The Brazilian Project - Part 4

In Part 3, we covered the “how” and “why” to begin a great relationship with the team members of your target establishments.

In Part 3, we covered the “how” and “why” to begin a great relationship with the team members of your target establishments. Now, it’s time to look at controlling costs - resources for creating great gifts with a small investment. Next month, in Part 5, we’ll discuss how to magnetically attract a target company’s employees as patients for your office. Then, in Part 6 - the final installment - we’ll reveal the most powerful marketing tool ever invented! Ever!

Part 6 will take everything you will have done from the beginning of your own project and literally turn it into bankable gold. It’s a strategy which will effectively convince owners of these establishments to tell all of their patients, clients, or customers about you!

Keeping costs under control

The beautiful fruit plates and baskets are created by my team for delivery to our local “targets.” The fact that they look homemade doesn’t hurt us - in fact, if anything, our “neighbors” appreciate the effort and personal touch my staff puts into creating beautiful, edible gifts for them!

In the early days of the project, the staff arranged the fruit on paper plates and did others in wicker gift baskets. Since one of my hobbies is finding great gifts wholesale, I researched and discovered a great place to purchase a wide array of wicker baskets wholesale. Instead of paying anywhere from $3 to $4 for each wicker basket, I purchased them wholesale for 65 cents each from Ocean Desert Sales at (215) 537-8719!

We wrap the baskets in iridescent party wrap, then tie them with green and yellow ribbons. Green and yellow are (not coincidentally) the colors of the Brazilian flag! Then, with a pair of sharp scissors, we curl the ribbon ends, which is quick and fun.

So, the basket, some party paper, and ribbon costs us way less than a dollar! But how do you keep the cost of the edible items in the basket under control? The fruit is all purchased at Sam’s Club in huge bulk packages! Did you ever wonder just who buys those big bulk packages of fruit from Sam’s? The fruit is really a nice quality and quite a bargain if you can use it up before it goes bad. Well, if you are doing this project right (starting off with 30, 40 or more simultaneous “targets”), it will all be gone in one day!

Want to give the target businesses a really sweet treat on occasion, and still keep the costs way down? Pack as many large chocolate chip or macadamia nut cookies as possible into the baskets, and buy them from Sam’s Club! We recently purchased 800 cookies for just 20 cents each!

The bottom line is that your bottom line will be super if you follow my advice on how to create your gift baskets. In fact, compare the cost of your team personally delivering these baskets versus the cost of those well-known national chains delivering the baskets, and you’ll find you will be paying about 1/10th of the price! And of course, the impact of hand-made and personally delivered baskets cannot be beat!

Turning it up twice a year

Vary between fruits and cookies for eight out of 12 months a year. Then, turn it up twice a year! We did something extra special for all of our newfound friends once every six months or so. Instead of the usual edibles, we arrived with mugs emblazoned with our logos. By this point, you should know how many total employees work for the targeted businesses. Arrive with enough mugs for every employee to enjoy!

My team members routinely tell me about employees rushing out from every corner of the targeted business when word spreads that they have arrived with the mugs! Even though we bring enough for everyone, they scramble to greet us with open arms (and hands)! My source for great quality and pricing on mugs, T-shirts, caps, and more is Mitch Carson of Impact Products at (888) 215-4758.

Once again, if you haven’t launched your own project, get one started now! Go back and review Parts 1, 2, and 3 in the April, May, and June issues of Dental Economics®. Then, set the number of businesses you plan to target and a deadline for your first gift-giving encounter. Remember, goals without deadlines are really just dreams!

Dr. Tom Orent, the “Gems Guy,” is a founding member and past president of the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His “1000 Gems Seminars” span five countries and 48 U.S. states. He is the author of five books and hundreds of articles on practice management, TMJ, and “Extreme Customer Service.” To receive a free half-year subscription to Dr. Orent’s “Independent Dentist Newsletter” (normally $297 per year), mention Dental Economics® and send request with doctor’s name, address, e-mail, and a major credit card number and expiration date (to pay for the one--time $5.95 shipping and handling charge) to or fax to (508) 861-1550.

More in Practice