Editor's note: As part of an occasional DrBicuspid.com series featuring advice from dental consultants, marketing expert Richard Geller offers a key concept for successful advertising.
|Richard Geller has advised thousands of dentists on practice marketing and case acceptance, and has written a book on the same topic. He helped launch the first popular intraoral video camera.|
To understand why, it helps to contemplate a question posed by the late great Gary Halbert, who created some of the best direct marketing ads in history: What do you want most as a marketer?
To answer this puzzler, put yourself in the head of a patient. If you have a toothache and you see a sign that says "Dentist," you might stop in. But you won't necessarily be the ideal patient. Patients who are irresponsible or out of money are likely to leave a dentist's office with a "temporary" and not return for a couple of years until they need another one.
You need a theme that goes a step further. Years ago, someone came up with the theme "cosmetic dentist." That may be a draw, but I doubt it is much of one. It just doesn't differentiate you enough from all the other dentists.
What really draws patients
Implants: Patients who respond to the implant theme want to have missing teeth replaced. Or they want to fix an old blown-out bridge. Or maybe they wear dentures and want something better. They are walking around dreaming of getting their confidence back. And they will spend big bucks and make huge sacrifices to do it.
Sedation: Patients who respond have not been to a dentist for many years. They're afraid. But they want to believe in your dentistry. They want to believe that they can come in, sit down, and get the work they need done just by taking a simple pill.
If you want to be able to advertise profitably and build your practice with high-value cases, you want to either get heavy into sedation, heavy into implants, or both. And then market the heck out of it.
Don't place implants? Partner up with someone who does -- and I mean partner. Someone who comes into your office once a week, or someone in the same office suite where you are. Or for goodness sakes, get trained on placing implants.
Don't do sedation? Unless your state's permitting requirements are truly insurmountable, get to a class and get certified.
By now maybe you've figured out the answer to the Gary Halbert question. What you want most as a marketer is a hungry crowd. A hungry crowd will pay for just about anything. Sedation and implant patients are hungry for dental care. They will pay big bucks and give you a lot of grateful hugs and thank yous.
You can get more tips like these from my Web site: www.cases4dentists.com. There you can order my underground classic on dental marketing and case acceptance, normally $59.95, absolutely free. Rather watch than read? You can get my videos for free as well.