Lesson #3: CORE Lesson #3 – Your Ideal Patient
About This Lesson
In this lesson, we are going to learn one of the most essential components to building a successful practice: identifying your ideal patient. This ideal patient will be one of the core components for all future practice development and marketing messages.
- Create Your Ideal Patient Avatar (1-2 pages in length)
- Identify the 3 biggest pain points of that patient.
- Identify 3 biggest desires of that patient.
- Be clear as to why that patient will come to your practice as opposed to all others (your unique practice proposition)
Hello. Welcome back. This is Dr. Steve Schluentz. I want to welcome you back to another video describing the dental sales success cycle.If you remember, we are on number one right now, which is all about vision and clarity. I cannot stress this enough. The time you spend clarifying your vision, understanding what your practice is about, understanding why you exist as a business, is the most important time that you can spend. Sadly, most dentists get immediately trapped into the rat race, doing things every day, not really thinking about why they're doing it, and they never create the practice they want. As we dig into this, again, we're still very early in these videos, and the way that the videos are designed is for you to go ahead and watch these, module number one, all the videos all at once, and then break this down and actually take your team through this process.
This is designed to stimulate conversation with your team. You can use these for office meetings. That's how it's designed. The big thing is at the end when I do action steps, I want you to take action on the action steps. If it takes you two months to get through the vision and clarity module, then it takes two months to get through the vision and clarity module. There was no rush to do this. I'm telling you the more time you spend up front, especially on this first module, the more successful your practice will be, hands down. So as we're going through this video, we are on the ideal patients. The first two videos we identified a true north. We talked about creating a blue ocean. What we're going to do is spend a little bit of time here talking about your ideal patient.
Now, when I first addressed this for most dentists, what they'll say is, "You know, my ideal patient is anyone that is willing to move towards health, pays their bills on time, is nice." That is not nearly specific enough. The reason you want to build out this ideal patient is so evident when you start to talk about marketing as an expert. Listen, this is the most overlooked aspect of all of dentistry when it comes to marketing, not identifying who your ideal patient is to begin with. When you're identifying your ideal patients, there's a big difference here. I want you to to really think about this. Psychographics versus demographics. Psychographics is all about why people buy, what drives them to make buying decisions? Demographics is more, are they male, female? Where are they at? What zip code are they in? All of those things? Psychographics is really what you want to get down to. This is the part of marketing that's so important, understanding the psychographics behind your ideal patient.
What you're going to do is, yes, obviously you're going to identify the age of this ideal patient, the gender of this ideal patient, their interests. Where do they work? How do they work? Are they a teacher? Are they an engineer? What does that look like? Okay? Here is the key. You want to know their pain points better than they do. Right? Because when you know their pain points better than you do, you can do number four, which is the ability to predict outcomes. This is the key to success. Your ability to predict outcomes of any situation will be your keys to success.
I always tell dentists when you're starting the new patient process, and you go to present your fees, and you know there's going to be three or four objections that every patient is going to tell you, and your ability to predict what those are going to be, and then your ability to handle those are gonna determine your keys to success. It's that simple. Knowing their pain points, knowing the pain points of this ideal patient better than they know themselves, will allow you to predict the outcome of this interaction and ultimately lead you to more success. Okay? Once you do all of these things, you're going to start this building out the ideal patient avatar. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about how that is going to happen in the action steps, but I want to go back to knowing their pain points.
I'm going to give you an example. This is my practice. My ideal patient, 45 year old female, maybe 50, somewhere in that range. 45 to 50 year old female, has had ortho at least once, probably twice, consistent headaches, consistent joint pain. Now, she starting to break teeth. She probably had ortho bicuspid extractions at some point in her past. She has inability to concentrate. She's a working mom, or she's a stay at home mom, but there is enough income to be able to do something towards her health, and she has now been to chiropractors, ENTs. naturopaths. She has tried literally everything to eliminate her headaches, her neck pain, her joint pain, her tooth pain, and now she's coming to me as a last resort. I'm able to attract her through my website. That is my ideal patient.
Now, every part of that process now I'm going to be able to market specifically to that ideal patient. When I talk to that patient, I know exactly what they're going to be saying and how they're going to say it. Now, the reality is is once I have that, the age actually is pretty variable, because I've had 55 year old women that function very similar to 29 year old women when it comes to those specific symptoms. But that patient is probably most likely going to want to do something. Patient gets 70, 75, 80, they might still do something, but the driving force is not nearly as high as it is when you're 30, 40, 50. right?
Here's the key. If you haven't spent time doing this and all you do is focus on, well, I just want the patient that wants to be healthy, your marketing is way too broad, and you're going to spend a lot more money than you need to to the right type of patient in. In Marketing, if you don't have a very specific audience, what ends up happening is you spend a lot more money trying to draw up an audience. So, the more crystal clear you are on these aspects, the less money you will spend on marketing, and the more effective your marketing will be.
The action steps for this video, what I want you to do is create your ideal patient avatar. This needs to be at least one page, probably two, maybe three, maybe four pages in length, specific details. Now, I want you to describe Jim or Jill, and just put yourself in Jill's shoes. Where does she work? How many days does she work? How many kids does she have? Right? What does she read? What does she eat? Everything. There is no detail that you want to leave out. It could be 20 pages. I don't care. But the more specific you get into this ideal patient avatar, the better your marketing will be. You'll see that a lot in the future videos, especially when it's marketing as an expert brand, but you need to knock this thing out of the park.
Now, what I'm not telling you or what I'm telling you is not once you identify this ideal patient avatar, you never never talk to other patients, you never market to other patients, but I'm telling you, your most effective marketing dollars will be spent once you understand this ideal patient. All you gotta do is say, if I was to only see one patient in this practice for my entire life, what would that patient look like? How would that patient act? What would that patient value? This will really, above everything else, help you clarify where you want your office to go. Then when I want you to do is write down their three biggest pain points. What are they trying to avoid? Is it neck pain? Is it airway issues? What is the previous dentist? What are their experiences? What are their pain points? What is driving them nuts?
And then write down the three outcomes they want. Do they want to be free of pain? Do they want to be healthier? Do they want to look better? Do they want to function better? Do they want a new husband? I don't care what it is, but the three outcomes you think your ideal, new patient or ideal patient wants. Then the last thing is describe why they come to your practice in detail. What is it about your practice that makes it so unique that they will literally drive past 35 other dentists to come see you? You need to take these action steps. You need to get crystal clear on this, because this sets the foundation for everything you do in your practice. Spend some time with your team on this. Go over these exercises. Take an entire office meeting if you need to, and go through these four action steps. I'll see you at the next video.