I first spoke with Ben, a quickly up-and-coming, 34-year-old dentist in Texas in early January of this year.
Ben has owned his own practice for just over 5 years now and he’s done quite well for himself during that time. But Ben is a highly driven individual. He has his eyes set on continued growth. His vision is to grow and become the premier cosmetic dental provider in his market (which is a fairly competitive one at that). And he knows that in order to support this vision, he is going to need a great marketing program.
When he first reached out to me, Ben wrote – “Kent, I’m doing all the things I should be to market my practice. But most of this stuff isn’t working for me. Lately, I’ve been trying to get this virtual consultation thing going. It’s not taking off though. I hear all these great stories from other dental offices and all the success they’re having with virtual consultations. I’m not seeing it though. I don’t get why it’s not working for me. I’m frustrated and losing my patience – quickly! Hoping you might have some ideas. Look forward to hearing from you.”
Ben and I hopped on a call the next week and discussed his growth goals in detail, and what success looks like for him. His goals are super aggressive. Yet they are achievable with the right marketing strategy, execution plan, and commitment.
The challenge for Ben is that his aggressiveness often leads to impatience. And impatience can be a killer when it comes to your marketing.
You see, Ben is not shy about investing in his marketing. He’s implemented many of the same programs and campaigns that I’ve seen highly successful practices leverage for growth as well. However, Ben is also quick to become frustrated and move on to the ‘next opportunity for growth’ if a particular program is not driving results immediately.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I talk with dentists all the time who error on the other side of this equation. They’ll spend good money on marketing campaigns that have been failing for a year or more. And when I ask why they continue to invest their money into failing programs, they usually say “Well, I don’t know what else to do”. Or, “It has to start working eventually. I think I should just give it more time”.
That’s not patience. That’s uncertainty. And that causes those dentists to get stuck, and ultimately causes their marketing to fail.
Ben was uncertain too. But his aggressiveness and uncertainty, in combination, led to his impatience. He would implement a new marketing program. And then quickly become impatient if he didn’t get results within a month, or two, at the most.
For example, Ben’s office had recently established an in-house dental membership plan. Which, of course, is table stakes for any dental practice today that seriously wants to grow its new patient base…and profit margins at that. Ben was really excited about this new membership plan at the start. But a few weeks later, after the initial roll-out, he became frustrated that it hadn’t led to the growth he had expected (he’d been looking at other offices who’d been wildly successful with it, and thought this level of success would just naturally, and quickly, come to him too). He lost interest. Stopped paying attention to it. And, while the program still exists, the results, of course, have yet to come about.
Ben then quickly moved on to the ‘next big thing’. This time it was virtual consultations. This is another fantastic area for growth-aspiring practices to invest. However, just like with the membership plan, success doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to virtual consultations. It takes time, patience, and commitment to get these things running and really driving results. And this was Ben’s Achilles heel.
Fortunately, this was also the point at which Ben reached out to me.
When we first talked, I said to him – “Ben, you’ve got the drive and determination. You’re obviously going to be a highly successful practice owner. But when it comes to your marketing…. and specifically to these initiatives like a membership plan or virtual consultations…. if you want to be successful…. you’ve got to decide right now…. you’re either ALL IN or you’re OUT.”
And what I meant by that was if you want success, you have to realize that it takes time, patience, and commitment. And that means you have to be ALL IN! You need a strategy. You need an execution plan. And you need to see it through. And when things don’t go according to plan (and they almost never will), you need to be able to diagnose why, course correct, and push forward.
For most dentists, like Ben, this is challenging. You’re already trying to do a million things to successfully run your practice (above and beyond seeing patients all day). You really don’t have the time to design and execute a high-functioning marketing program on top of it all. And that’s okay! You shouldn’t be doing that yourself. (nor should you just blindly outsource it to a marketing agency – because that’s also a recipe for gross overspend and lack of results).
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been able to work with Ben and help him understand that aggressiveness in marketing is great. But it also requires patience. It’s a balancing act.
We’ve been able to put together a comprehensive marketing strategy and detailed execution plan that Ben can see (right in front of him) and know that there is a plan in place (he also now has help in implementing that plan – which he needs given all of his other responsibilities). This approach has satisfied Ben’s aggressiveness (in knowing that we’re doing all of the right things to grow his practice), but also his impatience (in seeing that there is a plan…and a timeline to getting the growth he desires).
We’re early on in the work with Ben’s practice, but results have clearly started to show. And more importantly, he’s finally laying the groundwork for a successful and sustainable marketing program. One that is aggressive, yet also designed with a long-term lens. And we were able to do this because Ben finally decided that he is committed to seeing the plan through, and that he is in fact “ALL IN” when it comes to his marketing!
Looking for better results from your marketing?
Grab some time and let’s discuss your growth goals and what success looks like to you. I’ll walk you through what’s needed to get there, and we can determine if it’s a good fit for us to partner together in making that happen.
Simply reply to this email, or click on the link below, and sign up for a complimentary consultation:
I look forward to talking with you soon!
About Kent Sears
Kent provides over 15 years experience in consulting and marketing strategy. His work has spanned the globe, in both public and private sector, with leading companies such as Microsoft and T-Mobile. He brings his corporate experience to help private practice dentists realize their full business potential through more effective marketing strategies to stay competitive in the rapidly changing world of marketing and healthcare.