Most of us live the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple and Straightforward). We don’t have time to overthink things or take on another task. Even those of us who might admit to being occasional micromanagers eventually get to the point with any project that we just need a simple, easy, or fast solution so that we can move on to the next item on our to-do list. The problem is that this approach can cost dentists a TON of money when it comes to how new patient leads are generated and handled in the practice. It’s not right that the drive to get things done can rob us of the very success that we’re striving for! Fortunately, some self-awareness and business hacks can help.

Stay Engaged in the Process

You don’t have to plan your dental marketing campaign. You shouldn’t. When I wrote our blog series about how to create a dental digital marketing campaign for your practice, even I was blown away, when you put it all on paper, how much complexity and skill is involved in doing it the right way. You don’t have the time and expertise to do it. The problem is that we tend to oversimplify complex ideas so that we can quickly deal with them. That’s just one of many cognitive biases that we bring into our decision-making.

Cognitive Bias Codex
Shout-out to for sharing the Cognitive Bias graphic on the Dental Nexus Google Group.

Just take a spin through the Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet by Buster Benson, and I’m sure that you’ll find some of the many flaws that make you human. If you let these biases impact your decision making in your dental office’s marketing, you’re in danger of:

  • Changing marketing companies because of the new pitch makes it sound innovative even though your current marketing is working well.
  • Avoiding the chore of analyzing your current marketing results because there’s too much data, and instead, assuming that all is well.
  • Assuming that the way one patient (spouse, employee, friend) interacts with a particular facet of your marketing is representative of how all people interact with your marketing.
  • Believing that the dental marketing strategy that works best for one office will work well for your office, thereby avoiding the responsibility of analyzing your marketing results.

So, if your mind is telling you to oversimplify and make snap decisions because you don’t have time or expertise to run your dental practice’s marketing campaigns, what do you do?

Stay involved and ask questions!

Know the people who are responsible for your marketing. Hold them accountable to know what’s going on and to be able to explain their plans to you.

Regular communication with your marketing team will help you better understand whether your digital dental marketing is in good hands. Cognitive biases can still impact your marketing, but by being more involved, you will avoid those biases that would otherwise stop you from keeping it simple.

Don’t Run From Conflict

These cognitive biases can also impact the way your team handles new patient leads when they come in the door. Your biases can affect how you interact with patients during their first visit. If your team is struggling to schedule patients, but you and your treatment coordinator don’t present the best treatment due to being afraid they’ll say no, then you’re probably struggling with a low confrontational tolerance.

This is a concept that Greg Stanley of Whitehall Management has taught about, and something that I learned from Dr. Brad Durham of Niche Practice Seminars.

Confrontational tolerance is your capacity for enduring discomfort that comes from confrontation. If you can endure more uncomfortable, direct conversations and be assertive about the outcomes that you want, in general, you’ll be more successful.

Rather than lean into confrontation, it’s much easier to rest back on our biases and assume:

  • This patient probably doesn’t have the money to spend on doing all the dentistry they need, so I’ll just present them this single tooth dentistry.
  • This patient has insurance, so there’s no way they’ll be willing to pay out of pocket. We might as well kiss them good-bye right now.
  • This patient is sending signals that they’re concerned about cost so I better present a discounted treatment plan.

Or where the team is concerned, rather than confront them about their role in the success of the dental practice’s marketing, it’s easier to assume:

  • If I assert myself about answering the phone a certain way, they’ll get upset or ask for more money.
  • If I ask them to cover the phones over lunch, they’ll quit.
  • If I try to fire them, they’ll cry and be sad or angry.
  • If I fire them, I’ll never be able to find a replacement.
  • If I’m having these problems, so is everyone else.

In some cases, you might be right about those assumptions. So what? 

  • Why should that dictate what you do and hold you back from having a better dental practice?
  • Why should money or being told ‘no’ on a treatment hold you back from presenting the best option for the patient?
  • Who put you in charge of the patient or staff member’s decision making?

You are in charge of your dental practice and its success. However, that doesn’t mean you need to waste your time wondering how to get the most out of your dental marketing. Pro Impressions Marketing can help you build effective digital marketing campaigns while keeping you informed on where your money is going. We pride ourselves on being a reliable source for new patient generation for our clients. We also believe that patients deserve the best in dentistry, and we love working with dentists who provide just that. Take back control of your digital dental marketing and stop worrying about how to bring in more dental patients. Explore our digital marketing packages and social media management packages to find which is best for your dental practice or schedule a consultation to learn more today.