Positioning Your Practice, The Sheep Factor

I think I know the answer to this one, so the question is really for you dear reader!

“Why is it, that from a patients point of view, many, many private dental practices appear to be the same?

They offer:

  • The same services
  • At very similar fees
  • In similar facilities
  • With copy-cat web sites
  • And employ Receptionists who cannot (if their life depended on it) articulate what their practice does uniquely well.

In other words, why do the owners of Dental Practices choose very similar positioning in the market place to most of their competitors?”

Your patients (and more importantly your prospective patients) will make a judgement of where your practice sits in the dental practice market place by assessing both the quality of what you do (from their perspective and of course that is very different from how you would assess quality) and also from the fees that you charge. Paradoxically, most of the private practices I come into contact with (outside of Central London) charge the same fees give or take 15%. And, most of them, I predict, offer a similar level of competence and quality of outcome. So how on earth does a prospective patient choose between practices when they crowd together offering similar services at a similar fee. The answer is,

“With great difficulty…”

Let me give you an example of how this situation comes about. I know of a well meaning Practice manager who in the service of re-writing the practice fee scale, surveyed the private fees of her immediate competitors, and then averaged them all in order to set the fees for her own practice…  Meaning, in terms of positioning, her practice would sit bang in the middle of her competitors. What’s the point of that? Imagine that all the car showrooms in your town sold new cars for at, or thereabouts, £15,000. No chance of buying a cheap Korean runabout for £8k or a beautiful convertible sports car for £70k. What a dull world this would create for new car owners…

It is not true that all private dental patients are looking for private dentistry at £200/hour or thereabouts. Some want it for less and some want to pay more…

So, why not make it easy to distinguish your practice from the flock and set your fees below your competitors or above theirs?! It is possible to have a profitable dental practice, whether you sell crowns at £350 or at £645 a pop.

If you would like some help with identifying the RIGHT positioning for your dental practice, email me or call me directly on:

e: simon@nowbreathe.co.uk

t: 07770 430576 

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