Marketing Phase 2—Building Trust

In the September 1 Issue of the enewsletter, this column focused on Phase One of the Four Phases of Practice Marketing: Creating Awareness. In this issue we will look at Phase Two: Building Trust. All of our purchase decisions are based on trust. When we purchase a product or service, it is because we trust that it will fulfill our expectations. Would you go to a dentist that you didn’t trust? So how do you build the trust necessary to convert a potential patient into a patient?

The best way to build trust is to hear a firsthand testimonial from someone you trust, in other words, a patient referral. Because of the unique effectiveness of patient referrals however, it has been designated a phase all its own, and we will cover referrals extensively in Phase Four. For Phase Two we will discuss the process of building trust for potential patients that don’t come from a referral.

Start by asking what kind of information a patient would need to trust a dentist. The answer to this question actually depends on the patient. Some people may want to know something about the dentist, others may want to know about the services offered and others may want to see what the office looks like. Really, it is all of the benefits and features that are associated with your practice that provide the type of information people look for to build trust in a dental practice. It is a good idea to develop a list of these practice features and benefits. Think about everything that makes your practice worthwhile.

Once you have identified your practice features and benefits, they need to be accessible to potential patents. Take a look at all of the ways that a potential patient might learn about your practice. (Keep in mind that you build trust after creating awareness and also that your differences that you established in creating awareness are also still important in building trust.) Your Web site is a critical trust building tool, as it can contain a wealth of information and give ample evidence that you should be trusted. Another important resource for building trust is you staff. Most people will call your office if they have questions or need more information to give them peace of mind about your practice. Is your staff trained to talk about your practice features and benefits in a way that builds trust?

Finally, an important aspect to building trust is remembering that the way you build trust with potential patients will set the expectations they have when they become actual patients. If expectations are set incorrectly, then their trust will not be rewarded and they will be disappointed with their experience. If you ever hope to cultivate referrals, you can’t disappoint your patients. Therefore, build trust by creating realistic expectations. This requires an honest appraisal and definition of who you are as a practice. You need to ensure that all of your contact points are a true representation of the actual practice experience.

In the next phase we will discuss how to reward the trust that your patients have placed in you to create loyalty. For more information on Dental Branding and how to effectively market your practice, call us at 1-866-375-5511, or visit us on line at

Author: Douglas Slighting
Published: 10/01/2009
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