I wrote this guest post to run on an influential dental profession blog on behalf of Pure laboratory Managing Director, Michael Joseph. I’ve used an engaged, crusading tone of voice, intended to draw attention to Pure’s determination to help dentists introduce more patients to private treatment. Guest blog post for dental laboratory Pure Laboratory.
Knocking down the obstacle that stops you switching patients to Private.
“My patients don’t understand why they need Private”, a dentist customer of my premium Private lab told me recently. “I do plenty of private work. But lots of them really don’t see why they should pay double to have a job done privately when they can have it done Band 3. It’s not that they absolutely can’t afford it or definitely wouldn’t want it… it’s that they honestly can’t get their heads around why they’d spend that much more.”
Now I love Private treatment. I’ve been looking after Private dentists for 7 years and my premium Private lab does fantastic work for dentists who are fortunate to be working with patients who do want private treatment and don’t mind paying to get the best.
But I think my customer has it spot on. If you’re running one of the tens of thousands of mainstream practices that offer both NHS and Private treatment, it’s very difficult to convince a patient that a crown that she could have done by you for £225 as a Band 3 NHS case, would be worth having done Privately for five hundred pounds or so you’d have to charge if you had the crown made for you by a good lab focused on Private treatment.
The gap of say £300 is almost impossible to explain away without destroying the patient’s confidence in you by talking down the treatment you’d be able provide were she to opt for Band 3 care. Your reassurance of additional time spent on the treatment, and explanations of the superior quality of Private prosthetics may not fall on deaf ears, but when push comes to shove they’re unlikely to persuade your patient to stump up the difference.
If the consequences of failing to convince the patient were limited to the one treatment in question, it wouldn’t be so bad. But the truth is that if you can’t persuade your patient to transition you lose the opportunity to upgrade the quality of treatment you are able to provide for them, as well as the value to you of caring for them, for many years, and many treatments, ahead.
Time to do something about it
I’ve always thought of the dentists who send their work to my labs as business partners. We make each other’s businesses possible. So for me, finding a way to remove a sticking point that’s preventing them unlocking the full potential and value of their practices is important. If it’s good for them then, one way or another it should be good for me, too.
The answer’s not hard to figure out. What’s needed is a full-service lab that’s able and willing to supply work that’s genuinely of the standard required for Private treatment, at price points that lower the price at which the dentist can offer Private treatment to a level that makes the step up from Band 3 less of an obstacle.
Now there’s no shortage of private ‘factory’ labs offering low price work. But the problem they’ve failed to solve is that of providing the right work at the right price…while still supporting it with the kind of back up and customer service you need to know you have behind you to deliver good Private care.
To make it work, you need all three: the quality, the price…and the customer service.
Making it work
Despite what dentists think, Private labs run on tight margins. The problem for any lab owner wanting to provide a low cost, Private standard lab with great support and customer service, is the difficulty in making the margins on the work to support providing the service required.
It’s not a problem of dental technicianship. And it’s certainly not a problem of finding technologies capable of producing the work at viable costs. It’s simply a problem of business models.
Enter Pure Lab
My answer has been to launch Pure Laboratory: a new, low cost, high quality, high service level lab under the umbrella of my Michael Joseph Companies business.
Pure is a full service lab for Private dentistry that utilises existing but underused admin resource and support capacity to deliver the tripple whammy I think is necessary to knock down the obstacle preventing patients from switching to Private. Pure gives dentists the right quality, the right pricing and the right support.
What that adds up to
The work and the service are easy to envisage. Pure provides implants, crown and bridge and other prosthetics manufactured to exceptional Private standards. Pure’s service (with all the normal conveniences like free collection and mailing bags and so on) is fully supported by our team of GDC registered technicians. If you need to talk over your job, they’re here, at our lab facility in London, ready to help.
So the one pillar that merits more explanation is Pure’s pricing. If we’re going to help you knock down the obstacle preventing you switching patients to Private, what do the prices look like?
Pure’s three prong attack on cost.
Pure has launched with a three pronged attack on the costs that make you have to charge more than your patients will accept for Private treatment.
- Everyday low pricing on all work, but especially staple crown and bridge work.
Vital. We’ve put in place buying and technical models that let us keep all prices low, but we’ve fixed the everyday staples of bonded crown and bridge work at £45 per unit, and IPS e.max crown and bridge work at £68 per unit. That means you could halve the price you’re paying for these, at a stroke.
- Money saving monthly special deals.
If our everyday low pricing on staple requisites is what makes the whole model sustainable, our monthly Special Offers are where we start to help you add additional margin. Sign up for our monthly Offers Newsletter and you’ll be sent details of two deals each month. Each dentist can make each saving once during that month. The following month there are new deals. As an example, our launch offers were an Atlantis Ti Abutment and Crown at £299 instead of £349 (saving £46), and 50% off an IPS e.max crown (saving £34). That’s another £80 straight back in each dentist’s pocket in that month.
- Special money saving Promotions.
Our third prong involves building special promotions into Pure’s core model at certain points in the year. As an example, we’ve opened with a special Launch offer of 50% off whatever a dentist’s first job to us might be. That could again represent a very worthwhile saving.
Moving us all forwards.
This isn’t about finding a way to maximise your profit on your existing Private work. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) This is about helping thousands of dentists throughout the UK to overcome that hurdle that’s been in place for far too many years.
If we can do it, I think we’ll open the floodgates for more patients choosing to have more cases treated privately… and that’s good for everyone.
If you’d like to receive Pure Laboratory’s free Intro Pack, along with a voucher for 50% off the price of your first, fill in your name and other details here. [http://purelaboratory.co.uk/launch-landing/]
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