The bad news is in…”word-ofmouth” just isn’t what it used to be. Allow me to clarify.
Recent studies have shown that a large number of potential new patients may start their search with a word-ofmouth recommendation from a friend or family member. HOWEVER, that’s just a starting point of their research.
Forty percent of respondents then vetted those word-of-mouth recommendations online – the majority using Google’s local search function.
So what were they looking for?
These potential patients wanted very specific information:
• Practice hours?
• How close is it to where I live?
• Good reviews?
• Will my insurance work with you?
• What does your office look like?
(Is it modern/clean, or old/dingy?)
And if these potential patients DIDN’T get the answers they were looking for within a reasonable read (15 seconds or less), then they were on to the next practice.
You may detest the fact that the patient acquisition process has changed, but there are some irrefutable truths about modern new patient and referral generation that you have to accept.
Online Perception Is Reality!
Your online presence represents your business as a first impression. So if your Google reviews are non-existent, sparse or negative, potential patients will click away FAST.
Roughly 99% of our dentists, when they first come onboard, no matter who’ve they worked with in the past, have multiple business listings on Google filled with misinformation, their name spelled backwards, old contact info or office information, and no images or branding on these internet listings. Remember, these prospective patients are giving you less than 15 seconds to establish trust, and if they don’t see an organized consistent professional brand online they’re gone in the “blink of an eye” to the doctor down the street.
Think of your patient attraction process like dating. If you go on a date with someone who is putting up a false personality, trying to be someone she/he is not, would you go out with them again?
The same goes for your online presence. Whether it’s fake reviews on Google, incorrect information, stock photos on your website, etc., today’s patients can smell a fake a mile away. Be real. Be Professional. Be awesome.
Focus On Educational Selling
You’ve heard me say it before: Marketing and selling are GOOD things. If done properly, they will GROW YOUR BUSINESS. It’s time to shift your mindset and stop looking at them like they are evil or bad. Frankly, that’s a limiting belief that will just hamper your production and ultimately shorten your walk away point for your retirement.
Hire a firm to perform quality online marketing and learn education-based selling strategies and at the very least, get inside the mind of your patients. Speak their language (not dental speak). Determine what they fear when it comes to procedures, what they dream about when it comes to their smiles, and how to facilitate making those dreams a reality no matter the road blocks in front of them.
In the end, what worked before doesn’t work now. Word-of-mouth is not reliable on its own, so remain savvy and agile when it comes to marketing your practice.
After 7+ years of data analysis and testing I have confirmed that almost EVERY type of new patient, no matter where they come from, goes directly through your practice’s google local listing and Google reviews. weak Google listing = fewer new patients little to no Google reviews = fewer new patients
Reviews and local rankings impact EVERY form of new patient attraction…
• Word-of-Mouth Referrals
• Direct Mail
• Public Relations
Now that you’re armed with the most recent data that you can leverage into more production, go out there, hire a firm and fix your brand to be the best brand in your entire community!
If you’d like to learn more about how to get 5 Star Google reviews and protect your practice and your hard earned revenue, you can visit this site just for The Profitable Dentist subscribers go to www. localsearchfordentists.com/woody
Graig Presti is Founder & CEO of threetime Inc. 500/5000-recognized company Local Search For Dentists™ Graig’s Google patient review attraction ‘’cheat sheet” system has helped 1000’s of dentist get more 5 star reviews in as little as 7 days! To get a free complimentary copy of the cheat sheets go to www.localsearchfordentists.com/woody