Effectively Addressing Your Audience
Become a value to your clients rather than an item
The rapid growth of CAD/CAM dentistry, alongside new and improved materials and equipment, has driven an increased level of integration into both dental offices and laboratories. There is no doubt that digital technology is becoming essential for every dental practice and laboratory.
Now that you have made significant capital expenditures, you need to make sure you gain the most efficient return on your investment possible. In order to do so, you need to let your customers know what your laboratory is doing to stay relevant. Simply stated, you need to market. The main focus of your marketing strategies should not be about your fancy milling machine or scanner; it should be on the benefits to the doctor, not the features. Let them know exactly how you are able to deliver better overall products and services. Keep in mind that you are not selling the CAD/CAM systems. You are selling your laboratory’s capabilities.
Just telling your clients about the fancy bells and whistles really does not mean much to them. Detailing the minute and extremely technical components of your machines may actually overwhelm or repel some clients. Focus on how the systems will allow your laboratory to help improve the profitability of the doctors’ practices. Speak to what matters to your doctors—faster turn-around times, improved pricing, better fits and greater marginal integrity, etc. Promote a greater understanding of new systems using free group seminars or online courses or even one-on-one video conference calls. It is the value that your clients receive that they want to know about. The bottom line is: They want to know how your expenditures will affect their bottom line.
Getting the Word Out
There are many modalities to use to inform your doctors about the addition of your CAD/CAM systems. These can take the form of e-mails, postcards, web page updates, landing pages, and Facebook or Twitter announcements. Whichever course you decide to take, the most important aspect will be to cohesively convey the value proposition to your audience. First and foremost, you need to make sure there is a consistent message and not overcomplicate the communication. The message should be focused on the already established benefits to the doctors and their patients and should not have superfluous concepts or products added.
Some doctors might be skeptical of new technology and need a little education to increase their acceptance. Offer free seminars and classes to familiarize your clients with the new machines and systems, and promote these via e-mail and social media. If possible, offer CE credits, thus delivering even greater value to your doctors. This is a cost-effective way to position your laboratory as a resource, a partner, and someone they can turn to with any questions they may have.
It’s All About the Follow-Up
This is an area that can sometimes be overlooked but in reality is one of the most important aspects of marketing. Not only is this the best way to garner new customers, but it is also vital to evaluating the success of a campaign. When potential clients call your laboratory, asking how they heard about you should be a standard protocol. Make sure to use the software tools that are present in your computer systems to set reminder dates for follow-up meetings or phone calls.
You need to be seen as reliable, attentive, organized, and quick; timely follow-up demonstrates that. Having a professional salesperson complete the follow-up work is the optimal choice. However, many laboratories cannot afford this luxury. Provide your staff members with a simple checklist to make sure they capture the essential data necessary to keep moving the sales process forward, ultimately resulting in an increased revenue stream in the form of new customers, increased business from existing doctors, and/or greater appreciation and loyalty.
Terry Fine is the president of AMG Creative in Fort Collins, Colorado.