What Makes Your Practice Special or Different? As a student of The Dawson Academy, you're well aware of the many benefits of complete dentistry. The questions that begs asking, however, is this:
Do your patients know the benefits of complete dentistry?
Certainly, you now know that teeth are just a part of the overall masticatory system, not standalone elements. But to the average person who may now be sifting through their insurance company's list of providers and heeding the countless recommendations of friends and family as they search for a new dentist, complete dentistry doesn't mean a thing. After all, most people simply expect their dentist to clean their teeth every six months and drill and fill as needed, giving legs to the old adage that says "you don't know what you don't know".
Remember, you're in business to serve a need that, quite frankly, most people don't even know they have. Therefore, it's important that you educate your patients—and your local community—about the many differences between you and the average dentist. The following marketing tips will help you share the many benefits of complete dentistry, helping you to differentiate your practice amidst a sea of competitors and grow your bottom line.
Have a Strategy
As any good football coach knows, success is often the result of a cohesive offensive strategy. Well, as a dentist looking to stand out from the crowd, you should take a similar approach with your marketing efforts.
First, determine the message you want to share with the public. What makes you special or different? For starters, you now understand complete dentistry, thanks to the continuing education courses you're taken with The Dawson Academy. Therefore, be sure to share this news with your audience.
The press release from your alumni association benefits is a terrific start to your marketing efforts. Simply insert your name where indicated, add contact information, and then distribute to your local media, including newspapers, local radio, and cable television programs.
But how do you know who to send it to? Research, research, and more research. For example, many public Web sites will list the names, contact numbers, and e-mail addresses for their reporters; however, make sure you focus your attention on those that will be most interested in the information you're sharing. After all, although you may have the name and number of the local financial reporter, the likelihood is that this particular reporter will have no interest in running your story. In fact, some reporters will often become peeved by misguided press releases, so tread carefully before hitting send on your e-mail or fax machine.
Second, consider putting together a brochure to share with both existing and new patients. Now that your press release has been distributed to the local media and patients are calling with questions about "this whole complete dentistry thing," it's more important than ever for you to have a tangible piece of marketing collateral to share—and a brochure is a great place to start.
With a little creativity and some basic computer software (like Microsoft Publisher), you can pull text directly from the press release, plug in your bio or curriculum vitae, and insert it into a standard brochure template found in your software to create a professional brochure that you can use to distribute to new patients, insert in an introductory letter to prospective patients, or even place in a display stand at your local church's assembly hall.
Remember, however, that the headline on your brochure must be your main selling point. Statistics show that four out of five people never read the inside of a brochure if its headline lacks zing. Brainstorm with your staff and family members to ensure the front page of your brochure really drives your message home.
Next, remember that the best advertising is free advertising. There is nothing wrong with a little legwork to spread the good word about your business. For example, volunteer to conduct a question and answer session at your local Exchange Club or community college alumni association. This type of event allows you to sell one ingredient that a brochure or press release can't quite capture: your personality.
Get out in the community and let people know that you're a complete dentist who understands the overall form and function of the masticatory system. Allow them to ask you questions and provide honest, insightful answers that allow them to see the benefits of having you as their dentist. After all, how many people can say that their dentists take the time to get to know them and their needs? You'd probably be surprised to know that it's not many. This small step will help you stand out from the crowd.
Finally, marketing your practice is not a one-time event; it's an all-the-time event. Therefore, a brochure and press release may help get the word out for now, but perhaps a 30-second radio spot, telemarketing, or an advertisement in the yellow pages may be your best bet for the future. After all, different forms of media will help reach different members of your target audience.