Marketing Your Dental Practice: It’s all about Jackanory…

Dee Gerrish

Take a moment to think back over the last week…

To consider the patients you have seen…

I am willing to bet, when you think about it, you can identify instances of where you really made a difference to them.

Perhaps you helped them benefit from a fresher, healthier mouth which they can now feel confident about. Maybe you completed a course of treatment which provided them with a brighter, straighter smile.

It’s important to recognise when you have created these differences for your patients.

First of all, it helps you and your team to continue to feel heartened about what you do, as you go about your day to day tasks. So make sure you talk about your successes together.

It is also important as the differences you make to patients form a great foundation for your marketing content.

Marketing is really just about telling a story. A story of human experience and emotion. Potential new patients don’t want to be ‘sold to’. As consumers we know how tiresome thinly-veiled ‘sales messages’ can be.

Research shows that humans feel first, before thinking and making decisions. So when you share a story, connect with a potential patient on an emotional level, you’ll break through all the bland marketing ‘noise’ and grab their attention.

Here is the five step system I recommend you follow to identify, collate and share the patient stories you create:

  • Recognise and discuss the differences you make

Often, dental teams simply go about their work and don’t recognise the differences they make. Differences which may be ‘everyday’ to the team, but certainly aren’t commonplace to patients.

So look back periodically with your team to pick out the stories you have created.

This process becomes easier when you encourage your team to record instances when they happen. Something as simple as a whiteboard gives them the chance to spontaneously write down details of differences made and comments from patients.

  • Approach your patients

When you create a difference, be overt in explaining to the patient how sharing it will help your business. Ask them permission to capture and use it in your marketing.story time

Don’t be perturbed if a few say no. Just accept and acknowledge their decision. Some will say yes.

You can even agree that a patient’s story will be used in your marketing at the outset of treatment and exchange the ‘use’ of their story for a small discount on the cost.

  •  Capture their comments

It is important to make this easy for patients, so don’t just present them with a blank sheet of paper to use, give them some questions to answer.

A ‘story capture template’ is quite easily put together when you format it to capture their comments and feelings before, during and after their treatment.

Ask them how they FELT at each of these stages. Make your questions, and therefore the answers they are guided to provide, emotional.

  • Produce the story

From a very early age, we are hardwired to engage with stories. This goes on throughout life as we continue to read books, news stories, watch films and exchange stories with each other.

So as you transfer your patient’s comments into a story format, think about how an author or filmmaker draws you into their story, engages you.

Include before and after treatment photos so your story becomes visual and can be seen to be real.

  • Promote the story

There are so many ways for you to promote a patient story. Here are a few to start with:

Include it on your website. This is your 24 hour shop window and you keep people coming back to visit when you make it dynamic and add new content regularly. Then share links on social media to drive readers to the website story.

Display your patient stories on your practice walls and windows.

Keep a file of your stories in each surgery to aid conversion of particular treatments. Give patients interested in solving a particular problem or looking for an aesthetic enhancement a copy of a relevant story.

Make your strongest stories the basis for your patient newsletters or e-zine.

And should you exhaust your ‘internal’ marketing opportunities, you can even include stories in your adverts, articles and external promotions.

You are making a difference and creating stories for your patients whether you consciously recognise it or not.  Why not use them in your marketing? They are the most powerful marketing tool you have. 

Questions or queries? Simply leave them in the box below and I’ll get right back to you, or call me on 01249 712074 for an informal chat. I’d love to help.

 

Marketing Your Dental Practice: 5 Tips to get back to basics

Marketing Your Dental Practice: 5 key questions to ask yourself in 2015

Marketing your Dental Practice: Your Top 7 tips for a more effective patient recall message

Marketing your Dental Practice: Show patients the value

Marketing your Dental Practice: If it moves…measure it!

Your Patient Journey – get it right and grow your dental business

The secret to help you grow your dental business as you cut your marketing budget

Marketing Your Dental Practice: The Memorable Moment – how and why you should use it to make your practice more successful

Marketing your Dental Practice: The Top 7 mistakes dentists make with their website


Original Article: Marketing Your Dental Practice: It’s all about Jackanory…
Clear Vision

About Clear Vision

The traditional method of setting goals and gauging the success of a dental business does not automatically provide you with what you need and want. As the dental business owner, it puts you last in the queue. Clear Vision believes that your business should deliver the lifestyle you want. So when you work with our friendly and vibrant team of accountants and business advisers, it starts with you. What you want. How you want to create a difference in your life. Tell us your goals and we’ll work to help you develop a strong, positive dental business which delivers the life you want for you and your family. We have worked with dentists all over the UK since 2001. Dentists who share the same challenges and issues as you. And we’ve seen what factors will really make the difference in improving your results and increasing your rewards. So you benefit from what we know works and doesn’t work. For a taste of the insights we share check out our blog for dentists: www.clearvisiondentalblog.co.uk. We’re ready to share our experience and insights with you. Simply call our friendly team on 01249 712074 for an informal discussion. You’ll have our ear, our understanding and the considerable expertise which comes from successfully improving the lives of dentists like you.