Dentists Frustrated by the Limitations Dental Boards Put on Dental Marketing (video)

dental boards and advertisingThe purpose of state dental boards is to make sure that dentists stay in line both professionally, clinically and ethically. They make sure dental marketing stays in line too.

The Wealthy Dentist asked dentists if they feel that state dental boards unfairly restrict dental practice marketing. Two out of three dentists said no – dental boards are just protecting the public’s best interest. But one out of three dentists was frustrated by the limitations dental boards put on advertising and other dental marketing efforts.

Watch the Video to hear more of what dentists have to say –

What are your thoughts on state dental boards and dental marketing?

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist: Part 6

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic DentistIn the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to share with you the 5 dental marketing steps to help you achieve the goal of becoming recognized as the cosmetic dentist in your community.

By now you understand that one of the essential components to accomplishing this starts with fine-tuning your cosmetic dentistry patient education skills in your office.

Why is this one of the critical elements in becoming recognized as the cosmetic dentist in your community? You have undoubtedly heard that a house has to be built on a firm foundation. Your cosmetic house has to be built upon a firm foundation as well. You can do this by staying current with CE courses on cosmetic dentistry and developing outstanding technical sills to build that foundation.

However, avoid a common mistake what some of our colleagues make. Don’t assume patients know that you have the ability to solve their cosmetic dental issues with affordable, non-invasive (when appropriate) procedures.

Most patients simply do not know.

Therefore, compliment your technical skill set with a no-selling patient education program that clearly defines to your patients how they, too, can benefit from these same day non-invasive procedures. Here’s how that can be accomplished. The final step in this process that I would like to share with you has to do with role definition.

Step 5: WHO’S YOUR SMILE CONSULTANT?

Do you have a team member that you have designated as your Smile Consultant? Who is your patient advocate that you consider to be your best patient educator/motivator in your office?

This is the individual who will share with your patients the advantages/liabilities of some of the cosmetic services your patient might be interested in. While your designated Smile Consultant will never diagnose, he/she can inform, educate and motivate patients about the possibilities that may solve their smile problem.

After your patient has filled out a Smile Enhancement Form your Smile Consultant will review what changes your patient hopes to have done. However during the conversation with your patient your Smile Consultant should provide a disclaimer by saying something similar to the following, “I hope that the doctor determines you are a candidate for this procedure. If you are I know you will be thrilled with the results.”

Needless to say this statement must be based upon sincere feelings.

If you do not have a Smile Consultant right now, don’t worry. Most dental practices do not. However, if you want to create a cosmetically focused dental practice or take your existing cosmetic practice to the next level, training a team member as your Smile Consultant is essential in differentiating your practice as one of the premier cosmetic practices in your community.  As part of our Boot Camp program we can also do that for you.

My suggestion: Which team member has a passion about cosmetic dentistry in your practice?

They are your spark plug – the individual who can become a truly effective Smile Consultant. In all of the Boot Camp programs I have always promised the dentist and the entire team that there will never be any selling when you talk to your patients about cosmetic dentistry.

The good news is that there never is any selling. Your Smile Consultant will therefore NOT be a sales person. The Silverman Institute’s Smile Consultant™ program teaches your designated spark plug (and all Team members as well) how to effectively use the Power Triad that was described at the introduction of this series – and in essence, all team members can become Smile Consultants.

We even have a Smile Consultant Certification Program developed for that purpose. So rest assured, no one will ever sell anything – and best yet, using professional, no-selling strategies, your results will be spectacular!

Think of all of the cosmetic dental marketing opportunities that exist in your office from the articles written in this series about the impact you can have using the 80% Rule. And we have not even left the reception area! By now you can hopefully sense how much interest/demand can be generated for your cosmetic services if you truly want to learn how to take your cosmetic practice to the next level.

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the few services that we offer patients that they truly want to have done. It also leads to other tangible benefits. Patients typically take better care of themselves including enhanced oral health. The New Year is just around the corner.

Set aside a plan on how you can offer your patients the optimum in aesthetic dentistry that can truly benefit them.

Remember that without a plan you may be disappointed with a lack of results. Worse yet, your patients will not benefit from your services that can have a positive impact on their self-confidence and their lives.

I hope that the suggestions that I have offered during the past six articles will help you take your cosmetic practice and dental marketing to the next level in the coming year. If I can be of any further assistance to you please do not hesitate to contact me at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

I look forward to helping you accomplish that goal!

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

Is Creating a Dental Insurance Club Smart Dental Marketing?

Is Creating a Dental Insurance Club Smart Dental Marketing?Now, more than ever, dentists must be smart about their dental marketing efforts, but do these efforts need to include creating a solution for uninsured dental patients?

A local Evansville, Indiana dentist thinks so.

Dentist Chris Meunier has developed a way for his uninsured dental patients to afford dental care by creating a dental insurance club.

Dr. Meunier told 14News.com that his private dental insurance plan acts like a dental club.

For a yearly membership fee of $299, dental patients can receive dental care from Dr. Meunier for procedures such as teeth cleanings, dental X-rays and periodic dental exams. The membership plan also gives patients a 20% discount on most dental treatments.

“Most of the patients that we are signing up are patients that we have been treating anyway and they don’t have dental coverage, so they are paying my full fee out of pocket. So now they are getting the benefit of the membership and they are getting 20% off of certain procedures that they need to have done. They get some tooth whitening that’s included too, so it’s been a good thing,” Meunier told 14News.com.

Dr. Meunier’s dental plan is smart because it stimulate loyalty and permanent relationships with some of his best dental patients.

Do you think this is a brilliant dental marketing move by the dentist, or do you think implementing your own dental insurance club would create more hassle than it’s worth?

For more on this story see: Local Dentist Setting Up Plan to Help Those Without Insurance

Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend Reputation

Dentists Feel Online Reviews Are Extortion to Defend ReputationNegative online reviews have made headlines in the past few weeks with patients suing doctors and doctors suing Google.

It’s a hot topic among dentists who feel they have little recourse when an unflattering review is posted on sites like Yelp or DoctorBase.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have experienced a negative online review.

66% of the dentist respondents answered yes to receiving a negative review with half of those experiencing a bad review more than once.

34% said they have not yet received a negative online review.

Here’s what dentists had to say about negative online reviews —

“It has become extortion to defend your reputation on line. It is too easy for your competitors to place negative postings about you.” (California dentist)

“I think this can be very detrimental to a practice.” (North Carolina dentist)

“They should not be anonymous. It wouldn’t take much for me to post negative reviews of my colleagues either representing myself as a patient, and I don’t know whether or not they have done such a thing. A completely anonymous person could completely irreparably ruin someones career with a negative post quite easily. People are extremely upset, impatient and oftentimes unrealistic these days so it could be very easy to unintentionally “tick someone off” while attempting to do the best for them. I anesthetized a gentleman yesterday who was in a great deal of pain so he could hear and understand that I could not extract his badly impacted wisdom tooth. After carefully explaining it to him after he visibly felt better, he asked “can’t you just yank it out?” This happens quite often, so if someone is going to post something negative they should put on their big boy pants and own up to it. Apparently I have someone floating around out there faceless that I will never be able to engage in any kind of problem solving.” (Florida dentist)

“I simply do not see how first amendment rights trump was is obviously extortion via slander. That is why we have small claims courts. If someone wants their money back for what was perceived as poor service, utilize the justice system. These online review websites allow the individual to be judge, jury, and executioner without fear of rebuke. Why someone would want to intentionally harm a doctor and “put them out of business” is beyond me. You think it is funny or unfortunate until it happens to you. I never in a million years would have thought being moral, ethical and always doing the right thing would bring me 2 negative reviews: one of them for telling the patient the truth and returning her money. There needs to be legislation against this. We need to act as a profession before the profession is completely destroyed.” (Suburban orthodontist)

“They are nothing more then gossips, and should be treated a such. The loyal patients, the ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ would never compromise the good name of their doctor.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s BS because you can’t argue your case without revealing confidential patient information.” (Georgia dentist)

YELP seems to play favorites with businesses. They called me to see if I wanted to advertise. After saying no, 10 of the 12 reviews were hidden from the public. Coincidental? You decide. All 10 of these reviews were 4 and 5 stars (out of 5).” (California dentist)

“I have new patients sign a paper that they need your permission to write anything about you.” (General dentist)

“I do not like them because it is very hard to rebuke.” (Florida dentist)

“There should be some way to control this. Patients can easily post a negative review simply because you take them to collections.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“They’re a bugger and they can’t be removed…only buried…that costs $$.” (General dentist)

“I think we should be able to see who it was who gave us the negative review and have an option to deal with the situation and have the review removed.” (Utah dentist)

“I am not too concerned by an occasional bad contact. I try to make it an opportunity to get people to call or come into the office.” (Texas dentist)

“I hate the anonymity!” (Urban orthodontist)

We also asked dentists if they answered yes to receiving a negative online review, how they handled the situation. Here’s what they said —

“I replied to it, but so far it has not be removed.” (General dentist)

“I posted a very positive response. However, I found out recently there are HIPAA issues I did not even think about in the response that I could be sued for.” (Suburban orthodontist)

“The site it appeared on allowed you to write a rebuttal. I invited people concerned by what they read to call or come by the office to discuss their concerns, meet the office team and tour the facility.” (Texas dentist)

“I added explanation to it.” (California dentist)

“I responded to patient’s review online. Patient responded and 1 star was upgraded to 3 stars. I refunded money on dissatisfied service.” (California dentist)

“I just got it. I have not yet responded. She only visited my office two times and gave me all A’s initially, but changed them 10 months later for no reason that I am aware of. Got some recommendations?” (Florida dentist)

“I didn’t know about until about 8 months later so decided to ignore it at that point.” (General dentist)

“I consulted with an attorney and wanted to claim a defamation of character lawsuit. My attorney advised me that it was not worth the effort to fight. The negative postings were on Yelp. There were two negative “Yelps” posted by two different persons, but it is fairly obvious that it is the same person posting the negative Yelp. In the end, I am doing nothing against these two negative Yelps.” (California dentist)

“I responded to the review. The person sent me an email saying a filling had fallen out — one that was done 3 months earlier at another DDS. I was out of town. Apparently this person expected me to be there for them. Not even a patient of record? (California dentist)

“I’ve ignored it. The review was so obviously not about me but a different dentist instead. I did write to the website requesting it be removed but did not receive a response. Instead I asked people to post favorable reviews about me to balance it out.” (New York dentist)

“We asked our best patients to go in and review us which sent that one bad review to the bottom of the list.” (Utah dentist)

“It was false and posted on Yelp. I called and requested it be removed. I even threatened legal action but to no avail. (General dentist)

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews? How would you handle them?

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing Tool

Dental Marketing: Facebook as an Effective Internet Marketing ToolEffective dental marketing requires that dentists keep up a regular presence with dental patients in order to ensure success.

Having a dental website, blog, newsletter, Google+ page and Facebook page are all important factors in keeping your dental practice in front of your dental patients.

Some dentists are still not convinced that Facebook is an effective Internet dental marketing tool.

Last week, Facebook started the process for its highly-publicized IPO. In anticipation, the online competitive intelligence service Hitwise just released their 10 Key Statistics about Facebook, comparing the Facebook audience with that of other social networks.

Here is what Hitwise found —

1. Facebook captures 1 in every 11 Internet visits in the United States.
2. 1 in every 5 page views occurs on Facebook.
3. The average visit time on Facebook is 20 minutes.
4. Facebook’s audience skews slightly more female than the online population as a whole.(Female is 57%, male is 43%).
5. The ages of Facebook visitors are indicative of the website’s strength in the marketplace, with relative parity in distribution of its visit share by age vs. the online population (Ages 18-24 is 18%, 25-34 is 23%, 34-44 is 21%, 45-54 is 19%, and 55+ is 20%).
6. Facebook wins 499,949,430 visits from the most affluent income group versus YouTube’s 223,732,591 visits and Twitter’s 15,166,795 visits.
7. Facebook became the #1 ranked website in the US on March 9, 2010.
8. “Facebook” is the most searched term in the US and Facebook-related terms account for 14% of the top search clicks.
9. Facebook users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook were returning visitors in January 2012.
10. Internationally, Facebook ranks in the top 2 websites in every market except China, where Sina Weibo, Baidu Zhidao and Renren are the dominant social networks.

Hitwise further states that “Facebook is the largest website in the US and a top performer in numerous international markets. The fan base of the site is loyal and spends a significant portion of their time online on the social network. Facebook’s influence is seen in the presidential elections, digital shopping habits and beyond.”

Last June Hitwise concluded in their Facebook Fan Acquisition and Analysis that 1 Facebook fan is equal to 20 additional visits to a business website over the course of a year. If you have 500 Facebook fans, this means an extra 10,000 visits to your dental website a year.

Hitwise wrote, “The figure of 1 fan = 20 extra visits to a website uses a unique methodology that combines Hitwise data with data from social media experts Techlightenment. We took the top 100 retailers ranked in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds category and bench-marked visits to those websites against the number of fans those brands had on their Facebook page. We then also looked at the propensity for people to search for those retail brands after a visit to Facebook using our Search Sequence tool.”

Here at The Wealthy Dentist we firmly believe that your dental marketing plan should include a Facebook page. With dental patients spending more time online, dentists should increasingly be looking to use Facebook as a part of their dental marketing.

Facebook fans can play a role in dental patient retention and procurement by helping to drive dental website traffic, boosting dental practice awareness, demonstrating dental treatments or acting as a customer testimonial billboard.

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