Learn proven marketing tips that help promote rock stars as well as dental practices.
My work life has consisted of two seemingly unrelated professions: dentistry and music. Through over 15 years of marketing coaching to dentists and teams, it’s interesting how often I find myself reflecting on my work as a musician and how much dentists and practice owners could learn from rock bands about marketing.
Want to be a rock star in your community? Here are a few tips from the starving artists that have made their way to greatness through grassroots marketing. What’s even better, most of this costs little to nothing to incorporate into your strategy! It takes a lot of sweat equity, but it pays off in multifold.
Build Your Street Team
Most bands, when starting out, slowly but surely start to build a fan base and then maximize their most passionate followers by activating them in the communities they tour as a street team. Street teams hit the pavement running, passing out flyers about shows, stirring up opportunities at venues, wearing and selling merchandise, sharing show information on social media and more. They do it with passion and enthusiasm because they love the band and they want more people to come and experience the shows!
Did you know you have a street team in your patient family just waiting to be activated? Here’s how to start. Run a referral report for the past 12 months. How many patients have referred patients to your practice this past year? That list is where you begin.
Dentrix includes several reports that provide useful statistics and other information to help you analyze patient referrals. For example, the Practice Advisor Report — New Patient Analysis shows practice details for new patients for specific time periods, including the number and percentage of new patients that resulted from referrals. This report also compares your referral statistics against industry-standard benchmarks from top dental consultants. You should run the Practice Advisor Report — New Patient Analysis on a monthly basis to see how your patient referrals compare to these industry-standard benchmarks.
To run the Practice Advisor Report — New Patient Analysis, in the Office Manager, from the Analysis menu, click Practice Advisor, and then click Practice Advisor Report. In the Practice Advisor Report dialog box, specify the options and information you want to be included in the report. For information on using these options, click the Help icon in the bottom left corner of the dialog box. After selecting the desired options, click Preview to display the report in the Print Preview window. To print the report, click the Print icon on the toolbar.
Other reports that contain helpful referral information include the Daily Huddle Report for New Patients, the Referred by Patient Report, and the New Patient Summary Report.
Start tracking where your new patients are coming from. And if you haven’t been asking patients for referrals, start now! Read “Grow Your Practice with Patient Referrals” to learn how.
Now, back to the street team. You have your list of top referrers. Create an internal marketing campaign just to them:
- An email asking them to post reviews for you on Google or Yelp.
- An email or letter with business cards (both is better) asking for referrals.
- Ask them to “check in” on your Facebook page at their next appointment.
- Send them a hand written note telling them how much you love having them as a patient and ask for referrals.
- Give them 2 business cards every time they are in the practice and ask them for referrals!
- Find every opportunity you can to pleasantly surprise these people, to show your gratitude to them and to make your relationship stronger — both when they are in the practice for an appointment and when they are away.
Those are just a few of the limitless options on how to keep those top referrers, engaged, excited, and spreading the good word about you and your practice! Run that referral report on a regular basis and add folks to the street team list, and keep this as an ongoing campaign. It never stops. And a new list gets added every time you run the report. These are your raving fans. This is your street team.
Teams Grow Faster and Better Together
Many bands, especially those showcasing original music or touring untapped territory, will share a night at a venue with another, more established band. This is even the case for the large touring acts–hence the opening acts! What better way to spread your music to more people more quickly! Who are your referring doctors? Depending on your focus as a practitioner, you either have a list of general dentists or of specialists that you refer out to, and hopefully they are doing the same to you. Do you have a regular plan in place and scheduled on how you are going to stay in touch, reach out to these practices, show appreciation, and so on to help build that relationship and make it stronger?
Let’s take it another step further: what businesses, healthcare providers, and so forth outside of the dental realm would be a good fit for you to network and collaborate with? Dermatologists, plastic surgeons, salons, make-up artists, just to name a few, would all seem a very natural fit for cross promotion and support in building up each other’s small businesses. Think through your community and think about your practice vision and brand. Who might compliment that with their services, and who might be taking care of the same target audience as you? It might be worth making time to connect.
Once again, you can use the referral tools available in Dentrix to help manage your network. You may also want to use the eDex contact manager available in Dentrix G6 and later. To open eDex, from the File menu in most Dentrix modules click eDex. You can add contacts to eDex and organize them by category. By default, eDex adds all new contacts to the My Contacts category, but you can add categories as necessary to organize your contacts according to the criteria you define. You can also set filters so you can search by the categories that you have defined.
You Only Have One Shot to Make the Best Impression
Starving artists rarely get a second chance at a venue if their first performance was a bust. If the music is terrible, if the performance is unbearable, if the musicians are jerks–no promoter will do much more for such a group, and rarely will a new listener make the plan to come back for a repeat experience. You’ve got to knock it out of the park every time at every tour stop! That’s how you grow a following.
Are you knocking it out of the park every time with your patient experiences? The way you answer the telephone, the cleanliness and comfort of your facility, the way you communicate with your patients and show them that you care all makes the difference between a one-time visitor to a lifetime patient. Every team member needs to bring his or her best to every patient, every time.
And most importantly, just like in music, practice makes perfect! If you have steps in the experience that are less than effective, invest the time and energy to practice together, to be better, to make the experience your patients, referring businesses, and community have with you unforgettable. To be the best, you have to keep striving and reaching for the best. In time, you will find yourself the headliner and you will be the rock star you always envisioned.
For more information about managing your reputation with Dentrix, visit https://www.dentrix.com/products/eservices/reputation-manager.
By Carrie Webber, Chief Communications Officer and Owner, Jameson Management
Carrie Webber is Chief Communications Officer and co-owner of Jameson, a dental management, marketing, and hygiene coaching firm that helps dentists and teams become more productive, more profitable, and ultimately more fulfilled in their practicing lives. Carrie creates customer service and business development opportunities as well as internal and external marketing initiatives and social media strategies to effectively communicate the Jameson message to dental professionals. For more information, visit www.jamesonmanagement.com or call 877.369.5558.
Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Fall 2017