New Patients, Inc.

New Patients, Inc. is an advertising agency exclusively for dentists. We create and deploy advertising that brings quality new patients to our client practices.

 

Issue: # 10

March/2009

 

News You Can Use from New Patients, Inc.

 

Dear Howie Horrocks,

Getting high quality new patients to call your practice is what our company has been all about for the last 18 years. The purpose for these periodic newsletters is to give helpful marketing advice that will assist you in building your practice. And to share news about new ways to market your practice. In this issue we have articles by Mark Dilatush and me.

 

We are also happy to have a guest author for this issue - Vicki McManus from The Productive Dentist Academy. 

 

Enjoy!

Warm regards,
Howie

 

You're Selling Stuff - but what are people really buying from you?

By William Howard (Howie) Horrocks

I've been a big fan of Seth Godin's for years. I recently read his All Marketers are Liars volume. A remarkable book. I actually read it 4 times cover to cover!
 
I thought it remarkable for two reasons - one is that he says what I've been trying to say for years. And two, is that he takes a subject - marketing - which just might be the most studied and written about subject in human history, and actually contributes a bunch of new insights. (Dang, just when I thought I knew it all!)
 
While we all like to read or listen to things that support what we already believe ("yeah I already knew that") it's very refreshing to get a deeper insight or a whole new perspective into what you already believed.
 
Example; I've known for a long time that infusing emotionality into your marketing is very important. You aren't usually successful by concentrating on "just the facts, ma'am" (hat tip to Sgt. Joe Friday). Your reader or listener must make some emotional connection to your product or service or they will treat it just like any other product or service - i.e., they will ignore it.
 
Mr. Godin tells a story of a woman who is buying a pair of designer shoes - Puma's to be exact. They cost $125 a pair (and are made in China for about 3 bucks). Is she concerned about arch support, durability or even comfort? Nah, she's thinking how hot she will look in these expensive shoes, the message she will be sending to others about how hip she is and how cool her friends will think she is when they see her in them. All this of course is Puma's exact intention.
 
The shoe salesman may think he's selling her shoes, but from her perspective that's not what she's buying. She's buying how the shoes make her feel.
 
Substitute "shoes" with "a filled tooth" or "a set of veneers" or "a crown." Same thing. You may think you're selling them a crown but they aren't really buying a crown per se. They are buying how the crown will make them feel about their health and appearance. They might also be buying because the dentist and the practice is really cool and makes them feel special. 
 
From your patient's perspective the experience and the way it makes them FEEL
IS the product. Not the porcelain thingy.
 
The following gets a bit metaphysical, but see if this hits you like a thunderbolt as it did me: Mr. Godin says (with some additions from me in parenthesis):
 
"The product (the shoes, the widget, the white teeth) is simply a souvenir of your trip to the store (practice) and a reminder of how you felt when you bought it."
 
Emotions in marketing are waaay important. Apparently we are all emotion junkies and usually won't buy anything unless the widget feeds our habit the right way.
 
Just wanted to share.
 
Howie
 
Find more Seth Godin at his website:
http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/


I highly recommend him and his books.

 
Mr. Horrocks is the author of two dental bestsellers, Unlimited New Patients, Volume One, and Unlimited New Patients, Volume Two; Trade Secrets of America's Dental Marketing Guru. His agency, New Patients, Inc. produces advertising campaigns for private dental practices all over the US and Canada. For more information call (866) 336-8237 or on the web at www.newpatientsinc.com

 

 

Adding WEIGHT in 2009 

By Mark Dilatush

Mark DilatushBefore you get all excited and run out to buy a "flat" of Krispy Kreme's - I am not talking about adding to your personal weight. As if you would listen to me and immediately react, right?
 
No. What I propose is that you spend just a bit of time and a small/tiny amount of money in 2009 to add to your marketing weight, or "marketability."

 

Adding to your marketability will almost certainly provide positive impact. But you can't do everything, so where do you start? I am glad you asked. Here is my short list:
 
Conveniences:  Do you actually think that 8 to 5pm is convenient? That's because it is convenient for you. Look around you. Ask 5 dentists you know when the busiest parts of their days are. They will all tell you the same thing. Early mornings, right around lunch, and late afternoons/evenings are by FAR the busiest times. What does that tell you? I know what it tells me. It tells me if you added a couple more early morning hours and a couple evening hours (after 5pm), you would have something very compelling to present to the local market. What might be more important to a busy executive couple - a $99 introductory offer, or, an available 6pm appointment to meet their new dentist for the first time?
 
Kids: I hear it all the time, "I don't really like working with kids."  OK. Ignore the #1 recession proof segment of dentistry during a recession. Just don't come back to me and complain that you aren't getting enough "new families" into your practice. Kids are usually the FIRST family member to engage a new dental practice. Mom brings the child in for care. Mom likes the care, the atmosphere, the relationship with the doctor and team. Mom books appointment for herself. Mom then drags hubby kicking and screaming about 6 months later. You know the drill (no pun intended)! You don't have to "niche" the practice with an all out pedo message, you should just "mention" that you work with children and children love coming to your dental practice. You can still refer some patients to the pedodontist. Nobody is saying you have to treat every last one of them. The question is, do YOU want to control the process? By the time that pedodontist returns the favor and refers the kid back at age 16 or 18 - what are the chances that mom is going to recommend them going to a new dentist (you) rather than the dentist she goes to? Think about it. How many of you get an equal number of referrals FROM the pedodontist? What happened to all those kids? Surely they didn't ALL move away!
 
Ortho/6 Month Braces:  Ortho in general is recession resistant. So, if you are looking to bone up on your ortho skills, this is a great opportunity. There is a subset to ortho called 6 Month Ortho, or 6 Month Smiles. You can find out more about it by clicking
here. Dr. Ryan Swain is the founder and the main man at 6 Month Smiles. You can reach Dr. Swain here SixMonthSmiles@gmail.com 
 
A new smile in 6 months using braces is a BIG deal to prospective new patients. Look at it sort of like sedation dentistry with fearful patients. Fearful patients put off getting their work done out of fear right? Many ortho patients put off (or never get work done) because of the "fear" of wearing braces for 3 or 4 years! Don't most of us want quicker, faster results? Well, NPI has about 50 to 60 clients that have already gone through Dr. Swain's course. We see how marketable this segment is.
 
Kor - Deep Bleaching™: This is about as close to a no-brainer as you can get. Every one of you is either hesitant or ticked off at whatever whitening system you are using. Ever had a patient call you that evening or the next day because of sensitivity? Ever had a patient complain that they weren't as white as they thought they'd be? Ever had patients complain about both?
 
Here's the deal: Back in '99 or 2000 (I don't remember exactly when), dentists all over the place were calling or emailing me complaining about over the counter whitening. "How could these big companies let us down like that? We are the one's who administer whitening products to our patients!" 

 

Back then, I just smiled and said something calming...... Now fast forward to 2009. You've got millions of people out there that spent $40 for a BAD result. The big companies have created a GIGANTIC market pool of people looking for a solution to a problem!
 
I am not a dentist, but I have seen the results. I have clients all over the US that SWEAR by the results they get. Jump on this bandwagon - now. You can learn more about it here.
 
SPECIAL NOTE:
 
Vicki McManus from The Productive Dentist Academy has written an article that follows this article. I have had the privilege of attending Productive Dentist Academy events in the past. They are absolutely top notch. I have known Vicki McManus for almost 20 years. I am honored to be an integral part of their 2009 Marketing Summit 
 
This is a "roll up your sleeves" and "get to work" event. Believe me; I will put you to work. You will leave this event with certainty, direction, and clarity as it pertains to promoting your own dental practice. I hope to meet you there. 

 

  

Mr. Dilatush has a unique combined background in dental technology, dental practice management, practice marketing, and dental business analytics, which was built over the past 23 years in dentistry. He and his team are responsible for building client marketing plans that pose the least risk to client marketing budgets with the highest potential return. Howard Farran said of Mark, "multitudes of dentists have benefited from the wisdom and integrity that Mark brings to every project. His thoughtfulness and sincere approach has aided scores of dentists in finding their path to greater dental success.

 

 

 

Marketing your Practice in Good Times and Bad 

New Patients, Inc. 

By Vicki McManus
 
 

According to Dun and Bradstreet, 48% of all business failings can be attributed to ineffective marketing. At no time does that statistic become more evident than during rough economic times.
Staying committed to marketing through good times and bad is critical to building long-term success in your practice. If you've been doing that, then the current anemic economy has probably not affected your practice at all or to the same degree as your colleagues' practices.

 

The majority of dentists, however, tend to take a shotgun approach to marketing. They "turn up the heat" when production is down, perhaps doing a one-time direct mail campaign, taking out an ad in the local paper, or building a website, hoping that these actions alone will improve new patient flow.

 

Marketing, however, is far more reaching than these limited, disjointed applications (and rarely effective when employed in this manner), and must become an integrated and ongoing part of every aspect of your practice.
 
To measure your marketing savvy, ask yourself these questions: 
 
1. What percentage of your budget should you allocate to marketing? 
2. How do you measure return on investment on marketing dollars?
3. How many Raving Fans have you created? 
4. What is the best media to get your message to the public? 
5. What steps are you taking on a consistent basis to build your reputation and become the 'dental expert' in your local area? 
6. How will you grow your practice in a shrinking economy?


"A typical dentist spends about 1-2% on marketing with staff overhead of about 28-32%," says Dr. Bruce Baird, founder of the Productive Dentist Academy. "In our practice, we spend 8% on marketing with total labor costs of 17-18%. Marketing aggressively and increasing revenues drives all of our fixed overhead costs down and our profits up," adds Dr. Baird who produces $2,300/hour in good economic times and bad.
           
Once educated to the need for ongoing marketing, it's important to cut through the massive amount of misinformation and discover the path that is best suited for you and your practice.  

"We work with doctors across the country who are spending lots of money on all the wrong things. Executing the elements of a plan in the wrong order, or dropping your commitment to the plan when times are tough, will kill marketing's effectiveness," explains Mark Dilatush, VP of New Patients, Inc.
 
Though the principles of marketing are eternal, the vehicles that deliver your messages change over time. Dentists who become complacent get blindsided by new media. Today, 57% of the population sends text messages on a regular basis. This technology did not even exist 10 years ago! Is your practice keeping up with new marketing trends? Ask yourself: 
 
Do you REALLY know which of your promotions work? 
Do REALLY know if your website is paying off?
Are we using video testimonials to reach out beyond our website? 
What % of our patients confirm their appointments via email? 
Are we putting technology to work for us to reduce account receivables and increase collections?
 
If you want to learn more about marketing in both good times and bad, attend the upcoming Marketing Summit on May 29-30, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. During this program, you will work side-by-side with industry experts to build a customized 12-month marketing plan specifically for your practice. You will also receive a free demographic and competitive analysis for your specific area. Click here for more information or to register
http://productivedentist.com/Marketing_Summit.

 

 

First Impression Logo

  

First Impression Video (tm) from New Patients, Inc. Customized video for your website!

 

First Impression Video by New Patients, Inc. is a way for potential new patients to actually meet you when they visit your website for the first time. This GREATLY reduces the barrier of distrust and begins the process of "trust." Trust is the first thing you have to accomplish when you want to attract new patients. You can convey this with words but that can only take you so far.

 

Think about it. Let's say you need some kind of medical care. Your physician refers you to three specialists and gives you their websites so you can go home and look for yourself. Two of those sites are all text and maybe a poorly done educational (too long) video.

 

But on one of the sites, the doctor him/her self immediately introduces themselves to you and directs you to other points of interest on their website. When you click on those other points of interest, they (or someone else from their office) pop up again and help you with timely information.

 

Which one of the three specialists are you most likely going to call first for a consult?

 

Now let's say you weren't referred but you're just searching for a new dentist, which dentist would you most likely call for the first consult?

 

Now you understand the main benefit of First Impression Video. You are going to convert more of your website visitors into more new patients! After all, what's the use in having lots of web traffic, if you don't convert that traffic into new patients? 

To learn more about First Impression Video, email Mark at markd@newpatientsinc.com, or, call us at 866.336.8237. 

You can also visit our website and download a First Impression brochure. Go to www.newpatientsinc.com and click on the First Impression link at the top right.

 

 

We hope you've enjoyed our newsletter. Please let us know if there's a particular subject you'd like to hear about. And we always appreciate your feedback.

 

Warm regards,

 

Howie

In This Issue

You're Selling Stuff - but what are people really buying from you?

Adding WEIGHT in 2009

Marketing your Practice in Good Times and Bad

 

 

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New Patients, Inc.
The ad agency exclusively for dentists

 

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