Archive for the ‘Sales & Recall’ Category

How To: Create a Practice Event

At the moment we’re helping several clients to create and promote open days. This is a great way of showcasing new treatments as well as building relationships and rapport with patients.

To help you create an event for your practice here’s a list of the things you’ll need to think about:

Your Event Checklist

  • Select a main theme
  • Decide on a special discount for selected treatment
  • Prize draw to win e.g. free tooth whitening
  • Post updates on Facebook & Twitter
  • Create momentum prior to the event
  • Press release sent out to local media
  • Book photographer / ask a team member
  • Print leaflets for local businesses
  • Promotional merchandise ordered
  • Print posters for your windows
  • Patient e-newsletter / newsletter update
  • Motivate staff and assign roles
Need help with your events?

To celebrate our sixth anniversary we’re offering six FREE half hour slots for consultations at Dental Showcase in Birmingham, so book soon to avoid disappointment!

Book an appointment with our lead consultant Steve Davey at Dental Showcase on 23rd & 24th October. Get in touch via email or call us on 0845  287 3051.

How To: Win Back Dormant Patients

Keeping in touch with your patients, whether current or lapsed, is one of the best ways to keep your patient lists full and appointments booked.

Sure, breakthrough thinking and new ideas are the lifeblood of really successful businesses – and dental practices are no exception. I talk to numerous practice owners and business owners from several industries, however, and they are often so busy looking for new out of the box ideas that they miss the clear opportunities staring them in the face – the “in the box” profit opportunities.

A great example of this is attempting innovative ways to bring in new patients when you have an under-tapped patient list. In other words; putting too much emphasis on new patient acquisition and not enough emphasis on patient recall.

At Smile we regularly encounter these issues that represent wasted opportunities:

  • Not enough communication with patients
  • A recall process that isn’t robust and doesn’t include all patients
  • Giving up too soon on patients coming back for treatment
  • Poor recall letters and emails – I see many that are ‘cold’, matter of fact and unfriendly
  • No newsletter to ‘up-sell’ your treatments – many of your patients simply do not know everything that you offer
  • Little or no ‘ownership’ of recall within the practice
  • No segmentation of your patients – they are not all the same!
  • A practice website that lacks key patient information (treatment, team, prices)
  • Patient plans and membership schemes that are not well promoted

These are all “in the box” issues that can be addressed and are guaranteed to help build income and patient retention.

And here’s the thing. Generating income from your own patient list almost always costs much less than finding new patients.

For a FREE practice marketing Health Check call 0845 287 3051 or info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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How To: Manage a Door Drop Campaign

A great tool for any local business, door drops can get you in touch with your local community.

1. Who do you want to target? What is your ideal patient type?

We use patient mapping to assess where your current patients live, showing any gaps in your local area to target. Then we run socio-demographic profiles on the local area and target all the areas that fit with your ideal patient.

Marlow Door-drop-spread

2. What will you send?

It’s always a good idea to have an offer as this attracts more patients quickly and improves your ROI (more on that later!). A succinct offer and a strong call to action – your phone number and website – are key to a successful door drop. Keep the design ‘on brand’ and use a suitable image for the offer you’re providing and the audience you’re targeting.

3. Get it printed with a quality and finish that reflect your practice.

Although it’s tempting to go for the cheapest print option to save on costs, you need to think about the kind of patient you’re trying to attract. If you’re looking for high value patients e.g. implant or orthodontic cases you will need to get a quality paper and luxury finish. In fact for all patients it’s still worth investing a little more on your print as it will improve your response and the quality reflects on your practice.

4. What is your Return On Investment (ROI)?

This is where a good promotion or offer comes in, with a simple code to quote when booking or inquiring you can easily keep track of which patients and calls are from the door drop. It’s important to keep track of the journey of these patients, as you’ll need to know how much money they have spent with you to work out the return you saw from the initial door drop investment.

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Remember to keep this information safe for next time you’d like to campaign for new patients, you can create a more successful campaign every time by improving on what worked last time.

If you’d like a successful door drop campaign but don’t have the time to implement it yourself, call us on 0845 287 3051 or email us.

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Marketing with Payment by Results

The most forward thinking marketing companies are now looking at different ways of structuring their pricing, and many are introducing payment by results for a proportion of their fees.

When you think about this, it makes sense. An experienced, skilled marketing agency will be confident in their ability to achieve results – it’s about partnership and sharing success.

Having spent many years working with dentists who often have very little experience with marketing, (and why should they?) it’s not surprising that if your clients are employing a marketing agency for the first time, you need to reassure them – not only with your experience, expertise, success stories and client recommendations – but for some having a proportion of your fees based on results, whether enquiries, new consults, practice income or ‘bottom line’.

Measurement and Transparency

Measurement and transparency are of course essential and both parties need to pre-agree the campaign budget, objectives and targets. Ambitious dental practices looking for continuous support to grow their business are more than happy to share management and financial information. That’s a true partnership. The more we know about the dental practice and the way it is set up and run, the better the outcomes will be from our business development and marketing activities.

To find out more about how this approach is being embraced by more and more dental practices and other businesses in the sector, contact us on 0845 287 3051 and ask for Steve Davey.

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Marketing. Making it happen!

Some people want it to happen

Some wish it would happen
Others make it happen

To make it happen, you first need a plan, a roadmap if you like. In the same way you don’t get in your car without knowing where you are going and how you are going to get there, it’s the same for building a business.

A business plan supported by a marketing plan that helps you achieve your business objectives is the way to reach your destination, whether measured in income, profit, cases, professional standing within your profession or exit, if you have an exit plan (which is a huge subject in itself).

For help with a business plan and marketing plan from the people in the know, it’s important to work with a specialist marketing agency that knows your challenges, your industry and the roadblocks potentially in your way.

Make 2015 the year you have a roadmap to growth. Contact Steve on 0845 287 3051 or steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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On the 12th day of Christmas …

…You should have your 2015 Marketing Plan ready!

It’s that time of year when businesses, including dental practices, have the ambition to make the New Year their best year ever. All too often though, it never really happens and one of the reasons is that the practice doesn’t have a business plan and almost certainly doesn’t have a marketing plan with clear objectives.

It is of course important to plan set targets in terms of patient income, cases, referrals and Patient Plan memberships if you have a scheme in place.

A dental practice business plan should at the very least cover the following topics:

  • Practice vision
  • Objectives – growth, acquisition, exit, new partnership…
  • Practice strengths and weaknesses
  • The financials e.g. 2-3 year financial projections, with breakdown in treatment mix
  • Supplier services & costs e.g. supplies, sundries
  • Practice and equipment maintenance
  • Team development plans – clinical training, personal development training, recruitment, practice management
  • Marketing – external support, such as Smile Marketing, and internal responsibilities
  • Success criteria i.e. what does success look like?

0018649Christmas mouse on mouse computer santa hat winter no background

So don’t leave “your best year ever” to chance. Do talk to a specialist dental marketing agency for advice and guidance.

For an initial no-obligation phone consultation with Steve Davey to discuss your practice future, call 0845 287 3051 or email steve@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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Double Your Practice Income in 2015

Dental practices with a clear business plan will be able to make the most of the improving economic climate, and greater consumer confidence.

Whether it be increased take up on adult orthodontics, “teeth-in-a-day” (a.k.a. All on 4 or All on 6), whitening or other cosmetic dentistry. Smile Marketing are ready to help you succeed in 2015.

Why take our word for it? Here’s what our client Joe Dwyer, Sunlight Orthodontics, had this to say after Smile helped with Marketing Planninglocal promotionsGDP marketing and joint venture promotion.

“I have been very impressed with Smile Marketing. Prior to working with them, we had tried to find our own way through the marketing minefield and had wasted much time and money. With the help of Smile Marketing, we have implemented a more professional and effective marketing strategy which has seen the private gross of the practice more than double. The service is excellent. They are approachable and always available for advice, responding to questions with a speed I have not experienced with any other company I have worked with, marketing or otherwise”… “I would recommend Smile Marketing to anyone who has ever wondered whether practice marketing can be effective. With Smile Marketing, it can.”

Give your practice the ultimate Christmas gift, a clear roadmap to increased income in 2015. Smile Marketing has a range of special packages for helping ambitious practices to thrive and grow.

Call or email for an initial no-obligation phone consultation with Steve Davey to discuss your practice future. 

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Don’t Blow Your Own Trumpet

Let your patients do it for you!

Your happy patients are your brand ambassadors. There’s no one better to boast about your excellent dental treatments than your current patients!

Testimonials and case studies show potential patients how brilliant you and your team are from a credible source, people with nothing to gain for inaccurate information.

Although rational people know that you will only use positive testimonials they won’t react rationally – people tend to react emotionally. Other patients encouraging words can give potential patients the confidence to try your practice, especially if they can relate to the patients giving the testimonials.

Most of your patients will be happy to be quoted on a few words if you ask them. To increase the credibility of the testimonial it’s a good idea to display their name underneath – with their permission of course!.

You should encourage willing patients to note a specific treatment, the procedure and the difference it has made to them. Backing this up with a before and after picture is a great way to add a visual element – but avoid any gruesome dental photos, run them by a non-dentist first!

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Think Inside The Box First

We often talk of “thinking outside the box“, which is now a bit 90′s isn’t it?

Sure, breakthrough thinking and new ideas are the lifeblood of really successful businesses – and dental practices are no exception. I talk to numerous practice owners and business owners from several industries, however, and they are often so busy looking for new out of the box ideas that they miss the clear opportunities staring them in the face – the “in the box” profit opportunities.

123rf6876907_l-group of 5 smiling friends heads together v2

A great example of this is attempting innovative ways to bring in new patients when you have an under-tapped patient list. In other words, putting too much emphasis on new patient acquisition and not enough emphasis on internal marketing.

At Smile we regularly encounter these situations, they all amount to under valuing the potential of your patient list:

  • Not enough communication with patients
  • A recall process that isn’t robust and doesn’t include all patients
  • Giving up too soon on patients coming back for treatment
  • Poor recall letters and emails - I see many that are ‘cold’, matter of fact and unfriendly
  • No newsletter to ‘up-sell’ your treatments - many of your patients simply do not know everything that you offer
  • Little or no ‘ownership’ of recall within the practice
  • No segmentation of your patients - they are not all the same!
  • A practice website that lacks key patient information (treatment, team, prices)
  • Patient plans and membership schemes that are not well promoted

These are all “in the box” issues that can be addressed and are guaranteed to help build income and patient retention.

And here’s the thing. Generating income from your own patient list almost always costs less than finding new patients.

For a FREE practice marketing Health Check call 0845 287 3051 or email info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk. 

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Marketing for Next Year’s Patients

Start your marketing when you have plenty of patients.

00033133 This may seem backwards but you have to remember, you are not marketing for today’s patients, or even tomorrows, but for your long term patient numbers. When you have enough patients you’ll have the money to invest in a marketing campaign as well as enough time for the campaign to take effect before you need the patients to start booking themselves in.

Don’t leave your marketing until you are lacking patients.

By then you may not have the budget to produce a high quality campaign and by the time the effect can be noticed in your patient list it may be too late. Save yourself the worry of letting your patient list deteriorate. Keep your practice healthy by getting a Free Smile Marketing health check today, reinvest your practice profits in your marketing to ensure a profitable practice future.

Get in touch on 0845 287 3051 or info@smiledentalmarketing.co.uk.

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