If you asked 100 dentists, “Who is the most famous and respected dentist in the world?” Over 90% would say, Gordon Christensen. He’s presented over 45,000 hours of continuing education throughout the world and has published numerous articles and books. Way back when, he sent me Dr. Michael R. Dorociak's article, “101 Top Marketing Ideas for Your Office.” He saw the value in these marketing ideas and now I’m sharing that value with you!
Believe it or not, there was a day when dentists weren’t allowed to advertise. In fact, they couldn’t have their names more than two inches high on their windows. But even then, external marketing wasn’t the only way to bring in new patients. Internal marketing has been one of the most powerful forms of marketing for quite some time. Even today, word of mouth remains the primary means for patient referrals.
As Dr. Dorociak said in his article, “The key to practice growth is to differentiate your services from others and to create value. Value is achieved when patients’ expectations are exceeded.” If you want to sustain practice visibility in any economic environment, the key is internal marketing.
If you’re interested in differentiating your services, creating value, and growing your practice, then you’ll love this list of internal marketing ideas that are sure to create some word of mouth (the original social platform). Categories range from children and decor to services, networking, practice management, and more. Some of these ideas are as easy as a little tweak to the service you’re already providing, while others spark that aha moment—“Why didn’t I think of that!!?”
Remember your most important asset: your employees. Treat your team to a surprise shopping-spree at Christmas time. Provide simple perks throughout the year to show your appreciation and foster a positive environment for your patients.
Make care calls to patients who were treated earlier that day. This is one of the most important practice builders.
Have each team member (and the doctor) hand-write one thank you note each day (or once a week) to a patient that they encountered, thanking them for the visit or whatever special moment they shared during their time together. This can be wishing them a safe vacation, congratulations on their new grandson, or a new recipe they should try. Seek to build a relationship with your patients that differentiates your practice.
Always try to keep your name in front of your patients. Send out a newsletter several times a year. This can be done via direct mail or electronically.
Schedule a lunch or meeting with several physicians or professionals in your area and let them know that you are accepting new patients.
Print business cards for your team and encourage them to hand them out in all their daily affairs. (This also makes your team members feel they’re an important part of the team.)
Always market internally with your existing patient base first and foremost. (This is done first by thanking the patient for being such a good patient, then asking for a referral for someone like them.)
Have some pillows and blankets available for patient comfort.
Provide patients with a tour of your office including the sterilization area. The patient can best measure your sterilization techniques by office cleanliness and appearance. Take the time to sit in each dental chair and notice what the patient sees.
Keep a sheet in the patient’s chart identifying things such as where they lived, went to school, hobbies, special events, etc.. This will help remind you the next time you see the patient and can serve as a good “ice-breaker.” Patients enjoy your connection. (I call this documenting the “patient’s personal passion.” All team members should be a part of identifying this item.)
If you’re interested in the full list of 101 top marketing ideas by Dr. Dorociak, you can view it below. I’ve added a few ideas and comments of my own, based off my experience, which you’ll see in RED 😁
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