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    How to grow your practice with wine, cheese and a dental savings plan

    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.

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    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 thisgroup of uninsured Baby Boomers may be the perfect audience for a dental savings plan.

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    Continue to page two to read how Dr. Phelps implemented his plan...

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