If you were an early adopter of dental savings plans, the opportunity to capture an untapped fee for service market was exciting.
We know among adults over 45, 59 percent are uninsured. It should be an easy sell right? It is important to point out that a dental savings plan is not a dental discount plan, nor is it an in-house financing plan like CareCredit. In-house savings plans are based on an annual fee and give patients an affordable alternative to insurance. The hope for providers is by providing accessible preventive care, getting patients in the door will lead to greater commitment to treatment plans. In theory, dental savings plans are a “no-brainer”.
The problem, however, is most doctors I speak to have had zero luck selling these plans in their office. They complain of low acceptance and ongoing frustration with marketing. When asked, most doctors are marketing to their existing patient base using external methods. They advertise in-office and around town with flyers, radio spots and car wraps. Something is missing.
My lightbulb moment
I had heard the stories of colleagues attempting to sell these plans to no avail so I never picked one up—until I had a life-altering conversation with a patient. This patient moved to the area to live in an unassisted retirement community. Turns out this vibrant group of retired Baby Boomers was a few miles from my practice. The lightbulb went on. Until that conversation, I had struggled to find an engaging way to market to Baby Boomers. We know the facts about Baby Boomers:
- Most are uninsured
- They believe they can’t afford preventive services
- They are wary of traditional marketing strategies
These challenges guided me to develop the strategy that grew my practice by 43 percent two years in a row. Did you know:
- Baby Boomers control 70 percent of the total US net worth
- The average income of Boomers is over $71,000
- Boomers account for over half of all consumer spending
- Among adults older than age 45, 59 percent are without dental insurance
- Between 2000 and 2010, dental spending increased among Boomers
My patient let me know her community had an internal publication. I determined that this group of uninsured Baby Boomers may be the perfect audience for a dental savings plan.
Wine, cheese and 1.2 million in growth
I received a well-timed invitation to give an educational workshop on the community campus. I elevated the event by bringing in my favorite wines from a recent trip to Napa. I picked up select cheeses and had two team members join as hostesses, keeping glasses full and people happy. I spoke on relevant dental issues and then pitched my brand-new Dental $avings Plan. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. People loved the inperson, grassroots effort of the event. I learned that to have a successful dental savings plan you need the perfect pairing of fine wine, cheese, a Dental $avings Plan and a group of Baby Boomers.
Impact to my bottom line
For each wine and cheese event I host I spend $130 on supplies, an hour of my time and the time of two team members. Is it worth it? Here’s the financial impact these events have had on my practice over a two-year period: I sold 947–957 dental $avings plans at $299 each. That comes to $286,143 in revenue. Each of those patients spent an additional $1,254 on top of the $299, resulting in an additional $1,200,078. So is it worth it? For me it’s a no-brainer.
DIY wine and cheese events
Most doctors are busy. If you don’t have the time to make presentations, develop marketing materials and a pricing strategy for a Dental $avings Plan. Heck, maybe you don’t even drink wine! The good news is I have a turn-key program you can implement today. Kits complete with a fee structure, video tutorials, ready-made presentations and a book are available to help you create your own Dental $avings Plan wine and cheese event in your area. If you want to grow your practice by 20-40 percent over the next two years, grab a copy of the book and book new patients today.
Published originally on Dental Practice Management.