You’ve done it! You’ve taken the time and made the effort to learn airway dentistry. You may not offer every single solution out there, but you have at least one that works for people struggling with sleep apnea.
Now, your challenge is acquiring dental airway patients. It’s one thing to have the knowledge to perform certain procedures. It’s another thing to get new patients to commit to treatment. As you consider how to bring airway dentistry to your market, and gain ideal patients, you will need to learn the specifics of airway marketing.
Though it may take time for your airway procedures to become consistently profitable, the wait time can be reduced and profit can be maximized by doing the right things at the right time… and working with experienced experts. Dental practices that fail in this regard may have wasted their time and money learning airway procedures in the first place.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with four things every dental practice offering airways should know as they begin to market their services:
1. Don’t “jump the gun” as you consult with airway patients.
Airway treatment differs from implants and routine dentistry in one very important regard: patients aren’t generally aware of the solution to their problem. Even if they are, they may not be ready to accept it. We’ve seen plenty of dentists “jump the gun” as they consult with potential airway patients by offering their solution too quickly. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Well, put yourself in the patient’s shoes.
They know they’re having trouble sleeping. Or at least, they know they feel more lethargic and stressed during the day. It seems easier for them to gain weight and harder for them to lose it. Perhaps a roommate or a spouse has complained about the noise they make snoring at night. They’re bewildered and wondering whether something’s wrong with them. They probably aren’t aware of sleep apnea, or that they have several of its symptoms.
When they begin to look for answers, they’ll probably consult with a general practitioner long before they talk to a dentist. The idea that the solution could come from a dental procedure feels like a foreign concept.
So, dental practices should take the time to hear a patient out about their issues before offering the solution. Talking about your airway solution too quickly will feel like spoiling the ending to a TV show, and probably have the same effect on your relationship with the patient.
Only offer a potential solution when the patient has a firm grasp on their problem. Additionally, avoid the temptation to sound too technical or sciencey in your explanations. Put your solutions into plain language.
2. Airway prospects are everywhere… are you?
Consider the buying journey of a high-value patient. When they begin to experience pain and problems, most of them will probably take their search online. They’ll reach out to people on social media or perform a Google search to determine what’s going on. As they begin to read about their problem and the potential solutions, they’ll check out the websites of various practitioners and clinics to see if the solution matches their experience.
They’ll read reviews about each professional they may want to work with. They’ll ask their friends and family about their problems and potential solutions. Long story short, when the going gets tough they’ll look around everywhere for the answer.
Will they find your practice during their search?
The best airway dentists develop a strong presence everywhere a potential patient will search. They have a quality website with a page dedicated to airways. They have a Facebook and Instagram page and post consistently about airways. They have content on all their channels dedicated to helping their ideal airway patient. They garner positive reviews online, and when a negative review comes in, they do everything they can to fix it. They generate word-of-mouth through both quality service and referral incentives.
Your journey to gaining new airway patients requires updating and expanding your marketing presence so that wherever they are on the journey, your practice becomes impossible to overlook.
3. Use a quality customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
For those unfamiliar, a CRM tool is a program for businesses to manage their relationships with their customers. They have a variety of practical applications, including sales. Dental practices use them to manage their prospective airway patients.
The best programs allow you to make a profile for each potential customer. You can outline where they are in their journey, what steps have been taken to reach them, and when it is appropriate to follow up. It enables you to look at all of your best leads, all in one place.
This makes sure that nobody falls through the cracks. Because airway procedures aren’t routine dentistry, it may take a long time before somebody commits to treatment. Then it will take even longer for your practice to see a financial return for the service. A quality CRM tool expedites this process.
As a potential airway patient, you want to work with a practice that follows up on time, that understands you, and uses the right language to appeal to you. CRM helps you accomplish all this, remaining top-of-mind for your potential patients.
4. Prepare for a new but worthwhile challenge.
A final note: as you may have gathered by now, the journey to making your airway practice profitable takes time and effort. It’s difficult to learn how to manage conversations with potential patients. It takes time and money to develop a presence on the web. Learning and managing CRM tools could be a part-time job in itself!
The good news is, most other practices won’t put in the time and effort to do this correctly. They won’t be prepared for the challenge. So, the ones who put in the work will have a definitive advantage.
Another distinct advantage you can get? Partnering with a marketing specialist. Our mission at Driven Dental is to deliver you patients, not mere leads. Any marketing partner you work with should have this mindset, but so few actually do. We use a proprietary CRM tool, we develop your presence on the web, and we even coach you through how to talk to patients at every step of the journey.
If you want to find out how you can get a major boost to your airway practice, book a free strategy call with us today. At the very least, you’ll walk away with more knowledge of best practices in this arena. At the best, though? This could be the start of an extremely profitable partnership.