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How many times have you walked into a fast-food restaurant and been asked, “Would you like fries with that,” “Would you like to upsize that for just a dollar more,” or “Would you like to make that a combo?” Can you ever imagine doing something like that in your practice?

You should be doing EXACTLY that in the upsell customers phase. Sometimes you will see an upsell referred to as a bump. This is where you say, “Since we know each other, maybe you would be interested in Y.”

Here are two important things to remember about upselling existing customers:

  1. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%
  2. It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.

This is going to sound a lot like, “Thanks for your order. Do you want fries with that?” And in some ways it is. But providing what a patient wants and then asking if they want more is a tried-and-true technique. So if a patient has come to you for Invisalign, maybe they’re a good candidate for teeth whitening.

Or, to continue the example we’ve been using, maybe the patient you have nurtured until he bought a sleep apnea appliance is also a good candidate for Six Month Smiles or veneers.

Once a patient knows and trusts you, they are more likely to follow your suggestions. Upsells also can include programs like whitening-for-life or warranties on implants or prostheses. Of course, this shouldn’t be so aggressive that it turns off otherwise satisfied patients.

Doing so would damage the final stage of the customer lifecycle: get referrals.

3 Ways to Leverage Referrals for More Patients

Referrals are nothing new in the “pay, stay and refer” world of dentistry. Here are three ways you can leverage referrals to grow your practice:

  1. As testimonials. We are big proponents of video at SmartBox Web Marketing. We’ve discussed ways to use video testimonials in this blog before.
  2. Online patient reviews. We encourage our clients to make it easy for their patients to leave reviews on Google+, Facebook, Yelp and Bing.
  3. Word of mouth. These are people who will tell their friends and family, and post on social media about their experience with you.

But you need to systemize how you get those testimonials. You don’t just want to let them happen. Encourage patients to let you and others know if they are happy with their results.

If you follow the stages of lifestyle marketing, you can get more of the patients YOU want.


Written by Smartbox

SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.