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Signage and Your Dental Practice Marketing

Jun 9, 2008
I was dropping my truck off this morning at a local Salem business. I'd called last week and made an appointment to have a bed-liner sprayed on.

So, this morning I'm driving in an area I know pretty well. In fact, it's not far from our old location on 22nd Street in South Salem.

I drive by the darn place twice without even knowing it.

I go to the cafe close by and ask, "Where's the Bed-liner place?"

A nice girl I recognize from years ago, who had served me many great sandwiches, pointed, "Down the street, 1st right, all the way in the back."

I get in my truck, take the first right, and notice a sign, no kidding, 3" high and maybe 8" wide - white background with black letters.

I drive to the back and see nothing resembling what I'm supposed to be looking for. So, like an idiot, I drive by the place two times.

Finally, after stopping and getting out my binoculars, I spot another sign.

Shoot, I have better luck than this hunting big game in Alaska!

Anyway, I pull in. Guy out front says, "Took a tour of the neighborhood I see."

No. Really. Gee, I wonder if he could tell I was thoroughly annoyed?

So, I ask the obvious, "Why don't you get a better set of signs? It took my eyes getting cranked up to 8x40 power to find this place."

He says to me, "Well, I thought about it 3 years ago, but they wanted so much for a new sign I thought what I made would work just fine."

Maybe. Maybe not. Frankly, he just about lost me as a customer. Even though I made an appointment and put down a deposit to get the work done, I was about 10 seconds from losing interest and just going on with my day.

What do your signs look like? On the surveys you send to your new patients (you DO those, right?), do you have a question on it that asks "Was our office easy to find?"

That'd be a good indicator you may need a new location or better signage. Signage is inherently less expensive and easier to get done than moving your practiceunless the cost to get a sign on the side of that high rise you're in is more expensive than re-locating. Investigate and make a sensible decision.

Your patients will thank you for it!

Action-To-Take Tip: During your next trip to your practice, pay attention to the path that leads to your front door. Try to imagine that you had never been there before. Would you have a hard time finding it? If no, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if there is any doubt in you mind about your visibility, actively make some changes to signage. It will be worth it.
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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