This section presents tools to implement your marketing strategy and meet your specific
The following activities will create your identity:
Develop a practice brochure. Make sure the brochure addresses the benefits of your
practice. Distribute the brochure as often as possible.
Provide current reading material in your reception room.This will portray your image
and invoke patient interests.
Develop a patient newsletter. Send its to all active patients at least once per
quarter. Newsletters and brochures can also be sent to local establishments that
cater to the types of patients you would like to attract to your practice.
Create stickers that say "Compliments of .. " Put these stickers on toothbrushes,
toothpaste or other appropriate give-away item. The words "Compliments of ... "
help the patient feel a special bond with the giver.
Develop a clinic logo that projects your image and makes you easy to identify and
remember. Use your logo consistently on all clinic stationery, signs, brochures,
business cards, etc.
Print patient education information, such as instructions for handling a dental
emergency, on the back of your business cards. It will make your patients feel that
their dental needs can be addressed if an emergency arises.
Provide a "smile" book in your reception room so patients can see what services
are available. Upon viewing the photos, patients may be more likely to discuss cosmetic
Place a biography of each staff member on a bulletin board in your reception room.
It allows patients to "meet" the staff before the actual visit.
Excellent patient relationships help ensure that your patients talk positively about
you and your practice. This could lead to increased patient referrals and recommendations.
Listed below are some ideas to help build patient relationships.
- Be on time.
Take photographs of the patient's teeth and let them see for themselves what their
dental needs are. Then upon completion of the case take photos again to show patients
the changes the treatment made.
- Sometimes offer complementary cleaning to your regular patients.
Follow-up with all your referral sources after a patient visits. One of the most
important aspects in a referring relationship is a quick report to the referring
Track your referral sources. This tells you who is sending patients your way and
also tell you who has stopped or reduced referrals so you can work to rebuild the
relationships if necessary.
- Make new patients feel comfortable.
Efforts and participation in community events can generate visibility for you and
Volunteer to speak about relevant dental topics before community groups, school
groups, neighbourhood associations, etc.
Introduce yourself to local pharmacists, paediatricians, physicians and other community
healthcare providers. Be sure to give them business cards and your practice brochures.
Participate in local health camps. Offer oral exams or other services to participants.
Distribute practice brochures, and business cards.
Send introductory letters and practice brochures to apartment owners and realtors
in your area.You may also want to arrange meetings with these people.
Exposure in local print, radio and television is another way to build awareness
about your practice. The media is accessed for publicity and paid advertising. It
can increase your practice's visibility among current and prospective patients,
as well as with potential referral sources. Accessing the media can include the
Ask patients what local publications they read. This will give you an idea of good
places to feature ads for your clinic.
- Place an advertisement in your local yellow pages.
Regardless of the size of your practice, neighbourhood or specialty, communication
skills are essential to your marketing plan. Here are some aspects to keep in mind
when you interact with patients.
Each patient will perceive your words and communication style differently. Try to
tailor your style to suit individual patient needs.
- Understanding must not be assumed, it must be worked for.
- Make the environment conducive to listening.
Avoid complex or vague topics and emotional reactions to the patient or the subject
- Don't interrupt.
- Don't plan your answer while the patient is talking.
- Focus attention on the patient.
- Use encouraging language.
- Ask for clarification from the patient when you are in doubt.
- Paraphrase the patient's inputs to recheck facts.
Prepare yourself. Record brief notes of each patient's visit, then review the file
before the next visit.
- Use specific terms.
Whenever possible, use the patient's language when communicating complex terms or
- Explain instruments and procedures.
- Discuss the benefits of treatment.
- Use communication tools (charts, photos, etc.)
- Communicate one idea at a time.
- Use analogies and examples.
Your patients can read more meaning from your non-verbal communication than from
the words you use.
Non-verbal communication expresses feelings and attitudes, so be sure your body
language makes you seem open and approachable.