How to Avoid Offering Discounts, Coupons or Financial Incentives

I have a feeling this is going to be a popular post.

Realistically, I can’t cover all I want to in this one post on this particular subject. Lest you believe I am advocating you go couponless or discount free to get a new patient in the door, I am not. One of the best things about dentistry is you can still be profitably with bad numbers, a concept I was taught years ago by the chief contributor to my new newsletter, the Dental Practice Marketing Advisory‘s, Dan Kennedy.

What I mean by that is, ONE patient responding to an ad can create profit. Not many businesses operate on that level. Mine does. Yours does (if you’re a dentist).

Breaking that down a little more: If you spend $2500 on a postcard mailing and for some reason, the response is cruddy (say you get 1 or maybe 2 pts in the door), you can still end up doing 2 or 3 crowns ($1000 each), an Invisalign case ($5000), or, maybe you just get a patient for life: $500 per year for 10 years = $5000. Sure, the ROI might take a few years, but compare that to any outside investment you might make.

Again, I’m not advocating that this is an OK approach, because, it’s not. It’s one that will eventually break the house.

But the point is, if just one patient responded, needed two crowns, 4 quads of SRPs, you’re easily in the black. Right? Right.

Now, back to the post’s intended subject.

And, please, feel free to comment on this post, argue with me, etc. I ENCOURAGE the interaction vs. a one-way conversation.

If you desire, deep down in your soul, so much so that when you wake in the morning, it’s all you can think about, to be the top-dog dentist in your area, or at least 1 of 2 or 3 top dogs in your area (why not have the goal to be the most talked-about dentist – positive of course – in your area?), then here’s a brief overview of the plan you must execute… Are you ready?

It’s all about positioning and creating demand.

Example: Instead of running an ad in the local newspaper, you write an informative, educational article (which you may even PAY to publish) meant to entice the reader into learning more about the solution to their problem. At the end of the article, you tell the reader, “To learn more about _______, contact my office to schedule a consultation.” Now, you’re a published author, and can use that article in other promotions, too. (Always think about how to re-purpose what you’ve already done.)

Advanced strategy: Write a book. Then, write multiple articles, have them published everywhere you can think of, offering the book as a free gift with appointment. (Think Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, and Estee’ Lauder.)

In the latest issue of my Practice Profit Insider newsletter, I discussed an ad for an audiologist which offered a book. Problem was, the goofball wanted you to buy the book in order to get a $25 gift certificate for an appointment. That’s too complicated. And, confusing, to boot. I solved the problem with using the book for what’s commonly referred to as a “freemium.” A “premium” gift you are giving away free in response for a person taking a specific action.

In my last post, I mentioned that fewer than 1% would actually embrace this strategy. Why?

It’s a lot of work. However, if you want to be positioned at the top of the heap, this is the kind of work it takes, and don’t worry, no one else will try to do it. You’ll be the lone wolf in your area!

Until next time…

Jerry Jones Direct Newsletter

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