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3 Questions to Help You Find Your Perfect Dental Patient


Differentiation marketing new patients webinar Sep 15, 2021

It’s Monday morning and you’re trying to get yourself energized for a full day of dentistry. Your morning huddle starts and the entire team, including you, grins from ear to ear when your office manager says “Mrs. Jones is coming in today!”

What if ALL of your days were filled with patients like Mrs. Jones?


Have You Decided Who Your Core Customer Is?

What does core customer mean? These are your perfect patients! The best of the best. The cream of the crop. You can’t help but smile when you see their names on the schedule. Identifying your core customer is a great way to not only improve your days but also, to improve your production.

These core customers, or “avatar patients” are not simply those that we “like” the most.  In order to truly be avatar patients, these individuals should meet some very specific criteria that are not simply subjective, and based on feeling. It’s great to have your chair filled with nice patients, but if those nice patients don’t show up on time, and rarely accept treatment, are they truly the core customer that you want to fill your practice with?

While enjoying the time spent with your patient is of the utmost importance, having other qualifiers is not only important, it will help to simplify the process of identifying your core customer. Here are 3 objective questions that you should always be asking yourself when going through this process:

Is/Does this patient:

  • Profitable, ie they accept treatment and pay their bills
  • Value you and your services
  • Refer people like them

 At ACT Dental we coach our clients on a patient identification system to help simplify the identification of core customers; we refer to this as “A”, “B” and “C” patients. Your core customers are your “A” patients, they are those that get a resounding YES to all of the above questions. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we find our “C” patients, they are those that might not only cause frustration but also get a no to the above questions. By putting policies and systems in place that support our “A” patients, we have the best opportunity of creating a practice that is full of our core customers


Have you Written it Down?

Don't just talk about what makes a core customer in your practice, write it down and create a system around it so you and your team can be aligned not only on the details of your perfect patient but also, how you will identify them in your practice and your software. Dr. Barrett Straub recently shared with us his practice core customer description:

“Our core patient values quality over cost. They show up for appointments, always pay in full, and are appreciative of the services we provide. We know this because they say thanks and always comment on how much they love coming to the dentist in our office. They accept our treatment recommendations and work hard at home on their hygiene. A healthy smile is important to them. They enthusiastically refer family and friends to us.”

It is very clear to Dr. Straub’s team who their core customers are, their “A” patients. Having intentional team discussions about the core customer for the practice gives your team members the opportunity to cater to these patients in a way that encourages amazing referrals.


Have you Spent your Time and Energy on Catering to your “A” Patients?

Once you’ve identified who your core customer is, you have their description written down, and you know how you are identifying them in your software, you can determine what steps to take to focus on building a practice filled with these ideal patients. How can you improve their dental experience at your practice, so they refer more patients just like them? 

We encourage you to make your improvements a team effort with this Tier Exercise.

Your best energy should go towards these individuals. Kirk shared some more insight into this when stating,  “One of the problems with the world or anyone around you, is they’re not giving their best energy to the things that matter most. You are the one who decides where you are going to put your energy. When you spend it focusing on your core customer, that energy then comes back through those people. It comes back to you when they’ve referred their friends.”

In Dr. Barrett Straub’s most recent webinar he said “When we put our time and energy into our core customer, our “A” patients, what’s going to happen over time is that your practice will fill with more “A” patients. Because you are telling the world by your actions and your words, this is what I believe. You’re going to attract patients that believe what you believe. Your core customers are going to start referring more patients that are similar and before you know it, you have a flywheel turning and your practice is starting to fill with some of the best patients.” 


For a better practice and a better life, fill your days with as many “A” patients as possible. This will increase ease of treatment recommendations, grow your production, resulting in incredible referrals, and ultimately make you and your team happier.


About the Authors: Jenni Poulos is a lead practice coach at ACT Dental.

Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.