Worry is energy devoted to something that has not,
and in the overwhelming majority of cases,
will never happen.

By now, I suspect you’ve been deluged by pronouncements like:

There’s never been a better time to buy
PUT PRODUCT OR SERVICE HERE.

No doubt, much of what you see, hear and read is, little more than the efforts of myriad marketing mavens plying their trade on behalf of themselves or those by whom they are employed.

Fact is (and facts are what you deserve and need) the current economic climate (isn’t that a nicer way to say recession than, well, recession?) does present a number of opportunities to grow your practice.

Here’s why (and how):

  • Many of your colleagues are hunkering down and assuming a ‘wait and see’ stance. That means there may well be a marketing vacuum just waiting for someone who is able and willing to fill it.
  • Many consumers, including those of dental care, are questioning their allegiances. “Switch ‘n Save” is one of the most commonly used catch phrases on television and print ads. This means that times like these represent a singular opportunity to ‘build your herd.’ Of course, this cuts both ways, that is, now is no time to take your patients for granted.
  • People are hurting, both economically and emotionally. Here is another opportunity to be an oasis of concern and caring in a desert of despair for your patients. Practices that recognize this will “go the extra mile” for their patients, both new and current. For new patients, make an unusually sweet offer for your neighbors to come in and see if yours is the practice for them. Remember: it’s a one-time special, what is known in marketing parlance as loss leader. You are not committing to a permanently discounted fee schedule. And please do not fall victim to the myth that special offers attract low quality patients. It simply is not true provided you do not fall victim to the self-fulfilling prophesy trap (more on this in future installments). For your current patients, be as generous and patient as you can be. Continue to diagnose and recommend treatment as you always do, that is, do not assume patients cannot afford treatment. Just be accepting if they cannot. Your kindness and caring will pay big dividends when their financial condition changes for the better.
  • Regardless of how you feel about the Economic Stimulus Package, do not let that cloud your strategic thinking on how to benefit from it. After all, it’s there to stimulate the Economy, and we’re all part of the Economy, right? Specifically, identify any industries, or companies in those industries that are part of your target market, which stand to benefit from it. Then, adjust your message, and perhaps your audience, accordingly.

The objectives for prospering in these times are the same as in all times, namely, to continue attracting new, as well as retaining your current, patients. What may differ are the tactics for achieving these objectives.

Future installments will include detail on such tactics.

Your feedback is anticipated and appreciated.

by Danny Bobrow

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