Burleson Blog

Articles of interest for the successful orthodontist.

Magnetically Attract More of Your Best Patients

by Dustin S. Burleson, DDS

I work with business owners across a wide spectrum of fields and nearly all of them misunderstand the power of magnetic attraction, how it impacts their business and how to put it to use for the mutual benefit of all parties. The average business owner, orthodontist or cosmetic dentist erroneously believes that any customer is a good customer. Insurance companies have led us to believe that any patient is better than no patient at all. But, the insurance company isn’t waiting for you at home when you arrive back from work so frustrated, so defeated and so worn down by treating high volumes of patients who only chose your office because you were on their “list of providers.” You’ve been relegated to the commodity level when you allow volume thinking and discount-based pricing to rule your practice. The look on your face after days like this is so telling that even the dog knows you had a bad day.

Compare and contrast these days to the ones where you arrive home after a full schedule feeling energized, refreshed and renewed. You actually get that feeling you had way back in dental school or when you first opened your business. These are the days when your best patients filled your schedule. These patients are referred to your office from a friend or neighbor, not from a discount insurance list. They treat your employees nicely. They show up on time. They pay their bill and they refer more patients just like them. Wouldn’t it be nice to work with these types of patients all day long? It is possible and hundreds of my clients, spread over 10 countries (Including Iraq, where you might correctly assume that building a practice is a bit harder than it is in your town. Hint: it is, but don’t miss the point. These principles even work there, of all places.)

The power of magnetic attraction, or deciding whom you are for and then creating a message, an environment, a system for delivery of care and an atmosphere of customer service that matches that message – all serves to bring patients to you who love your office, love what you do for them and receive exceptional care without the burden of seeing massive volumes of insurance patients.

Your system for magnetic attraction might hinge on a specific service, skill or talent you have. Most of my best coaching clients have a very specific area of practice that they love. If they could just “do this one thing all day long” they would be perfectly happy. My question to them is always the same. “Why don’t you start doing that?” The answer almost always involves a lack of patients in that particular niche area of the practice. But, with magnetic attraction setting a system in place that allows more of your patients to find you, it is not only possible it should be your primary goal and objective to achieve until you figure out how to achieve it. Unfortunately, most doctors fail to realize this power and instead revert to marketing and business promotion strategies that pursue the patient with discounts or “buy now” mentality. There is a (much) better way.

Consider, for example, how you feel when you go shopping. You probably know that I love Apple computer. I’ve been using them exclusively since 1994. For those of you too young to remember, in those days being an Apple fan wasn’t cool like it is today. You really had to be an Apple “geek” to love Apple back in the days when the likelihood of them going bankrupt was far greater than the likelihood that they would become one of history’s largest companies. Even for me, as much as I love Apple (and as much as I would love to buy everything in the store, and sometimes it feels like I have) when approached by a sales representative (Apple wisely doesn’t call them by that title) and asked “how can I help you today?” what do most of us say in that situation? Most of us reply “I’m just looking.”

Now, ask yourself why we all have said something similar to “I’m just looking” when approached by a sales representative. Is it because we all hate to be sold? Research says “yes!” In study after study from the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing, we have discovered that being pursued by a retailer or business of any sort is not preferable to the consumer, even when the trust level and familiarity with that brand are high. How in the world can we expect patients who have never heard of us to respond to an email or Facebook post that encourages them to “get whitening for 50% off today.” No thanks, I was just looking.

Building a system for magnetically attracting more of your best patients and establishing the new norm of going home feeling energized, refreshed and renewed for you love of dentistry, orthodontics or any other business is not rocket science. It does take hard work and it does take dedication to implementing tested systems appropriately. One of the world’s top business strategists and the highest-paid copywriter in the country, Dan Kennedy, has directly worked with billion dollar companies and created more from-scratch millionaires than anyone I know. Dan’s work includes Miracle Ear, Weight Watchers, and Pro-Active the world’s #1 acne treatment with billions sold. Mr. Kennedy created the largest dental and chiropractic consulting and coaching firms in the 1980s and has been responsible for more massively successful dental practices than anyone on the planet.

In an exclusive interview, Dan Kennedy invited me to join him and discuss dental and orthodontic practice marketing, how to leverage the power of magnetic marketing, and much more, including:

  • How to overcome the chronic issue of decreased consumer spending?
  • The power of being for a very specific “someone”
  • How to systematically find more of your best patients?
  • How you must determine the profitability on each case and determine if you are being busy or actually being productive? The insurance companies want you to believe busy and productive are one in the same, but Dan and I prove otherwise.
  • The magical power of intentionally delaying the buying cycle.  Nearly everyone gets this wrong.
  • Why you should market information and not your prices, products or services.
  • How to create a loyal herd of followers and future patients who are willing to buy without discounts.
  • Why and how you should completely transform your conversion rate.
  • Step-by-step details on how to fully implement an internal marketing referral program.
  • Why driving up internal referrals is the #1 way to build your practice.

All of these topics (and more) are covered in the exclusive interview I did with Dan Kennedy, the Millionaire Maker. Grab your copy of the Dan Kennedy interview with audio transcripts here.

Dan Kennedy Interview Product Mock Up (small)

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