I have been told that there used to be a day when most “service” orientated professions did not have to market to get business. There was a time when there were no billboards for medical services, no radio ads for lawyers, no print ads for chiropractors and you would never find a dentist who gave you a coupon!
Times have sure changed, and in my opinion for the better. We now have to work a little harder to get patients than just renting some building space, installing a dental chair and a sink. Gone are the days of hanging up a sign on your front door, unlocking it and “they all will just come”. We have to shout to the patients that we are here. We have to show them that we are worthy of their business, if we don’t, the competition will. If you don’t, they will leave you for the guy who sent the coupon that came today in the mail.
You may be thinking; yeah, yeah – we’ve heard this already, that song is getting old! Yes, many are saying it but believe it or not, not everyone is listening. There are still some Dentists out there who do not realize that times have changed and that theyneed to market and be seen online.
My friend recently quit working for a dentist that didn’t market. This Dentist was a relatively smart man, but he thought that people would just come. They would come to see him because he was nice. They would choose him because he was a God fearing, church going pillar of the community. My friend worked for this Doctor for ten years and over the past three years of her employment, she watched his office spiral downhill. When the patients left, none came to take their place.
One day the Doctor looked up from reading his newspaper to find out that~ not only was everyone reading the paper online, but that he had no patients. He realized that his patient base was a fraction of what it used to be and his office nest egg was gone! The Doctor had lived in denial for way too long. He had done nothing to grow his patient base and slowly they were all gone. The Doctor came out of his office where he had be hiding from his problem only to find that the team members were all sending out their resumes and one of them had already quit! The game was almost over, the Doctor had waited too long to take action and it was too late. The fat lady just needed to finish singing her song!
This is a true story. I think of it and I find myself wondering what the outcome could have been ~ if only. What if three years ago, when times started changing, this Doctor would have taken action and started to market his practice,I wonder, would it still be around? This Dentist was right in my neighborhood, on the same block. He is about the same age as my Doctor, and had the same dental skills. Three years ago both offices were about the same size and had the same type of patient base. Yet, his office struggled and failed while the office that I work for is fine. Actually better than fine, productive and busy doing some great dentistry. We have many awesome patients. These offices could have been the same, there are enough patients for all. They could have been, but they were not.
Why? The difference is in the word, Action. The office that I work at, took action. When the economy started to turn and the Media started to scare the masses, we went to classes.
We bought Fred Joyal’s book “Marketing is everything” and read it once than twice! We joined the Madow Group Powerhouse and read the posts on their basecamp forum. Once a month, we gather as a group to watch their powerhouse videos and join in on the monthly calls! We attended their social media class and got started online. Now we Facebook and Twitter and are Linked-In.
We took action. That action took effort, so we gave it. We needed to gather our patience and give up some of our time to make it happen, so we did. It has paid off, big time! My friend did not know from day to day if she had a job, while I hear our staff complain that they are so busy that they missed lunch again! If your office is slow, now is the time to take ACTION. Now is the time to learn how to market. Now is the time to stop the denial like the poor disillusioned Doc and realize that Social Media Marketing is here to stay! Get your practice online today. It’s NOW time. Even my Grandma is on Facebook.