Are your marketing results in the back of the net?

One of the questions I get asked most often is what makes a good marketing campaign? In my mind there is truly only one goal. A timely campaign which delivers a great ROI (return-on-investment) thanks to the efforts of an engaged and passionate team.

And in keeping with timely marketing what better way to illustrate how great teamwork, drive, passion, dedication and vision can achieve exceptional results than by juxtaposing running your practice with the inspirational Leicester win this week. They’ve also proved the point that you don’t have to spend the most money to get the best result, something I have always preached in dental practice marketing. Being committed and working hard can make a cost-effective campaign truly successful.

So, how do the team members make a campaign work?

The Manager – You

A practice team can only be successful by having an inspirational, dedicated, fair and knowledgeable leader. Many Practice Owners/Principals devolve this responsibility to a Practice Manager, effectively making them the captain. However if they don’t know the ultimate vision and direction then their efforts will never truly deliver. Make sure you communicate regularly with your team, bring them along for the journey, share your vision and consider each month to be a separate match. Analyse the results together and don’t rest on the laurels of a good month. You want a league title not relegation.

The Striker (forward) – The Receptionist

What makes a good striker? The ability to ensure every opportunity is maximised. I barely feel the need to tell you that every call should be answered, yet in the hundreds of mystery shopper calls I have carried out this isn’t always the case. Bin the answering machine, less than 20% of people left messages in a practice analysis I carried out. Use a company which will answer your calls with your practice name, you can have the calls automatically routed there during lunch or instead of the patient getting an engaged tone.

I mentioned mystery shopper calls above, when did you last do them? If never, then you have no idea how warm a welcome people are being extended. Also, be sure to ask your patients in your next satisfaction survey what their first impression of the reception team was.

Every one of those calls needs to be converted into a new patient consultation and your receptionist needs to be trained and empowered to do this.

Centre Forward – The Dentist

You’ve been handed a golden opportunity by the receptionist who has successfully converted a high number of those telephone calls into new patient consultations. It’s up to you to score. The clinical and essential dental health aspects are a given (or should be), however each patient has to know all of the additional treatment options available.

Don’t lose an implant, whitening case or cosmetic treatment just because you haven’t taken time to explain all of the options to a patient. A very dear friend of mine who is an actor called me three years ago in a state of flux as he needed an extraction and in his profession couldn’t have a gap. Not only were none of the standard options discussed, but an implant wasn’t mentioned either. He assumed his practice didn’t offer them (which it turns out, they do) and asked me to recommend one of our clients where he never blinked at the £3,500 treatment cost. His own practice, which he’d attended for 20 years, evidently assumed he wouldn’t be able to afford this as a jobbing actor. Little do they know how much advert actors earn! Which is another valuable lesson, never assume. The patient will ultimately decide what he or she can afford, so long as they know the options.

The Goalkeeper (and defender) – The Practice Manager

They should make sure disaster doesn’t strike by always having their eye on the ball. There’s a lot to consider in the role including revenue, staffing, compliance and marketing amongst an ever increasing list. There truly isn’t a better analogy than that your Practice Manager should be a safe pair of hands.

I could write another few pages of clichés with the remaining positions however I’m running into extra time. And the rest of my team have told me it’s time to stop. Immediately!

To summarise, lack of ambition is the only thing which can truly stifle opportunity. Think big, work closely with your team, train them to be the best they can and work together effectively. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

Be a Claudio Ranieri, not a Mark McGhee.