Category Archives: Dental ROI

Buy or sell

How to Sell Your Services – REALLY?

I was recently approached by a prospective new client who said something along the lines of:

“Mark, I’m running a course for dentists in three months time… Can you help with your marketing to fill it for me?”

Now equally, this could have been any one of the many dental services on offer, or even something completely different.

I asked what they had in mind for the marketing? They responded with ‘a series of e-mails, Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and the like.’

Okay,  so essentially they want to sell their course using online marketing.

But wait.

Who do we send those e-mails to?

Who is going to see those social media messages on Facebook or Twitter?

Aha, now we get to the nitty-gritty of the problem. We either have to use an existing e-mail database or buy one, and we have to pay for messages on Facebook or Twitter as we don’t have a particularly good Facebook following.

And if we suddenly start bombarding people that have never heard of us before with marketing messages trying to sell a new course, what does that do to the amount of trust they have in us?

Marketing in this style is what gives social media and e-mail a bad name. People say they’re bombarded with messages they hate and perceive as spam… And to be honest, that’s exactly what many messages are!

An alternative way of marketing – Switching from hate to love

Hate love switch

Switching the style of marketing we use can have an enormous impact, but it’s not a quick fix and you can’t suddenly think “Hey, I want to sell a course how can we fill it?”

The secret starts months possibly years earlier than the course/service you want to ‘sell’.

Marketing isn’t something you do… It’s something you are!

Here is a simple step-by-step list of how you can go about selling a course/service with no spam and without upsetting people:

  1. Identify the problem your target audience is trying to solve. DO NOT MISS THIS OUT! What is their problem? Is it that they want more confidence? Are they looking for more time? Are they looking for more money? Are they looking for a new partner? People go about solving these problems in a huge variety of ways, from looking for a new dance class to having teeth whitening… All to solve the same problem! Once you have identified the problem that people are trying to solve you can move on.
  2. Create a social media channel focused around solving this problem.
  3. Create a free guide focused around solving this problem and put it on your website in exchange for an e-mail address.
  4. Begin handing out useful, free and relevant advice helping these people solve this unique problem. Put that advice on your social media channel and write blog posts about it.
  5. Do this consistently and continuously all of the time. It should be your raison d’être. Hand out useful, free and relevant advice which helps that person go some way to solving their problem.

Doing this increases trust and reduces risk which means that when you have a specific service to sell, such as a course, you have an engaged audience which trusts you (after all, you’ve been giving them free information for ages now) and sees you as a low risk option (after all, you been giving them free advice and asked for nothing back).

With this engaged audience, whose problems you understand and have demonstrated you are an expert in it’s a logical and simple step to suggest that they take action to solve their problem with you.

And that’s how you use e-mail and social media to sell your course or service. It takes time to build and grow, but once it does it becomes an unstoppable machine which works 24/7, the best time to start is always now…

 

The Importance of Email Marketing for Dentistry

In this blog post I wish to explain the reasoning behind email marketing for dentistry, you see the thing is I see many dentists steering more and more towards social media (Social Media is great, and you must understand this) yet they are often ignoring the VERY powerful effect of email.

So, I want to explain WHY email is so powerful and how do people make millions… yes I said millions, out of email?

One of the golden rules of all marketing is segment, segment, segment then target, target, target. This means the more detail you have about a prospect, the more you can ‘speak to them’ using language that means something to them. In email marketing terms we call these ‘lists’

Email markers around the world spend most of their time building lists, NOT trying to make money!

They build lists of people they know that are interested in a specific product or service, now if a prospect decides to buy that specific product or service, then hey, that’s fine… but if not the email marketer will do everything to add them to a segmented list for future marketing.

It works like this, the email marketers will:

  1. Use social media to drive prospects to a focused and targeted sales page 
  2. Use Pay Per Click advertising  to drive prospects to a focused and targeted sales page
  3. Use any other form of marketing, including offline to drive prospects to a focused and targeted sales page.
  4. Provide an option to ‘Buy Now’ on that page
  5. Provide a teaser ‘Find out more…’ facility on that page
  6. Add prospects from the teaser to a list
  7. Educate that list to a) Demonstrate that the marketer is THE best b)Educate the prospect about how much they need to solve their problem c) provide further opportunities for the prospect to buy
So, now let’s ‘dentalify’ this process.
  1. Use social media to drive prospects to a new focused and targeted sales page on your website  e.g.whitening, botox, implants, dentures, ortho
  2. Use Pay Per Click advertising  to drive prospects to that same page
  3. Use local leaflets, flyers, radio and magazine adverts to drive prospects to that page.
  4. Provide an option to ‘Make an Appointment Now’ on that page – possibly a free consult
  5. Provide a teaser on that page – e.g. ‘Download Your Complete Guide to Everything you Need to Know About <>’
  6. Add those prospects from the teaser to a list
  7. Educate that list over the coming months with a series of dental health emails to a) Demonstrate that you are THE best local dentist b)Educate the prospect about how much they need to solve their problem c) provide further opportunities for the prospect to request an appointment
Email marketing works because it is scalable and automated, and there are some simple low cost options such as Aweber (this is the software I use) to enable ANY dental practice to set up a great online marketing system.
There are also some great email marketing tutorials to help you set up email marketing so it won’t be a daunting process.
Once set up email can become an automated marketing machine that works in unison with social media and offline marketing and if a practice ignores it I personally feel they are missing a HUGE opportunity.
What do you think?

Getting Return on Dental Marketing – a follow up

In my last blog post on ROI I used the term ‘opportunity cost’ instead of the term ‘direct cost of sales’… so to all the accountants out there, I do, most humbly, apologise for my innacuracy!

In response to my reckless use of the wrong term I had 2 comments on the blog, both of these raise further issues with calculating ROI that I believe add weight to my argument that calculating ROI is important but is not necessarily easy to do and should be used as part of an armoury of measurement tools. I reproduce the comments on my blog here, please take a moment now to read them as I think they both make great points.

Comment 1- made on Facebook

In your note you mention “opportunity costs”, stating the opportunity costs of invisalign might be $1300 for aligners. Perhaps this is the “language barrier”, but in America we would describe this as the cost of goods sold, or overhead. None-the-less, overhead needs to be considered, and if your overhead is $1300 for aligners you need to charge signifcantly more than $1500 for an ortho case, regardless of what marketing source generated the lead. The cost of marketing the case, would also be defined as overhead. 

Opportunity costs would be the cost of revenue lost, due to your time or resources spent using social media. i.e. you spend ten hours a week marketing your practice and you bill out $1000/hour, your opportunity cost for that week might be $10,000 of production. I hope this clarifies the example above for anyone familiar with a different definition of opportunity cost.

Best regards,

Fritz Soberay

Comment 2 – made on the blog itself

I think you are referring to direct costs of sales, rather than opportunity costs. Opportunity cost relates to the benefit that you may have missed out on by spending on X rather than spending on Y. For example, putting £1000 in Yellow Pages advertising and generating £3000 profit may seem like a good idea, until you realise that the same £1000 spent on SEO generates £5000 of profit. Your opportunity cost of spending on Yellow Pages in this example is £2000 (the profit you have missed out on by not going for SEO). Mike Busby

 Both Fritz and Mike make great points, what do you think?