Hello, and Welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.
Howie: Hello, everybody. Once again, we welcome you to our podcast. We’ve got Mark over there In Jersey. He’s feeling pretty good about his Philadelphia Eagles.
Mark: Man, we dropped 51 on Denver. So that’s pretty good day, right?
Howie: That’s a good day.
Mark: So how are you Howie are you doing good?
Howie: I’m doing good. My Seahawks lost miserably yesterday. But you know.
Mark: All right, well, Better luck next weekend. Okay, so where are we?
Howie: We’re preparing for next year.
Mark: Yeah, we’re preparing for next year. I think this is this is part five. So today, I know last time, we spoken awful lot about risk management. Part of risk management is planning out your deployment property. Making sure your plan is as much as it can matching your capacity, your ability to actually see all the people you hope that your marketing is going to generate.
Howie: You’ve got to have room for them, right?
Mark: You’ve got to have room otherwise you just kind of wasting your money. Actually, you’re paying money to anger people, which almost never make sense.
Howie: That’s never good.
Mark: Right. So today, we’re going to take the next logical steps. And we’re going to talk about deployment timing. Last time, we talked about volumes and planning and all that stuff, a part of the planning is timing of online, and offline ads, of all kinds.
And we’re going to talk about about something else you need to plan for, which is how you’re finally going to commit to being the result tracking genius, at least as close as you can be, and you’re finally going to commit to monitor your phone calls, and then ultimately delegate that monitoring to someone in your office who you know, and trust. And well, we’re going to close with that.
So let’s go to let’s go to timing, deployment timing, because there’s many different media types to use. Let’s start with online. Obviously, your website is 24/7 365. It’s the best, you know, supportive marketing medium you can invest in, it’s the most wonderful thing since sliced bread as long as it’s done properly. So that’s taken care of. Other online timing, well, if you have social media properties, on behalf of your your practice, you can apply the same general timing, with your dental advertising related content on your social media as you can on your non dental related advertising content on social media.
If you if you have let’s say, I’m just going to use Facebook as the most common example. If you have a Facebook page for your practice, then obviously, you’re not going to say Happy Halloween in March. So there is a deployment timing to social media. Let me give you a common example of deployment timing. It makes statistical sense to promote pedo, and ortho during the days and weeks and months that the children are home. So an example of deployment timing on the internet might be that you would run your let’s say, Facebook ads or whatever, well, PPC, whatever you’re doing electronically, paying for advertising, it would make perfect logical sense that you would run those during the time when the kiddies are at home. That’s a great example of deployment timing.
Another example, common example would be our friends in Florida. Our friends, snow birds. So we have you know, lots of clients in Florida, and not all places in Florida see a lot of snow birds, but many do. And you know, local population basically turns over from November till let’s say, April. Here they come down from Minnesota, and they get their house and they they arrive sometime in October, November. And then you know, at some point in April, and may they leave? Well, you might want to load up on your advertising for new patients in November and December in a Snowbird area like Florida. Whereas you would definitely not want to do that if you were in Canton, Ohio, right, you would would want to do the exact opposite.
Actually, if you were in Canton, Ohio, you would want to turn off most of your, not all of it. But most of your, certainly most of your offline promotion, some online promotion works still fairly well during the time between Christmas and New Year’s, but for the most part, you want to turn it off.
Howie: And another example of timing, it would be the end of the year, use it or lose it admonition that goes out that your patients that says you know your benefits don’t roll over to the next year, so you better use them. So that might be another timing issue there.
Mark: Right. So if deployment timing sounds like a schedule, like actually have a calendar on your wall, right. And you say, Okay, I’m going to time out all my marketing, and then you fill in all the places that you’re going to have outbound advertising happening, and you fill in the spaces in the calendar. Ultimately, what you want to do is you want to align the message with the most opportune time to deploy it.
We gave you an example of pedo and ortho. We gave you an example of a vacation, or the snowbirds. Howie gave you a great example of promoting to not only your existing patients, but we’ll give you a little secret here. 50% of the people in your community who are not your patients currently also have dental insurance and also run out of their benefits at the same time. Okay. Doesn’t have to be just your patients that you send that message to or that reminder to right, so you could, you know, almost all of our clients will have on their social media, they have access to our DWC library. So they go in and grab an animated video, and they’ll put that and use it or lose it video on their social media at least three or four times in the fall.
You know, just to make sure their existing patients are aware. And then what happens is, is their existing patients, of course, share that and then non-patient sees it and then you can see what will happen from there.
So, deployment timing is really a calendar. It’s instead of a calendar running your life, it’s a calendar, running your marketing. What you’re really looking for is you’re looking to have a calendar mostly filled with very few blank areas. You want to have good coverage online, consistent coverage offline, having the offline feeding the online. The targeted, the properly targeted local patients that you want as patients and you want it to work on an ongoing basis without any gaps. Gaps, are what creates the the spikes, and the valleys. The spike in new patient volume is what creates stress and the valleys in new patient volume also create stress, okay? You don’t want to be a spike and a valley stress, doctor. Okay.
Howie: Spread it out.
Mark: Yeah, spread it out. Right, spread it out and keep it consistent on an even basis.
Howie: Yeah. You know what, Mark, let’s take a break, and then we’ll come back and we’ll talk about the subject that’s near and dear to us; results tracking. We’ll be right back.
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Howie: Okay, here we are back once again. And we’re talking about preparing for next year, marketing wise and we’re settled on a subject here called result tracking. What’s it all about? Mark?
Mark: Yeah, result tracking. This is always a subject that is it’s really challenging for us to communicate to the doctor. Well, it’s very difficult to communicate with any customer, right? Even the doctors listening to this and their own patients. It’s very hard for you to tell your patients that they’re wrong. You know, oil pulling made my teeth whiter. You know, and you know, as a dentist, that’s like, that’s just the most ridiculous statement ever, right? And you have to look at your patients say no, Mrs. Jones, you’re wrong.
Well, dentists come to us all the time and had these beliefs about the results they’re getting. And many times we have to, you know, gently nudge them in the direction of the truth. I mean, only the truth is right, right? And it’s not really our intent to say that the dentist is wrong. It’s not our intent even to be right. It’s just, let’s just find the truth together. But what does this have to do with next year’s marketing plan? Well, honestly, it has everything to do with next year’s marketing plan because in the middle of next year, towards the end of next year, when you’re re-evaluating your marketing expenses and determining what works, what doesn’t work, what’s an asset, what’s not an asset, so that you can set up the following years marketing plan, you’re going to want the truth.Okay?
Howie: And you can handle the truth in this case.
Mark: That’s right, it’s really easy to go off the rails, and then look at yourself and go, geez, where did I go wrong? Well, you went wrong with the result tracking. So, let me go through what result tracking, you know, means. For the most part, it means having, and we’ve, how many years now have we been telling dentists to do this, 12 years? I don’t know how many years.
Howie: Since the advent of dental call tracking.
Mark: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Put a dental call tracking line. Yeah, put a call tracking line on your marketing. And beyond that, I want you guys and gals to commit. Commit to a few things. I will, as the dentist owner of this practice, listen to my staff, interacting with my new patients, at least for the first month. Now the reason I say that is because there’s a lot of dentists out there who are like the three monkeys, like they got their hands over their ears or eyes in their mouth, right? Say no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, right? They don’t even want to know, it’s like, I just want to go back and do dentistry. I don’t even want to hear what my staff is saying these patients. That’s why I need you to commit to it.
So, I need you to get over yourself a little bit and I need you to listen to these phone calls. And I also know there’s dentists out there listening to this going, what’s the big deal? They’re my patients, of course, I’m going to listen to the phone call. I get it, everybody, let’s just all commit that you’re going to listen.
The second thing I would like you to do is commit to looking at the calls every morning, before you start your day. You can even use them as a morning huddle as part of your routine if you’d like, okay. And listen to them after you come back from lunch.
And the third thing I want you to commit to is I want you to commit to calling the missed calls the ones that went to voicemail. Because there’s a real, real consistency among patients and dental practices. Here’s the consistency, existing patients almost always almost 100% of the time leave a message. And conversely, almost 100% of the time a new patient will just end up being a hang up on your voicemail. They don’t leave messages. They have nothing they say to you. They’re not a patient. Yet. Okay
So if you commit to listening to the calls, you can judge your staff’s effectiveness on your own. If you commit to just looking at the calls that came in when you weren’t in the office. That would be awesome. You can do it every morning and every afternoon after lunch. And the third commitment is calling the hang ups. Those hang ups, about 90% of them are new patients that you blew.
Howie: Yeah, exactly. In fact, I just made a Facebook video about this called “Phone Crimes.” That’s one of the phone crimes is that, especially if you have calls coming in during business hours, and they go to voicemail, right that that’s inexcusable. Those are probably most likely new patients and the people who call you over the weekend, they already know you’re closed, but they’re looking for something and they want to connect and so they call and then if they can’t leave a message or they decide they don’t want to, then you need to call them back on Monday in and offer your help to them. Because you missed the call over the weekend.
Mark: Right. Now, this is, or can be an initial cause of stress, because it’s different. In other words, a lot of dentists don’t want they don’t even want to listen to the calls. But when they listen to them, a lot of times they go oh, I can’t believe we’re saying that, to pitch you. Good you listen. Right? And, you know, let me just let all the doctors on here. You know, your staff is just doing what comes natural to them, there’s a really good chance they’ve never been trained, right?
So if they need some help, because it’s not easy doctor. If somebody called you right now on the phone and said, “How much is your crown? Do you take my insurance?” And you don’t want to say, you know, your crown fee and the word no. Then you have to have some kind of training and skill in order to convert that perfectly good new patient into a new patient in your practice, okay. So it doesn’t come naturally, it doesn’t come easily. And honestly, it doesn’t come naturally or easy to you either. So, you know, if your staff does need training, there’s lots of places you can get training, we have it as well.
Okay, but that’s not the reason I’m telling you this, I’m telling you this so that as you’re planning your, in this case, 2018 marketing plan, that this is part of your plan. This is part of your deployment calendar. On your calendar, it says check the calls for the week or check the calls for the day. On your calendar, it says implement called tracking monitoring into our morning huddle. You do those things now, you start implementing those things now, and they become basically second nature. It’s sort of like hitting the the voicemail machine, right? Remember the old voicemail machines where you’d have to hit a button, right and listen to the calls. It was just like that.
And if it becomes second nature, then here’s what Howie and I know will happen. You’ll miss less phone calls from new patients, you’ll follow up with those new patients, you’ll call them back and say, We got a call from your phone number, we’re a dental office, were you looking to make a dental appointment, and then two or three of them are going to say yes, and the person on your phone is going to get confidence out of that.
And then they’re going to start paying more attention to the phone calls. It’s it’s kind of like a it’s kind of like a snowball, right? Once you have a couple of these successes, now what are you doing? Now you’re squeezing more valuable you under the advertising and marketing that you’re doing. Now you have more confidence in the advertising and marketing that you’re doing and now you’re not kind of dreading your advertising and marketing. You’re kind of embracing your advertising and marketing.
Then pretty soon you’re going to be like, you know, Dr. Advanced, and put, you know, real time online scheduling on your website, so that, you know, 24/7 365, patients can can schedule. So I mean, we’ll have a conversation about that on a different day. But boy, if you can track your results properly, and you know where your patients are coming from, most of that starts with dental call monitoring. Call monitoring then turns into maybe dental phone training, you know, for your team, which turns into the doctor actually being able to see what’s going on, even if they’re working in a four millimeter circle in an operatory somewhere.
Howie: Right? It gets exciting, it gets exciting for the doc and then the practice as time goes on, this becomes more and more of a habit. It’s like it’s free money. You know, it’s like if you could just salvage two or three patients a month that wanted to call or did call in, but you missed the call. I mean that maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot. But man, you know, you look at the average revenue per patient in your practice and you can add two or three or four more people to that, wahoo!
Mark: Exactly. You know, exactly for the same advertising you’re spending money on now, rather than having to spend more, right? So anyway, so you know what we kind of went on about the call part of it. And you know what we’ll do, we’ll do result tracking, because there’s a whole there’s a whole science thought there’s cross referencing, there’s a whole like worksheet for result tracking. So yeah, we’ll save that for the next, for the next installment. But this one will definitely add to your list of things to do before your marketing plan is set for 2018.
Howie: Awesome. Hey, everybody out there, thank you so much for being in the audience each week. We really appreciate it and we hope that you’re getting a lot out of it. So until next time, Adios.