In my home town of Chicago, there’s a very successful chain of fast food stores called Pockets. We frequently order from them because they’ve made it very simple to do so, owing to their convenient online ordering system (the food’s pretty good too).

While I could have our orders delivered, the store is so close by that we typically just walk the block or so and pick up the food.

On a recent pick up, I noticed something different. For the prior three or so years, the store’s menu rested against the wall perpendicular and to the left of the entrance, with the ordering station facing the entrance about twenty feet within the store. This meant that, while waiting in line to order, pay, and pick up my order, it was necessary to turn ninety degrees to the left, then look up to see ‘what else’ was available for purchase. Because of this, I hardly knew the menu existed.

On my most recent visit, I immediately noticed that the menu had been moved so that it was now suspended directly behind and above the ordering station, meaning it was virtually impossible to not see the menu.

While I’m not privy to Pockets’ financials, I can well imagine the positive effect this simple, and practically no-cost change, is having on their bottom line. It’s a well-known tenet of consumer marketing that ‘point of purchase’ or ‘impulse’ buying decisions can account for a large percentage of a company’s total revenues (ever notice all the stuff within easy reach at your supermarket’s checkout counter)?

I also do not know what ‘marketing genius’ suggested the menu move but, whoever did had first to view the business from the customer’s perspective.

Think about your dental practice. When was the last time you ‘placed yourself in your patient’s shoes,’ that is, literally entered the office when and as your patient does, sit in the reception area, visit the lavatory, walk into the operatory, sit in the chair, and exit the office? And when was the last time you drive by your office, both during the day and evening hours, to see just how visible and attractive (or not) is the exterior of your office?

Give it a try.

You may be surprised at what you learn from these simple (and no-cost!)exercises, and the difference they can have for your bottom line!

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