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How to Brand Yourself The Celebrity Dentist
Good morning, today is Tuesday March 12th and today I’m going to talk about how you can brand your practice as the expert to become the celebrity dentist in your community. When you’re setting up your practice’s marketing there are two types of patient that you can attract. There are 50% of the population that is going to choose their dentist based on price alone, and I’m not talking about special offers or discounted offers versus discounted services, I’m just talking in general that 50% of the population is going to choose their dentist based solely on price. When I say based solely on price I mean they’re looking for the cheapest overall price. This isn’t the person that’s looking for a special offer or a special service, this is just the person that doesn’t have an appreciation or doesn’t value what goes into their mouth. They’re simply looking to get out of pain or fix a problem immediately and they’re not concerned about quality or value.
The other 50%, the top half of the population, is going to choose dentistry based off of value and quality and the service that you provide. By and large, that’s the type of patient that you want to attract because they are going to spend more money in your practice over the next five or ten years. The patients that only shop for price, they’re going to come, you’re going to fix them, they don’t have loyalty, they’re probably not going to come back, their average lifespan is going to be shorter and their average value per year, the actual dollars generated, ROI, is going to be much lower than the patient that has an appreciation for what you do and stays longer.
When you’re marketing towards that upper 50% how do you reach out to them? How do you connect with them in a way that sets you up as the expert, creates value in their mind, educates them because educated consumers are going to consume more of the dentistry you have to offer if they know you provide the services, they know you provide them well and they know that you’ve provided them very well for other patients. They know you can do the same for them. So how can you structure your marketing to create value and provide education for all these people?
The first thing that comes to mind is have a book. Have several books. Have a book on each area of dentistry that you provide, whether it’s how you can chew comfortably again and eat the foods you love with dental implants, how 40 is not too old to align your smile and now you can do it without braces, without anybody ever knowing. Whether it’s dental comfort breakthroughs, how you can have a comfortable dental experience, talking about the sedation options you offer. Maybe it’s cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic book title, you could use something like the five blunders to avoid before choosing your next cosmetic dentist or how to smile comfortably and enjoy social situations again. Touch on the pain that people are experiencing and then give them a 50 or 100 page hardback book that talks about all the options you offer, that talks about the different advantages and disadvantages of both, give them the total education. Give them the options and let them make up their mind on what is best for them.
Books, killer. The great thing about a book is the lifespan on a book on their bookshelf is going to be forever. The lifespan on your email that you’re sending them is probably 12 to 36 hours at most. The lifespan on that direct mail card, maybe days, maybe weeks, maybe months if they don’t clean out their drawers and refrigerators very often and it has to be something pretty good.
Something else that we’re doing with a lot of success, if you give me just a moment I’ll show you. This is a sample piece. Something else we’re sending out is these direct mail cards here and this is a Christmas mailer we sent out. This is a hard plastic mailer and the great thing about it is it has credit card breakouts that they can put right in their wallet. This particular breakout has two breakouts so you can punch out these and have two credit cards. This is a six by ten direct mail piece. The cost is not much more than traditional direct mail that runs through flats and it has two credit card breakouts that they can stick in their wallets and they’re going to save forever. It’s a much longer lifespan than what you’re going to have with your traditional direct mail with a big card that they have to manage somewhere. It’s one idea for expanding the lifespan of your existing direct mail. It also gets a lot more visibility in the mail, obviously it’s thick plastic, it doesn’t bend, it doesn’t break, when they’re sorting their mail over the trashcan because that’s how people sort their mail, they sort their email over the trashcan, they sort their email with the delete button, that piece is going to stand out.
Use methods that are going to have retention with your prospects. Take advantage of the internet, webinars, teleseminars, ways that you can bring people in, let them get to know you in the comfort of their own home to get to know you, get to know more about you educating them, then they’re going to look to you as an authoritative source of information. Having a monthly webinar or a teleseminar where you can give out lots of great information, having video on your website where you talk about different options. We’re not talking clinical video, clinical video has no value, but showing them their options, showing them that you’re compassionate, caring, genuine concern, that you’ve got patients who are extremely happy, videos of your patients, videos of your staff. Humanizing your entire practice is going to be how you attract people that are looking for value. They probably had a bad experience as a kid and they want to know that before they jump in to another dentist that you’re going to take care of them, that you’re going to be the right dentist for them.
Sending out information packets to prospective new patients. A lot of times we call these prequalification packets. The reason is because when a patient schedules an appointment they already feel like they’re a good fit for what you do but before you spend time with them or possibly waste your time with them, put together a prequalification packet with things as simple as directions to get to your office, the initial paperwork that they’re going to need to fill out, the mode and methods of your treatments, what kind of patients you want to attract. If you’re a doctor looking for Invisalign cases or implant cases put information in there about potential cost involved for different options. For instance, with implant guys a lot of times we have a page in about how much does it cost, we want to make sure that the people coming in for these free consultations are not expecting implants to cost $500 for a full mouth reconstruction or a full arch, so we put full mouth reconstructions start at $5,000. That’s a way that sets people’s expectations so that you’re not necessarily giving them a price, you’re not allowing them to price shop, but you’re also not allowing the ‘riffraff’ to get into your office and waste your time. People that want to know if Medicare or Medicaid or Calicaid or Calicare or whatever it is out in California or, we’ve heard stories of people wanting to know if you’ll accept food stamps and crazy things like that. Get rid of the prospects that have no possibility of moving forward.
Use a prequalification packet because that’s going to get rid of the guys that don’t qualify and it’s also going to add value to the ones that do qualify because you’re sending them out more information. You’re showing them hey, here’s our office, we’ve got a parking lot, come on in, here’s directions on how to get to our office; it shows that you genuinely care about your patients. To send a packet out to a prospective patient, what does that cost? Especially if you’re going for the larger case sizes, so you spend $2 on copying and $2 on an eight and a half by eleven flat postage mailer. That’s spending $4 or $5 on a prospective patient. Of course if you’re a volume practice that might not be as practical, but if you’re a specialty practice or you’re a GP looking for specialty type patients, implants, sedation, cosmetics, Invisalign, whatever your niche may be, great way to provide more value to the types of patients that qualify for what you want to do.
We’ve also got, and I don’t have any here handy with me, I’ll show you on the next episode, episode 43, I’ll have one of the envelopes that we use for these prequalification packets, they’re very, very high visibility pieces and they never get missed in the mail.
If you’re wanting to be the expert in your community look at multi-mode marketing, webinars, seminars, books, video online, interactive mediums that people can get to know you, get to see what kind of dentistry you provide. A website that lists your procedures, a brochure that has three little tri-folds on what you can do, that just isn’t going to reach out to the people that really want value and really want service. If you want to attract those kinds of people you have to pay it forward and the way you pay it forward is with all these different mediums that I talked about. Put effort out towards them to reach out to them and they’re going to come back to you when they’re in need of their dental problems getting fixed.
That’s all for Tuesday, keep moving forward.