Magnetic Dental Marketing to Attract New Patients

Magnetic dental marketing is all about attracting new patients.  You have walking billboards that frequently attract interest—your team.  Individuals who work in dental offices can turn inquiries into dental patients very easily by following some simple steps.

  1. When team members leave the office wearing clothing with the practice name and logo, they frequently attract attention.  “Where do you work?”  “Oh, is that a dental office?”  “I’ve heard of that dentist.”  These are questions people ask when they see a doctor’s name emblazoned on a shirt.
  2. If the person wants to end the conversation at that point, then that is their choice; but if the discussion goes further, then talk up the practice by giving your 15-second practice summary. Click here for my podcast on that topic.
  3. Offer the person who asked the question a business card and answer the questions that are posed.
  4. Ask them open questions to determine if they need a dentist. Many people will ask for advice about a dental problem and are eager to hear what you have to say.  If they need more information or you think could benefit from seeing the doctor, proceed to the next step.
  5. Ask for their business card. If they have one, that’s great; if not, give them another one of your cards and use this script:  “Please write your name and contact information on the back of this card.  If you like, I will have our office manager contact you to answer questions and help you make an appointment.”
  6. Tell the prospective patient that, if they prefer, they should call the office to make an appointment. Here’s the script:  “Call the office and mention my name.  Say that I said to get give you priority and get you in as soon as possible.”   Now the new patient has clout.  The patient can call the office and use your name to get special consideration.   You are using magnetic dental marketing to encourage someone to call the office.
  7. Make sure that everyone who answers the phone in the office knows that a team member has made a contact. The script is as follows:  “Yesterday I met a woman named Jane while I was out shopping.  If she calls, say that you have been expecting her call and that you will give her priority scheduling because she knows me.”

Note how each step makes the person feel important and enhances the likelihood that the person will call the office.  This is magnetic dental marketing.  Attracting new patients is all about seizing opportunities, making people feel special, and seeing the process through to the happy conclusion–a new patient on the books.


Taking Problems to Your Boss’s Boss Fraught with Peril

Dealing directly with your boss’s boss can be hazardous to your workplace health, something I know from experience.  I used to work for a very large organization. The CEO was a whip-smart and affable guy. In my first few weeks on the job, I would banter with him on the elevator, but I did not have much direct contact with him. There were many layers of management between me and the CEO.

One day just before closing time, the CEO unexpectedly appeared in my Dilbert cubicle and sat down in front of me. Heads turned. Why was the CEO on this floor? Why was he talking to one of the new hires? Was he going to fire the new guy (me)?

It turned out that he wanted my advice on an issue. We had a five-minute discussion and he seemed pleased with my input. He gave me an assignment that would take me about two hours to complete. I told him I would have it done by the next morning. Always pleasant, the CEO stood up, thanked me, and walked away.

About thirty seconds after that impromptu meeting ended, my boss called me into her office. She was not amused. She gave me a dagger-like stare and demanded to know how I could have had the audacity to “go over her head.” I explained that the CEO had come to me; I had not initiated the meeting.

However, my boss did not believe me, instead implying that there was some conspiracy afoot. She suspected that I had been secretly speaking directly to the CEO for some time in an attempt to subvert her authority. I explained that there was no plot to overthrow her. I was just sitting at my desk when the CEO dropped by. While this explanation did not sound plausible, it happened to be true.

She must have subsequently talked to the CEO because her paranoia later subsided. However, I learned a valuable lesson: appearances count and one must always be keenly aware of the chain of command.

When there is an office manager in a dental practice, employees are often unaware this business etiquette. If they do not like the answer they get from their boss, the office manager, employees quite cavalierly go over that person’s head and ask the doctor the same question, hoping for a different response. The doctor is not an appellate judge who is standing by to overrule someone else’s decision. If the doctor reverses the office manager’s decision, then the office manager no longer has any authority.

To make the system work, employees need to know that going to one’s boss’s boss is not acceptable. The doctor has to back up the office manager almost all the time. When the office manager’s word means nothing, then the doctor has the worst of both worlds: paying an office manager who is not allowed to manage. If the office manager makes mistakes or handles situations inappropriately, the doctor has to coach the office manager to help that person grow, or, in some cases, replace that individual.

The good news is that many dental practices are substantial businesses. With good managers in place who keep the practice running and allow the doctor to take care of patients, the business can survive and thrive.