How Can A Dentist Develop A Unique Selling Proposition?
by Tyson Downs
Developing a niche will allow you to dominate your market.One thing you never hear when you ask somebody what they think about where they live is “Oh, it's great but there's a severe lack of dentists.” Why? Because most anywhere there is a need for a dentist, a practice has already popped up. So instead of focusing solely on the best location for your practice (don't get me wrong, this is very important), you should also spend a good amount of time creating your Unique Selling Proposition as a dentist.
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If you don't have a USP for your dental practice (heck, for any healthcare practice), then this is a must read! Add in the comments what your USP is and how it has impacted your practice.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
If you don't know, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is simply what differentiates you from your competitors. It is what makes a client choose you over another dentist, even if the other practice is more convenient to their location. Having a USP in an industry such as dentistry is vital to the success of any practice, no matter how little or much experience you have as a dentist.
Instead, try looking at it this way: how can you compete and win in a crowded field?
By changing the nature of the competition. Instead of going up against other practices in a head-to-head comparison of services, degrees, certification, equipment, staff, location, etc., eliminate the competition altogether (or as much as possible) by going outside of the standard practices.
This is the core concept behind a successful USP and why it works, even in the most overcrowded industries—when you are different, you stand out and with the right message, this will translate directly into success.
How to Create a USP for Your Practice
Here are four ways to start to define your USP:
- Make it Personal. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, "you are you and there's nothing more true". Your personality, personal morals, codes and passions set you apart from any other person on this Earth, let alone dentists in your area. Let your personality shine through in your practice and incorporate personal ideas and beliefs into your marketing.
- Intersect Ideas. Interesting things happen when two ideas meet up to merge into one. While this doesn't mean that you should be the first dentist/pizza restaurant, you can think of innovative ways to set your practice apart. For example, there wasn't always the option for 24/7 emergency dental clinics in larger cities—that was an intersection of a dental practice and an ER.
- Narrow Your Market Segment. Ever notice how some dentists only focus on dentistry for children or families? This is a simple act of narrowing your market segment. When you cater specifically to one segment of the population and successfully reach them, you are more likely to gain the business of that segment—just make sure that it's large enough to sustain a practice.
- Narrow Your Expertise. Similarly, there are many dentists out there that solely focus on cosmetic procedures while others only do surgeries. When you narrow your scope of expertise down (though you will need the proper credentials to do so), you can narrow your focus and charge more for your expert services.
Add Value Through Recognition
The goal with creating any USP should be to choose the roads that lead to the most recognizable value. This can be achieved by looking at your USP in two parts. The first part requires that your USP marketing efforts create a genuinely good chance that a client might say: “Oh, yeah I've heard about you. You're the dentist that...”
When you have this type of recognition, you're halfway to a USP that works. The other half is even more important, however. It's fine and fairly easy to get recognition: “Oh, yeah I've heard about you. You're the dentist that was lighting a candle and set his last practice on fire!” While that will bring you recognition, it won't bring you value.
A value proposition here would be something more along the lines of: “Oh, yeah I've heard about you. You're the dentists that uses mood lighting to relax patients who are scared of needles.” Or maybe you're the dentists that shows old cartoons to patients in an effort to keep their minds off of the work being done.
The point is you want your recognition to add value to your practice. Without that, you're just a gimmick.
Solving Pain Points
One of the most effective methods for creating USPs for dentists involves solving patient pain points. A pain point is something that creates friction for your patient, in most cases with dentists, this is either fear of the dentist (or needles) and the cost of dental services.
Both of these pain points are in place among most dentists in your area because they don't rest within the object (i.e., the dental practice), but rather live in the subject (i.e., your patient). If you can remove these pain points from the subject through your practice, then you've successfully differentiated your practice from the others in your area.
For instance, if you have an innovative solution to getting people over their fear of needles and/or dentists, this solves a major pain point that other dentists might not be addressing. Similarly, if you provide better payment options and plans (or even lower prices), then you're also addressing another pain point. When you remove the pain points from the customer, you have a friction less transaction ahead of you, meaning it's much easier to transition the person from lead to client.
The key to all this?
An effective online marketing campaign for dentists, which is complete and thorough, and then communicating your USP through marketing efforts including: SEO, your website, and effective content marketing.
For tips on effectively marketing your practice, be sure to read these posts:
Walking the Walk
Perhaps the most effective way to check and see if your USP is viable is to ask yourself if you can back up your claims with proof. It's great to say that your techniques cause little to no pain, but do you have the customer testimonials to back it up? When you're able to prove everything that you are claiming in your USP (including that it is in fact unique), then it's time to integrate your USP into your brand message and all marketing materials.
To learn how to put your USP to work for you, contact us.
What is your USP and how has it impacted your brand?
Want more healthcare marketing advice? Be sure to check out our podcast.
About the Author
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.