How Payment Terms Help You Brand (and Grow) Your Implant Practice

Whether you are starting in the world of dental implants, or seeking to grow your implant practice, it is more important than ever to develop your market position.

Your position sets you apart from the competition by offering something they don’t. Your special offering becomes known as your “unique sales proposition” or “value proposition.” Though there are dozens of ways to differentiate your practice, one of the most powerful has to do with pricing and payments.

The decisions a practice makes about price have a ripple effect on the rest of their marketing. Your price point determines the sort of patients you attract, and the methods you use to attract them. Thus, the price can be seen as a part of a practice’s overall brand strategy.

Price can be seen as a part of a practice’s overall brand strategy.

An additional dimension is added, however, when one considers payment terms. Very few dental procedures are entirely paid for out-of-pocket. To help customers afford the treatments they need, both insurance companies and financing strategies have been employed.

This means that offering to finance could be an important part of your new implant practice, or the key that helps it grow. As you do, consider these variables to establish branding that’s consistent with your practice vision while attracting the right implant patient leads and maximizing growth and profits.

Use payment terms to differentiate yourself in the market, maintain financial flexibility, and protect profits.

NOTE: Before deciding anything about payment plans, make sure to consult with a legal expert. They will help you understand your local and state regulations, to make sure you follow them.

Determine an Overall Pricing Strategy to Gain Control and Flexibility

Financing is part of your practice’s pricing. Therefore, don’t make decisions about offering long-term payment plans until you know your pricing strategy. And deciding what type of practice you want to be thought of in the marketplace is the best first step to using payment-term branding to grow your implant practice.

Considerations When Determining Your Pricing Terms

  • Price
  • Down Payment
  • Pay-in-Full Discount
  • Term Length
  • Interest Rate
  • Credit Requirements
  • Monthly Payment Amount

Pricing is more than just a number. It reflects a combination of factors, from materials costs to labor and your patients’ ability to move forward with treatment. These considerations demonstrate the factors you can adjust to attract the right patients to your practice.

In the big picture, some practices decide to become a low-cost provider. They charge less and serve a higher volume of patients. They tend to have a patient base with lower incomes and make sure their marketing messages fit. Other practices take a high-end approach. They serve fewer patients but charge more. 

This means similar procedures, done by practices with each approach, could have wildly different prices. This affects whether a practice offers financing at all. It also impacts the terms they offer patients.

Pricing strategy follows a spectrum, from high-value cases to high-volume, simpler cases. Decide where you want to fall on the spectrum so your branding matches your goal.

Do you want to do lower volume complex or higher-value cases? Do you prefer a higher volume of simpler or single-implant cases? Or, do you want a blend, attracting smaller cases more regularly as well as higher-value cases? Answering these questions is your first step to using payment-term branding to grow your practice.

Term Length is the Most Powerful Tool for Opening Up New Markets

Once a practice determines their pricing strategy, they can further differentiate themselves through the terms they offer. This can lead to a branding strategy using “Payment-Term Branding” to attract certain patients. 

These patients wouldn’t commit to treatment unless they knew they could pay over time. After all, hearing the price “$20,000” gives one a different gut reaction than hearing the price “$299 per month.”

Flexible length of terms can open up new markets of patients being able to afford treatment.

A shorter term makes for higher monthly payments to you, but less interest over time. But a high monthly payment could understandably scare certain patients away. A longer term means lower monthly payments to you with more interest. And it can create a longer tail of recurring revenue for your practice. This is generally more appealing to prospective patients, but some may shy away from exceptionally long terms.

As you consider using payment-term branding to grow your implant practice, consider multiple lengths of terms that will help you get monthly payments below key threshold points for your audience. Once you have your terms in place, incorporate your terms into your conversations with patients to give them talking points for speaking with others. 

For example, consider a practice that markets using the message “Don’t wait to transform your smile with simple financing options that allow you to pay over time.” Their messaging can help others communicate the practice value to their friends and family. When they are asked about their new smile they will adopt your script, telling their friends or family, “You should meet my dentist. Their program let me get my implant right away and pay over time.”

Interest Rates Are Not the Barrier You Think They Are

Dental implant practices can also differentiate themselves through interest rates. This happens frequently with other businesses, such as selling cars and furniture. Many companies even offer limited-time sales that negate interest accrual for a certain period, such as six months to a year.

Interest is meant to offset some of the risk involved with any lending of money. A high interest rate could be a barrier for some patients to get treatment, but a low interest rate means your practice shoulders more risk. You have to decide what is right and affordable for your practice, and then make sure prospective patients understand the uniqueness of your offer.

Although some practices worry that charging interest will deter patients, many of them see interest as the cost of getting the treatment they want right away instead of having to wait. Don’t let interest be a barrier between you and your patients when it comes to pricing.

Patients understand that paying interest is a cost they must pay to get the benefit of treatment right away versus having to wait.

When you review your numbers, if a lower interest rate fits your profit model, consider incorporating that into your messaging. This provides another opportunity for you to be viewed in a favorable light in the marketplace, such as being known as the low-interest provider who helps people fit high-quality implants into their budgets.

If you’re thinking about offering payment terms or already do and want to incorporate that into branding your implant practice, consider booking a free strategy call with us so you can work it into your overall brand strategy.

And if you want in-depth training to help you get more patients qualified for dental financing, register for in-depth CE training by Dr. Leonard Tau on The Art of Dental Financing. Enter the code DRIVEN at checkout to receive an exclusive discount on your registration.

Nick Pavlidis
 

Nick Pavlidis is a recognized author for several dental implant articles.

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