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Make 'Word of Mouth' an Important Piece of Your Dental Practice Marketing Strategy

Jun 8, 2008
Word Of Mouth marketing is growing in popularity. Over 43% of U.S. Executives cite word of mouth as a top strategy for the coming year.

Notice the functional word in the above sentence is STRATEGY. Word of mouth is not a one time effort, single promotion, or even a project. Its an all-encompassing strategy that makes word of mouth a daily conscious piece of your practice marketing strategy.

The key to any word of mouth program is frequency. You need to develop a program that makes word of mouth a part of your everyday business life. Make it visible, and participatory to everyone involved; this includes staff as well as consumers.

Below are a few pieces to the word of mouth puzzle:

1.) A Monthly Practice Newsletter: Why don't you do one? This is the easiest way to promote your practice, yourself, your office, and develop your brand in the community. 12 points of contact per year with your patient base in their home can be nothing but good for your practice.

2.) Professional Referrals: Im not talking about the endodontist down the street, I'm talking about lawyers, accountants, tow truck drivers, real estate professionals. People that have a loyal customer base. (What better way is there to target new movers than have a real estate broker tell them about you? Talk about first contact.)

3.) Your staff: If you don't get referrals from your staff, get rid of them. Joe Girard (Guiness' World's best salesman) came up with "Girard's Law Of 250" which says, "Everyone knows 250 people in his or her life important enough to invite to a wedding and to the funeral." The 250 people each of your staff members know should be coming into your practice.

4.) Your business card: How many of these are sitting in a drawer in your desk? These should be mini-postcards handed out each and every moment you have available. Leave one with the tip at dinner, give one to the bus driver, the mailman, anywhere and everywhere you can. You know 250 people too. They should all be your patients. (Bonus: Put a New Patient offer on the card!)

5.) The most important part: supervise and track! Make word of mouth a part of your daily operational proceedure. In the morning huddle, ask "Who did you talk to about our practice yesterday?" Somedays your staff will have no leads, but it will keep it in their mind, and is a non-threatening way to remind them.

There are plenty of ways to promote word of mouth in your practice, but be aware that if you let the systems and proceedures fall by the wayside, the referrals and word of mouth in the community will drop as well.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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