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Impressions - The Name Game

How’s your business? Does your practice afford you everything you hoped it would when you first began? How much closer to your dreams would you be if you could create an extra $10,000 a month?

If there are not enough patients to stabilize your practice, you need to know how – or know someone who knows how – to get more patients.

This is where marketing your practice becomes vitally important. The purpose of marketing is to drive revenue to your door.

With haphazard marketing, you can expect unpredictable, and likely, poor results. The measurable goal for any marketing plan must be “to get results” – many new patients and increased sales to existing patients, to be exact.

You get results by putting out into the public arena a lot of pertinent impressions that people see and act upon. Impressions are any perceptions or interactions with your dental practice that an individual has. An impression could be seeing your practice name, logo, sign, or web page. It could be placing a phone call, or reading an email, before making an appointment.

It takes about 30 attempts (messages sent) to create nine impressions (messages received and understood). Once nine impressions are visualized—in a sense, internalized—the sale is usually completed.

You never know which impression will be the one that motivates an individual to act.
Does it matter which impression makes a difference? No, the final impression they see may not be the one that makes the biggest difference. It may be that the final impression just confirms a belief that they already formed from other impressions. It’s not really critical to analyze all of your impressions, as long as the necessary total occurs and a result is achieved. Bottom-line thinking always beats over-analyzing.

Here are action items to evaluate your overall marketing and image. Read everything your practice distributes for marketing. Review your phone directory ads, your newspaper ads, and your radio or TV commercials. Evaluate your signage inside and outside of your practice. Take a tour of your parking lot, walk in the front door of your office, walk down every hallway, into every operatory, lie back in the dental chairs, visit the patient restroom, and stand at the checkout counter. Experience exactly what a patient sees.

Gather a list of all the impressions you send to the public. Are they all as good as you would like them to be? What improvements do you see needed? Make a plan to enact the necessary changes.


Bill WilliamsComment