eLaunchers Blog

When the Patient Says No

Posted by Parthiv Shah on May 15, 2019 3:10:47 PM

Parthiv Shah


Our client base is made up of several niches, but predominately physicians, dentists, and attorneys.   Further breaking down the spread, dentists is what we seem to attract more than the others. 

Dentistry is a somewhat competitive field, having more than 199,496 dentists in the United States alone. These are dentists actually working in their field as opposed to the number of licenses offered.  That’s 61 dentists for every 100,000 people on average. These statistics were taken from the American Dental Association for the year 2018.

That doesn’t sound all that competitive when you look at the numbers spread across the entire land mass of the US, but if Texas has more than 15,000, and New York a close second at 14,600.  That’s a whole lot of dentists.  Nationwide, general dentistry makes up 78%, and the remainder is spread across the specialties. 

The challenge for most dentists is that in local situations, a lot of dentists are clustered nearby making that competitive pressure stressful as they battle for market share.


Every practice experiences similar issues when it comes to patients.  Case presentation declines are the patient telling you no thank you.  Booked appointments that never appear is also a no.  Phone calls inquiring about services but fail to manifest into an appointment is a no.  How about the referral that never materializes?  Yep, that’s a no.  One and done patients may as well be a no as far as lifetime value is concerned.  All these NO’s, and we haven’t even included the missed phone calls that hit during the day while front desk personnel is busy helping other patients.

When you consider that the lifetime value of a patient is approximately $6000 or more, that’s a lot of revenue lost. In fact, it only takes 167 NO’s to total $1 Million, that’s $1,000,000.00 conservatively speaking.

With all of these NO’s, it seems as though the deck is stacked against you, but you trod along hoping for a better day.  But NO doesn’t have to be no forever.

Should you study your historical data, you’ll find definite patterns of all of those NO’s going back to the first month your practice was opened. It’s a fact of life.  So what do you do about all these transactions that never occurred?

If you identify all of these individuals and place them on a long-term re-engagement campaign, everyone you capture is a potential $6000 in new revenue.  One doesn’t sound like much, but remember, only 167 equals $1Million.  Let’s say you have five hundred NO’s in your data. If 2-3 out of a hundred reengage and become patients, that is like receiving $60,000 to $90,000 from out of the blue.


Goals and Dreams


We see a lot of professionals that went to school with a dream of opening their own practice.  They went through all the schooling to qualify, most of whom used student loans to finance their way through.  After years of dedicated study, they finally received their diploma and license to practice.

You left your professional schooling with several things.  First, a sense of pride in your accomplishment, and with a great big smile on your face.  You received accolades, slaps on the back, hearty handshakes and much goodwill.  You also came out of school with a mountain of student debt.

Your family is so proud of you. As a celebration, you decide to take them on a luxury vacation to show them how life will be once your practice is up and running.  You move into a new home, buy a new car, even the kids are excited about their new life.

Your dream of becoming a licensed dentist that has a business that hums, happy patients, plenty of revenue, happy staff, and a beautiful office.  You dream of working only three or four days a week instead of what you’re doing now.

But here’s the dilemma.  It takes a ton of money to open a practice, so you are faced with a decision.  Should you finance your new business or become an associate in someone else’s?  Suddenly it hits you. 

You find out that it takes more than a license to practice being a profitable dentist, whether you’re working for someone else or on your own.  It takes a method of driving new patients into your business.  It takes marketing.

It takes expertise well beyond your front desk person trying to post stuff on Facebook.  It takes expertise to examine your historical data to analyze patterns of purchase as well as no purchase.  It takes data science, custom graphics, attraction professional copy, it takes marketing expertise.

If the goal is to live the life of your dreams, walk the beaches of the world, work less, earn more and have a self-managing business.



To effectively work less and make more money it will take a concerted effort of the technicians, administrative staff, and you to become directly involved with marketing that really works.  Gone are the days when you hang up a shingle, make sure the front door is unlocked, and wait for patients to flood in.
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In this blog, we share what we learned from our reading and our experience. We publish two articles a week. Our blog editor Stacey Riska reads, researches and interview industry experts to write these articles. We also get articles contributed by others that Stacey publishes periodically to this blog. If you have a blog idea or blog article, kindly send it to sriska@elaunchers.com for review.

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