In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, we talk about dental leads. What is a valuable lead? How do you get dental leads into the chair? How do you avoid missed opportunities; and more.

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Podcast Highlights:

  • Leads vs. patients in the chair
  • Defining a lead
  • Missed appointments
  • Converting leads into patients
  • Why creating leads isn’t the end all be all
  • Avoiding missed opportunities
  • Why aren’t you following up?
  • How to work your lead funnels
  • Generating appointments and phone calls
  • Cost per lead vs. cost per patient
  • Knowing your marketing numbers
  • Understanding the value of a lead

Podcast Transcription:

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: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome once again to our weekly podcast. We’re really happy to have you out there. How you doing, Mark?

Mark: I’m doing fine, sir. It’s I think this is podcast. One, one.

Howie: Yes. One.

Mark: After we get to like 105. Well, we’ll forget we’re over 100.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Isn’t it funny how our brains work like that?

Howie: Yeah. Yeah. Anyway. What do we got this Monday morning? I have a I have a great title for this podcast.

Mark: What’s your great title? Howie.

Howie: Actually, you thought it up Mark dental leads have no teeth. What the heck does?

Mark: Why in the heck did I think of that? Alright, so. So here’s the basic premise behind leads have no teeth. As a dentist, you pretty much need someone with a mouth and teeth in your chair in order for you to generate a return on your marketing investment. I don’t think I’ll get too much argument over that statement, right?

Howie: Nope.

Mark: And there are, I don’t know 1000 companies out there selling leads to dentists. And justifying their cost and justifying their existence actually, because of the large number of leads they are bringing into the practice. With us the title of ‘Leads Have No Teeth’. Because I don’t know I’ve been in dentistry now for 30 years. I’ve never seen a dental practice, have a team of telemarketers following up on dental leads to turn them into patients.

Howie: No.

Mark: I could be there could they could exist. I’m not saying they don’t exist. That’s not it’s not an absolute. I’m just saying I’ve never seen one. So when someone says that you’re getting a lot of dental leads, leads have no teeth. You can’t work on a lead a lead can’t sit back in a chair, you can’t ask a lead to sit up and spit

Howie: Or pay for the dentistry.

Mark: Yeah, are you can’t say are you numb yet and stick your explorer in the side of their gums, you just can’t do any of those things to lead. leads are possibly a new patient. But by pure definition, they aren’t a new patient. Okay, so. So how does this specifically apply to almost everyone listening to this podcast? Well, even for our clients, we know that almost 20% of their phone calls were getting missed. Now, a marketing company might say to you, we have but we got all those leads. Okay.

Howie: Yeah

Mark: But there’s no place on your new patient report for leads. They’re just, they’re just vapor they disappeared, okay, so didn’t go anywhere, they have almost no value. Unless, of course, you’re the marketing firm trying to justify your existence to your client. Okay so, now even our own even our clients, okay, I’m not a we’re not, you know, we’re not. We’re, as a dental marketing firm ourselves, we we point out to our clients that these are missed appointments. These are missed opportunities, these technically are leads, but we don’t justify our existence based on 20% of the opportunities the client missed, you have to base your reputation and the ROI on the actual patients who actually can recline in a dental chair and you can actually see inside their mouth. Now why does this matter?

This matters, actually for almost every dental promotion medium that you’re in whether it’s something very, very refined, Lee targeted and aggressive and direct like mail, all the way to a Facebook ad all the way to well, especially Google AdWords, PPC, anything you’re doing search engine marketing wise, on if you’re paying to generate a click the Generate of traffic to a landing page or your website. I mean, you’re trying to convert that into a patient, your marketing firm very likely is trying to convert it into a lead and believes their job ends there. Okay, if I if they get you enough leads, it’s therefore your fault that you’re not converting them?

Well, here’s, here’s what I’m going to tell you about all that. I’m going to say yes or no. Yes, it is your job is your it is your fault. If you’re missing phone calls, if you’re not answering the phone calls properly, you’re not doing what you can to convert someone who has a genuine interest in becoming a new patient. If you miss that opportunity. That blame falls squarely in your lap. Mr. Dr. client, okay, that’s, again, nobody can nobody can refute that. It’s that is your fault. However, there are ways to mitigate that and to minimize it, and you should, as best you can avail yourself to all those ways to mitigate or minimize the loss opportunities so that you convert more opportunity. That’s the whole idea. Now, why do people call leads or why do people stop at leads?

People stop it learn marketing firms stop at leads, because that’s kind of the it’s a lot of dental office marketing these days is online, a lot of it is search engine marketing, or Facebook or social media marketing and or email marketing. And what they try to do is they build these funnels of leads, US names, addresses, email addresses, so that they can be constantly marketed to remarketed to, and sooner or later some new patients fall out of the bottom of the funnel.

That’s, that’s why the leads are so important and so descriptive, or they are used as a descriptor for online marketing firms. In the dentist world, the dentist doesn’t know a lead from the color green, I mean, because it doesn’t the dentist never sees them, because nobody in the office is following up with any of these leads. If they are, then they’re following up from the calls. So let’s put these in a kind of an order.

Best case scenario is a patient. second best call. Third Best Lead say lead should a lead should end up generating either an online appointment. In other words, a widget Click, or it should end up creating a phone call. That would be awesome. The phone call then I’m hopefully good portion of those phone calls will be the right phone call will be actual new patient who’s actually looking for a dentist and not a wrong number or something like that. And a good solid percentage of those calls would then become the ultimate, the new patient in your chair.

So don’t confuse leads with new patients, you aren’t paying marketing dollars for dental leads don’t get stuck in that trap. Because we were hearing more and more and more dentists coming to us. And they’re saying, I’m getting lots of leads. You know, we say yeah, that’s good. But what is it doing for you? And they honestly don’t, then they don’t know. They don’t know what it’s doing for them or what is not doing for them?

Howie: Right

Mark: Tired of getting blamed. So let’s pick this back up. When we

Howie: yeah

Mark: one more break.

Howie: We’ll take a short break, don’t go away. We’ll be right back.

NPI Click: Hey, Mark, how would our audience find out about getting more good reviews? Well, first step is to understand it. There’s minefields in the dental business right now. So let me give me the four keys, one has to e simple for your staff, they can actually call in sick and it’ll still work to it has to be ridiculously simple for your patients to leave Google reviews. Three, it has to be able to separate out the not so good reviews from the great reviews and only send the great reviewers over to your Google, Facebook or Yelp. And for and this is probably the most important only send reviews to platforms where your reviews cannot be taken away.

If anybody has any questions about this, it’s called NPI Crusader, you can just send Howie and I and email or actually you can log on to new patients Inc. com and you can schedule your very own appointment to see it in an online meeting. That usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. So most people do it over a lunch time.

Howie: Alright, we are back, we were talking about this, this whole scenario of creating a funnel mark and

Mark: yeah leads have no teeth.

Howie: And what good is a lead and that sort of thing. So

Mark: well, no more prevalent in our measurable, you can measure it is prevalent, you can measure this, let’s say with an aggressive, properly targeted mail, whatever magazine, whatever kind of mail campaign, something offline, you can definitely measure this on. But it’s very measurable with online campaigns. Now. We happen to have a library of statistics on this just like we do everything else. And we will tell you that.

With search engine marketing, specifically, it’s easy to see why a marketer would stop at lead. Because they’re constantly trying to drive the cost of have cost per click and cost per lead down. It’s pretty obvious that their end is lead. It’s very difficult, not impossible, but difficult for them to quantify the call, listen to the call, see if the call turned into an actual patient and then track that through to the practice management software, see the appointment, and then track that through to the revenue and track the revenue build moving forward. So that’s why most people just say hi, gotcha lead?

Howie: okay

Mark: Well, I’ll tell you from watching our own

Howie: Okay

Mark: Our own performance of our own, you know, search engine marketing department, and the calls that come in from those ads. And I know, at the beginning of these campaigns before we start turning the sources off, I’d say easily 30 40% of those calls are wrong numbers.

Howie: Yes,

Mark: only. We’re not telling people that’s good. We’re not telling people that’s a lead. It’s not a lead, it’s a call, okay? It’s a lead, it’s a call, but it’s a call from someone who doesn’t go to you. They were looking for their dentist and they happen to hit your ad and they happen to choose your phone number and call you. And it was a mistake on their part cost you eight bucks. Sorry about that.

Howie: Okay,

Mark: this happens all the time. But people call that a lead. Okay, it’s not a lead. What that is is a bad click, and it should be turned off. It should be turned off as soon as you accumulate whatever three or four, three or four Wrong number calls from the same ad source or Click source or banner ad or remarketing, wherever it’s coming from, should be recognized and turned off. Eventually on the fly by you know, we use an artificial intelligence platform. So after about three or four months, as soon as we have enough data, we put it up on that and the platform takes care of turn those off on its own.

Howie: Yeah, that’s right.

Mark: Yeah, yeah, you don’t you but you don’t tell your client that it’s a lead,

Howie: right.

Mark: It’s kind of like, you know, I’m, I don’t it. It’s it. Here’s what it’s like you’re at home. It’s seven o’clock at night, dinner’s just on the table, your battery ready to sit down with your family and have a nice meal and a telemarketer calls your home. And you pick up the phone, and it’s a telemarketer, and you hang up? Well, is that really a lead?

Howie: No,

Mark: no, it’s not lead, okay? It’s not anything. It’s just an annoyance. All right. So when we say dental leads have no teeth, what we’re saying to you is in in the in the day to day business world of search engine marketing, especially. And somewhat in the day to day world of tracking result. Results specifically for dental practices. A lead is not the end, a lead is actually the very beginning. And if you’re going to hold your marketing firm account, I don’t hold them accountable for leads. hold them accountable for high quality new patients sitting in the chair. That’s pretty much why you engage that marketing firm to begin with.

Howie: Okay,

Mark: that’s the end result. That’s the end result right? So now this is probably all sounds very self serving to everybody listening to this. It’s not it’s we, we can only work with like 1% of dentistry. So it’s talking to the 99% that we don’t work with, right? Or maybe the all the dentists on here who don’t use NPI, but you someone else, what I’m saying to you is, is if they’re coming to you and saying we generated 641 dental leads for you, okay? Okay.

Understand that that’s not understand that that doesn’t impact you at all. Okay, it just costs you money. If none of those can convert, if none of those converting to a call or into an online scheduling widget, Click and end up being in your appointment book and end up generating revenue for you. The 621 leads they generated for you is completely useless.

Howie: Yeah. generated for you and charged you for don’t get a boy Yeah,

Mark: right. didn’t do it for you. Right, they use your money to do it. Okay. So I’m not talking about our client, I’m talking about everybody else’s clients, all the people that we can work with, right? I’m talking you don’t let them sell you. On, on, on the on the value of a lead. Because leads have no teeth. You can’t work with leads. You

Howie: you don’t have a credit card,

Mark: Right. That’s right So anyway, I got this I, we got this idea for this podcast. And we thought it would might be a little bit too far out there. But we actually got this idea. From our Well, two places. Number one dentist calling, you know, calling us the saying I’m getting 700 leads a month or you know, whatever. So yeah, many of them are converting, I don’t know. It looks like well, and are they telling you should be converting more? Yeah, they stay.

They keep telling me I should be converting more? Well, that’s where most of that comes from. Some of it also comes from our own, our own looking at our own data that comes in with our own search engine marketing department. And seeing that these people aren’t, they’re not leads. They’re just not and people calling them that is it’s not even close to being Right. Right. Okay. So that’s it.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Leads have no teeth. I bet you’ll remember the title.

Howie: Yeah. Thank you. Everybody out there in the audience will be back next week. So we’ll look forward to seeing you and talking with you then. Bye now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel, on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, dentalwebcontent.com and newpatientsinc.com.