The following is the transcript of Access To The Masters’ Inaugural Event, which went on to be one of the most popular events ever staged by this respected dental resource portal.
In celebration, and notwithstanding it’s 2005 vintage, it contains pearls that are timeless and remain relevant today. Owing to length, it will be delivered as a series, with each installment devoted to answering one of ten questions asked in advanced by Registrants.
Hello everyone. This is Dr. Frank Wolf, founder and host of Access to the Masters interview series, where we provide continuing education to dental entrepreneurs worldwide.
I want to welcome everyone to today’s inaugural call, an invitation-only teleseminar on how to attract and generate more new, quality patients to your practice.
I want to thank all of you for calling in today. This call will last about 70 minutes. if you want more information on how to generate more new, quality patients go to http://www.AIMDentalMarketing.com, or you can call 1-800-723-6523.
I’d like to introduce today’s guest. Daniel A. Bobrow, MBA is founder and president of AIM Dental Marketing. He and his company have been delivering effective dental marketing programs and internal marketing products since 1989.
He’s been a contributing author on marketing to dental publications, such as Dental Economics, Dental Products Report, and The CDS Review.
Daniel is also the founder and executive director of Climb for a Cause, a not-for-profit organization that provides charitable contributions to worthy causes worldwide through cause marketing fund raising events for his clients.
How this call came to be is because I’ve been a friend and client of Daniel pretty much since I got out of dental school. We met through his brother, Michael, who was a dental school classmate of mine, and through my relationship with him, Daniel helped me build a million dollar plus practice, starting from one patient.
I since sold my practice and retired from clinical care at the age of 42, and I decided that I wanted to help other dentists realize the same level of success, and greater. So I asked Danny if he would kindly provide his knowledge and wisdom to this first – of what I hope to be many – interviews with Access to the Masters.
If you have an interest and desire to grow your business by attracting more new, quality patients that stay with your practice a lifetime, then this call is for you.
Let’s get started. Welcome Daniel!
Daniel Bobrow: Thank you, Frank.
Dr. Frank Wolf: Well one of the things that keeps me motivated is the Dentist’s Climb for a Cause coming up this October, and if we have some time a little later I’d like you to tell the listeners what that’s all about.
Daniel Bobrow: I’d be happy to do that.
Dr. Frank Wolf: Great. All right. Let’s jump right in to the first question.
I’m already in the yellow pages. If I had additional funds to invest in marketing,
where would it best be invested?
Daniel Bobrow: Most dentists believe that a presence in the yellow pages is a necessity. At one time it was. But it’s truly, I think, important that doctors take a look at it and ask themselves just how effective their existing yellow page presence is today. The yellow pages is notorious for getting more credit for referrals than it serves, because it’s often the last place a patient goes to get the telephone number. That’s one thing, when people ask, “How did you hear about us?”
It may also be because the practice’s staff does not understand the importance of tracking their marketing program, in other words, knowing where dollars are being spent and where they ought to be spent. So they’ll often just use “Yellow pages” as a catch-all category.
There’s no question that the yellow pages is used less frequently as a tool to locate a dentist than it was in the past, when it was, frankly, the only marketing tool available to the dentist. So the next time your renewal date approaches, I would suggest you closely scrutinize your investment and consider changing, scaling back, or even eliminating your presence entirely.
By doing so, you’ll practically overnight have, as the caller is asking, additional funds to invest in marketing.
Now, as to where to invest those additional funds, we believe in our 16 years of practice we’ve found nothing better than direct mail [EDITOR’S NOTE: and of course, optimizing your website.]
Direct Mail continues to be the most cost-effective way to consistently generate and maintain a reasonable return on investment, and this is because it enables you to control your message content, it enables you to control your desired audience, as opposed to radio, television, or even print ads, where you cannot specifically decide who is going to be receiving your message.
It more easily permits tracking, when done correctly. We have a number of specific strategies to help our clients see and attribute results to a a specific program.
Also, just to tie it all together, if you feel that your practice would benefit from the services of a trusted management consultant, whoever that might be, I would suggest you consider retaining one because your benefit from any external marketing strategy will be greatly enhanced by first ensuring that, as we like to say you have your house in order.
Dr. Frank Wolf: Danny, can you elaborate a little bit more on what you mean by your house being in order?
Daniel Bobrow: Sure. Any external marketing program – and we’re going to talk more about this later – can, at best, generate leads for traffic. It can basically bring the horse to water. It’s up to you and your staff to make that horse drink. And how much that horse drinks, to carry this equine cliché a little further, depends on your communications and your staff training, your treatment presentation skills, and the way that the patient is communicated with once the contact has been made.
Additional services to consider along these lines include cordless headsets and an on-hold message systems so that when a current or prospective patient calls, a positive and professional image is created and maintained. Once that person becomes enrolled in the practice, you have a system in place to stay in front of that person with relevant, timely, and valuable information.
Your Team also benefits from coaching on how to communicate in a professional way with the patient. I don’t have to tell the listeners, this doesn’t just happen automatically. It requires hiring the right people, then coaching and motivating them. ADM views itself and asks its clients to view it in two ways: first, as a provider of high quality external marketing strategies, and second, as an organization that does not view it’s services in isolation. In other words, we believe that our programs are necessary, but not sufficient to a practice’s success, which is why we try to be aware of who else is out there that does it well, whatever ‘it’ may be. Whether it be managing overhead, ensuring OSHA compliance, coaching on treatment presentation, staff motivation, financial systems, whatever. We try to be aware of it. That’s basically what I mean by getting and keeping your house in order.
Dr. Frank Wolf: So it sounds like, basically, marketing is nothing more than a comprehensive strategy that is not just a yellow page ad or direct mail. It involves communication systems that need to be in place that the staff of the practitioner needs to be well versed and skilled in, and effective in implementing. Is that it?
Daniel Bobrow: Absolutely. That’s absolutely right. It’s a link in the chain.
Dr. Frank Wolf: I got it.
Daniel Bobrow: I know you’ve got it, because we’ve worked together for a long time, and we both grew together.
by Danny Bobrow