Little Letter, Big Results

Recently, I made a trip to the dentist for a routine teeth cleaning. I was trying out a new practice in my area, and I had a good experience with them. About a week later, I received a new patient letter, in which they welcomed me to their practice, briefly described their philosophy, and kindly requested referrals. I was impressed with this, as it demonstrated their appreciation for my visit, and it expressed confidence in their
business. If you make the extra effort to send out a new patient letter, it will pay off in the long run.

A new patient letter is a great internal marketing strategy. Not only does it remind your patient that you want to continue to work with them, but is also a great way to reach out to people they know for more business. A letter is free advertising; it does not take long to generate, and you do not have to pay to have the information passed along. It also markets your business to people who will hear about you from a trusted source: a friend or family member.
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The Moments That Matter

Some days, my team will look at me and say, “I really don’t want to do this today,” or “This SEO is can be so boring!”  Of course, I get annoyed when people complain about having to do work because personally, I love it.  My response is often something like, “Well, it’s not called ‘play’, it’s called ‘work’ for a reason.”  Or sometimes I’ll say, “I know you enjoy a challenge, but we all have monotonous tasks that we have to accomplish and the challenge and fun will come.”

I’m sure you have days when you have to see that one patient. You know, the one that you dread seeing.  She’s confrontational and rude and usually just draining (“Negative Nancy”). Sometimes it’s important to step back and remember why you became a a dentist, or in my situation, a dental marketer.

I think back to when I was that scared patient that really needed dental work and how a couple small procedures allowed me to smile with confidence, something I never could do before that moment. I think back to my very first client meeting and how I sat nervously in my suit explaining, “I can do this! Just give me a chance and you won’t regret it.”

I look back today, only 3 short years later, I see how far I’ve come and how far dentistry has come in a short period of time.  No one had even heard of SEO.  Now new clients think because they’ve done 5 minutes of research that they can do it themselves.  I know they’ll think differently as I begin to explain our approach or recommended strategy.
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The Obvious “Secret” For Dental Practice Success

As a dentist, how do you define success?

  • Is it hitting your goal in sales and collections?
  • Is it creating an atmosphere in which you enjoy your work day?
  • Is it practice growth?

No matter how you define it, we can help you formulate ways to achieve your own success. The truth is that the success of your business depends almost solely on the experience of your patients.
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Small, Yet Mighty!

After giving a presentation to a dental office a couple years ago, I passed around a survey. I told them, “Please tell me what you thought of this presentation. I am not going to cry about it if you have anything negative to say.  In fact, I will thank you for the feedback.”

I was overwhelmed by the gratitude and kindness of the feedback. I had very little if any negative criticisms. The team was really starting to come together.  They were also learning NEW tricks about communication that has contributed to their practice growth.

One of the reviews read: “Grace is small, yet mighty.”  She then went into how I held my own.  She explained how I gave them steps to take towards improvement. She really liked a new way to track patients without appointments and how to follow up with them.  The booking system was complete with direction, scripts and my phone number for when questions came up. They took the book and made some changes to it, tweaking it to fit their office needs.  Now, it has been a part of their daily routine for 2 years!
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Marketing Ideas for Dentists November 2012

Grace explains the following dental marketing ideas:

  1. How Web Design and SEO are like peanut butter and jelly.
  2. When it’s OK to discount your services.
  3. Why internal Marketing strategies matter most!
  4. Smile Survey

Call us today!  Get a free marketing evaluation and roadmap for your practice.

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10 Dental Marketing Myths

1. You get what you pay for.

Almost every dentist I work with has been burned in the past by an over priced program that has under delivered.  Price and results do not always directly correlate.

2. As a dentist, you should just walk into the operatory and go to work, without having to worry about your staff, meetings, marketing or any other facet of your business.

This ideal is unrealistic and a ploy to get you to buy into that HUGE marketing and consulting plan being pitched at that seminar. With a well-trained and positive manager, you can focus more on dentistry.  This doesn’t mean that you should ever completely let go of your business decisions including marketing and hiring.

3. Patients think that dentists who market their services are desperate for business and must not be that great at dentistry.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Marketing for dentists and other medical fields is not only accepted, it’s well received.  Patients tend to trust a well branded practice.  Patients rely on dental marketing to help encourage them to get the regular professional dental care.
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Dental Marketing: Where to Start

Grace explains how trust is important when choosing a dental marketing consultant.

It’s okay to start small.

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Good News, Bad News, and More Good News

The Good News

You’re looking for new patients, and they are looking for you too!

With the dawn of the social media age, the buying process has been flipped upside down.  Now, instead of making a decision based on just what has been presented in ads and websites, consumers are also making buying decisions based on what their friends recommend.

The Bad News

Unfortunately, when consumers don’t have access to their friends’ opinions, they are often relying on the opinions of complete strangers that are posted on dental review sites and social media platforms. As you may know, most people won’t go out of their way to post a great review about your practice, even if he or she has been a patient for 20 years. However, the angry patient can destroy your reputation with just a few lines of text and the click of a mouse.  They can even post a review from an app on their phone in seconds!
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10 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience

10. Greet your new patients with a handshake and kind introduction.

9.  Offer water bottles, coffee and tea in your waiting area.

8. Let your patients know that as a courtesy you will submit to their insurance company.

7. Take at least 10 minutes talking with the patient and asking specific questions. When seeing a doctor of any kind, patients want time with the doctor himself/herself.

6. Present treatment at a desk at a private office, not in the dental chair.

5. LISTEN.  If the patient mentions to the front desk that she left her last doctor because he did treatment before she was completely numb, front desk should make a note of this.  Doctor should address this and assure the patient that he will check and verify she is completely numb prior to beginning any kind of treatment.

4. Provide information from a third party.  If you are diagnosing gum disease, provide information about the disease.  Help the patient understand what he/she can do to prevent further deterioration. Send the information home so that the patient has time to understand and research your diagnosis. Always share the good news: “It’s a good thing we caught it now and can prevent…”

3. Make it easy for patients to make payments, schedule appointments and get in to see you.

2. Treat your staff with respect.  Patients can sense disrespect and office turmoil.

1. Don’t rush.  Patients hate feeling like they are just a “butt in a chair”. Connect, respect, and provide excellent dental care.

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