Phoenix, AZ– New patients are the life blood of a dental practice, but with dentistry’s competitive market it is not always easy to get them in the dental chair. Dentists have tried attracting new patients with various giveaways including free teeth whitening, free iPods, and free electric toothbrushes. But a Phoenix dentist thinks she has found the holy grail of new patient promotions.
“I’ve been thinking of ways to get new patients in my chair, but just about every idea has been used,” says Dr. Sheila Schnell. “I know of an orthodontist across town that is giving away a new car. How can I compete with that?” A former college curling champion, Dr. Schnell’s competitive streak kicked in when she saw other practices booming while hers was in survival mode.
So what cutting edge idea did Dr. Schnell come up with? “I decided I was going to give away my first born,” she says matter-of-factly. “Every new patient is entered in a drawing.”
“He’s a hard-working 21-year-old young man, a great kid, and working towards his college degree,” Dr. Schnell says of her son. “And he has his driver’s license so if the same patient wins the car from the orthodontist it will be like they won their own Über. I really hate to see him go, but in this competitive environment we have to be at the forefront of marketing.”
So how has this new giveaway impacted Dr. Schnell’s practice? “It’s been amazing! We’ve been getting all kinds of new patients that we never would have had by giving away electric toothbrushes. We even had a nice lady from the Department of Child and Family Services stop in to ask about the promotion. She didn’t schedule yet, but she said she’d definitely be back and she was going to bring some of her co-workers with her. She is referring her friends even before she has had an appointment with us. This is publicity that money can’t buy!”
The promotion runs until the end next month.