How do you help patients understand the value propositions behind the dental services you provide in order to increase case acceptance? Your 10 value propositions in dentistry should include:
1. You use only the finest dental materials. Crowns, for example, are replacement body parts. You do not use discount parts but only the best materials because they are long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing.
2. You do not claim to be the lowest priced dentist, but your fees are an excellent value for the dollar. It is never cheaper to do it twice.
3. Your practice is patient-centered. That means that every decision, every recommendation is first seen through the prism of whether it is good for the patient.
4. You have the very best equipment that allows you to diagnose and treat patients using state-of-the-art dentistry.
5. You have been in the community for x years, and you plan to be there for many more years. Continuity of care is very important.
6. You are concerned about the patient’s overall heath. If you routinely take the patient’s blood pressure or do oral cancer screenings, explain the critical importance of these services.
7. You have exceptional diagnostic ability. The solution you propose will work in large part because you can accurately diagnose the problem in the first place.
8. You are an artist and a scientist. The treatment you provide in your office is unique. Patients can get similar treatment somewhere else, but they can only get your artistry in your office.
9. Dentistry is a customized service, not a commodity. People can buy mass produced items in a store or online and shop for the best price. However, a crown, for example, is a custom-made restoration for that fits one tooth in the mouth of only one of the 7 billion people on the planet. Your dentistry is one of a kind!
10. You spend time with patients and get to know them. Patients are individuals, not numbers, and they are never rushed out of your office. You genuinely like your patients and they appreciate your gentle manner. In sum, patients can trust you to keep them comfortable and provide them with excellent dentistry. Your loyal patients know that they get their money’s worth in your office.
These 10 value propositions are very powerful. While some patients want only the lowest price, no matter what, there are many good patients who are searching not for the lowest possible price, but the best possible value. That is what you deliver.
Are successful people just the beneficiaries of good luck or do they seize good fortune in the form of opportunities and also overcome adversity? President Barack Obama commented on this issue in a commencement speech at Howard University on May 7, 2016. “That’s a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did.” (The entire speech transcript can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/Obama-speech-Howard).
It is certainly true that some people are more blessed than others at birth. If your family is enormously wealthy, then you may feel that you were born on third base. If your family is desperately poor, you may feel that you are not even in the ballpark. However, the arc of life of the fortunate and the unfortunate is not predetermined.
Pick up any issue of People magazine to read about people whose God-given talents propelled them to fame and fortune—until they squandered it all due to poor choices they made in life.
The problem with ascribing success to luck alone is that it invites a corollary: failure is a result of bad luck and the unlucky among us are victims, not masters, of life. This “victim mentality” can be insidiously self-fulfilling if one wallows in self-pity.
However,there are many inspiring stories of people who overcame adversity to become highly successful. For example, there was a man who:
- Failed in business at age 21.
- Was defeated in a legislative race at age 22.
- Failed again in business at age 24.
- Overcome the death of his sweetheart at age 26.
- Had a nervous breakdown at age 27.
- Lost a congressional race at age 34.
- Lost a congressional race at age 36.
- Lost a senatorial race at age 45.
- Failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47.
- Lost a senatorial race at age 47.
- Was elected President of the United States at age 52.
His name was Abraham Lincoln. Many historians consider him the greatest U.S. President.
To be blessed with good fortune is one thing; to take advantage of good fortune and to persevere in the face of setbacks is quite another. Success is achieved not by talents bestowed but by using those talents wisely and well.
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We tend to focus on macroeconomic issues that are beyond our control, such as the trade deficit and the unemployment rate. Practices should focus instead on microeconomic issues—what is going on within the four walls of the practice that they can control:
Internal Marketing. Some patients do not know that you are accepting new patients. The recall system could be improved. Patients who are “thinking about treatment” need follow up. Patients who know that you provides services a,b, and c need to know that you also provide x, y, and z.
Efficiency. The goal is to do many of the most profitable procedures in the least amount of time and to track and improve efficiency.
Internet and Social Media Marketing. It’s a brave new world with so many possibilities. Internet marketing should be a budget line item with significant return on investment.