Dr. Ankur Gupta owns and operates a successful private general dental practice in North Ridgeville, Ohio. He had such amazing success during his first month going live with his Driven Dental Implant campaign, we sat down with him to dig into his secrets to success so we could share them with the dental community at large.
What he had to say was nothing short of gold. Here’s his story… (Note: Dr. Gupta’s comments have been edited for clarity & length)
If you were already successful, why partner with Driven?
Practicing dentistry is hard on your body, the hustle & grind of drill & fill isn’t sustainable in the long term.
I'm a pretty hardworking general dentist. My days are full, I'm working the whole time. I'm getting older, I'm in my forties and I've never been a particularly robust person as it is. My practice makes a good amount of money, and for me to do the hard work of general dentistry in the form of buildups and crowns and extractions every day -- that's a lot of general dentistry. It's just a lot.
After 10 years you get pretty good at placing dental implants. Then I learned about Driven as a way for me to market this skill and bring in patients that are specifically searching for dental implant treatment. I gave it a try and I'm incredibly pleasantly surprised at how effective my campaign has been in pushing really high-value dental implant patients in my direction.
Dr. ankur Gupta
Driven Dental Marketing Client
"I'm incredibly pleasantly surprised at how effective my campaign has been in pushing really high-value dental implant patients in my direction."
What kind of results are you getting from your campaign?
Dr. Gupta’s first month of implant marketing with Driven yielded more than 10X ROI from just 4 patients.
I've been very successful now with Driven. We were able to close 4 of the 6 cases we saw in our first month. We started our campaign on September 1st and by October 1st we’d closed $68,000 worth of treatment. Just from a return on investment perspective, that's amazing.
Being able to practice more high-value implant dentistry allows dentists to have a greater impact while living a more balanced lifestyle.
I placed 12 implants this morning on two separate patients. 12 implants. That's a sizable amount of money. I was home by noon and I feel pretty good. I don't feel like I've been wrist deep in people's mouths all day. That's a really nice feeling. Driven is going to allow me to do a lot more high value dentistry, where I can devote less time to dentistry, but still bring the same type of income that I'm used to bringing. That’s really valuable.
You don't feel like you did as much when you do a filling or a crown. There’s not as much gratitude. Patients come in, you tell them they need this thing, they do it, and then they leave… there’s no emotion there. But when you take a person who truly hasn't been able to eat or hasn't been able to smile and you're like, “Alright, listen, let me spend some time with you, and you're going to be able to do those things.” It’s a much higher impact, it makes you enjoy your work a lot more because you feel like you're valuable, you're contributing a lot more.
What surprised you about the patients that came from the campaign?
Patients actively searching for dental implant treatment are generally suffering and often have a history of negative dental experiences.
These are people who don't already know me, they don't know my reputation in the community. They're very different from the new patients that I'm accustomed to seeing from my word-of-mouth reputation. One thing that I wasn't anticipating was that a lot of these patients have a lot of dental issues going on and are suffering. These are people who know they want dental implants. They know they have missing teeth and they're frustrated with them, but they've had a lot of dental struggles and they have been disappointed with some of the treatment that they've received in the past.
What was the key to successfully closing 4 out of 6 cases for 68K your first month?
Dr. Gupta’s top-notch customer service plus Driven’s unique Virtual Patient Advocate (VPA) were just the recipe these patients are looking for.
If the systems are right in the office to make them feel welcome and listened to and not judged -- they're crazy impressed because we're so much better than whatever crappy experience they've had in the past. If I can sit down and be compassionate and non-judgemental towards somebody who's been suffering, you can tell that they're extremely grateful to have an opportunity to talk to a dentist who just cares a little bit. It seems like their experience with dentistry has been so poor that little bit of care seems to be so much in their eyes and that's been a big reason why so many patients have said yes.
I think 100% of my Driven patients have had bad experiences before at the dentist. If they come in and I'm really busy, or my team at the front doesn't treat them a certain way or we don't really listen to them or we assume too much, It's over. It doesn't matter that we have this pretty website and they had a nice conversation with the VPA. It doesn't matter. They've had bad experiences in the past. They're not going to commit to the super expensive stuff unless they really feel this dentist seems to understand their situation and doesn't seem to be too busy or too greedy.
I think that it's really easy for us to blow it. We could easily schedule them when we're busy or we can just delegate way too much where we barely walk into the room. I just don't think that this is the patient population in which that would be appropriate.
What I thought was really interesting was that I didn't need to impress them with knowledge. If I took a second and I listened to them and I seemed genuine, it was amazing how quickly they were to trust me and decide to move forward with treatment. Not because I was super knowledgeable or super skilled -- I didn't show them a portfolio of successful cases. They just needed somebody to listen to them. I thought that was amazing because that's actually pretty easy. All you have to do is sit back and listen. And that's how you get to yes. As opposed to trying to impress people.
How did your Virtual Patient Advocate (VPA) help you achieve that result?
A VPA can spend the necessary time to give these patients the attention & support they need.
Patients who are suffering need to have time on the phone. If I were to put myself in their situation and I were to go see a healthcare provider and say, “I have this weird neck pain and I don't just want to fix it with pain meds.” I'm really worried about it, but I've gone to this doctor and they told me to take some medicine and that was it. They spent all of two seconds with me… I'm frustrated and I'm really concerned about this neck pain.
If I call the next treating entity, whether it's a chiropractor, a physical therapist, a family physician, and the person on the phone just is so busy that they're like, “We just have to get you to come in to look at you,” and they're quick and they’re rushed, I'm not going to come in because I'm sick of getting the run-around at this point. I've suffered enough. I want to sit down and really get thorough care and attention.
With my Driven Dental Implant Marketing campaign, there’s a dedicated team member, a Virtual Patient Advocate (VPA), who's answering the phone. They’re trained to really take time and to listen and to really be thorough. What ends up happening is that now this patient is thinking, “Oh, okay, wait a second… There's something unique about this office.” Even though our VPA doesn't work physically at our office, she's definitely part of our team.
I would love to say that my team is that thorough on the phone. I would love to say that, but they're not, they can't be because I don't have 10 people at the front desk. I have a finite team and they have so many responsibilities. It's very difficult for me to tell my team that if a patient is suffering, to go ahead and spend as long as possible on the phone with them. What'll happen is we'll compromise something else that's important. A patient will be waiting at the front desk or a patient will need to be checked out and it'll look bad if somebody is just on the phone for that long. Having a VPA to devote that time is really valuable.
What would you say to dentists considering hiring a marketing agency?
Outsourcing marketing to experienced professionals can help dentists do what they love most.
Partnering with a marketing agency may seem expensive, but in that first month with Driven I did about $68,000 of treatment. The ROI was like a thousand percent of my investment, more than that. This coming month, I think we're probably going to match that or potentially exceed it.
There's no other marketing that I do for implants. The Virtual Patient Advocate (VPA) complements the systems and processes I already have in place by sending my team pre-qualified leads that are ready to move forward with treatment with the right dentist.
I can devote less time to dentistry because I’m practicing more high-value dentistry. Most importantly, I get to make more of an emotional impact on the patient’s whose lives I’m able to change for the better. That feeling of truly making a difference for someone is what I love most about practicing dentistry. It’s nice to have marketing experts support me in my mission.
Find out if a partnership with Driven Dental Implant Marketing can help you make a bigger impact on a complimentary strategy call.