Dental Marketing and “The King of Torts”

Dental marketing bookWe’ve been publishing excerpts from Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough by Melinda Spitek.

Melinda is CEO of Hycomb Marketing and has 23 years of experience with dental practice management. She’s also a regular contributor to The Wealthy Dentist.

Here is another excerpt from Melinda Spitek’s Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough:

Aha! You recognize the name of the late Melvin Belli. “King of Torts” was a title he cultivated to fit himself, until he eventually became as well known nationwide as the cases he tried!

Is there an optometrist in your area who specializes in laser eye corrective surgery – or a plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic enhancements? I’ll bet dollars to donuts that if you do know of one, it’s because the name has been promoted – on radio, in newspapers, maybe even billboards. You get the idea.

Doctor, you needn’t be as flamboyant as Melvin Belli or advertise as heavily as some laser eye optometrists or plastic surgeons. But there’s a huge difference between doing something and doing nothing. When it comes to dentistry, self-promotion may be an even easier jump because so many, many other dentists are doing nothing at all – and they’re wondering why their practices are withering on the vine.

Melinda SpitekJust click here to order Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough. Plus, say The Wealthy Dentist sent you and you’ll get free shipping!

Melinda Spitek is CEO of Hycomb Marketing Inc. Hycomb is an authority in marketing for dentists. Melinda has had plenty of hands-on experience as well, having worked 23 years in dental offices. For help with marketing, just call Hycomb at (800) 523-6961 or visit www.hycomb.com.

Dental Marketing: The Importance of Patient Perceptions

Melinda Spitek and Dental MarketingWe recently published the first excerpt from Melinda Spitek’s new book, Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough. In addition to being regular contributor to The Wealthy Dentist, she is CEO of Hycomb Marketing and has 23 years of experience with dental practice management.

Here is another excerpt from Melinda Spitek’s Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough:

The tough thing about dentistry is that there are plenty of dental practices and very little perception or appreciation of quality dentistry by the public at large. Virtually anyone can tell the difference in quality between a Mercedes and, say, a Nissan, first by sitting in them and then driving them. On the other hand, only another dentist can truly appreciate an exquisitely fitted crown. Most patients assume that whatever dental work they received was probably the best that could possibly be done.

As a result, competition among dentists is often less a matter of procedural competency than of patients’ perception – things that have little or nothing to do with what’s going on in the mouth.

Before hollering “Unfair!” that you’re not judged solely on your professional competency, try putting the shoe on the other foot. If a patient slips on your front steps and sues you, how will you select a lawyer? From the phone book? The one who has an office down the block from your practice? One of your patients who practices law? On the advice of your brother-in-law? Maybe not. Maybe you vaguely remember an attorney who advertised in the local paper “Free Seminar: Responding to Personal Injury Lawsuits for the Professional.” Yes! Exactly what you need!

Bear in mind, the attorney who placed the ad might not be the best lawyer (the true legal genius might turn out to be the one your brother-in-law touted). But the attorney who advertised – who, in effect, marketed his practice – came to your attention as reputable, understanding of your needs and competent to respond to them.

Melinda SpitekJust click here to order Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough. Plus, say The Wealthy Dentist sent you and you’ll get free shipping!

Melinda Spitek is CEO of Hycomb Marketing Inc. Hycomb is an authority in marketing for dentists. Melinda has had plenty of hands-on experience as well, having worked 23 years in dental offices. For help with marketing, just call Hycomb at (800) 523-6961 or visit www.hycomb.com.

 

Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough

Melinda Spitek, a regular contributor to The Wealthy Dentist, has just published a book entitled Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough.

Her book covers how to set yourself apart from the competition, how to target the patients you most want for your own, how to deal with those inevitable changes outside your control, and how to affect the positive changes you desire.

We’re pleased to publish the following excerpt from Melinda Spitek’s Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough:

Years ago, I could see that dentists of proven quality and professionalism often were experiencing great pain in trying to maintain and grow a practice. Yet I knew other dentists—competent but probably not superior practitioners—whose practices thrived through good times and bad. I began to wonder, “What do these doctors do that sets them apart, that makes them successful, that makes them unique?”

Without being fully conscious of it, I was setting out to explore the art and science of profitable dental practice marketing.

Today I know that marketing is essential to a successful practice. It doesn’t have to be a trial-and-error, hit-or-miss sort of procedure. It doesn’t have to require spending a gazillion dollars.

And with, dedication and persistence—it will end the pain.

That’s what this book is about. It’s also about gaining a new perspective on how you do things and why. Let’s start with that new perspective thing: Like most conscientious practitioners, you may feel the proper way to absorb this material is to begin reading Chapter 1 and proceeding through to the end.

Tear up that notion.

There’s nothing wrong with starting at the beginning. Works fine that way.  But maybe you’d rather pick and choose. Maybe generating referrals is your own personal hot button—skip to Chapter 5 [Referrals: Get People Talking Behind Your Back!]. Perhaps you’re stressed about a patient exodus in your practice; then by all means, start with Chapter 10 [Fill the Cavity and Move On]. If you wonder how to get the right patients appreciate the quality of your dentistry—then jump into Chapter 12 [You Don’t Want Everybody].

There’s no wrong way to process the information contained here. You might even—surprise, surprise!—find it amusing, revealing, and downright fun.

An in-place marketing program can heal your practice, Doctor. Are you ready?

Just click here to order Dental Marketing: When a Shingle Isn’t Enough. Plus, just say The Wealthy Dentist sent you and you’ll get free shipping!

Melinda SpitekMelinda Spitek is CEO of Hycomb Marketing Inc. Hycomb is an authority in marketing for dentists. Melinda has had plenty of hands-on experience as well, having worked 23 years in dental offices. For help with marketing, just call Hycomb at (800) 523-6961 or visit www.hycomb.com.

Grow Your Dental Practice with Direct Mail Marketing

Considering Direct Mail to Grow Your Practice?

Melinda SpitekSpecial Marketing Feature (Part 1 of 3)
By Melinda Spitek, CEO, Hycomb Marketing

Direct mail can be a hugely rewarding stimulus to your practice. Emphasis on can be. The perception is often, “I’ll mail stuff to the community; soon the phones will be ringing and patients will be flocking.”

The reality is more like the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

And the secret is: know who you want to attract, know what sort of communication motivates them, and target them appropriately. That’s how you get the most bang for your direct mail marketing buck.

And the best way to start, believe it or not, is working on a direct mail campaign to the most important patients of all: the ones you already have!

Dentists struggling with a lackluster patient base have told me, “Melinda, it’s like they’ve forgotten I exist!” I would respectfully respond: you have it wrong. You have forgotten they exist. What have you done lately to motivate your own patients?

Test the Waters While Motivating Existing Patients

There’s no better (or more cost-effective) way to test a direct mail strategy than with current patients. (This is also known as internal marketing.) So, you might start with quarterly communications to patients that can double as your direct mail piece. But to get the most pop for your penny, pick your time, pick your location and, most of all, be consistent.

When should you begin this endeavor? Come October, Americans are going to be inundated with election materials. Who’s going to win? If you don’t already have direct mail up and running, don’t try to compete with that. Wait at least until November 10 this year before you send your first direct mailing. That’s a while away, but it gives you months to work on your pre-planning.

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Initiate a quarterly newsletter, starting in November, to existing patients wishing them Happy Holidays. This is the test. The second week in January 2009 is the perfect time to begin a direct mail campaign (external marketing). The hullabaloo of the Elections and the Holidays will be over. The audience will be targeted, and therefore more apt to pay attention.

Ready your team. Make sure that they are prepared for the (often unexpected) calls and responses that are to come. Make sure your stationery is high quality (a unified logo that carries through on everything you send out is a must) and your practice brochure is up to date. You will need these to include in a welcome packet to send to all new patients who call – especially from a direct mail effort.

Until my next installment, there are questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How much do you want to invest to get a new patient (or retain an existing one)?
  • What appeals to patients you want to attract?
  • If you’re processing 25 patients a month from direct mail, how many are accepting treatment?

Hycomb has been doing direct mail for dentists – exclusively – since 1997. And one size doesn’t fit all. Want to chat about what sort of direct mail campaign would work for you, in your marketplace? Give me a call.

Melinda Spitek is CEO of Hycomb Marketing Inc. Hycomb is an authority in marketing for dentists. Melinda has had plenty of hands-on experience as well, having worked 23 years in dental offices. For help with marketing, just call Hycomb at (800) 523-6961 or visit www.hycomb.com.

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