You may be familiar with the idea of scarcity versus abundance mindset, but have you ever examined it in the context of dentistry? These mindsets have some fascinating implications which can be invaluable in how a dental practice owner approaches practice management. If you’re not familiar with this concept, a scarcity mindset is present when one is concerned about the finite nature of resources, or when there is a worry about there not being enough resources for everyone. The abundance mindset, on the other hand, is one that is confident there is enough to go around, and that everyone has the opportunity to get their fair share.
As the owner of a practice, there should be two levels to your approach towards the scarcity versus abundance mindset: how you view the playing field, and how you present the playing field. It’s beneficial to approach the former with an abundance mindset, and the latter with a scarcity mindset. If you are not booking the number of appointments you’d like, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there simply aren’t enough patients, or that your patients are being stolen away by competitors. If this is your vantage point, pause and take a moment to consider this: dentistry is one of the most underutilized services in the country. According to a 2018 poll conducted by the American Dental Association, 42% of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they would like, while 85% believe that oral health is an important element in overall health. If you’re of the scarcity mindset when it comes to market potential, these numbers should help you shift to a mindset of abundance. There are thousands of prospective patients out there; you just need to restructure the way you reach them, which leads to the second approach: selling scarcity.
According to Robert B. Caldini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “The feeling of being in competition for scarce resources has powerfully motivating properties.” Now that you know there is no shortage of potential patients, you can leverage this knowledge to drive them towards your business. Make a point of identifying your competitive advantage, the element of your practice that makes it unique and superior to the competition. You can find this by comparing yourself to competing practices and asking current patients why they keep coming back. Then promote your practice using these findings. Tell prospects about your unique offerings, services, perks and amenities, and warn them that they don’t want to wait to schedule before all the bookings have been filled.
There are patients out there looking for your services, and having asked your current patients, you know what attracts people like them to your practice. Promote your practice’s one-of-a-kind benefits to attract new patients who believe they can’t live without your unique services.