What Can Happen When You Do No Marketing
Oh the perils of not marketing yourself. I had my first customer default on me this week, apparently he is ceasing to trade from next month. I took on this customer in good faith just before Christmas.
The customer called me early January to say that he was in financial trouble and that his creditors were letting him continue to trade, (I know its strange that he would take my services in December and then tell me he is struggling to pay creditors in January.)
Strangely I had gone to see this dentist nearly two years earlier and he had decided not to proceed with any marketing at that time as he was doing lots of other things to his practice and taking on new staff etc. etc.
I could see at that time, that this practice was in trouble and needed help. The first thing that struck me as odd was the fact that he had a practice management system that had 18,000+ patients on it of which only 3,000 were active.
Now it could be that this guy might be a rubbish dentist and just loses patients, I have no idea of that and can’t comment, but whilst I was there, patients were coming into the waiting room and he was speaking with them as friends so I have to assume that he got on well with his patients.
The second thing that made alarm bells go off was the fact that he’d done little or no marketing whatsoever over the past five years, not to existing or new patients.
Whenever I write these columns I stress the importance of saying that as part of your marketing you have to communicate regularly with your existing patients to make them feel loved, just as much as you spend time trying to get new ones. It’s absolutely imperative.
Time and again I see potential customers and they tell me that they can’t afford marketing, whilst at the same time telling me that they don’t have enough patients and the patients they have aren’t spending enough with them.
I hear this statement over and over again, don’t you think that there is a certain irony, “I don’t have enough business, but I don’t want to spend any more money getting any”. Let me say to everyone reading this now. If you continue to do what you’ve always done that’s what you’ll always get. Or even more to the point, doing nothing gets you exactly nothing.
The economy may be coming out of recession but very few of the people I deal with feel that way and patients aren’t just going to start queuing up at your door waiting for your services. Sorry I have to say this, but if you want more patients or you want to sell the higher end services you offer you have to spend money marketing them.
The problem is that most businesses view marketing as a cost not an investment. This week I am spending £3,000 on a 3 x 2 stand for two days at the Dentistry Show. But I know that this will generate me business (without fail).
Unless you start to look at marketing as an investment and not a cost your practice will continue to perform exactly the way it is. Here’s another saying I love to quote “If I gave you £10.00 for every £5.00 you gave me at which point would you like me to stop?”
This is effectively what marketing is about, if you don’t do it, don’t expect your business to grow.
If you would like help marketing your dental practice, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website, www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk