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Patient Attraction Episode 846
Welcome back. Colin Receveur here with the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to tune in, to listen, to learn to grow, to prosper, to figure out what do I see the top 1% of dentists doing around the world that are attracting more and better patients.
I hope that some of the value, some of the tips, some of the advice, some of the experience that I have I can share with you and you can implement, you can take this knowledge and implement it. You can swipe and deploy this into your practice and make a difference, today, tomorrow, next week, next month, because that is why I do these.
We don’t do any kind of advertising on our podcast. There is no reason that we do these podcasts other than just to help dentists see what real marketing systems, patient attraction systems how the little guys the fee-for- service practices are able to beat the DSOs, the corporate dentistries, the big guys that are coming in and playing gladiator in the dental arena right now.
This finishes up, this is going to the best last day of our 4 day look at”Driving” Your Dental Marketing. I just want to do a quick recap here. Day one, we talked about new grads and what we see with older grads that are delaying retirement and some of the facts from dental economics study that shows the number of dentists projected out over the next 25 years, or until 2025, I’m sorry.
Second day, we talked about how to market yourself and how to find your niche, where to position yourself. Yesterday, I talked primarily about becoming the expert. You know if you are a specialist you got a … And you are relying upon referrals, those are two conditions there that are separate because we work with a ton of specialists that go direct to market and they are not relying on the good old boy referral system as it has been in the past. GP’s are stealing the referrals for themselves. They are doing the work themselves.
Yesterday, we talked about becoming the expert. How do you develop that trust and
become the expert if you do not have a referral or if you are a GP and you need to go direct to market. How do you build that trust so a patient comes in and is comfortable laying down 5, 10, 20, 50,000 dollars in one or two visits with you to do a full mouth restoration or to do Invisalign or whatever your niche is.
Realize that if a patient has pain, if they have an emergency that is not what we are dealing with here, that is easy. Most of those patients are going to be exactly what they are, you are going to get them out of pain, and you are never going to see them again.
Today, what I want to finish up with is I want to talk about how do you take everything I have talked about so far, the reality of the situation, the marketing, the positioning, the USP, the expert status and put it together to really dominate, to truly dominate your market area. There is a number of studies out there. I want to quote some stats to start with. I won’t get too deep here because I know I will lose people if I just start running off numbers.
These are a couple of really really important statistics that really make up the meat and potatoes of what you need to realize in a practice, in a service-based business.
Number one, is the National Sales Executive Association says that 90%, 90% of sales close after the 7th touch that a sales person has with a prospect. I know nobody likes to hear that sales word but we are not selling used cars here. This isn’t … Every dentist I have ever talked to whenever the sales word comes up it is like I have taken the Lord’s name in vain sometimes. It is an ugly word in the world because you have used car salesmen, you have snake oil salesmen, and that is what we all think of when we hear the word sales.
We are all selling ourselves. We are selling ourselves and you have to sell yourself to the patient so that when the patient hears your treatment plan they understand and they believe you that what you are telling them is in their best interest. You know there are plenty of bad dentists out there, or hopefully not plenty, but there are a few that we have read about in the news, that try to peddle procedures to patients that they do not need, that are not in their best interest.
What I am talking about here is ethical selling. You have got to position yourself so that when you talk to the patient about what they need, what is in their best interest, they trust you. They believe you. That is ethical selling. That is the kind of selling that I am talking about here. Ninety percent of your sales are going to occur after you have talked to that prospect 7 times, 7 times.
Most dentists when I say that number they kind of look at me like I have two heads. They do not understand that it is not really you talking to them. It is not you physically getting on the phone or being in the office and talking to them.
What it is is a piece of communication, some kind of communication that you have with them. I am going to come back to that later. I don’t want to get too off track talking about one piece of the puzzle here because what I really want to talk about today is the whole system.
This whole system, how it works together to dominate your market area and you know the first piece of the puzzle, anytime you are talking about sales funnels, ethically selling again, you are talking about sales funnels. You have to think about where am I going to get my leads in. What is the entry point at the top of this funnel. The entry point, the top point is of course your advertising, your media buy-in, your TV, radio, billboard, newspaper, pay per click, magazine, anything that you are doing that gets eyeballs, buys eyeballs is the beginning of the funnel.
Now all too often for dentists I see that they do advertising and then they have no system behind it, that is it. They put an ad out there, they shotgun the ad out and they put some special offer in there, some discounted price, some thousand dollar implant, abutment and crown special offer and then they wonder why nobody ever responds.
Well, there is no trust. There is no relationship. There is no expert status. There is just a piece of paper with your name on it saying you got a great price. Well somebody’s got a better price, that is the problem with advertising price, somebody always has a better price.
The funny thing about Amazon is most people believe that Amazon made their living selling based on price and that is actually not the truth at all. Amazon does not have the lowest prices on most of its merchandise. Now yeah, they have a few, what they call loss leaders, where they sell something at a greatly reduced price to get somebody in the door. But Amazon primarily has not made their money, or gained their market share based on price, largely not.
They have gained their market share based on two very important factors.
One is their commitment to their customers. I know if I buy something from Amazon they are going to stand on their head to do a couple things for me. Number one, is I am going to have that a package on my doorstep as fast as humanly possible. Now if you are an Amazon Prime member you know that means two day turnaround. If you are not an Amazon Prime member well you know there are options for there but even as a Prime member I still get stuff often times the next day. I have ordered stuff at 2 or 3 in the morning and gotten that afternoon, and just paid for next day shipping. They have an incredible fulfillment operation that they run and that is their specialty is warehousing and fulfillment because the faster they can turn that around the more money they make.
First is their fanatical commitment to customer satisfaction. They do that by shipping. They do that with returns. They give you a credit back on your credit card before they ever receive return merchandise back. As soon as they see that UPS number get scanned for the return shipment back to them, they credit your credit card.
The second thing they do, and I well the second thing I kind of touched on it already, is their fanatical customer support. The first thing they did, I got these confounded together. The first thing they do is they guarantee you to get it within the time period. The second thing they do is their fanatical customer support with returns, with lost shipments, they will just ship you out another one, they will take the loss, if something breaks in the mail they do not hassle you, there is no games, they just ship another one out, that is how they built their empire.
What you have to do as a dentist is realize that you are never going to build an empire based on the best price. Somebody always has a better price, especially the ones with the bigger powers of economies, the corporate dentists, the DSO’s, the big guys, that have the kind of buying power that you do not.
When you are trying to market yourself into the marketplace how do you dominate it so that you get in front of these prospects, you get them into your funnel, but you have to do it smart. You can’t just shotgun everything against the wall like a large DSO can saturate a market area. I call it gladiator bidding, where you get these big dental chains that come into an area and they drop $20,000 in a weekend on pay per click. They drop $50,000 over a period of two months on saturating billboards, radios, TV and they just buy patients through powers of economics.
The reality here is he who can pay the most for a new customer, new client, new patient, he who can pay the most wins. If you are trying to attract the same kinds of patients that the corporate dentistry chains are, the DSO’s, the big guys, you are going to lose because you cannot afford to pay as much as they can for a new patient, that is the meat and potatoes of what we are talking about here.
You have got to retool and think about who are the patients that appreciate value. Who are the patients that are going to want to come see me versus some no name, white-faced dentist who does not know them, does not care about them, and is working off a quota. That is a completely different kind of practice that you are dealing with there and you have got to realize that patient’s that have previous bad dental experiences, that have had fears, that had to white knuckle it in the dental chair when the were a kid, they do not want that experience again. They are deathly afraid.
My wife just went to a new pharmacy. She is a pharmacist, I have mentioned a couple of days ago. She just switched. She has been at Walgreen’s for 12 years and now she has switched and she is at a little local private pharmacy here where we live, New Albany, Indiana, Louisville Metro area.
She came to me a couple days ago, a day or two ago, here very recently, and mentioned a conversation that they had had inside their office that of this 35 person pharmacy, none of them have been to the dentist or very few of them have been to the dentist in the last 5 years. They are all deathly afraid of the dentist or have some kind of fear of the dentist and this is reality. This is the world we live in. People are afraid of the dentist and they are not going to go to the corporate dentist because there is no compassion, there is no empathy, there is no relationship. Trust starts with relationship and you have to know who you are dealing with to have a relationship with them.
If you are going to market yourself to these large elective case patients that is where you have to start. Start with you, start with why are you doing this, why are you different. Often times what I find working with dentists and talking through this conversation that we have is they do care. They are empathetic. They do truly want to give that patient a better dental experience. They want to change the perception that that patient has for dentistry. They truly want to help them and that is all things you have in your favor that corporate does not.
That is really where you have to start with your marketing, is realizing that you got weapons they do not. Yeah, they have weapons you do not but you also have a lot of weapons that they do not and when you put your marketing out there in different places you got to be able to leverage the right kinds of, I am going to call them pain points, with your prospects, because that is really what they are. These things are pain points. They do not want to be hurt. They have fear of the dentist. They have fear of dying with their teeth in a glass. They have these fears. Whether real or not fears are fears, right? We have to deal with them.
When you put your marketing out there you have got to focus on the relationship. What do you do that is different. Well you can handle all their dental care, all in one place, all in one visit in some cases, that is a very very strong message. If you are an implant doctor you have CAT scans, you have the ability to do essentially all their dentistry in one visit, provided they come in and get their molds taken and you make the teeth, the prosthetic ahead of time.
Yeah I understand that but this is the marketing angle. This is not about you know is it really one visit or is it really two visits or is it really three visits because they have to come in for the consult and they have to come in and get impressions taken, and then they have to come back and get, say for instance, an All-on-Four protocol done.
Well okay, but you are truly getting your dentistry done in one visit. Let’s cut through the semantics here.
You have got to impress upon these patients that you are the expert and when you do that, when you become the expert in their eyes, then they trust you. They trust your judgment, your prognosis for them, your diagnosis and they are going to say yes.
How do you dominate your market area? Well, a couple different ways. First off, all of your marketing is very synergistic. The more places you can be seen by your prospective patients the better off you are going to be. It is all very synergistic, just like I said it is all very synergistic. When a prospect sees you in the newspaper, they hear you on the radio, and they see your ads online and you are following them around, you are retargeting them, you have touched them 2 or 3 times.
What did we talk about at the beginning of the podcast? You need to touch these prospects 7 to 10 times. When you have got 2 or 3 different marketing mediums going on out there, you know you run something in the Sunday paper, you have got a radio ad that runs a little bit, you have got some pay per click and some retargeting that goes on online, and maybe you do a direct mail blast once a quarter to supplement to a very targeted demographic. Now you have hit them 4 times. Okay, so now they see your advertisement, what is next? This patient is not going to call you and come for the appointment.
Let’s just walk through how these patients think and what kind of path they follow. The patient is not going to come in and immediately schedule a consult with you just because they saw your advertisement. This is not 1995. The patients do not have to come in to get to meet you, to get to know you, and get to like you. They do not have to call you. They do not have to schedule an appointment. They do not have to do the free consult.
They can do all this without ever contacting you. They got this thing called the internet that Al Gore invented and it is this phenomenal tool that allows people to go online, they can read your reviews, they watch videos about you, they can see what you have to say, they can read your biography, they can check out your Facebook page, I just named 5 things there that your patients, your prospective patients are going to do before they ever dial your phone number.
Five things. Five very common things that we all think about.
If you look at Google’s ZMOT study, the Zero Moment of Truth they called it, it was a phenomenal study that they put together a few years ago. What it found is that patients used to have one or two moments of truth and then they made a decision. They made a buying decision. They took one or two sources of information, they took a TV ad and they saw something from Sears Roebuck in a magazine talking about buying a new Craftsman tool set, whatever it is it does not matter, and they had one or two moments of truth and then they made a buying decision.
Nowadays, the average consumer references 10.4 sources of information before they make a buying decision and this is fundamental to this consumers path, your patients path that I just talked about. These patients before they ever pick up the phone and come into your office, they are touching you 8 or 10 times. The consult is not the chance for you to impress upon them how great you are or what you can do or that you are the expert. The consult if the validation. The consult is the crème de la crème, the cherry on the top of all the other research they have done before they ever stepped foot into your practice.
This is your opportunity to seal that Ziploc bag, to close it. You have got a full bag. They are there, they believe you, they have seen all your stuff. They have heard from your existing patients, they have seen your testimonials, they have watched the videos, they have read your reviews. They have checked out everything that you are about, now is your opportunity to sell them, to ethically sell them, to show them how you can change their life for the better. This is your chance right here.
That consumer, that patient, your prospective patient here, these are not consumers and customers and clients, let’s make it really really real, these are your butts in the chairs, or your lack of butts in the chairs as it may be. When that patient calls your office, you have to get them in. You have to get them in a reasonable time span. If you are not scheduling your patients in in under a week, you are losing patients, plain and simple. If you are making your patients schedule out their first appointment 2 or 3 or 4 weeks out, you are losing money. You are losing new patients. You have got to save room in your schedule to work in new patients.
Now if you do not have room in your schedule there is one of two problems. Either you have an efficiency problems in your office or you are truly at capacity. The doctors that are truly at capacity are the very very small minority. Of all the practices I talk to and work with that say that they do not have any room in their schedule for 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks out, I would say less than 10% of them actually are at capacity. They have inefficiencies in their office. They are doing too much. They do not even realize the kind of efficiencies that they can pick up with systems in their office, with better management, with a motivated staff, with an excited staff.
These are the things that really truly, you go into a practice and make a big difference and they do not even realize that things were as bad as they were until they change. It is like when you start running and you start exercising and you start losing weight, you do not realize how bad you felt truly until you lose that 20 pounds and that is what I am talking about here.
You dominate your market area. They go to your website. You have got free reports. They got information on there. They can download a 20 page free report on how implants can change their life. You got 20 emails that are pre-written and pre-scheduled, completely customized to your office that are going to be sent out to that prospect that downloaded that free report, over the next 3 to 6 months, maybe 12 months even if you want.
You are going to keep your name in front of this prospect because realize the buying cycle with large elective case dentistry any kind of discretionary income is going to have a larger, longer buying cycle. You have to keep your name in front of these people. You got video testimonials. You got a killer website with great content that ranks highly when they search for Dr. John Smith reviews, Dr. John Smith scam, Dr. John Smith lawsuit. These are the things your patients search for when they are trying to validate who you are. They search for your name and they search for lawsuit, they search for reviews. They look, they dig and they try to find is this really the right guy for me. Does this guy have a skeleton in his closet.
They do not find it because you have so much good stuff. You have great SEO on your website. You have articles and you got directory listings. We use a piece of software that allows us to manage about 200 different directory listings, control duplicate listings, manage your reviews, reputation management, all these things because this is the meat and potatoes of what patients see online. Your website, the SEO, the videos, the autoresponders, the Infusionsoft, the free reports, the education-based marketing.
You got to educate your patients. Anytime you can educate a prospect they become a much more qualified lead because now you have taught them. You become an elevated source of information. You become an expert when you teach somebody, right? They also become an educated prospect which is much more valuable to you. When they already know what implants can do for their life, when they already know how you can change their life, now your job becomes a lot easier.
You have done you marketing, you have done your TV, your radio, your billboard, magazine, newspaper, SEO, pay per click, whatever it is that you get your eyeballs with. You get them onto your website. You show them the email marketing, the free reports, the great website, the content, the social media, the reviews, all the things that they go through when they are going through this discovery process to find out if you are the right dentist for them. They call you. They set up that appointment and here is the next important step, if you are going to dominate your market area you’ve got to know what is working.
You cannot make a huge investment in your practice and hope. Hope is a bad way to do marketing. You have go to know that it is working.
We use our Zetetics® call tracking system. There is many phone call recording programs out there. We have a true end-to-end ROI tracking system that allows us to not only record all of the calls that come into your practice but we also have a whole team here at SmartBox that listens to every call.
Let me explain to you why I did this. We have had call recording for many many years and we recorded calls and reported to doctors on how many calls are actually coming into their practice, but the real breakage that we found in our system is that most doctors do not have the resources, they do not have the time, they do not want to listen to every call that comes in through the call recording software, right? You guys do not have time to do this. Your are practicing. You have busy lives. You got families. You got extracurricular activities. You got sons and daughters that you are going to dance recitals and soccer games. Your front office, you are running lean and mean. You do not have time to listen to 200 phone calls last month and figure out where your marketing is generating new patients.
What I did this year is I hired and trained a whole team of people here at SmartBox, our Call Quality Analyst team. The CQA team, all they do is listen to your calls for you. You have these call recordings coming in, you are having these new patients call in, we listen to your calls for you and then we give you the report on how many new patients came from each marketing medium. How many new patients scheduled, how many new patients your front office staff was not able to schedule
And then also because we are a Tel-Co level provider, we have data on how many calls your staff is not answering at all, and probably of this whole process we have got so much data, an incredible amount of data from listening to 500 practices over 6 months even, that I know what averages are for a practice to be scheduling or not scheduling patients. We set our goal at 90%. We want your practice to schedule 90% of the patients that actually call in.
Now, I know from all of our clients that we listened to that we have very few that are scheduling at 80 or 90%, very very few. The ones that are do, are the absolute rock stars. These are the one percenters of dentists. Even more interesting information than the percentage of patients scheduled is the percentage of phone calls that go unanswered.
Now this really shocked me. I have got practices that literally during business hours are not answering 50% of their phone calls, 50% of their new patient phone calls are not being answered during business hours. It absolutely blew me away.
One of my practice consultants about a month ago sent out an email that said “Answer your damn phone,” and it actually offended a lot of dentists, but the intent of it, if you actually read the email, the intent of it was it was a little bit of an edgy headline for a study that we did that showed that the biggest problem in a lot of practices is not the marketing, it is not the clinical side, it is the fact that they do not have dedicated front desk people. The front desk people are overworked. They do not have enough phone lines and during peak hours you only have 2 phone lines, and during peak hours you are bouncing off new patients because you need 3 lines. You need another person at the front desk between 11 and 1 because that is your peak call volume.
We find that most dentists are not prepared to answer their phones. The most simple thing has been, what we found is one of the greatest detriments to dentists that really want to grow and expand quickly, they just need to answer their phones.
Now that is not to say that no dentist have bad marketing. I see plenty of dentists that do not have new patients coming in that their phones are not ringing at all. But realize that if a dentist is already working with us they are getting boatloads of phone calls, we guarantee it. Not only do we just give you a soft guarantee that, yeah we guarantee your phone calls, we back it up with cash. We have our $10,000 guarantee that if we do not send you the number of new patient phone calls that we promise you, we will give you $10,000 cash and let you out of the arrangement that we are working in.
It is real simple. If we are not doing what we say we are going to do, I will write you a check for 10 grand and send you on your way and you can keep everything we did for
you, and that is how we have used this data to not only justify the packages and the Patient Attraction Systems™ that we get together, there is nobody else in dentistry that does it to the level that we do it.
I don’t say that to be arrogant. Anybody that really knows me and has sat down and had a bourbon with me as we do here in Louisville area knows I am a humble guy from, you know my dad is dentist, my mom was in sales, I don’t think I am anything special. I think that my experience of growing up in a dental practice and having a techy marketing background, and having a mom in sales, has just given me a unique perspective on the world that I have found some problems that I think other marketing companies have either willfully or accidentally overlooked.
I think the problem with a lot of other marketing companies out there is they focus on that one thing, right? So you have your one guy that builds you a website, maybe he does some SEO, and then you got that other company that does your pay per click, and then you got that other company that does you TV or your offline ads, and then you want to do email marketing so you go get Infusionsoft and you do some email marketing. Before you know it you worked with 5 or 6 or 10 different places. You have a discombobulated hodgepodge of marketing materials. You have no system that works fluidly and your patients are falling through the cracks and you do not have synergy with all of your marketing materials. You do not have a system that moves these patients down the path of how they are thinking.
Ultimately, the biggest thing that we do is we align our goals with that of a dentist. Dentists do not want hits and clicks. Dentists do not want pay per click dollars and advertising in newspapers and magazine and billboards. What dentists really want is new patients, right? I mean dentists became dentists to do dentistry. I mean that is the most common thing I hear from dentists is, gosh I wish I could just you know have patients in the chair to work on and I did not have all these other hats to wear.
We have completely focused our business, SmartBox, on letting the dentist do dentistry, on delivering the reports and stats to dentists that dentists want. They want to see new patients coming in. They want butts in their chairs and they want the reports that show that the marketing that they are doing is generating butts in the chairs, or they want their marketing to be axed, and that has been our unique perspective into the market.
What we have found is our best dentists have told us they love is that we do just that. We think like dentists. My dad is a dentist. I grew up in dentistry. Everything we do is tailored around how do we make a dentist’s life, the sole practitioner that wears seven hats on a daily basis, what can we do to make their life easier?
Yeah, we can do marketing. If you are an SEO company and all you do is SEO then you know you start to become the hammer that when the only tool you have is the hammer, every problem looks like a nail, that is the only solution that you have.
When you have perspective into the profession, into the industry, and you understand how the marketing plays a role for dentists then I think that gives you a unique perspective into what you can provide as a product or a service as we do, that genuinely helps those people.
Dominating your market you have got to have these systems across the board, from your visibility, your conversion, your follow-up and your tracking. That is the real beauty of the Patient Attraction System™, is you know from start to finish what you are putting in, and what you are getting out. When you do that, when you put it together synergistically and you walk patients down this path, this consumer’s path, this patient’s path that they follow, you close more patients. You have more butts in the chairs. You have higher case acceptance rates. You have less no shows and cancels because the only ones that are scheduling appointments with you already see you as that expert and that is the beauty of the patient attraction system. It covers all your bases for you. You do not have to wonder if there is something else out there that you need to be doing. This all makes sense. It is logical and it walks down the path.
I appreciate you joining me for this 4 day look into”Driving” Your Dental Marketing and how we see our elite level dentists, the top 1%-ers of guys around the country dominating their market areas right now. I would love to chat with you more. I would love to hear from you guys listening out there. Click reply to the email, I read every email. I may not be able to reply to everyone but I do read everyone. If you got questions, if you got suggestions, if you got information, if you want us to look at what a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or triple or even 6X your practice looks like, click reply and let’s start a dialog.
There is no commitment, there is no hidden traps to talk and look at what we see in your practice and put a proposal together that could really change 2016 and beyond for you.
I appreciate your time. I look forward to talking to you.
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- Max Gotcher, Summit Practice Solutions
- Pat Worcester, Mission Possible…Best Hygiene
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- Dr. Mitchel Friedman, Newman Springs Dental Care
- Dr. Fuesting
- Dr. Ron Receveur