The Dentist’s Weekend Warrior Marketing Tip

Don’t Let a Sleeping Dog Lie

Although we all agree it is important to attract new patients to your practice, how about waking up the sleeping database of patients you already have? You worked hard to get them in the door, and you’re already provided them some of your services. But you can also let them know you are there for all their dental needs.

These patients may be in the following situations:

  • Those who have had a consultation, but never started treatment.
  • Those that abandoned their treatment mid process.
  • Entire families that just seem to have disappeared.
  • And most importantly…your tried-and-true, loyal patients who may not realize all the services you offer. There is nothing more frustrating than finding out a patient went elsewhere because she did not want to “bother you” with her husband’s sleep apnea issues or did not think you did full mouth reconstructions.

For your existing patients you see regularly, consider asking about the rest of the family. They may not be bringing their children in because they did not know you handle pediatric dentistry. Seeing a lot of kids, but you do not treat their parents? Be sure your office staff asks if they would like to make an appointment for themselves. Keep track of all the family members in your computer system so you can spot who you are not treating.

Broadcast the niche areas you work in, such as sleep apnea or cosmetic dentistry. In addition to marketing pieces, email blasts, blogs and facebook posts, have some props in your office that will provoke patients to ask about your various services. I know I can’t help but play with the Invisalign displays when I visit my dentist’s office.

Depending on your staff availability and your schedule this fall, you can start a calling campaign, even if it’s just to leave a message. Some of your patients that have gone missing may be embarrassed to come back and just need a warm invitation to get them back in the door. Be sure to remind them that now is the time to take advantage of their unused insurance benefits before the year ends.

Make it your mission to touch base with all your existing patients between now and the end of the year. Keep track of your success rate so you can see the fruit of your labors. As with all marketing efforts, include your staff in the plan and reward them as a group with lunch or some other perk for all their hard work. I am convinced that a solid 90 day outreach program will give you such positive results that you will incorporate it into your 2011 marketing plan.

–          Jill Nastasia

What Does “Customer No Service” Mean to You?

In our society today, we often hear the words “customer service” used to signify that an organization’s primary focus is on its customers.  We also have heard another term used, “customer no service.”  This term was derived to designate those organizations where customer satisfaction is not the primary focal point.  Unfortunately, success either never comes, or is very fleeting for those who find themselves in the latter group.

Why is this?  The answer is quite simple.  Without customers, no business can survive, let alone prosper.  Dentistry is no different!  Patients have many choices for dental care today.  In most metropolitan areas in the U.S., there is a dental office on every corner, so competition is fierce, and patient retention is more challenging than ever before.

So, what can we do in our practice to insure we not only attract new patients, but hang on to the ones we have?  You guessed it!  Excellent customer service!  What exactly does this mean, you might ask?  It means putting the needs of the customer (patient) first.  When that patient calls on the phone, or walks through the door of our office, they have to feel that they are number one!  No matter what else might be going on around us, our number one responsibility, regardless of what our role in the office, is to make each and every patient feel important, listened to, cared for, and appreciated.

It is not okay to get this right some of the time.  We have to get it right 100% of the time.  This starts from the way we answer our phone, and carries all the way through our clinical care and the way we handle our patients’ financial concerns.  Every patient is an individual, with unique circumstances and needs.  It is absolutely critical that we recognize this and behave accordingly at all times. (more…)

Facebook Birthday Wishes and Marketing Your Dental Practice

Facebook, ah the mysterious Facebook. It’s pretty cut and dry for personal use, but when it comes to using Facebook for business, some folks stumble…then give up.

I have a whole bag of tricks for marketing on Facebook, and I’ll throw you a freebie. This one works on personal pages, not fan pages…so it’s relevant if you have a professional/personal page with friends who are your patients.

All people LOVE to be recognized on their birthday. On your Facebook wall page, in the right column, you’ll see that all of your friends whose birthday is today are listed. Simply click on the names, and you’ll be redirected to the friends’ walls. There, you can wish them happiness on their special day and give them a one-day gift offer…

Happy Birthday! Call my office today at 888-888-8888 to claim your gift, a free teeth whitening pen. It’s my way of saying, thank you for being a friend!

Hope you’re having a fantastic birthday, because you deserve it. To celebrate, if you call my office today at 888-888-8888, we will mark your account with a $25 gift certificate toward any service. Have a great one!

Birthday wishes are wonderful, but gifts are better! Call my office today at 888-888-8888 to claim the birthday present I’ve set aside just for you. Say you received a birthday message from me on Facebook. Make some memories today!

Give it a try. And if you want more great Facebook ideas, or you need someone who knows the ropes to manage your Facebook page for you, call us at Modern Dental Practice Marketing. We’re in the business to make dentists smile!

A Sweet Event for Dentists: Halloween Candy Buy Back

It’s scary when Halloween is the dentist’s favorite holiday!

But not if said dentist is hosting a Halloween Candy Buy Back program. If you’ve not heard about this sweet deal, you’re in for a treat. The Halloween Candy Buy Back is a trick that gets kids to donate their candy to US troops overseas. For you, the dentist, it’s a delicious opportunity for free press.

Halloween Candy Buy Back works because everyone gets what they want.

You give kids what they really want…cash. Pay $1 a pound, and the kids will line up, all the way down the street and around the corner.

Parents love the event because: A) their kids don’t eat all that sugar, B) their kids get cash that they don’t have to dole out, and C) they like the thought of sending treats to the troops.

And the media goes nuts because they get a grassroots, warm and fuzzy story about people helping people.

The dental team loves the event because they get to dress up in costumes and make people happy. It’s a social thing.

And what about you? Why should you love Halloween Candy Buy Back? Cheap publicity; an opportunity to make American troops smile. It’s that simple.

It really is pretty simple. Dr. Chris Kammer, the inventor of Halloween Candy Buy Back, established a website where participating dentists can register for hosting the event. You’ll get free instructions, free ideas, and free teleseminars with how-to info.

Does it work? Yes. Visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/photo-gallery.html.

Is it too late to get started? No! Publicity should begin the week before Halloween, so you can start planning now!

If you like the idea of hosting community events, but you don’t know how to get involved, or you and your team don’t have time to do all the planning that will make an event successful, call Modern Dental Practice Marketing. We offer consulting and event planning services for our clients. Why? Because we’re in the business to make dentists smile!

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Social Media Marketing & Small Business… Worth Your Time?

I’ve said before that Facebook may or may not bring you new business, and I stand by that statement. However, we have to look at the nature of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Internet communities to understand how and why social networking can be profitable.

You’ve been to a face-to-face networking event; the awkward feel that everyone’s there to sell something (that’s why you’re there). The odd-looking people who you know are there because they have nothing else to do–which is not a good sign. The somewhat interesting (if you’re lucky) speaker.

You leave with a handful of business cards and a dream that maybe from the two hours of your life you just invested, maybe one, just one of the folks you met will bring you a new client…somehow. But networking online is different. It’s so much better!

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The Dentist’s Weekend Warrior Marketing Tip

Help a reporter out!

Would you like to be quoted and listed as a source in a news article for a local, regional or even a national news outlet? Join Help A Reporter Out (HARO), and you’ll have the opportunity to become that source.

Prior to the advent of HARO three years ago, reporters relied on their own databases of subject matter experts whom they would call on when they were working on a story. They collected these names from other published stories as well as from press releases they had received in the past. This meant that the only people who got interviewed were either already famous as a certain subject matter expert or had a high priced public relations firm courting the media on their behalf.

HARO has changed this by creating a place for reporters and sources to find each other, at no charge to either. Over 100,000 journalists from small online organizations, all the way to The New York Times and ABC, are registered with HARO.

Here’s how it works:  Sources receive emails that take just a couple of minutes to read. The email lists out the topics, each with a brief description, of what the journalist is looking for. If it is something that matches your experience, you just send a short email directly to that reporter stating what makes you an expert in this area and how you can be reached. Take 3 minutes right now, and listen to the audio of the Founder, Peter Shankman, explain how to use HARO.

Not only are we a fan of HARO, but we are among their 120,000 sources. We use it to promote MDPM, as well as to promote our clients. If we see a query come through that matches any of our clients’ areas of expertise, we submit a response on their behalf!

Don’t forget that getting published is not the end goal but just the beginning. If you are quoted or featured in a news story, be sure to develop a marketing plan around the article that includes your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter to get maximum exposure out of the feature. The PR you can get from being published can create a lot of momentum and result in more business for your practice if marketed correctly.

If you should decide to take advantage of HARO, we would love to hear from you to learn how this modern doorway to media coverage increased your business.

– Jill Nastasia

Dental Practice Names & Dental Website Domains…Different Animals

Zebras and tigers both have stripes, but they are very different. For instance, even in a pinch, I wouldn’t ride a tiger. I also wouldn’t advise petting or hand feeding a tiger. A zebra, on the other hand, sure! Sounds like fun!

Another obvious difference is that Zebras live on the plains of Africa. Tigers call the jungle home.

My point is, like zebras and tigers, your practice name and website domain name have different homes, different purposes, and thus should be dealt with differently. That’s not to imply that your practice and website shouldn’t have the same name, but I recommend you put some thought behind your decision. These names should be with you for a long, long time.

As with most marketing and advertising concepts, I recommend attacking the naming issue with logic. This Q&A chart should help. (more…)