Marketing Solutions for Dentists and Teams

Posts Tagged ‘dental practice resources

Referral Marketing Works for Dentists- But Don’t Just Take My Word For It

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If you’re like most dentists today you’re probably wondering how you can get more quality new patients without having to invest thousands of dollars. In one of my most popular blog posts “Recession Marketing for Dentists, What’s Hot & What’s Not” I shared the following recommendation:ritazphotoimage22

Invest in referral marketing. If you don’t already have an organized referral program, get busy and create one. Actively promote your program- not just twice a year by word of mouth when patients are in your office. Be sure to promote the fact that you want referrals the whole year long. Ask verbally and in writing (No you won’t come across as a pest or seem desperate because most people are busy with life and won’t likely remember the last time you asked, even if you ask them many times per year). Make sure you invite referrals verbally, and also put your invitation in writing. Tangible forms of promotion help visual learners (about 65% of the population) to remember to refer. If you’d like to know more about this, check out my Referral Guidebook and learn step-by-step how to create a successful turn-key system for your practice.

But don’t just take my word for the uberpower of word-of-mouth marketing. Here are a few of my favorite experts, dental marketing gurus, thought leaders and a few non-dental related quotes to help inspire and motivate you today:

“Word of mouth is thousands of times more powerful than conventional marketing.”

~ George Silverman, Author of “The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing”

“Even those deaf to the bragging cries of the marketplace will listen to a friend.”

~ Paddi Lund, Author of “Building the Happiness-Centered Business”

“Few people want to choose a dentist, for example, from a printed advertisement. People want to have more personal information before making such selections because whenever they choose a professional exclusively from an advertisement and have no other source of information, you may be taking a big risk as to the quality of service you will receive. With referrals, the risk is greatly reduced. Someone else has done business with that person and is recommending that professional to you with confidence.”

~ Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest referral organization, and New York Times Bestselling Author.

“Word of mouth marketing is the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues.”

~ Word Of Mouth Marketing Association

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”

~ Raymond Hull

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have comments to share, questions to ask or need dental marketing help? Call Rita at (303) 807-3827.

Dental Marketing That Sticks

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As consumers we are bombarded each day with thousands of advertising messages. This environment creates mind clutter which makes it hard for patients to remember to refer to you on a regular basis. In addition to providing exceptional service experiences, you can help your request for referrals to stick by making your message tangible.

Experts agree about 60% to 65% of the population are visual learners. These visual learners relate most effectively to written information, diagrams and pictures. Whether you illustrate your referral request in letters, postcards, business cards, CD’s, or emails, the moment you make your message visual or tangible you’ll help cut through the clutter, increase your effectiveness and your new patient referrals.

What makes your referral marketing memorable?

SOS Dental Marketing

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If you’re like many dental practices today you may be looking for ways to stimulate business… One tried and true tactic is a basic phone call. Placing courtesy calls to your existing patients for recall is one of the fastest, easiest and least expensive ways to get patients in the door.

Make it a fun challenge, get the whole team involved, and start placing calls to fill your schedule with healthy doses of production. Try using one of the following scripts:

Hello I’m calling from Dr Smith’s office as a friendly reminder that you are overdue for your cleaning/check-up/treatment, would you like to reserve an appointment… many of our patients are already reserving their appointments before years end to use their insurance benefits before they expire… Our schedule is filling up and I want to be sure we can get you in on time.

Let me know how this tactic works for you?

Stop Losing Dental Patient Referrals

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Many dentists realize the value of referrals, yet few communicate with their patients on a regular basis… This results not only in lost referrals, but also in lost case acceptance and sometimes lost patients.

Your patients are regularly receiving generic postcard offers from neighboring dental practices, each promoting a new special service, new technology or better location. The best way to ensure your patients are loyal, motivated and referring regularly is to keep in touch with them. Yes, excellent patient care is vital, but how often are you permitted to make someone’s day? Once or twice per year is not enough. Here are a few effective tips to follow up throughout the year:

  • Email- few practices are collecting email addresses. While not every patient will elect to receive email from you, many will and this will allow you to communicate with patients inexpensively and quickly.
  • Postcards- don’t bother sending patients a generic dental postcard- remember, they’ve likely already received dozens in their mailbox- instead, why not pick up colorful postcards from your favorite local town and have someone from your team write out a seasonal greeting (think summer destinations or great fall color drives).
  • Newsletters- not your father’s newsletter! Despite our desire to interest patients in cutting edge dental technologies, most patients would rather read about you. More personal touch articles and less dental procedure will allow patients to feel like they have a real relationship with you.

The key to winning more referrals is to keep in touch with your patients, one quality follow up at a time.

Dental Patients Lost By Email

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Ever consider not answering your practice phone? Just let the phone ring and ring and you never pick up… this is similar to what happens when patient emails sit in your inbox. Many patients prefer and expect email service – with prompt response. An average response time is at most within 24 hours on business days. Today, email communication is just as important as answering the phone- especially when it comes to new patient inquiries.

Some offices I work with have at least one team member, a technology guru, who enjoys working with computers and the internet and they diligently check and respond to emails- which is great. Other practices consider emails a second or, even worse, a last priority.

Yes, I understand that not all emails are timely. However they all need to be checked promptly in order to determine their importance. Letting a new patient inquiry sit in your practice in-box is similar to ignoring your phone or locking your practice door. If you don’t have someone comfortable or motivated to check email, consider outsourcing it or don’t have it as an option at all. Remember no impression is much better than a poor one.

How often does your office check email?

Feed Minds – Fuel Your Dental Practice

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Today I heard a dental assistant say she would really love to attend more CE and keep learning. I always love to hear someone ask to keep learning don’t you? The more we learn, the more we flourish- personally and professionally. One technique a doctor I work with used is to have the interested team member write up a short summary of why they’d like to attend a course and what they think they’d learn from it…

This technique forever changed the way I looked at CE seminars and programs. My mind shifted from “Wow, Florida will be a great conference location” to “Why do I REALLY want to attend this course and how will I use what I learn day-to-day.” Writing up pre-conference summaries committed me to learn the most I could, and to bring nuggets back to the office to implement and share.

So, the next time your team member asks if she can attend a course, first thank them for their interest and then ask them to write up their “Why and how” summary. It will positively change their perspective and your practice will benefit more from the investment.

How often does your team ask to attend CE?