Hey everybody. Thanks for joining me on this little recap video. We’re going to jump right into it. My talk was Removing Roadblocks to New Patient Growth. And I had this little picture here because it was like someone just cruising down the road carefree, and that’s what I want for you guys. I shared that more or better SEO is probably not what you need, not your biggest roadblock anyway, because of all the updates that Google has been making over the past, well, several years. But even this year alone, Google has just doubled down on the performance of your website in terms of the user experience. But also as Marie Haynes points out here, just better matching what someone wants when they’re jumping on Google with the business that a website represents, because they know that you are different from the doctor down the street. And your practices are different and you’re going to have some patients that you’re a better fit for than others.
And so that’s something that you want to understand that SEO can clarify that, but most of the time it’s really, it’d be hard for your website to mess that up. And SEO is just going to make that a little clearer. So that’s not to say that SEO is not important anymore, and it can be done wrong, but I’m just thinking there’s probably some other things that are your biggest roadblock. And that could just come down to your expectations. Some dentists have a belief that we’re just getting from point A to point B. Patient doesn’t know about you, they become a patient, and that arrow in between is the job of the marketer. And unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. It’s more of a loop where there’s still point A, your website, your advertising generates visibility. And we want to go to point B where they say yes, but the reality is there’s a loop going on here that’s churning around and around and a lot more things that go on in between these steps before a patient says yes.
And when they say yes, you must deliver an excellent experience for the patient. Yes, great clinical results obviously, but an experience that makes the patient say, “Wow.” And I don’t know how many of you attended Jay Geier’s talk on, I think it was Saturday at the 4:00 hour. He mentioned that the patient experience can almost make marketing irrelevant, that in some markets and in some dental practices, all you have to do is just have that wow experience and the patient is going to naturally be ready to refer you more business. And then it’s like you don’t even have to market.
I think at a lot of competitive markets especially, you’re going to have to continue marketing anyway. But the whole thing is when you provide excellent service and have a success story to share and you put that into your marketing, your marketing’s going to perform better. Your patient can do an online review about you that just says, “This guy, this gal is amazing. Their team is amazing. Their office is amazing.” And then you stay in touch with them with social media and email so that you’re more top of mind for them. All of that’s going to drive more prospective patients to your practice, increasing your visibility, making your marketing more effective, and thereby decreasing an amount of money you have to spend just to generate a phone call or an email.
Remember that that visibility is not a one time event. I shared the story about Beau, my neighbor’s dog. You want to invest in marketing more than just one time. You want to make a sizable investment in marketing so that you can have that frequency down. Remember the Rule of 20. We have to keep getting in front of people before they’re likely to make a decision to contact our practices because it’s not a one and done folks.
And then we have to remember the channels that we want to invest in. Just a single channel where Facebook ads or Instagram, that single channel approach is unlikely to yield the results, the quality and the quantity of leads that you want. And even multiple channels, you can mess that up pretty easily by kind of hopping around and, again, not making a sizable investment and maybe burying wasting your investment by choosing to market in an area that hardly anyone goes to. Instead, you want to be a pig because those pigs have that frequency down.
I showed you this video of my son Gabriel in the pig pen and said he’s wearing boots because it’s more than mud in that pen. They’ve got the frequency down. We’ve got multiple channels covered here, and even a few sparse ones to capture any stragglers out there on the fringe of, “Oh wow, this practice is everywhere.” That’s what we want to do. Yeah, pigs are funny. This is Bean here. She’s the one that [inaudible 00:05:15] a travel across property and make those strategic deposits there. But we still have a home base where we know our target audience is and then we just become impossible to miss in those areas.
What’s on your sleep page? Check out your website and look at your sleep apnea page and see if your design team has accidentally made it look like you offer sleep apnea treatment. I actually see that all the time. We can still talk about CPAP, but the whole idea is that most of you are offering just oral appliance therapy or some sort of myofunctional therapy or a combination therapy. And it’s because so many people find PAP treatment uncomfortable. But that’s not the visual story that this website’s telling. And I see that all the time in dental office websites. Make sure that your team knows that you offer oral appliance therapy.
I would even put in a picture of an oral appliance so that they kind of start getting the visual gist of what they’re going to encounter in your practice. And then again, your website does not need to link every page and offer every service on every page. That can make your website confusing to Google.
23% of calls to dental practices go to voicemail. This was according to a study that we did. Your numbers may be different, but you need to track it to find out. All this to say these numbers were pulled from very successful dental practices, but this suggests that they could be even more successful if they had human beings answering the phone more regularly because 63% of calls that went to voicemail hung up without leaving a message. And that’s dangerous for you because you’ve invested all this money in generating these phone calls. You need to answer the phone. That will increase your new patient volume. That’s probably the biggest roadblock. I mean, without even changing a marketing provider, without increasing your investment in marketing and advertising, all you need to do is make sure that you always have someone covering the phones.
And I’m not even really talking about after hours, although that could be helpful. But during office hours on a Friday, make sure there’s always someone answering the phone. We had one practice increase their new patient volume just by staggering lunch breaks. So consider that because all of your marketing, even virtual consults, bottom line, you want to generate a phone call to schedule that appointment. So just get someone on the phone right away.
Remember this Sales & Marketing Loop, how it’s got all these stages? How are you going to identify where those roadblocks are so that you can fix them? Well, my suggestion would be that you implement a tracking system. Track all sorts of metrics. These are some that are very relevant to marketing, especially impressions because that’s the start of that visibility in that Sales & Marketing Loop. You should have some sort of a portal or a report at the very least from your marketing company. Be sure you’re digging into those numbers. But then also going outside of just what the marketing company provides you. Track leads, track appointments, track treatment and accepted treatment. Make sure you’re tracking production as well.
These are the next steps that I listed off. And so you can go to page speed.web.dev to test your website speed according to Google. If you don’t have green or at least orange scores and you’ve got a red score on those, especially on desktop, you should not have a red score on desktop. But if you’ve got a red score on mobile, that’s also concerning.
Review the Sales & Marketing Loop, that circle. Make sure you’ve got a process for tracking every single stage. Make sure you’re not missing a stage. And try to have a real honest heart to heart with yourself and your team and say, where are we weak on these? The way you can document whether or not weak is to actually figure out how are we going to track each and every one of those? Write it out. Write out the things you’re going to look for and how you’re going to find them, which applications you have to go to or people you have to reach out to for numbers and compile that data and schedule a recurring meeting to look at that data every month.
You don’t need to do it more frequently than that. Less frequently than that and you could see miss a downturn that you could address and get ahead of. Go to /report. We run these using a third party tool. And so we’re not able, we wouldn’t anyway, but we don’t tweak that data. You just get that report and we can follow up with you to help you understand what it says. But if you just want to kind of get a third party opinion of how things are going, that’s a tool to do that. Hopefully you stopped by our booth for a headshot. We’ll be sending those out soon and then you can follow us on social media.
But guys, remember the story I told about Dr. X, this doctor who ended up actually declaring bankruptcy because his marketing was so chaotic and his practice was chaotic too, but he wasn’t paying attention to all the moving parts. He got a second chance. He built that TMD and sleep practice and now he’s confident in his marketing and advertising because he’s eliminated all those roadblocks in the Sales & Marketing Loop. His patients love him. He’s getting plenty of new patients every month. He’s changing their lives, saving their lives in the case of sleep, and he’s confident about his office’s future now.
I want the same thing for you guys. And I hope you learned as much as I did in Louisville. I’ve got all my notes that I took here and I’m working through those. But this is huge, guys. When we come together and learn and then get back, we have to execute. So thanks for watching this recap video. In the description, I’ve got a link to the slides, all of the slides, not just the ones I recapped here. And so you can download those and then obviously reach out to us if you have any questions. Thanks so much. It was great to see all of you in Louisville.