Dental Marketing with Smile Cards

Dental Marketing with Smile CardsWord-of-mouth dental marketing—the spoken word carries great weight.

The fact that one person believes something tends to convince another person that it must be true, else why would he/she have said it?

Strangely, word-of-mouth is the most neglected of all the forces at work in a dental marketing.

Word-of-mouth has probably destroyed more dental practices and, conversely, made more practices successful than all the other forces in the marketplace put together. Why isn’t it more researched/systematized/budgeted/planned for?

The principles of word-of-mouth advertising are particularly relevant to dentistry because patient referrals generate an estimated 68% of all new patients. Sound like something you’d like to try?

Here are the steps:

1. Ask! Patients are honored when you ask them to refer more people “just like them.” Use a Smile Card (referral card) to punctuate the request.

2. Track! Know who referred your new patient so you can thank them. A personal thank you card can get patients motivated to refer again.

3. Reward! The reward? A small amount gift card from a local merchant with a hand-written thank you note stimulates the recommender to do more of the same.

4. Winner! Have a contest to promote referral. When a new patient is referred by your patient with a Smile Card put that card with the name of the referrer in a “fishbowl” for a drawing. Once a quarter draw a winner who receives a gift card for say, $250 to a local mall. Make a big deal about the Smile Card drawing with a sign sporting the photo of the latest winner up in the office, on your website and in your newsletter. This is a win for the new patient, a win for the referrer and a win for you!

Dental marketing can be as simple as asking for a referral with a Smile Card when a procedure has pleased one of your patients—or sending out helpful reminders like a personal letter or a quarterly newsletter promoting your Smile Card drawing.

A little dental marketing can go a long way. Doing nothing—especially in times like these, can really deteriorate your practice.

Dental Marketing Consultant Author 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.

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.

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