Dental Marketing - Tyson Steele Associates - Advanced Dental Marketing Concepts
Sixty-two new patient callers in the last month. And they’re great quality. I’m so glad you helped us redesign our strategy!– Gregory Keene, DMD
I was just doing my yearly review with my financial adviser yesterday and she said, 'You're investing substantially in advertising... the ROI is most definitely there so keep it up!'– Mark Alber, DDS
As dental practices throughout the country weathered the Great Recession, many dentists hunkered down into "survival" mode -- reducing overhead and limiting risk. They added new PPOs (or failed to drop others) and generally adopted a mindset of scarcity. Rather than seeing the Great Recession as a rare opportunity to get a jump start on their competitors, they followed the herd and established a limiting belief pattern in their teams.
In contrast to the general herd, most of our clients advanced their practices during the dark days of the recession. Sure, they didn't grow as fast as they did in the years prior, but by gaining a bit of ground they significantly improved their market share compared to their competitors.
Now, as the economy struggles to begin its long slow slog toward the next big bubble, these dentists have a significant advantage in terms of financial resources, market share, and a solid, persuasive team.
If you really think about it, these dentists did more than survive the recession. They actually set themselves up to thrive in the post-recession economy.
I thought that today it might be a good idea to talk about the key ingredient that enables elite teams to thrive in both good and bad times. It might surprise you to know that it's not their facility or equipment or clinical skills. It's not their website or advertising or even the competitiveness of their area. It's their SALES SKILLS.
I know, you're thinking, "But I'm a DENTIST! Selling isn't professional!" Well . . . that's sort of true. But only if you're talking about the manipulating, pressuring, and cajoling stereotypes of used-car salesmen and smarmy yellow page reps.
I'm actually talking about REAL sales skills -- the natural skills you started developing from your earliest days. Skills you used to ask someone for a date, or to get help with a tough personal problem. Skills you used when you interviewed for a job, or to get into dental school. Skills you use everyday to help people understand what you want them to do and why.
I call them sales skills, but in reality it's all about effective communication -- logically explaining your ideas and the benefits others will receive for supporting them. It's also about engaging people on a personal level (THEIR level) in a way that demonstrates you have their best interests in mind. Think about it. Every day, you either persuade a patient to understand what you think is best for them OR they persuade you that they already know what's best. That's the crucible of real selling. In every interaction, you're either an effective communicator or you are not.
People with lousy communication skills blame their failure to persuade on the patient. "These just aren't the right kind of people," they say. "They're not really my demographic. They're only concerned about price."
Really? It's all the other guy's fault?
That's like your friend saying he can't get into dental school because all the admissions directors are concerned only about the race of the candidates. I'll bet you'd call bull on that one.
Or it's like a friend who says he can't get a date with any of the pretty girls because they're all concerned only with how rich someone is. I'll bet you'd call bull on that pretty fast too.
In both cases, you intuitively know that the problem isn't entirely based on the OTHER party. You know that your friend is missing something in their approach.
By the way, the percentage of dental patients who are genuinely PRIMARILY concerned with price is about 17 percent. That leaves 83 percent of people who are open to a genuine discussion of value and benefits. If a majority of your new patients are only concerned with price, then maybe you're making price much more of an issue than it should be. Ever thought of it that way?
So what communication and sales skills will help you most to thrive? Stay tuned . . . I'll discuss that next time. And you won't want to miss it!