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Your Dental Practice Marketing Grunt Work

Jun 18, 2008
I was over at the Oregon Coast this weekend. My wife and I hit a couple of beaches and one of our favorite restaurants, Mo's. Mo's is a coastal institution.

Oregon has Mo's. Washington, has Ivar's.

Both are/were HUGELY successful (I know Mo's is and has been for some time, I have insider info; in the last few years, I've not heard much about Ivar's since I haven't been there in quite some time).

They each receive a ton of notoriety from dignitaries (can you believe they even visit us here in Oregon?!). They get a boatload of free press, all the time (they're making themselves newsworthy), and their original founders were true northwest characters. They were unique. People liked them. AND, they both offer killer seafood and chowder. Mo's restaurants (I believe there are 6) sell hundreds of thousands, yes, 100,000+ gallons of chowder yearly. People go to the coast just to eat the chowder. Frankly, I like my chowder with their amazing grilled cheese on homemade bread.

We finished our meal, and as we were weaving our way through the crowd to exit the restaurant there was some crazy lady in the parking lot striking up brief conversations and handing out blue cards to everyone she talked to.

The card was a promotion of her store right up the street.

Buy 1, Get 1, of ANYTHING in her store. Oh, and she read Tarot cards, too.

It's irrelevant what she was selling. What is relevant is she located a starving crowd (which is a constant in the summertime in front of any Mo's restaurant), made them an irresistible offer, and drove them to her store.

Was it grunt work? You bet. Was there a payoff? Definitely! There was a line out her store; people wanted the Buy 1 Get 1 coffee deal. After all, it was 52 degrees outside (it was 98 degrees at my home yesterday, just an hour away), people were cold, and you can bet they didn't just buy a coffee. They were buying other things in her store.

I recall a story Dr. Howard Farran told, when he was first opening his practice in the mid-to-late 80s. He canvassed the neighborhood with flyers - he and his wife, Judith - and they canvassed mall parking lots with a different flyer. They did the grunt work to get things off the ground.

Sure beats sitting in your practice hoping someone will notice your sign (that's probably sub-par anyway) and drop in.

Successful business owners are pro-active. They make and force success to come about. They never rest on their laurels.

If canvassing neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and making folks an irresistible offer gets them flocking to your door, why is that so bad? Go Get 'em!
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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