By Jerry Jones
Today, I’ve got a really simple, easy tip that pays BIG dividends while showing a little love to your existing patients.
I just finished listening to a recorded call that came in from a direct mail piece for my dental office, Wellness Springs Dental® of Salem, and decided I should share this invaluable find with you…
While the mailing piece has done quite well, interestingly enough, that’s not the point.
Instead, it’s a little discovery I made a few years ago. It has to do with letting existing patients know they are valued as much as new patients. (And, I’ve never, one time, witnessed this on any new patient promotion from any company, anywhere — so pay close attention, if you’re reading my blog and you’re from “that” company, you’ll learn somethin’.)
I’ll tell you first-hand, most Dentists ignore this at their own peril (If you’re a ClearPath Society® Member of mine, you get it; have seen it. If you’re a private client, we’re doing it for you.) And, if you’re like me, if someone is ignoring a roadblock like this, there’s a good chance they shouldn’t be, and, there’s a really good chance there’s money in it. (I’ve made my living doing what others refuse to or won’t. The gig pays pretty well.)
Stick with me…
You’ve ran a new patient promotion before, right?
And, depending on whether or not it hit the mark (message was right on the money, media you used was proven – like direct mail, newspaper, etc., and, your offer appealed to your target demographic), you either got a bunch of calls, a few or none.
And, in the process, you probably didn’t know it, but you ticked off a bunch of your existing patients by running that offer making it exclusive to just *new* patients.
Heck, I’d go so far as to say you’ve had calls from your existing patients “wishing” you’d make them a similar offer! I know you have; I myself have heard those calls come in.
I got to thinking about this. And, I can’t recall now where the idea came from, or, if it was one of the rare original ideas I’ve had, but today, to eliminate the roadblock, we have a standard paragraph used in almost all of our new patient ads.
Before I show you more, first, let’s play out this scenario in your office:
YOUR OFFICE: “Doctor’s office. Can I help you?”
ME: “Hi, I’m an existing patient of Dr. Duntz and noticed he has a new patient offer out. Well, it’s been 3 years since I’ve been in and I was wondering if this offer will work for me?”
YOUR OFFICE: “Sorry. No.”
And, that’s how the conversations go. Short, sweet (not) and sans the love. Your “patients” that you love and care for so much, often times get this rude reception, and they go somewhere else. You call them shoppers. I call them disgruntled and annoyed patients. (Yes, I know we all have “shoppers,” but really, are you THAT tight that you’d not allow a patient of record to come in, update their records and GIVE you the opportunity to diagnose some treatment? If it’s truly all about having a butt in the chair, then why do you have that stupid roadblock in place to keep money away from you?)
Look…From here on out you’re going to change your policy. Those calls to your office will no longer go like that. Instead, from here on out, you’ll add this little paragraph to your ads:
Existing patient? Call today, mention this [article, flyer, postcard], schedule your next visit and get $43 off your total visit! How cool is that? Call Jackie now! 555-1212
It’s designed to let existing patients know we love ‘em and want ‘em to come back in at their first chance… And, that we are not all about just new patients. (I’ll prove just how valuable this is…And it’ll come right from the horse’s mouth.) And, yes, you can change the $43. I have just always used it and it’s done well.
So, now that you have the copy to use in your ad, let me prove it works by sharing this recent call that came into my office:
Brenda: Thank you for calling Wellness Springs Dental. This is Brenda speaking. How may I help you?
Diane: Hi Brenda, this is Diane _____.
Diane: I have an appointment this afternoon and I didn’t know that I needed to mention that I’ve got that yellow flyer that came out. It says, “Call today and mention this flyer when you schedule your next visit and get $43 off your total visit.”
Brenda: Okay, I will go ahead –
Diane: So do I need to reschedule it?
Brenda: No, no. you just need to mention it and I’ll put a note that you had the $43, correct?
Diane: Yes. Okay, thank you very much.
Brenda: Thank you.
Diane: Uh huh, thank you. I appreciate you passing that on to existing patients because so often, people have all these great deals for new patients and it’s nice for existing patients to be able to take advantage of some discount, so thank you. I appreciate that.
Brenda: Yeah, you’re welcome.
Diane: Uh huh, thank you. Bye bye.
Anyway – add the above paragraph to your ads; bring back your existing patients, and get more production done with less hassle, and, get a higher ROI out of your existing ads, too! (You’ll not only get new patient revenue, you’ll get existing patients who’ve put off needed treatment to finally schedule! A win-win, for sure!)
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