Competition Loses to Teamwork in Softball Game

When Winning Isn’t Everything

The following story isn’t about dentistry, but it’s a heartwarming tale…

At stake: the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title. Western Oregon University’s women’s softball team faced rival Central Washington University. With two players on base, WOU player Sara Tucholsky hit the first home run of her career.

But at first base, she blew out her knee and fell to the ground. Rules prohibit her own teammates from assisting her. With Tucholsky unable to round the bases herself, she would only get credit for hitting a single.

Then a member of the opposing team asked the umpire a question. “Would it be okay if we carried her around and she touched each base?” With nothing in the rulebooks against it, two members of the Central Washington team picked up their injured rival and carried her around the bases.

Central Washington lost that game. They also lost their shot at the title. However, they’ve received a lot of good press for being an example of what sportsmanlike behavior ought to be.

Watch a video tribute or read more

When Dental Competitors Start Fighting Dirty

by Jim Du Molin

Brass Knuckles Interfere with a Fair Fight!

You already know that dentistry is a competitive industry. But there’s good competition and there’s bad competition. Let’s talk about the differences between the two.

Just imagine you’ve worked closely with a patient to put together a major long-term treatment plan involving a full-mouth reconstruction over an eighteen-month period. Eight months into the plan, both you and the patient are happy with the initial results. So far, so good.

Your patient then visits a local heath fair. She stops off at a dental information booth run by a competitor. As she starts to tell him about her treatment plan, he volunteers to do a quick look-see. Of course, he comes up with half a dozen better ways to solve the problem. Your patient comes back to you with Dr. Dirty’s list of treatment recommendations. This is what we call “Fighting Dirty.”

There is no easy way to defend yourself from this type of competitor. They are just taking pot shots at your treatment plan with little understanding of your history with the patient. Even worse, they may use a self-made diagnostic check-off sheet designed to make their approach look great and anything you might be trying to accomplish look second-rate. Basically, these types of doctors can’t compete on the value of their own services. They need to attack their colleagues’ work to recruit patients.

I recently ran into another version of Fighting Dirty with our Internet dental website business. One of our competitors decided to run an unsolicited automatic analysis of some of our doctors’ websites, claiming that we were doing a poor job because each doctor’s “assigned Google Page Rank is too low to be competitive.” (Just for your information, page rank is one of those interesting “clinical” buzz words that a dirty fighter can easily fall back on when trying to knock the competition.)

Even worse, I recently had several website subscribers attend a seminar held by what I had always thought of as a reputable consulting company. Like the health fair example above, our clients were offered a no-charge analysis of their websites. Lo and behold, they all received a highly critical analysis of their sites, accompanied by a full list of services and how they could do better… more Dirty Competition.

So what is the solution to these kinds of competitive attacks on your patient base? Patients aren’t stupid, but they can become confused when someone starts throwing a lot of technical jargon at them. Talk with them and, most important, listen to them too. Then bring them back mentally to when they first came to you with their problem. Review how you have worked together to map out just the right treatment plan for them. Remind them of all the things you have accomplished together and, hopefully, how happy they have been with the results.
This is the approach we have taken to counter our website competitors. We remind our clients that the two primary things they need to remember are:

  • Is your Internet Marketing Campaigns generating profitable high-value new patients?
  • Are you positioned well in search engine results for your campaigns’
    target markets? (Cosmetics, Sedation, Implants, Braces, etc.)

Results in these areas often take time, just like a long-term treatment plan — but unlike dirty competitors, the Internet Dental Alliance guarantees its results!


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