Marketing for Dentists
I’ve been in the marketing “game” for almost 10 years. I’ve been in dentistry for almost 10 years. Coincidence? Not really… I was involved in marketing when I started a medical company about 12 years ago. It was wildly successful and I moved into dentistry. Not marketing, but practice management and ownership. That was also wildly successful so I moved into dental marketing. Not because I thought it was a great idea, but because dentists were proactively asking for help.
Today, I have a dental marketing company that has to compete with a ton of people who solicit dentists for their core business. Why? Because dentists are easy targets.
Sorry, But It’s True….
Dentists have money. Dentists aren’t good at marketing. Marketers are good at marketing and identifying markets…. so you became their target.
Here’s the Thing
Most marketers think dentistry is the same as every other market. But IT ISN’T! How do I know? Because I’ve held every position in a dental practice from receptionist to sterilization tech to chairside assistant to treatment coordinator to office manager to X-Ray tech… I’ve done it. I get it. Dentistry is DIFFERENT.
So What’s the Trick?
Here’s the thing: marketing is based on tricks. Promotions, discounts, offers, etc. All tricks and smoke and mirrors. Dentistry is based on relationships and trust… the opposite of what most marketers are used to. As a dental professional first and marketer second, it’s FRUSTRATING!
You need to truly understand your market in order to get the success you need and want. Can you get short-term success without knowing your market? Sure. I’ve done it many times and I’ve seen it work. But the long term results rely truly knowing your market.
For example, I recently had a client ask me about selling large cases ($50,000+ per case). She wanted to know what I could do to help her treatment coordinator close more of them. I personally had a 100% success rate on large cases when I was a treatment coordinator. I told my client that the key isn’t what you say in the room or how you ask for a credit card, but in how you set up the sale WAY before the patient ever walked in the door. Did you establish trust online? Did you establish trust and a report with the patient over the phone? Did you create a culture of discounts, or did you properly prepare your patient for potential costs and the true value of your services?
Most marketers think it’s enough to get someone in the door. It isn’t. And if you want to get good, long term results that actually add money to your bottom line, you need to ask marketers what they do BESIDES getting more clicks to your website. Do they train your front office to close the sales when calls come in? Do they have a system for reducing no-shows once that appointment is scheduled? How do they help build virtual trust with potential patients? If they stumble when asked those questions, move on!
The Next Steps
I’ve been running this blog for years. At times it has included video blogs, podcasts, website reviews, product reviews, and just plain good, free information. It’s been fun, it’s provided a good amount of income, and it has made me better understand what I want in life.
Here’s what I deplore: People who take advantage of others. Unequivocally, this is the worst part of my business. Great marketers can sell anything. They can sell your services to patients and sell their own crap to YOU. I can do that, too. I choose not to do that — I work with clients I like and trust.
If you want help with your practice, your website, your marketing… let me know. If it’s a good fit, we can work together. If not, there are a thousand more marketers than there was ten years ago, AND I’m sure another thousand are on their way.
All the best to you now and in the future,