By Roger P. Levin, DDS
“It’s not whether you win, but how you play the game.”
This is a nice sentiment that we’ve all heard about sports but it doesn’t apply to orthodontics, especially when it comes to your practice’s future. In an excellent business book entitled Playing To Win: How Strategy Really Works, a simple method for evaluating the future is boiled down to one brilliant concept: Where will you play and how will you win?
Of course your practice will “play” in the specialty of orthodontics. It’s not reasonable or rational to suggest that orthodontic practices suddenly begin offering endo services or orthognathic surgery. An orthodontist’s main focus should be on how they’ll win, especially in the face of today’s growing competition. The Levin Group Data Center, which provides data for the company’s leading edge orthodontic consulting programs, has identified that in the next five years over 1,000 retail stores will open and provide diagnosis for aligner dentistry. Because most of them have significantly lower fees, this will create a new level of competition for patients and put additional pressure on orthodontists.
So how will you win? One way is by addressing the following five focus areas that have been proven to be effective in Levin Group’s orthodontic marketing consulting programs:
- The Branded Patient Rewards and Referral Program
- The Parent Ambassador Program
- The Social Media Interface
- The Referring Doctor Driver
- The Community Full Awareness Program
Addressing these five focus areas consistently, creatively, and routinely, will help you maintain and increase your patient base. Once you’ve got people coming in the door your treatment coordinator must be able to close cases—at a rate of at least 90%—for maximum success. Keep in mind that the old methods that treatment coordinators used to handle patients will no longer work. Today’s patients are more sophisticated and cynical, and they communicate vastly differently. It will be essential for your treatment coordinator to understand this new type of orthodontic consumer and address their needs directly.
For many orthodontic practices the future is now, so be proactive and get in the game. Learning the best strategies for targeting patients and catering to their needs will help ensure victory for your practice.
Dr. Roger P. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading orthodontic consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with thousands of orthodontic practices. Dr. Levin is one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing.To contact Dr. Levin, visit www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.