Does your practice offer multiple whitening solutions? If so, how successful are you at encouraging your patients to use them? According to the American Dental Association, in the past 20 years, teeth whitening has become one of the most popular esthetic dental treatments. Whiter teeth means a happier mouths for a number of reasons: (a) extra confidence; (b) a competitive edge; (c) a more fulfilling lifestyle; (d) better dental hygiene.
We get that “over-the-counter competition” is high and patient demands have changed – they want whitening options that fit their lifestyles and offer fast results with little or no discomfort. The good news is your practice DOES stand a chance against these other options! So, how can you position your options as more appealing than over-the-counter solutions, and make your patients want to whiten with you? Keep reading to find out!
1. Share Your Enthusiasm
Have you ever walked into a store to make a purchase, and the sales clerk treated the interaction as if helping you were a chore? Did this negative interaction cause you to second guess or even cancel your purchase? What this sales person was missing is enthusiasm. Nothing about the product changed, but the attitude with which the product was presented made all the difference! Get very familiar with your suite of whitening solutions and display a genuine interest in helping your patients achieve their whitening goals. Positive energy and enthusiasm will go a long way when it comes to improving your chairside manner.
2. Create (& Capitalize on) Awareness
Patients learn about teeth whitening from TV commercials, magazine ads, social media placements, and other media sources. They are steadily influenced by the perfect smiles sported by celebrities and pop culture figures. Your practice can take advantage of this and let the media do some of the leg work for you. For example, if a recent article comes out on how “insert A-list celebrity” just had an incredible smile makeover, pick up a copy and post it in your reception area. You’ll probably find that a familiar name is an easier whitening conversation starter than an unknown product.
3. Tell Them What They Want to Know
There are many teeth whitening options, each with their own pros and cons. This can be overwhelming for patients. Make it easy to choose what system is best for them by telling them what they need to know. Start by explaining the basics. Which whitening system will best suit their timeline? What will it cost? When can they expect to see results? Will it require multiple return visits? How hassle-free is the process? Communicate this knowledge with enthusiasm and you may just have to stock up on your whitening products.
4. Make it Affordable
Did you know that teeth whitening is one of the most affordable ways to make a big impact on overall appearance? Offering special occasion discounts and running seasonal specials can boost your business’s bottom line and increase patient retention. Consider running a monthly drawing for a FREE whitening kit, or hosting a savvy social media contest. It’s up to you and your practice to determine what pricing best fits your growth needs, but whatever you decide to do, remember to keep it affordable!
5. Make it Convenient
Offering multiple options will ensure your patients’ whitening needs are met. A chairside option is a great choice for when your customer wants the whitening done for them, or if they have an upcoming event and are crunched on time. In addition to a chairside option, offer a take-home product such as Crest 3D White Whitestrips (which now come with a light which produces more dramatic results) or Venus White Ultra Whitening Trays. Take home options work best for patients that are willing to do more of the whitening work, and will hold themselves accountable – think, your best flossers ?.
6. Be Honest
Honesty really is the best policy – especially when it comes to your patients’ smiles. The most important point to get across to your patients is that a white, beautiful smile is reflective of a healthy mouth. And, as their appointed healthy mouth expert, you need to be a part of the whitening equation whether it’s directly or indirectly. If you’re serious about putting that sparkle back into your patients’ smiles, you need to give them your honest opinion. Plus, honesty enhances trust, and trust goes hand-in-hand with lifelong customers.
7. Set an Example
When we think of the best way to inspire someone, leading by example goes a lot farther than telling someone what to do. Your patients will surely notice a bright, beautiful grin peering down on them during cleanings and consults. This makes it easier to educate anyone who asks how to follow in your footsteps. Just tell them which methods you utilize to maintain such a glorious smile – it’s as simple as that!
Patients who whiten their teeth become more interested in their teeth, and as a result they can be some of your best clients. Growing your whitening business is an excellent strategy to help your office thrive. As a dental professional, you play an important part in these whitening decisions, so it’s up to you to create value by carrying and sharing the benefits of those whitening products and services you feel are in your patients’ best interests.
If you’d like to start by taking a look at whitening products to expand your current offerings, start browsing here! If you’re set on products and would like some additional tips about communicating the value of in-office whitening, use these conversation starters! How do you encourage your patients to whiten their teeth? Share in the comments below.