9 Ways to Differentiate Yourself in the Marketplace

April 29, 2021

We often talk about how dental implant practices can market themselves in a competitive landscape. Practices have to put their best foot forward to ensure implant leads are generated… and accept treatment.

One of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the marketplace is by using a unique value proposition. This is also called a buying proposition or a market position. It is your business’s main promise of value to the potential customer.

It can be difficult to come up with your implant practice’s special proposition. Where does one even begin? To help with that, we’ve established 9 ways your dental implant practice can set itself apart from the competition. These are the main differentiators for your business. Take a look, and then choose one or two to use for your practice.

1. Cost: Differentiate your practice based on how your practice makes dental implants affordable.

Cost is one of the first differentiators that comes to mind. If a consumer is presented with two products that appear similar, they will almost always choose the one with the lower cost. Thus, you can differentiate your implant practice using cost. This cuts both ways.

On one hand, you can market yourself as a “low-cost implant doctor.” The goal here is to make treatment affordable for all by using low-cost materials, offering financing, and setting low markup on the procedures. The goal when differentiating yourself as a low-cost practice is volume. Unless you bring in a higher quantity of cases, then you will fall behind.

On the other end of the spectrum is differentiating yourself as a high-cost practice, which we’ll cover in Service and Materials.

To successfully differentiate yourself based on cost, make sure your marketing targets consumers who match your cost profile. Additionally, make sure to match your messaging to your pricing. By doing so, you’ll achieve much higher consistency with your marketing and close more implant patients.


2. Terms: Differentiate your practice based on flexibility in payment terms to help patients fit implants into their budgets.

You can also differentiate your implant practice by the payment terms you use. Your implants may cost the same as someone else’s, but you can offer more favorable terms to make the purchase easier on your patients.

Many practices do this with a long-term payment plan composed of small payments over time. For example, a practice’s proposition could be, “You can get your smile back for only $99 per month!” You could also offer higher-end implants at a more affordable monthly price.

Some implant practices may offer little or no interest, while others seek to partner with a financing company. In the end, your goal when differentiating yourself based on payment terms is to attract patients by letting them know you will help them get the transformation they desire for a payment amount they can afford.

3. Authority: Differentiate your practice based on your authority and credibility as a practice.

Instead of differentiating through cost or terms, you can position yourself as a leading authority in the field of implants. Note: This takes more time and effort than the previous strategies, but there is a larger payoff.

Authority, credibility, and relational engagement are paramount as a dental implant practice builds its brand. These days, they are mostly established through an implant practice’s web presence. Practices seeking to build authority deploy a content marketing strategy using blogs and social media posts. They seek engagement and interaction on Facebook and Instagram. They share insightful articles on developments in their field.

After some time, the practice has demonstrated that it knows what it’s talking about and can be trusted as an authority. This will lead to patients knowing they can commit to treatment without fear, which is a major barrier to treatment acceptance.

STOP GENERATING LEADS, GET PATIENTS INSTEAD

Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.

4. Service: Differentiate your practice based on providing the highest quality of customer support to your patients.

Implant practices can also differentiate themselves through the level or speed of service they provide. An implant practice seeking to make service its value proposition will promise, “We give you the VIP treatment.”

One sector that does this really well is the automobile industry. It’s no coincidence that many auto dealerships let you borrow a car while they’re working on yours. Many oil change stations promise same-day, superfast services. The tire company Les Schwab trains its employees to engage with people coming into the parking lot ASAP, even if it means literally running.

One way that dental implant practices can ensure higher quality service is by partnering with a Virtual Patient Advocate (VPA) program. A good VPA helps patients get the highest level of care they need. So, right from the start, the patient will feel like a VIP.

5. Reputation: Differentiate your practice based on positive reviews and testimonials from your patients.

A dental implant practice can set itself apart by earning a sterling reputation. This involves over-delivering on your implant services and encouraging your patients to spread the word. A good reputation takes a long time to build but can be damaged in no time at all.

Be careful to serve each patient with the care they deserve and expect when you utilize this branding strategy. When you do, your reputation will spread through word of mouth and social proof. If you don’t, your reputation will quickly deteriorate. That’s because this method attracts patients who value online reviews. If their experience doesn’t match the reviews, they are more likely to submit a review themselves.

Social proof is any evidence people in your community can find proving you are an excellent implant doctor. This comes in the form of testimonial videos, praise on social media, “before” and “after” photos, and more. Besides delivering top-notch treatment, you can affect your reputation through a reputation marketing strategy.

6. Results: Differentiate your practice based on the transformations you have helped patients achieve.

Somewhat related to your reputation, you can differentiate yourself through the results you bring. A practice wanting to set itself apart by results will promise, “We’ll give you the smile you’ve been dreaming of, guaranteed.”

Results is a slower strategy because it requires gathering proof. A practice seeking to differentiate itself by its results will have a plethora of patient “before” and “after” photos and testimonial videos on its website. It may also prominently feature the credentials and accomplishments of its staff, including any awards it has received.

Many patients don’t care as much about cost, service, or reputation; they just want to know the procedure will fix their problem. To them, seeing someone’s results who started with a smile similar to theirs helps them visualize what their smile will look like if they come to your office. And when they come in, they are more likely to move forward if you can show them a virtual before and after of their smile.

A results-based approach to branding caters to this patient at every step of the process, from getting their attention to getting them in for a consultation and giving them a virtual preview of their transformation. 

STOP GENERATING LEADS, GET PATIENTS INSTEAD

Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.

7. Materials & Equipment: Differentiate your practice based on using the highest-quality materials and cutting-edge equipment and technology.

You can also differentiate yourself simply through the source materials and equipment you use. Many clothing and coffee stores are known for this kind of proposition. They only sell coffee from a fair trade source and show off the photos and stories of their farmers. Or, a clothing boutique will tell you that all their clothing is handmade instead of mass-produced.

You can achieve something similar by saying, “We only use the best materials,” or “We only use the finest equipment.” When a patient goes with you, they know that their implants will be top quality, last longer, and require minimal maintenance.

This all requires more front-end investment, but it pays off in the form of higher-ticket, select patients who accept your treatment plan thanks to your high level of quality. Combine this method with flexible financing or payment terms to create a high-volume, high-profit implant practice.

8. Branded Solution: Differentiate your practice by creating a recognizable branded persona.

Creating a branded experience for your patients requires creativity and time, but it pays off when it gains traction.

What is a branded solution? It’s something you often see in the trades. For example, an electrician may call themselves “Zap!” because their quotes are shockingly low. It’s why you tend to see mascots for businesses, often creatively tied to their product.

Creating a branded experience requires coming up with a creative way to frame your services, and developing a persona around them. For example, you could be “The Dental Hero” and specialize in emergency implants, creating branding with a superhero theme. When done right, it becomes much easier for patients to find you and want to work with you.

9. Convenience: Differentiate your practice based on how easy you make it for patients to get the care they need.

Finally, you can differentiate yourself on the basis of convenience. One business that does this extremely well is 7/11. They were the first national convenience store to stay open 24/7. They were also the first to conveniently offer gasoline outside the store.

As a dental implant practice, you could open up a 24/7 phone line or email inbox. Depending on the size of your practice, you could offer services seven days a week.

Convenience has always been prized by consumers in our society, and the desire for it is only growing. That explains why so many stores are always open, and why delivery services and online shopping have become so popular. A practice that demonstrates its convenience will easily set itself apart in the market.

This is also where a VPA can come in handy. They can have staff on call 24/7, ready to talk to leads and determine who is ready to move forward with treatment.

What Kind of Practice Will You Be?

Now the decision is yours. Because there are so many ways to differentiate yourself as a practice, it’s best to choose one or two and stick with them to see your results. Will you become a practice that is known for low-cost, convenient treatment? Or will you become one that always delivers stellar results with the most choice materials? It’s up to you. If you want help determining your value proposition, or with any of your marketing efforts, feel free to book a free strategy call with us!

STOP GENERATING LEADS, GET PATIENTS INSTEAD

Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.


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STOP GENERATING LEADS, GET PATIENTS INSTEAD


Stop chasing unqualified leads and wasting your valuable chairtime. Learn how to fill your operatories with patients who are pre-qualified and serious about moving forward with your high-value treatment.