Marketing Solutions for Dentists and Teams

Archive for July 2008

Dental Marketing Flailing? Take A Look At Your Wheel…

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No, it’s not your car wheels, but your marketing wheel that will reveal why problems exist. Imagine a wheel with spokes, much like a bicycle wheel, each spoke representing one aspect of your marketing. For example, one spoke may represent a referral program, another spoke is for patient newsletters, yet another spoke represents a neighborhood advertisement or a direct mail program. Some dentists are under the impression that one spoke- marketing activity- will handle the job. In fact, without a well balanced wheel, many marketing plans/practices will flail.

That’s not to say every practice needs to do every type of marketing… some practices thrive on referrals alone. Each spoke of their wheel represents a large number of happy patient ambassadors referring on regular basis. If you’ve decided now is the time to get out and market, consider how you’ll fill out the spokes of your wheel. It will make the difference between a marketing program that goes nowhere and one that rolls out successfully.

How is your practice surviving our turbulent economic times?

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Who Should Sell Treatment – Dentist or Team Member?

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The correct answer is everyone should sell treatment in your office. By this I don’t mean you should have your entire team running about pitching and closing… Instead I mean your receptionist should be friendly and approachable, your assistant knowledgeable and inquisitive, your hygienist informative and compassionate, and the dentist a good listener with excellent questioning skills.

When it comes to treatment presentation, the best person to present treatment to patients is the person with the best people skills- technical skills are often only a small part of a successful presentation (this spoken from years of personal experience presenting hundreds of diagnosis and treatment recommendations to many times scared, financially challenged or “complicated” patients). In many cases the technicalities of treatment need not even be discussed. Most patients just want to the opportunity to ask specific questions and feel that they have been heard. Yes, there are some patients who absolutely need to see the doctor and learn about all the details. In those situations the doctor is best suited to see the patient. However many times I noticed patients felt more open to ask their “silly” questions and chit-chat with the team members- great trust building and bonding opportunities. It pays to remember the power of strong, healthy people skills when determining who will present treatment and fees for your practice.

Who handles case presentation in your practice?

Dentists – Need Great Leadership?

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Where do you turn for motivation, inspiration and leadership? I recommend Dr. Barry Polansky’s products and services. Visit his website academyofdentalleadership.com. There you’ll find teleseminars, coaching programs, dental masterminds and his book The Art of the Examination.

So, where do you turn for inspiration?

Video During Dental Case Presentation – Use It or Lose It?

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A dentist recently asked if I thought using CD-Rom or video during case presentation was worthwhile… My answer, yes absolutely; however be sure to always ask the patient for permission first.

For example, ask the patient, “Would you like to see a brief animated video of the treatment? It is only about 3 minutes long however I think you’ll really find it beneficial?” By asking this way you inform the patient the program is animated (so they won’t say no thinking you might show them a horrible real life bloody surgical incision), you let them know it is only 3 minutes long (so they won’t think you’ll hold them hostage with a 30 minute video), and you also politely ask for their permission.

Introduce visual programs and ask for permission in this format- you’ll get patients motivated about their treatment, and help them to feel empowered as a part of their learning and decision process as well.

How do you introduce video programs to your patients during case presentation?

What REALLY Matters

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Attended a funeral today and I’m reminded what really matters… This morning I remembered to tell my husband I loved him before he left for work. I turned the radio off in the car and tried to absorb the beauty of nature that surrounds us- trees, a lake, birds, the cool morning breeze. While marketing, business, writing and dentistry are interesting and fun, what REALLY matters is precious life and those around us. Take time today to tell someone thank you, smile, soak in some nature and breathe.

Written by Rita Zamora

July 19, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Dental Marketing

The Best Way To Get Patients To Buy

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Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of the book Collaborative Selling, says, “The commando approach to selling is obsolete. It does not foster referrals, references, repeat business, word-of-mouth advertising, customer satisfaction, or good will.” Once effective ways of selling, pitching and closing, are ineffective with today’s buyers… Instead, patients want to buy from people they feel they have relationships with. Patients want to feel confident that you have heard what they need to say and that you can fulfill their needs. Before they buy, they want to trust you.

The most common question I hear from dentists is, “What should I tell people so they’ll trust me faster?” The answer is not what you should tell, rather it is what you should ask. Telling is pitching- an old school sales tactic. Asking open-ended questions allows the patient to open up and speak what is on their mind. The more the patient shares, the more trust they are building with you. This provides a more pleasant decision-making environment for the patient and makes selling easier for you.

Dental Marketing Gone To The Dogs

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Sunny

Sunny

Some of the most successful dentists I know share a bit of personality with their patients. They may love dogs, fishing, golf, church, music, travel, volunteering, etc. Whatever their passion, they confidently show a part of their authentic self which in turn comes across to patients as genuine, real and trustworthy.

What better way to easily connect with someone than through shared interests. Over 3 billion dollars are expected to be spent on pet services in the United States alone this year… We Americans love our pets. The love of dogs is just one example of personal interest you might share.

The most important thing to consider is the commodity of dental care available on the market today. It is easy to replicate digital x-rays, a modern reception room, flexible hours or cool staff uniforms—what is impossible to replicate is your genuine self. Showing a bit of your personality can go a long way in building trust and relationships. The added bonus is you’ll give patients something easy to remember and fun to talk about when they refer friends to you.