In this episode, we discuss how to make a good first impression on who matters most — moms! Dental office reviews management, showing the benefits of dentistry, and properly educating the consumer all work towards this goal. So how do you go about it?
Do new patients really know the benefits of dentistry?
How do you impress today’s mom?
Managing dental office reviews
The phone: the most important first impression
Working the front desk
Informed patients that ask the right questions
Why do patients only care about price? Because that’s all we’re telling them!
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. Welcome once again to our podcast. Well, it seems like we’ve been doing a lot of these lately. Hey, Mark.
Mark: Well, you know, once a week, if you have enough weeks, they kind of run together.
Howie: Okay, so yeah, that’s fine. I love when we can do one every day as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, today, let’s look at making a good first impression to the new patient. How is that done? What, what’s involved in all of that?
Mark: Gosh, that’s a wide that’s, we could do podcasts. We could literally do five bad podcasts on this subject. But so the subject is where the question is, is how do I make a good first impression? With a new patient? Yeah. Or how do I make a good impression? Let’s not say first because nobody listening to this podcast is not worried about the second impression they make. Right? So let’s just say, How do I make the best impression I can? On today’s dental consumer, so there you go.
Okay, so let’s go all the way back in time. um, got it feels like when caveman discovered fire. Right? Was when we looked at the data. And we discovered that no matter what you did, no matter where they were, from the matter how much money they made, no matter what their background, no matter what their education. There’s just a whole bunch of moms out there who will choose a healthcare provider based on price. And there’s a whole bunch of other moms out there who won’t?
Howie: Yeah. And we were kind of surprised by that. But you know, now having lived with that, and experienced that, as an actual real world fact, we’re no longer surprised about him. But it’s roughly 50-50. It might be 60-40. You know, we’re not exactly sure. But half moms will and half mom’s won’t, but what we have to say about that.
Mark: Basically right, so this has to do with making an impression. So, after you. The next logical question is well, how do you impress both halves of these above this market? So, the easy answer to the bottom half is, give them a deal.
Mark: $39, new patient exam special, bring your child, your third one’s free, get a package of sweat socks, baloney sandwich, whatever, and send a postcard or whatever. And that’s the first impression. And you know what, that mom doesn’t really need anything else to impress her until she comes into your office. Right? I mean, that’s an amazingly short discovery and selection cycle. With the bottom half of the market. It’s why it’s so popular among people who do their own dental marketing.
Yeah, it’s easy. So, which begs the next question? Well, okay, but, I mean, if I get a whole bunch of those people in my office, then I have to, you know, kiss a lot of frogs and spend a lot of money and spend a lot of time and fills my appointment book, but I’m not so sure it feels my growth strategies, from a financial standpoint. So how do I go after? And how do I impress the top half? That is a much longer conversation.
Howie: Yeah, it’s much more difficult too.
Mark: Yeah, it’s more difficult. It takes more time. They don’t respond as quickly. Dentists, who try sometimes at the very beginning, become disillusioned or impatient with the process. So really, what this podcast is about is, well, if they’re not impressed by a low price, what the hell does impress them? Right?
Mark: And just last week, I had a doctor really nice guy from Texas. Actually, he listens to I think he follows my Dr. Barr. Mike Barr.
Howie: Oh, the dental warrior? Yes.
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. And this guy was, he was awesome. He was just brutally straightforward. And just, again, brutally honest. And, and, and one of his questions was, well, if I don’t have an aggressive offer, and I have no call to action, what do I do? Like why would anybody choose me? I’ve got all the corporate outfits around me, I’m probably the only solo dentist within eight miles of my practice. why in the hell would anyone choose me? It was very difficult for him. Very difficult for him to step outside of his dentist body. And look at his office and the services and amenities and technologies and conveniences that he offers. In his practice. His team, his hours, everything. It was very difficult for him to step out of that body. And look at him as a consumer.
Howie: Right. I mean, I, you might say that his unique selling proposition in his areas that he’s not them.
Mark: Right. Right.
Mark: There you go. There, you
Howie: Got the corporate people.
Mark: Right. So that’s good. And that follows up with if he’s not the one promoting his office based on price. Isn’t that in and of itself? A value to the top half of the dental market and his market? Yeah, yes, because he’s surrounded by people who do. So the dentist in his market who are promoting their practices based primarily on a price incentive are all basically competing with each other in the mind of every mom in the market.
Only about half the moms have already discounted all those offices, because they don’t want to, they don’t want to select an office based primarily on a price and set-up. Actually, they kind of looked down at those offices. And they’re looking for somebody who doesn’t promote their practice that way. Which Dr. hero comes in and starts to promote his office in a different way. So now we get into “how do we make a good first impression?” Or how do we make a good impression, period. Not just first, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth? seventh?
Howie: Yeah. Because sometimes you don’t know what the first one is.
Mark: Yeah. And Howie and I will tell you that, you know, when is it a good time not to make a good impression?
Howie: Yeah, exactly.
Mark: Right, I mean, it usually was. So if you’re in business, you’re, you know, that you grow, um, you know, by creating good impressions, all day, every day as best you can. And if you don’t, you fix them. Right. So with that as the backdrop. So how do you impress those moms? Well, the first way you impress them, is by not promoting your office based primarily on a price incentive. That’s the first way because they will negate you. They will subtract you from their mind. If you do, okay.
By giving them a menu of things you can do for them. Not things you did for yourself, not things you know, not the education you got, or where you got it. Not all this Not you, you. Right? But all the things you can do for them. And Dentists think that the consumers have an idea of what of the benefits of today’s dentistry and Howie and I, we see the numbers we know how ignorant they are. I’m not calling to make you’re in a bad sense. It’s actually a good sense, the more ignorant your target market is on the benefits of today’s dentistry, the more available to you they are.
Howie: Yeah, and Mark’s, right. They’re not dummies, they just don’t eat sleep and breathe dentistry like we do.
Mark: Like you do. Right. Exactly. Right. Right, or like your hygienist does or like your office manager does or like your assistant does, or like everybody else in your dental office, who obviously has, you know, their own opinions on what your advertising or your marketing should look like, act like and feel like. Well, none of you are qualified. Sorry, but none of you are qualified to make that call. Because you all are too close, you’re too close to the to the you’re too close to the issue. In order to in order for you to truly see what’s in the consumers mind, you would almost have to erase your mind. Because that’s basically all they know.
So here’s the point. How do you impress? You introduce information that the person previously did not have. You introduce positive information that the person previously did not have. Now, didn’t say it was all about your services. Services are important but, so is your convenience. The convenience you possess, the technologies you possess. How about the public relations? Assets that you possess, like maybe last year, you did dentistry from the heart, or maybe you went on a mission trip to Costa Rica or wherever, okay.
All of those things impress. There’s different categories and subcategories of how to impress you can go to our websites, new patients Inc. com under education, you’ll see a download, there’s free, there’s all kinds of actually education on our website. One of them is a marketable attributes spreadsheet. And that is the statistical reference of what matters most to what matters least in the consumer mind. You will see on there; how woefully ignorant they are on the benefits of everything that you do and not just your services. Right. So how do you impress that Mom? You fill the void in her mind with information that will either her child, her husband or her parents.
Howie: Right? In other words, there’s solutions to that she has problems, right, since she’s looking for solutions. So, when you’re talking about your services, you’re mainly talking about solutions to those problems. And like Mark said, the buttress all of this, you have PR assets, you have conveniences which are really, really day and age of really important. Right? If you’re not convenient, you’re not going to get chosen. That’s really the bottom line on that. Right?
Mark: Yeah, it’s getting more and more that way. Yes. So, let’s go through a scenario. Let’s just go through kind of a typical scenario, what we’ll go through to mom is looking for a dentist, she uses Google, perhaps on her phone. And she’s just types in Google near me, dentist near me in her Google. And of course, Google knows her GO, goes out gives her a search results, screen. Dental office reviews, review scores, websites show up maybe some social media posts from those dentists, maybe a couple of consolidators. So how do you impress mom, now?
You impress mom first by being there. Somewhere on that, on that first page, you impress mom, by you don’t have to be the top dog in your area for dental office reviews, but you can’t be the lap dog either. Right? You got to be, you know, top three, four, and number of dental clinic reviews and review score. It would be really nice for her to see a social media asset or two.
Maybe a story that she can read through and a website, she goes to your dental office website, and how difficult is for her to find what she’s looking for. When she gets to your website, are you trying to impress her? Are you injecting education that she may or may not already have? Without hardly any effort on her part? If not, you should be. Okay. That’s the whole idea.
The whole idea behind that mom, in impressing that mom is injecting information that she good useful information that will benefit her, her child, her husband or her parents. Yes, she didn’t know before she visited whatever property she’s on. Right now, she’s on our website. It’s, it’s Friday at 7pm. She’d like to get this task done. But she can, because she knows if she calls the phone number, there’s not going to be anybody there that can make her appointment.
Now, if you had online scheduling, she could actually make her appointment right now check that off of her list of things to do, which all moms everywhere would love to do, they’d like to get their tasks completed, right? So, you could impress mom by having that on your website. And then maybe deliver to her a link to your office forms. Because while she’s just sitting here, she might as well just fill in the office forms for either herself, her child, her husband, and her insurance information. If she’s making an appointment for her husband, her husband doesn’t know the insurance information. So, she grabs the insurance information and puts it in. That’s all wonderfully convenient for her.
And it definitely impresses her wherever the next day, or Monday morning, when the staff comes in. Of course, they’re going to see that notification immediately. Probably reach out to that mom and say, Hey, you know, thanks for making your first appointment. A Conversation ensues. Make sure she has everything that she needs, knows where you are, knows where the parking is knows what you’re right across the street from make sure she has all the do. Okay, we’ll see you at three o’clock on Thursday, whatever the appointment was. That’s how you impress mom. A couple of days before she shows up, she gets a text confirming and reminding her she doesn’t have to do anything. She just says yes.
Howie: It’s very convenient.
Mark: Very convenient. So, mom comes in. Mom comes in, and is greeted, usually by name. And she sits down. I know nobody listening to this. Has anyone in their reception room wait more than nine seconds now. But let’s just say that’s a lie. Because we all know it is. But now let’s, let’s say that mom sits down for a little while and it may be two minutes, three minutes, four minutes and sitting across from her on the wall is a flat screen TV. And it’s saying you know, did you know? Did you know we can fix slipping dentures? Did you know? We have laser scanners that can find cavities.
Howie: Did you know we can cure your husband’s snoring?
Did you know we can cure your husband’s snoring and you know whatever, right? You’re just it’s just you’re just impressing her. You’re just constantly impressing her with good, solid useful, not before known information that will benefit her child, her husband or her family or her parents. Yeah, of course. Go ahead Howie.
Was gonna say that the key in doing that is to use patient friendly language as speak to her on her level, not as though she were a dummy. But because she’s ill informed or actually hasn’t ever been informed about these things. If to explain things in a in a non technical non dental way, which is oftentimes hard for a dentist to do.
Mark: You mean you’re not supposed to put the video of the implant surgery on your website?
Howie: Well, yeah, that’s probably not a good idea.
Mark: Okay. We joke, but I’m sure you can go find one. Um, yeah. You know what, Howie. Why don’t we take a break here?
Howie: Absolutely. I was just going to suggest that don’t go away. We will be right back.
Hello, everybody. This is how we Horrocks in London with me is Mark Dilatush president of New Patients Incorporated. How you doing Mark? Hey Howie, how are you? This is the part of the podcast where we get to brag about our company. Yay. So sometimes it gets lost. And all these podcasts what New Patients Incorporated actually does. We have? I don’t know how many podcasts 75, 8 a week for well over a year. And all of you listen to these a half hour at a time and you might lose sight of what we do. So here’s the short answer. We do everything we’re talking about in these podcasts on behalf of our clients. Okay, we do the podcasts are there for our clients, of course just so they understand what the heck we’re doing.
But also for the doctors who are do it yourselfers. If you’re not a do it yourselfer, and you want someone to do this for you, new patients a calm, there’s an icon in the dead center at the top of our homepage where you can get a complimentary marketing plan, a series of questions will need to be completed. And once you complete that, we will analyze your market area, develop a marketing plan and get on the phone with you discuss all the sections of the marketing plan just to make sure you understand a couple of things, what you’re up against, what your expectations should be, and what market Howie would do if we owned your dental practice.
Howie: All right, my friends are friends. How are you doing? We’re back mark, we’re talking about how to make a good impression. How to constantly make impressions.
Mark: impressions, right? Yeah, nothing to do with allergen It has nothing to do with trays has nothing? Not that kind of impression. Yeah, um, I think there, you know, there’s, I mean, we, we actually got ahead of ourselves. I mean, one of the one of the ways that this deal is made or broken, is the telephone. So
Howie: Well, yeah.
Mark: Right. I mean, let’s back up one step. We missed it gigantic step, right. Let’s say mom is not seven o’clock on a Friday, it’s actually I don’t know, 1:30, after lunch on a Tuesday, and she knows the office is open. She’s sitting there staring at him on her phone. And she clicks call the office and she calls to make an appointment. Unfortunately, the office is closed from 130 to 230 for their lunch, and it goes to voicemail.
This happens hundreds of thousands of times. I mean, we see frequently we see, we see the data. We just assume. Of course, we assume our clients are no step ahead of everybody on the evolution scale. Of all the Dentist Right? I mean, we joke around like that, because there are clients right, but they’re probably not I mean, they probably suffer from the same exact challenges in their offices. Everybody other every other dentist does, right?
So you know, they’re missing their calls. There’s so there’s one way to impress mom, answer your phone. That during normal work hours, eight to five, Monday through Friday. How’s that? Right? Mom doesn’t expect you to be there outside of eight to five, Monday through Friday. So you know, five on in the evenings and weekends, to have your online scheduling there. That’ll take care of those issues as far as missing the appointments.
When you answer the phone. And this is now just answering the phone is one step to impress mom, the second step is to be that I, you know, people ask me this all the time. When I’m, when we do seminars, I’ll get an office manager walks up to me invariably and says, Have you ever worked the front desk of the dental office? And I say, Yeah, I have. And they look at me know you did? Yeah, yeah, I have, I’ve been up at the front of a dental office, I’ve answered the phone.
I know, in like three days, I got bored of being happy all the time. Because that’s how you have to kind of be right. Like, even though Met Life, just denied an insurance claim that the doctor has been busting your stones to follow up on for the last two months. And there’s a kid in the reception room is totally unruly, and his mother’s just sitting there looking at her phone, not disciplining the child, the child’s about ready to throw the coffee table at some, you know, old person’s head, right. And you so you’re already in a you’re already in a state of craziness in your own mind and the phone rings, it’s a new patient, you have to stop all that emotion, and completely turn around and be Hi, this is Mark, I can help. Right?
You have to be that person on the telephone. And, um, it’s difficult. But this podcast is about impressing mom. What she’s not impressed by is someone that clearly is emoting a negative vibe. Telephone, or chewing gum, or is very short. Hello, doctors office.
Howie: So that’s the worst.
Mark: Well, actually, it’s probably down the list from the ones we’ve heard, right? The worst. Um, so I’m not going to, you know, look, you want to impress mom, you got to do all of this, right. You got to get her in the office with the right information, you got to do that right. It has to coordinate with your website. Got to do that right when the phone rings need to answer it. When you answer it, you need to be supportive of the dentist, no matter what your mood is, no matter what happened on the way to work, no matter how much snow you shoveled out of your driveway this morning.
You gotta you know, now when they come in, when the patient finally does come in a little bit, our tidbits of education along the way, goes a really, really long way. Because if you talk to a dentist or an assistant, or hygienist anybody in the back and you talk to anybody, and you say well, would you rather have a patient just sit there and say nothing? Or would you rather have a patient ask you questions about ex dental service, teeth whitening, Invisalign, implants, sedation, whatever. Right?
99.99999% of the time, the answer is no, man. I hate quiet patients, they just sit there, you never know what they’re thinking you never know what they’re doing. They just sit there. They don’t ask you they don’t we don’t. It’s like I have to do everything. I have to diagnose everything, a treatment, plan everything, show them everything. And they’ll hardly ever open their mouth unless I’m back actively doing a diagnosis.
And we will then so we say well, that’s where that information comes in. What you really want, here’s what you all really want, you want new patients who will come into the office make their keep their first appointment, obviously. And when they get into the chair, actually open their mouth and talk to you. And ask you questions about some of the things you do. Patients are never going to do that. If you don’t introduce the benefits of what you do to them first. Does this make sense? I have to say, it’s like everybody’s trying to skip that first step. They just, they want to go right to here, take my credit card, trust you, which never happens. So you have you had to do all the little steps in order to get to that. That big step.
Howie: Yeah. Because maybe you know it without something to sort of invite to the interest of the of the patient, what do they got to talk with you about? How much do you cost? And, you know,
Mark: do you take my insurance?
Howie: Do you take my insurance? And you want to obviously, you know, deal with those issues as well. But you need to expand beyond that, to the whole world of marvelous benefits available to them with modern dentistry.
Mark: Right. And I think there’s a there’s a trap there that dentists get in, get stuck in? Actually, I don’t think I know, there’s a gigantic trap there where they say, you know, geez, Mark, I don’t I really don’t think these there’s these other moms, I don’t think there’s these other moms who, you know, care more about their mouth and, and insurance deductible or, you know, patients who really care about their families, oral health, I think they’re all just out there looking for a deal. And I gotta, you know, be the deal guy or gal? I’m like, No, dude, you’re totally completely missing the point.
The only reason why the you It seems like that’s all these people care about, is because that’s all dentistry is telling them. That’s it. That’s all dentistry is if you go to our client offices, those clients will all look at you in the face and they’ll say, yeah, I mean, some of them still do. They ask about cost. And they ask about insurance. But for a lot of them, they actually get their work done. They actually ask us questions in the exam room, sometimes they don’t even wait, they ask it from the reception area. They’re asking us these questions, because we’ve introduced these questions to ask. They didn’t know to ask them before. We interested them in something.
And usually, when a human being is interested in something, they ask you about it, they ask you questions about it. You know, like, Hey, you purple car, I want to buy a purple. Could you have any purple cars? Somebody had to tell that person that we have purple cars, right? Well, where are your purple cars? What kind of purple cars? do you have? You know, do you think I’m a good fit for a purple car? Right? All we’re saying here is that if you really want to impress the moms in the top half of the market, you will introduce information to them that they were previous that were previously unaware of that will benefit them their children, their husband, or their immediate of their immediate family.
Skipping that gets you the two questions, how much does it cost? And do you take my insurance? You don’t if you don’t skip that, you get different questions. Hey, do you think you can straighten my teeth with Invisalign? Could you imagine if a patient walked in and looked at you and said, Hey, Doc, do you think you can straighten my teeth with Invisalign? You’d probably pass out. Because normally, you have to do all the diagnosis. What do you like, what do you dislike about your smile? I dislike the gap in my smile. I dislike my crooked teeth. Well, we can do Invisalign, you have to go through all that crap, right? Imagine your dental life. Imagine your dental career where patients actually ask you questions. All you got to do is introduce the right information, and then you get what you want.
Howie: That’s right. Well, we’re going to end off there for today. We sure are glad to have you guys and gals out there in the audience. And we’ll see you again soon. Okay, bye now.