dental overcoming patient fears

Overcoming Patient Fears – How Dentists Can Use Marketing to Increase Patient Comfort

Is there any profession that strikes fear into the hearts of prospective customers more than dentistry? Overcoming those fears is crucial in order to grow your practice. Fortunately, there are several dentist marketing techniques that can help you increase patient confidence and comfort.

Get out there and meet people.

Are you an introvert? Tough. People prefer to do business with people they know. And like. People with whom they feel comfortable. Familiarity builds trust, the #1 ingredient in establishing rapport that leads to a feeling of comfort. That’s true no matter what business you’re in, and it’s vital for dentists because what you do is so very personal.

So show your face:

  • At community events.
  • By speaking. Rotary needs new speakers every week, as do other groups, and there are plenty of timely and interesting dental topics you could discuss for a few minutes.
  • Host a networking event for your local chamber of commerce. It gets people in your door, so you can show them first-hand that your office isn’t scary after all. You can tell or show them in detail what you do and why your procedures aren’t scary, either. Seeing you and your office “up close and personal” makes it easier for people to make referrals to you.
  • If you don’t already belong to your chamber of commerce, join! Networking is just the beginning of the dentist marketing benefits you’ll receive.

Talk about the things that scare people.

Scary things hide in the dark, so shine a bright light on them instead. Education overcomes fears. Talk about the fear of pain, and all the ways you work to prevent or ameliorate that. Answer the unasked question most patients have about procedures: what’s going to happen to me?!

Do that in your blog articles. Write a downloadable whitepaper on innovations and trends in dentistry aimed at overcoming patient fears. Create a tip sheet for patients on ways to relax before and during their visit.

Use your postcard mailing campaigns to emphasize how you address these issues within your practice – distracting videos or music, pain-free treatment techniques, sedation, etc. Add these key points to all your other dentist marketing, too – the back of your business cards, a poster in your waiting area, on your website, in your emails and social media posts.

Use testimonials.

You can say you and your dental practice aren’t scary, but you’ll really overcome fears when you let others confirm what you say. Incorporate a short testimonial in your email signature, so it’s always there for people to see. Or rotate two or three, to keep it fresh. Highlight testimonial quotes in your postcard marketing. Tweet a key phrase from your latest testimonial or online review.

Do you do special things for kids, with a child-friendly office atmosphere or staff? Testimonials work here for dentist marketing, too – use quotes from parents, but also from the kids themselves.

Use pictures.

Images are one of the most important ingredients of successful dentist marketing, especially for your postcards. Consult with your direct mail experts to learn what types of photos or other graphics will work best to allay fears and increase confidence in your audience.

Stress your professional qualifications.

Patients have to trust you personally and they also have to trust you professionally, because they’re at your mercy for quality advice regarding their own and their family’s dental health. So round out your marketing messages by noting your specialized training or time in practice (unless you’re just starting out).

Use logos that show your professional and business affiliations such as the ADA membership and any additional certifications you hold. These add credibility and builds trust for any business.

Thinking about what scares patients will help you use your dental marketing to overcome emotional as well as concerns about your professional capabilities.

photo credit: Kristine Paulus via photopin cc

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