As you guys know, or maybe you don’t, I have a new web series called: Ground Marketing: Web Series. They are more of a tutorial or a ride-a-long on how I do some of the tactics I talk about on the podcast. Well, I want to talk about one tactic.
This tactic is a wonderful tactic but the results I received from it were quite different than I and a couple practice owners expected! So I want to share my results and what exactly happened.
First off, if you are NOT watching the Ground Marketing Web Series….. I highly recommend you do so… I mean, it is only more training on how to attract new patients through Ground Marketing! Anyways, on episode two I show you exactly what I do and what happens when I did a tactic.
Let’s call this tactic: The Senior Citizen Strategy. Now this strategy consist of me going to a retirement home/ a senior citizen living facility and marketing to all the residents who live there. The end result is for me to try and get these seniors interested in the dental practice I am marketing and ready to sign-up which means they will provide me there name, phone number, and best time to reach them at.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Typically the way I market to these residents is I go in with the intention to give free stuff, listen to their concerns, answer any questions, possibly teach a little about dentistry, and finally offer them an incentive. The incentive has to be juicy enough that the resident is willing to exchange with me their contact information for the incentive. In this occasion I was doing “Free Exams & Free Consultations”.
So I get to the Senior Citizen Living Facility and meet with the director, I don’t carry anything with me yet and leave my whole set-up in the car because I don’t know where I am setting up yet and I don’t want to be carrying around my freebies everywhere. So first, I just get out of the car with my coffee in my hand and go into the Senior Citizen Home and ask for the director. I see the director and she sees me and recognizes me, we meet and talk for a little and then I ask her “where should I set-up my booth”? I noticed one thing after I asked this….. originally the director was ready to put me into a corner spot, a location that not many residents pass by or approach at all, then she said “I think you should be here instead because it is right in the hall, next to the elevator and bathroom, and everyone has to pass you to get to the lunch area and common area”…. The director even had to kick out someone else who always sets-up there so I can set-up my booth in this prime location instead! I thought to myself “this is perfect” but I wonder why she changed her mind and decided to put me here…. Then it hit me…. Building rapport. I walked in there and talked to the director for a bit, I asked the director about her job, her family, how she is feeling today, then I started talking about dentistry with her and asking her if she would like a “Free Whitening” (I made it seem exclusive and how it was NOT for the residents). So then that is when she saw the location she originally had me set-up at and decided she could do better and will put me in a better spot!
Once I knew where I was going to place my booth I went back to the car and grabbed all the free goodies I was going to give to the residents. I went inside and started setting up the booth. Once I was done setting up the booth I was starting to take my camera out to record the vlog and show you how I am speaking to people who approach the booth… but in the middle of setting up the camera the director came over and she immediately wanted to sign-up for the “Free Whitening”. Now remember, I was only giving “Free Whitening” to her and I was giving “Free Exams & Consultations” to the residents. So she wrote her contact information down and grabbed some free goodies (goodies are toothpaste, toothbrushes, pamphlets, floss, etc.). Once the director was leaving I continued to set up my camera.
As you can see in video number 2 in the Ground Marketing: Web Series titled UNEXPECTED SURPRISE-VLOG 2 people were walking by and I would greet them and create small talk, and some more residents would walk by and I would do the same… greet them and create small talk. This was going on for some time, it wasn’t until an employee came and said “what is this?” then I explained how I am with a dental practice and we are offering the residents there some goodies and “Free Exams”, then the employee said “oh that’s great! So this stuff is only for the residents then, huh”?….. Then it hit me… why should it only be for the residents!? It should be for anyone here interested in a dentist! So I told the employee “No it’s for you too! Actually… we are doing Free Whitening just for the employees here”! This created a sense of urgency and you can tell the serotonin levels in the employee boosted up! She was happy and grabbed some free goodies and signed up. But here is the interesting part…. After she signed up she decided to ask me about Invisalign. She was talking about how she has always been interested in fixing her bite but has never looked into it, her previous dentist only mentioned to it once and then when her previous dentist found out her insurance didn’t cover much of anything… he never mentioned it again. Well guess what, this employee just became a full-time employee and now she has a different insurance plan, a MUCH better plan. She even told me “can we do a Invisalign consultation instead of the free whitening”? I, of course, said YES!
Now, while this employee was grabbing the last bit of her goodies, more employees saw what she was doing and decided to participate and approach the booth as well. These employees (about 2 more) came and asked what I was doing, so I explained and I also offered them the “Free Whitening”. They were very intrigued and decided to sign-up then one of the two employees asked me if they could bring their children because they have not gone to the dentist in a while. I, of course, said YES.
As these 2 employees were grabbing goodies and talking more employees passed by and started asking what I was doing there. I explained and also offered them “Free Whitening”. They signed up for the “Free Whitening”, however, some had extra questions. One employee asked me about the type of insurance we accept, this let me know that they were looking for a dentist. Another employee asked me if we work on children’s tooth, this let me know that they are looking for a family dentist (they don’t want to have to drive to separate dentists, on for their kids, and one for the parents). Another employee asked and showed me their missing teeth and how they can only chew on one side, this let me know this employee has been neglecting a dentist and I needed to know the “why” behind the neglection. Another employee approached me and asked me about Invisalign too, he stated how he has always wanted straighter teeth since he was in grade school but his parent’s couldn’t afford it. Now that he is working the desire to have straighter teeth is still in him…. In fact, the night before I was at the Senior Homes he told me that he was talking to his wife about getting Invisalign or braces! I thought to myself “that’s crazy how you had that discussion just last night and here I am this morning”!
All these people and many more (if you look at the video) signed up! Some signed up for the free whitening but most of the employees who signed up for the free whitening were looking for something more! We barely even talked about the “Free Whitening”!
There is a reason why I am writing about this! This event taught me a couple of things:
- When marketing to the residents in the Senior Homes… market to the employees as well, they may just be your target customer. I see it like this, the seniors take time to build rapport and most of them may be interested or most seniors just really don’t care anymore about their teeth. If that is the case, then don’t forget to market to the employees! So many times people go to these Senior Homes ready to give the seniors free stuff, but who is giving the employees free stuff?
- Just because your incentive is “Free Whitening” doesn’t mean you are just giving out free services to everyone and that’s it. If they sign-up this means they care about their appearance A LOT. This may also mean they signed up not just for the free whitening, but also because they have a deeper dental issue they want to take care of, or they may be looking for a new dentist, or something dental related has pooped up into their life and you are the first REAL person who has approached them with answers to their concerns.
- This day I did not sign-up one Senior Citizen resident. I signed up nothing but employees. This tells me that “Free Exams & Consultations” don’t work so well as an incentive for seniors. What I should’ve done is listen better, most of the residents kept saying how “the dentist is too expensive” or “I know what I need and I just can’t afford it” or “I don’t have anymore teeth, so I don’t need a dentist”. I should’ve probed more and asked if they are using denture since they have no more teeth and are the denture comfortable? Have they ever thought about implants? Do you know we offer financing to make anything affordable? Since you know what you need, what is it that you need and how can we make it happen for you?
If you haven’t viewed the video UNEXPECTED SURPRISE-VLOG 2 go do it and you can see my experience. I think I still came out winning because I am able to go back and re-visit the residents whenever I can and at the same time I was able to leave with interested sign-ups (the employees). Next time you are going to market to senior citizens, I recommend you take these pointers in mind.
THE DENTAL MARKETER LINKS:
I offer coaching to dentists struggling to increase their new patient numbers by getting out into the community and bringing traffic through the front door. If you want more helpful tips like these, or you want me to work one-on-one with you or a member of your staff, click here to learn more, or contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org