning team and bonding with your patients so they think of only you when they think of aesthetic enhancement. I promise you success if you implement these proven strategies.

And, I know I covered a lot! If you want to know more, check out my free marketing checklist…

Aesthetic patientsCatherine Maley, MBA, is the author of Your Aesthetic Practice: A Complete Guide: What Your Patients Are Saying. As a speaker and consultant, she helps doctors market themselves to cosmetic patients. For free tips, resources and strategies, visit CosmeticImageMarketing.com or give Catherine a call at (877) 339-8833.

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