“I’m not in this for the money, I just want to help people and really make a difference.” Joe, a typical dentist, voiced the sentiments of so many conversations I have been in over the past five years and I could not agree more. Life is difficult and when we dentists have the ability to ‘make a difference in a life’ it is our privilege and responsibility to do so. However, before we can help them, we must recognize the reality that unless we learn to market our product effectively, we will never sell it to the masses that are desperate for it. We are then disappointed in the results and realize we only helped a fraction of the people we are meant to serve. I learned long ago that ‘selling is service’ and without it, there simply is no business.
If we believe in what you are offering the world, it is our duty to learn to sell it so the greatest number of people can be served. At Koala Center for Sleep Disorders, we do a few things in marketing you might find interesting. Here are some strategies:
Millions of people who need OSA treatment are unaware of the oral appliance therapy that you offer and clearly are not actively shopping for you. They have not thought of your office or made a decision to enter your office for treatment – you must reach them and earn their business. We believe our finest moment is when we educate, opening doors people did not know were even there.
Educational Marketing is the most ethical type of marketing. It sets you apart as a ‘giver’ in a world that is often focused on ‘taking.’ You will be known as someone who is trustworthy and patients-to-be will want to hear what you have to say.
Educational Marketing is the most cost effective form of marketing. It gives you access to the patient-to-be who has OSA symptoms yet unaware of the treatment options available.
It is always surprising to me when I come across someone who believes brochures are old fashioned and out dated. Well, let me assure you that patients and patients-to-be want to know all they can about you, your staff and what you provide. A well-done brochure will capture interest and educate those who need your help.
3. Over the Top Business Cards
Your business card may be your smallest marketing source, but it’s also your most important. Patients-to-be and business prospects hold on to business cards so you will want to make your message count. Carry them with you at all times and liberally share in every appropriate circumstance.
4. Newspaper Articles
Newspapers are another marketing venue that many believe is out dated. There was a time when I was tempted to believe the same thing until I spent an evening at Barnes and Noble and noted the many people who were reading the newspaper.
Done well, a newspaper ad will position a patient-to-be to make a purchase. Ads create value; the content is educational and is strategically structured to lead your patient-to-be to logical conclusions that they need what you are offering. The ad will create urgency through reports, interviews and statistics.
A well-done ad is a message designed to reach an audience with a 12th grade education. It states the problem and shares the answer in terms that are not scientific, but human.
5. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing can make or break your practice and reputation. Invite your customers to be your ambassadors. Provide them with tools such as brochures and key talking points that are easy to remember and pertain to their treatment.
Word of mouth marketing is, at its heart, using happy customers to promote your business – nothing less than walking billboards wearing your name. The key to word of mouth marketing is to provide your patients with such unbelievably amazing, life-affirming treatment and service that they can’t help but share their experience with friends, family, co-workers, and the stranger in the grocery store line.
6. Use a Microphone
Social media is in-your-face yet essential – some refer to it as a love-hate relationship. There are many voices your patient-to-be is listening to, so you must speak with a microphone. The largest microphone we have in marketing today is social media. Social media allows you to leverage your message by taking the same piece of content and putting it into several different templates and distribution venues. Take what you have done well and use a microphone to reach the masses.
For more information about joining the Koala Centers for Sleep Disorders, please visit their website at koalasleepcenters.com or call 971-245-5360.