Competition stimulates demand

A client recently sent me this email:
A new NHS practice has set up only 2 miles away from me. They have just started in January and are blanket leafleting the whole area. I’m not desperately concerned at present as I feel our customer service is excellent, but I just wondered if you had any advice from other practices who have had the same competition?
Here’s my advice

  • competition stimulates demand – more people will be thinking about dentistry
  • you will lose 10% of your patients
  • after a year they will start to drift back – so leave the door open
  • the new practice will hoover up all the time wasters, tightwads and Which? magazine readers – goody, goody
  • service is your competitive advantage
  • time to turbo-charge your marketing systems – especially on-line and social media
  • create a hand-out for every patient detailing ‘reasons to choose us’
  • make sure you have loads of special offers and open evenings
  • make sure the premises/team/attitude is spic and span
  • make sure every patient takes away a referral offer
  • hold regular meetings with the team to review patient numbers, drift and new patient sign ups

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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.