Marketing firm hired – check. Money spent on Google Ads – check. Facebook page created – check. Then when we finally get that customer on the phone and into the office our precious marketing work is done – right? … Not so fast. Congratulations, you’ve earned yourself a first date with that customer, but now you need to fill that experience with great conversation, good laughs, and even a trademark smile. Let’s face it, now that they’re in the door isn’t enough. An internal marketing strategy now becomes extremely vital.
At our office, we’ve tried over a dozen different ideas to maximize the value of our new and existing customers. Just getting them in the door isn’t good enough. Now that we’ve earned the opportunity to treat their needs, we need to make sure that we’re presenting these great and trusting customers with the best products and services at our disposal. And the great thing about our business (dentistry) is that just about every one of the items we pitch is actually good for our patients.
But if an electric toothbrush is hidden away and gathering dust in a distant closet, does it even exist? As far as your monthly revenue is concerned, not really. So the burden of letting customers know what goods and services you offer is all on you. Don’t worry, there are ways to let the customer know about your offerings without turning your office into a flea market on a busy Saturday afternoon. Let’s dive in.
Here are 5 great internal marketing tips to boost your revenue
1- Create a slide show for the TVs in your office
This is the one act that sells more whitening and electric toothbrushes for us than anything else. I love it. Sure we have TVs with Netflix and live television available for our patients, but many times they’d prefer to zone out and listen to music. In those cases, our team set’s the TV to our slideshow, turns down the volume, and cranks up the tunes. From there, our TV will cycle through the 12 slides we’ve created, each featuring one of the products or services we offer. There are no listed prices or pushy, “Buy now!!” pitches. Instead, we simply insert a slide every 4 or so that says, “If you’re interested – feel free to ask.”
2- Etsy-style artwork
Yes, it would be nice to have a sign in your lobby that features the benefits of your top product and the fact that you can sell them a custom version in your office. But printed paper signs can look a bit tacky, no matter what frame you land on that really makes it ‘Pop!’. As an alternative, you can have a custom piece made via a site like Etsy that will showcase your featured items in a ‘classy and decorative’ way.
Here’s an item taken from a quick Etsy search:
3- Present your retail items in a unique way
A sign is one thing, but actually putting a product in your patient’s hands is another. Once they’re holding it, purchasing that electric toothbrush (in our case) doesn’t seem like too far a jump. In our office, we have an open-door retail cabinet near the check-out area. We’ve had customers try on shirts, explore what’s actually in a whitening kit, and try out our electric brushes. This availability does two things:
- Lets the customer know these items are available in your office, and
- Gives them the ability to see if the product could work for them
4- Social media focused promotions
Eventually, the customer will leave your office. When that happens, we want to make sure we’ve facilitated ways for them to stay current with your office promotions. And, let’s be honest, we just really want to make sure they don’t forget about you when the next visit comes due. Anything from sending them regular blog articles, a weekly or monthly newsletter, or, in this case, getting them to follow your social media channels will make sure you’re top of mind.
In our office, we’ve run promotions where any follow of one of our accounts (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, blog subscription, etc.) gets the individual 1 entry into a monthly drawing. And at the end of the month, we use a randomizer to pull 1-5 entries who would then win a gift card, electric toothbrush, or swag from the office (see #5 below!). The more connections into your office ecosystem, the better. Now, it’s just a matter of making sure you’re publishing great content.
5- Give away your swag
Whether they’re shirts, mugs, brushes, notepads, toothbrush holders, … get some great quality swag out into the world. The more prevalent your brand, the more likely you’ll be to catch a prospective new patient’s eye. And on top of that, who doesn’t love a great free shirt?
If you’re bristling at the idea of paying for quality t-shirts and giving them away, you can start with a different approach. For example, if you have an in-office membership plan, you can include a shirt for every patient who joins your plan. Or you can give swag away to patients who complete large cases. Whatever criteria you decide, they won’t be wasted marketing dollars.