1991. Unlimited New Patients Volume One is released.
I didn’t think I’d sell very many of my first book. I’m normally an optimistic person but I didn’t know if there was a very big demand or even ANY demand for a book like this.
I’m happy to say I was wrong. The book became a runaway bestseller. Not a NYT bestseller, but a dental bestseller for sure.
Volume One is a compilation of all the marketing projects I had been doing with my clients over the previous two years. All of the ones that worked anyway.
I intended it for the do-it-yourself dentist. It was for the doc who maybe was tepidly beginning this marketing thing but needed a guide to follow. I heard from hundreds of dentists that it was just that for them – a guide from someone who had been there already.
I also heard from just as many dentists who didn’t want to have anything to do with the whole DIY thing. They would read the book and call me, “Wow, lots of great stuff in here Howie but I don’t have time to do it. Will you do it for me?”
There was no model
I realized early on that essentially I was running a dental marketing laboratory. In real time with real humans who were spending real money.
These days, there seems to be a new “dental marketing company” opening every week! But when I started there weren’t any models. There had been no prior testing that I could rely on, nothing I could read about from people who had done this already. There were no metrics or analytics for the marketing of dentistry to the consumer because no one had ever done this before. At least to the degree I was doing it.
How do you write a book anyway?
I didn’t really have a clue, so of course I charged ahead anyway. Hey, it couldn’t be that hard!
It took waaaaaay longer than I thought it would. Also, it didn’t help that I wrote most of it while sitting in a small rented space in a big warehouse, which was very cold during the Seattle winter. The whole thing was an excruciating experience.
I wondered why anyone would ever write a second book. I swore I never would, but of course I did. Maybe it’s like childbirth. Mom forgets the painful part because, well, they are beautiful little beings that change your life. Then she has another and remembers how hard it was.
“I” became “we”
Because of the success of the first book I was forced to gather a team. I had a designer and some administrative help, which was just fine for a while. That didn’t last long. I quickly became overwhelmed.
That’s how New Patients Inc started – create an overwhelming demand, build a team to service it and hang on for dear life.