Monday, November 24, 2008

ZOOM! is like Crack!

OK, I admit that, like many consumers, I have dental-phobia. I hate lying helpless with no idea when an unexpected zap of agony will suddenly tear through my tender mucosa before I have a chance to brace myself, my prone position eliminating the potential to jump up and run for the door.

But I work in the aesthetic business and meet aesthetic surgeons, dermatologists and dentists on a regular basis. At 55, I'm working hard to look as young as humanly possible, utilizing all the fillers, lasers and skin treatments I can get my wrinkly hands on! So, by necessity, beauty includes my teeth. I have used those OTC trays and carbamide peroxide. Not a bad result. However, with a new dental client in San Francisco, I decided it was time to sit in a chair for "real" whitening. The results were amazing. I’ve looked in the mirror only about 54 times since I had the procedure.

This isn't about my ZOOM! results but about the fact that I am no longer going to be satisfied with teeth that are less white than I currently have. Like my relationship with Botox and fillers, I'm now an addict. This stuff is like crack--once you have it, ya gotta have it again (not that I know first-hand about crack, that's what I've read). I now have a New Standard for my teeth.

Which brings us to you and building your practice. Remember my blog about finding that some patients only get treatment if they get a discount? They do this because you make it easy to wait for the discount and/or because they aren't "hooked" enough to their new standard to get the treatments at full price. Trust me, they are buying gourmet coffee whether it's discounted or not, and that follows for a host of other expensive things they buy.

I offer up two ideas:

1. Discount a service/product only if it's the first time that patient has had it.

2. Use before/afters to reinforce patients’ New Standard.

Inform your patients that for each new treatment they try, they'll get a steep discount, like 25-40%. Yes, Thi$ $s painful for you, but it's only once per patient per procedure. Every patient will not try every procedure.

Make sure patients leave with copies of their before/afters to reinforce their New Standard. Laminate the pair of before/afters on the back of a business card or a 3 x 5 card (the laminator is $38 if purchased here ). AND—they will come back to have that treatment again because they have a New Standard. Not only will the patients carry their before/afters around with them, they will show them to friends who will then ask for your name and phone number, which is conveniently printed on one side of the laminated before/after set.

Now, of course, not all patients will do this, but many will. And those who do will increase traffic into your office and that means more money in your pocket.

Here's to you,

No comments: