Desperate Times and Backyard Dentists

A recent study by the University of Washington Dental School’s Dental Fears Research Clinic found that an estimated fifty percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of a fear or their anxiety. That adds up to roughly about 150 million people. It is a shocking figure, but not as shocking as the 73% of Americans who do not go to the dentist because they think they cannot afford it.

Americans between the ages of 18-34 are the most likely not to receive dental care for this reason. When dealing with a toothache they turn to pain medication, instead of making a much needed dental appointment. Low-income families earning under $50,000 per year are also less likely to see a dentist when experiencing pain. But it is hard to blame these families and individuals who face an economic recession and depleted job market. Certain sacrifices must be made in order to stay afloat, but sometimes these good intentions can lead down a bad road.

backyard-dentist

Reports are surfacing nationwide about the use of “backyard” or “garage” dentists. The concept is similar to mechanics that work out of their homes, but instead of working on your car, they work on your teeth. Families are blinded by the low-cost dental work provided by these amateurs and choose to ignore the obvious dangers. These “dentists” lack appropriate tools, years of medical school, and often operate in unsanitary conditions. Complications brought on by their work seriously endanger the health and lives of those desperate enough for their services. Like the 14-year-old girl from Miami left permanently disfigured by one of these “dentists” when her only problem was a broken tooth.
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Dental Office Scripts

So you’re looking for some scripts, eh?  Now I’m not totally against scripts.  In fact, I often devise custom scripts for my clients. However, I do have my reservations. Scripts, like many marketing tools have been exploited by marketing companies.  The same script doesn’t work for every office, even though companies may try to sell a one sized fits all script.  For example, maybe a patient is leaving you because you are not in-network with their insurance company.  Your script would have to incorporate your exact financial policy.  Maybe you have in-office insurance/payment plan options. Maybe you are very competitively priced to where the insurance isn’t going to affect the patient portion of fees.  Perhaps, you have a very targeted niche and your patients come to you because of your excellent patient service. Your script will need to incorporate your personal benefits.

Scripts can be helpful in a variety of situations. Maybe a patient is leaving and she just doesn’t want to schedule her next appointment with you. She says that she’ll call you when she looks at her schedule.  How does your staff handle this?  Do they handle it politely without being pushy?

Scripts fail because the people implementing them don’t have them memorized and don’t have the sales skills necessary to keep the conversation going after the script is in motion.

A conversation can never be 100% scripted because there are 2 parties. You cannot always guess what the patient will say next.  Your staff must be prepared to ask the appropriate questions at the appropriate times to keep effective communication.Scripts are just the foundation for the sale. Scripts MUST be paired with skills in order to be effective.

We offer sales training and scripting to assist you and your staff in even the most difficult conversations.

We’ll help you to keep your patients smiling!  Call (847) 629-4646 for a free consultation.

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Respect

It’s really sad when I go into an office and I hear the doctor being outright mean to his team.

dental-team-blueListen, I know it’s a stressful job. I know you team isn’t always doing everything right. I’m seeing an increase in disrespect within the dental office. It seems that the doctor is busy in the back with patients all day. Then, every once in a while, he freaks out wondering things like “I wonder if Cindy is following up like I asked her,” or “Is Nancy still selling cancer screenings?”

I’m not going to go straight to doctor bashing. I know how stressful it can be to have a team and run an office. I cannot even imagine having to run an office from behind a little chair in a back room. You rarely hear that patient-to-front-desk conversations. You cannot even monitor how effectively new patient calls are being answered. Of course you’re worried.
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Dental Marketing Plans

When a company invests in marketing, there is one goal in mind; to see results. One problem that many practices face when outsourcing marketing is that the different aspects of their marketing strategy are non-cohesive. Identity Dental Marketing is a one stop shop for dentists looking to expand their marketing productivity with our customized dental marketing plans which are designed specifically for your practice.

Here at Identity Dental Marketing, we take the time to get to know your practice and analyze your specific needs. We offer a complete dental marketing plan including branding, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), website development, advertising, and team-coaching all at an affordable cost, and all managed by consultants who care about, and know your practice.

The main goal of branding is to communicate to your patient who you are as a dentist. Your brand tells your patient whether you specialize in orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, or whatever it is you are passionate about. It communicates who you are to your existing and potential patients and it sticks. Branding is everywhere in marketing from your web page to the fliers you have on the front desk in your office.
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Is Your Site Out of Style?

You may not realize it but there are design trends for websites. We sometimes play this game in the office, where we guess the age a website was designed and then look up the date. We’re usually spot on.

Just because your website looks bad today, doesn’t mean you weren’t happy with it 3 years ago. To help you feel good about your internet marketing investment, we are going to offer website updates. This means that 3-5 years after you purchase your website, you’ll be able to buy an updated custom design for 60% off! It’s our way of keeping you happy and keeping you looking your best.

We don’t want you feeling bad about coming to us and saying that it’s time for a change. In fact, we expect it! No matter how great your site looks today, you’re going to need an updated version in the future, and we’re here to help.
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Are You Overpaying for Your Site?

We’ve done a comparison with our competition. We’ve checked out their websites, marketing methods, and philosophies and deliberately decided to do things differently.

Their website options may seem okay for the price. Get started for a couple thousand dollars, but end up paying $200-$500 monthly for hosting, maintenance, their content management system and “SEO”. But what happens when you want a new site? What happens when you want your new logo on the site or you want an updated design. What happens when you pay for SEO for over a year with ZERO results?! Is there a person actually following your site’s performance?

Let me tell you briefly how we’re different.
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Dental Marketing – 50 Ways To Grow Your Practice

The following list was created to stimulate thought and marketing creativity. It should help anyone to promote business by encouraging you to be marketing-minded!

50. Use Facebook to connect and keep in touch with your clients.

49. Make sure your website appears professional and modern, it’s your first impression!

48. Create an Email marketing campaign to attract new clients and let your existing clients know what you offer.

47. Tell your friends and family about your business. Making sure your personal network knows what you do can lead to leads.

46. Join a networking group in your town. Whether you start attending weekly meetup groups or simply join your Chamber of Commerce… networking is ALWAYS a powerful tool.

45. Create an Event to attract media attention, help the community, attract new business.. or all of the above! (Ask me about event marketing!)
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Dental Practice Names

So you know what you want to accomplish with your practice. You know who you are targeting. You know how you are going to do it. But, who are you?

Giving yourself the proper branding is extremely important to the success of your business. For example, there may be 2 or more dentists in one area. If you have nothing that separates you from them, then you are losing valuable patients. You need to stand out and make a name for yourself.

Naming your practice is one of the most challenging things to do.  A business name is the first step in branding, which is the foundation of your success. The name separates you from the rest of your competitors, and may be your first impression. The name you pick should identify your strengths and help you to stand out, while evoking trust and credibility.

You will first want to identify your unique selling proposition (USP) or your “message”.  What makes you different than the dentists in your area?  What makes your patients continue to choose you? We can help you identify your strongest USP.
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