Cut through the clutter

Aug. 1, 2010
The greatest marketing challenge we face in today's hyper-connected world is cutting through the clutter.

Nate Booth, DDS

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: dental marketing, core story, customer/patient, client, patient loyalty, Dr. Nate Booth.

The greatest marketing challenge we face in today's hyper-connected world is cutting through the clutter. In 1992, people received an average of 3,000 marketing messages per day. In 2010, the number is 30,000! In addition, the cost to reach potential patients has tripled, and you're only half as effective when you do.

So your question becomes "In a field cluttered with thousands of sunflowers, how can I become the one that sticks out because I'm a foot taller than the others?"

I believe the answer lies in Jay Abraham's definitions of "customer/patient" and "client." A customer/patient is a person who purchases a product or service. If you have customers/patients, the only way to rise above the crowd is to have products or services that are noticeably unique or have lower prices.

Jay defines a client as a person who is under the care, protection, and guidance of an expert in the field. Practices with clients are not in the commodity business and don't have to sell on price.

Core stories create clients

In last month's column, you learned the power of the stadium pitch. As you remember, a well-crafted stadium pitch can keep a crowd in their seats. The people could have left, but your presentation was so interesting they chose not to leave. In addition, the stadium pitch moves 90% of the crowd from not being interested in your practice to being interested.

A core story is an enhanced version of the stadium pitch that accomplishes one more vital outcome. It positions your dental practice as the obvious choice for the people you want to attract.

Flip the switch

In order to craft an effective core story, you need to flip a switch in your brain and move your marketing focus from you to them. Most dental marketing focuses on dentists and their practices and the services they provide. A yellow page ad with a huge photo of the doctor and bullet points that list 12 services offered is the poster child for this approach.

It is not the voice that commands the story. It is the ear. – Italo Calvino

All great marketing is just stories well told, and the best ones are customer stories. Apple doesn't sell their iTunes service and iPod, iPhone, and iBook products based on technology. They brilliantly and emotionally tell customers' stories with unique and impactful images and sounds attached to thrilled people using Apple products. You must do the same.

Core story benefits

There are several benefits of a well-told core story:

  • It creates access to potential patients. If you want people to be interested in what you have to say, you would better be interesting. The best core stories educate and intrigue, which pulls people closer to you.
  • It positions you as an expert in the eyes of your community. People listen to experts. People are willing to pay more for expert advice. Experts are in short supply these days. Be an expert.
  • It shows that you have a strong understanding of people's lives, which creates high levels of trust and rapport.
  • It dramatically upgrades the degree of influence you have with patients. You're viewed as a trusted resource, not a regular dentist.
  • It produces positive communication between the people in your community and you. You're not selling (never pleasant for either party); you're educating.
  • It generates patient loyalty, which makes you an indispensable part of their lives. There's a huge difference between satisfied and loyal patients. Satisfied patients may leave you for lower fees or more convenience. Loyal patients are with you through thick and thin.

The education-based core story approach to marketing was created by Chet Holmes, author of the best-selling book, "The Ultimate Sales Machine." For more information on the core story marketing model, call Empire Research Group at (888) 253-6127, or visit www.empireresearchgroup.com. You will be glad you did.

To reserve your place in Dr. Booth's highly interactive, 60-minute Comprehensive Case Acceptance webinar, please call (702) 444-1362.

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD based program, The "Yes" System. For more information, go to www.theyessystem.com, or call (702) 444-1362.

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