The Jameson Files 117 – Marketing: Are You Putting in the Work to Build the Value?

Carrie Webber, Owner, The Jameson Group

Carrie Webber (00:23):

Hi everyone. Welcome back to The Jameson Files. I’m Carrie Weber and I’m your host. And I am here with two of my teammates. Nate Porter is back with me this time around our chief marketing officer here at Jameson and our teammate all the way from Vermont is Dan Cristelli our chief of client success for our marketing services. So Dan Nate, thanks for joining me in our last session, we talked about marketing and I want to carry that conversation forward in today’s session. So we’re going to be talking about from a marketing and a practice perspective. Are you putting the work in to build the value? So as we allow people on our live stream, we are live streaming on the Jameson Facebook page. That’s our intention, every other Wednesday at 1130 central. we’re going to be doing that through the end of the year and then perhaps indefinitely.

Carrie Webber (01:28):

We’ll see how it goes. but we also are available. This podcast is available wherever you’re listening to podcasts. So I encourage you to go find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google play, and subscribe to follow this podcast. So you can stay tuned in not only to our interviews and podcasts that we have already. but the ones that are, that are to come, we want to keep you, as a part of our Jameson podcast community. So I invite you to go find us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you love to watch us live, you can watch us in the live stream. And if you have questions or comments, you’re welcome to share those. We’ve got our teammate Ashlyn tracking all of our, all of our social media right now. So we will be able to take questions if you have any live, but you can also view the recording of this video live stream later on, on Facebook, whenever it’s convenient to you.

Carrie Webber (02:31):

So marketing and management, are you putting the work in to build the value? Now in the last session we talked about, ways that you can incorporate some short term marketing solutions to get a, a quick result, and also some things to start planning for. And considering in terms of your long term marketing efforts, Nate and Dan both do a lot of work day in and day out with our Jameson marketing clients to help them with that one run plan. helping them to not only implement substantial marketing efforts for their practices, but to help these practices see ways that they can get the best result from their efforts. So that’s what we want to speak about today, but something that we see frequently and Nate and Dan, I’m sure you agree in the work that you do with your clients is a lot of times we see practices put the cart before the horse, when it comes to their marketing efforts.

Carrie Webber (03:38):

What I mean by that is many, many practices. I would almost venture to say most practices. If you ask, what are some top goals that they’re looking to achieve in the months or the years to come, increasing their new patient flow is frequently on the top of the list. The problem is some of those practices are ready to successfully invite and bring new patients into having a tremendous experience in their practices. Some are not. So they start investing in external marketing before their practice is truly ready, prime systems and skillsets to successfully receive those new patients. So when you start thinking about your patient experience, I want you to start understanding how integral that patient experience is to your marketing. It really is a marriage for you to get the best success, overall, for your practice growth to not only attract your ideal patients, but to keep them, I want to just get the phone ringing off the hook.

Carrie Webber (04:49):

We want those patients to be scheduling appointments, keeping those appointments, accepting treatment and staying active in your practice, and ultimately having such an experience that they want to refer their friends and family to you. So questions that I’d love for you to start asking yourself if you’re listening to this, and this is starting to resonate a bit for you in terms of the disconnect, when you start getting new patient phone calls in and you can’t seem to transfer them over into successful new patient experiences or loyal long-term patients, is what does your patients see when they visit your practice? What do they experience everything from the initial phone call to the moment they walk in the door? What does the welcome area look like? What does, what they see, what they hear, what they feel resonate with, the message that you’re sending out in your marketing efforts, do they connect because what you’re doing every step of the way from your marketing efforts to that patient experience is building or breaking trust and value.

Carrie Webber (05:59):

Their perception is very powerful in third determination of whether they’re going to move forward with treatment, stay active in your practice and so on. So the building of that value, the building of the trust starts with your messaging and marketing. And we’re going to get to that in a little bit. but it continues on in their experience once they connect with your practice. So Dan, Nate, I’d love to hear from the two of you in terms of when you’re working with practices, that perhaps when they start working with us, that connection isn’t quite as strong as it could be. what does that look like in terms of the results for their marketing or, or what could the pain points be that practices are experiencing an external marketing that the problem isn’t necessarily with the marketing, the glitch may be within the systems that the practice, could you share a little bit on that?

Nate Porter (06:51):

Yeah. So the three things that I always think about with regard to this is, the strongest new patient is a referral. So, if those are so easy to convert when they already have a recommendation for someone where they trust, right? So if your existing patients are having a good experience, your chance of attracting new patients is much better. The second is that, when people have a consistent experience, maybe they found you online, but they drove by and they drove by, or they drove by your practice. What does that look like? Does it match, is it a consistent feel to them or is there friction in that experience? And then the third is obviously, it’s one thing to get new patients in the door, are you retaining them? So all of those are affected by their experience, by their impression of your practice, the physical building, when they call you what that experience feels like. Right.

Carrie Webber (07:51):

Great. Dan, what about you when it comes to the conversations you find yourself having, or the results or lack thereof that practices may be getting because of those glitches, are there some specific areas that maybe you’re you see happening that you think that could be, there could be an opportunity here for this practice to improve so that the results they’re getting, we’re getting the phone to ring and then what, so anything that you see in particular?

Dan Cristelli (08:19):

Yeah, absolutely. The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about that for me, our phone calls, when we implement call tracking, we’re able to see the phone calls that come into the practice, and we’re also able to see which ones of those are answered and which ones aren’t. And sometimes it is eyeopening. When we take a look at a practice and maybe 70% of the calls are being answered and that’s it. And that can be a very coachable moment where we’re able to say, look, you’re, you’re getting a lot of phone calls, but these aren’t being answered. If these are new patients or potential new patients, they’re calling up, what’s that saying to them, if you’re unable to answer the phone and how can we help you get to the point where you can strengthen that system and be able to answer the phone more consistently and get that up above, say 90% so that you’re answering that phone more, more regularly.

Carrie Webber (09:11):

I couldn’t agree more because we, I think we talked about this in the last session, because boy, what a tremendous investment you’re putting into attracting new patients to ultimately motivate them, to make a phone call. That means that your marketing’s working. If a person has chosen to call your dental practice, that’s not like they’re just calling to see what’s up. This is like, this is an opportunity for, to connect. And, we’re spending all of this money and energy into getting that step accomplished and to miss upwards of 30% of incoming calls, what a painful realization to have. So it’s important that practices stay aware, whether it’s through call tracking, as Dan had shared, or just really having an awareness, whatever you need to do. There’s a lot of call tracking services out there. There are some of the patient communication softwares that provide that service to have a greater awareness of when are the calls coming into the practice?

Carrie Webber (10:19):

Are we making ourselves available to answer those calls? And if the answer is no, what are the reasons for that? And how can we adapt and adjust what we do so that someone on that telephone can make that very valuable first connection. I couldn’t agree more, Dan. And I also think not just answering the telephone, but how you answer the telephone is crucial in building that value to the point that they do indeed make the choice to schedule an appointment. So if we aren’t putting the effort and energy in bringing the best version of ourselves to our telephone technique, as a practice, we are losing so much opportunity. 

Carrie Webber (11:35):

What Horst Schulze (who’s the former COO and president of the Ritz Carlton and now runs a hotel group called Capella hotel group) will tell you, based upon studies at the Ritz Carlton, is that a person is going to determine and set their expectations on how their experience is going to be with you and whether they’re going to continue to be loyal to you based upon the first five to eight seconds of their first interaction with the first member of your team. So it may be that the doctor is the third or fourth person on your team that a patient interacts with, which shows the power, the team in terms of building trust, relationship and value long before that patient’s ever in your chair. So Dan, I am completely on board. Make sure you’re ready to take those new patient calls, that you are taking the calls. And that you’re ready to do those calls as best as you possibly can. Anything else from the two of you that you see that always seems to be a bit of a concern when it comes to the effectiveness of the marketing efforts you put forth with practices?

Nate Porter (12:27):

We absolutely love it when we get a client where the experience is great, the practice looks great, but they just haven’t quite paid enough attention to their online presence. Cause that’s an easy thing to kind of overcome and sell. So, it’s very rare for us to kind of have that experience where it’s completely sort of optimized as seamless. And that can be really hard because one thing can throw it off or even just one experience. Having consistency across the team as far as experience can be difficult. And having consistent training is really important.

Carrie Webber (13:08):

Right? I agree. Dan, anything that you’d like to add to that?

Dan Cristelli (13:13):

Yeah. I think Nate hit the nail on the head there. In a perfect world. It’s just the practice that needs a little bit more help with their marketing. But in reality, there tend to be a few things that fall through the cracks. I mean, one of the things that I’ll talk to our clients about frequently are, answering your reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, make sure that you go online and respond to those reviews because it shows a level of engagement. And that it’s not just a one-way street with the communication from your patient family.

Carrie Webber (13:44):

Mm. I completely agree. Something that when I’m lecturing on marketing and social media, especially that question comes up a lot, Dan, in terms of “can we or can we not because of HIPAA?” My response always is that you can respond to any communication that happens to you or with you on social media or in reviews or whatever without ever claiming that that person is a patient of record or not, simply by thanking them for their response or asking them to call the practice that they have concerns, whatever the case may be. It does exactly, as you say, Dan, it. It notes that you, that you hear them, that you recognize them. And for any neutral observer that may be flipping through your reviews, to kind of get an idea about your practice and to determine whether they want to come to you or not.

Carrie Webber (14:38):

Sometimes it matters more that you’re responsive and connecting, from a customer service standpoint. Then if you have a couple of bad reviews mixed in with a whole lot of good ones. so I appreciate that, that you mentioned that as well, that it’s, it’s important that people cause, social media is such a way in online reviews and other forms of communication have become such a prominent way that people communicate. it’s just as much of a communication tool for them as texting as a phone call. And so we have to be readily engaged in that. So, excellent, excellent point. My takeaway for this, for all of you out there is if you are already investing in external marketing or you’re considering it, something at Jameson, we have always believed in and, and they, and Dan pointed directly to it is you need to ask yourself the question and be very real about, is our practice ready for external marketing, because we don’t want to throw all this money away into marketing efforts only to have them fall flat because of the disconnect in the experience versus what we were communicating, that experience was going to be a expectation being met or exceeded preferably is the goal.

Carrie Webber (16:00):

So do your systems run smoothly? Do you feel like you and your team had the skills and the systems ready to fully and successfully receive those new patients in the way that your marketing is building an expectation? So that is the key question to ask yourself. And a lot of our clients start marketing sometime down the road after having some coaching and working on those systems. And then when they’re ready, marketing steps in, and it’s just as Nate and Dan referenced, that’s a beautiful thing because it all works so well together. So ask yourself that question. I’m really excited. This is a perfect time to do a little plug for opening in October. First is our online platform Grow. Tomorrow! Tomorrow, October 1st. And so this is an online learning platform by Jameson that is available to anyone and everyone that is looking to build your skills in the foundations of Jameson teaching from the patient experience to telephone technique, to case presentation, customer service, all of those are going to be touched on in the platform. And so I invite you to stay tuned and visit us at website and join us for online learning and the resources that we’re going to continue to build into that platform. And that’s a perfect place for you as a team to refine these skills and get ready for marketing.

Nate Porter (17:31):

Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been very involved in kind of going through and capturing a lot of this content and things like that. And I have to say, it’s exactly what we’re talking about here in terms of your team, getting a solid foundation with regard to customer and the patient experience and telephone skills. And, you probably, you, you may not have time in your practice to spend five hours with each team member and kind of, get them all on the same page with regard to this level of service. but they can go on their own through this platform and take the videos and the questions and read the content that’s there. And you can get a lot closer to having a consistent experience across your whole team.

Carrie Webber (18:21):

Yeah. I like that—consistency—having everyone on the same page and having those expectations across the board aligned in terms of what is right. Looks like it’s going to make all the difference in your marketing efforts. So with that, I’d like to shift gears with the two of you and let you take the reins a little bit here, because let’s say a practice is ready, right? Let’s say that the systems are there, the skills are there, or regardless of whether they’re ready, ready, or not, they’re going to do some external marketing. So let’s talk about what you are doing in terms of your efforts to communicate, to non-patients, to, to build that awareness and build a sense of urgency or interest to become a patient in your practice. So can you guys speak to that a little bit. Nate, I’ll let you take the lead here?

Nate Porter (19:13):

Yeah, absolutely. So a lot of people think about how people perceive their practice from their perspective, or sometimes from the perspective of an existing patient. and so, one of the key things that w that is missed there is, well, we can give them this information at some point along the process, or we can educate them on this. Some point along the process, once they reach out to us, we can do X, Y, and Z. We need, for a new patient, who’s, who’s doing a search for a dental practice. They are, they’re, they’re making that judgment based on a very short interaction with your brand. If they’re looking for, maybe they’re looking for “same day crown near me,” let’s say, and they do that search and a few results come up. They’re going to click through those results and make a judgment based on three to five seconds of an interaction with that. And then they’re going to go back and look at the next result if they’re not happy with what they see. So it’s really key to kind of think about it from, okay, someone who knows nothing about who you are, what you do, what are they perceiving? What’s their mindset, what’s their perception. And, we can’t make them do anything. We have that three to five seconds to capture their attention and, hopefully be an answer to what they’re looking for. So, when you, when you look at your marketing, you have to look at it from that perspective. Yes. It also kind of simplifies things a little bit to think about, I’m not trying to reach my existing patients. I’m not trying to reach my team. I’m trying to reach new patients. And that’s my audience. 80% of visitors to your website have never visited before. So that is who you’re targeting.

Carrie Webber (21:14):

And I think that speaks to a good statement that I’d like to ask Dan a little bit about in terms of it that just emphasizes how important it is for you to know who that right audience is for you. And if you truly only have five seconds to make that impact to the right audience, the right potential new patients for you, how do you get to that clarity and messaging, an image and look or whatever it is for all of our external efforts to do so? So Dan, you take a lot of people through kind of clarifying their vision for their marketing, for their marketing message for that ideal patient. What does that look like? If you were to tell the listeners of this podcast, some questions that they need to ask themselves to be a little more successful in that. So they can separate themselves a little bit other than just sounding like everybody else, right. What are some questions that, that you might recommend, they ask themselves, to get that kind of clarity and get a more impactful message to the right people?

Dan Cristelli (22:27):

Well, that’s a great question. And it starts out with one, what type of dentistry are you looking to practice? What are you most interested in and what patient are you most looking to draw into your practice? not everyone is going to want the same focus. We’ve worked with clients that are more on the general side of things and all the way to specialists that are dealing just specifically with cosmetics and everything in between. so it’s important to ask yourself that first, what are you looking to do for dentistry? And then moving past that, what’s your ideal patient look like? Nate and I will spend a lot of time helping our practices develop a patient profile of who are you looking to draw in for an ideal patient. And then from that, how can we take the marketing and work towards speaking to that person? When you talk to us enough, you’re going to hear us use the word authentic a lot when it comes to our content marketing. And that’s what we’re looking to do. We’re looking to generate as much authentic content as we can. That’s going to speak to that ideal patient. So I think it starts out by realizing what type of dentistry you want to do, and then what your ideal patient looks like. And then from there, we’re able to sort of balloon that out and develop a strategy to help get that person in the door.

Carrie Webber (23:55):

That’s right. And, and, that also supports what we teach a lot in management is sometimes practices get so obsessed with a number of new patients, and they’re more obsessed with quantity than they are with quality. And when you marry those really excellent systems and communication skills and a process that is intentional in the patient experience with very intentional, authentic marketing efforts to the right audience, you may not be getting a hundred new patients a month, but you’re getting high, highly qualified patients for the kind of dentistry you ultimately want to do, but it takes a little bit of work on, on that front end to have that clarity and realize you’re not the fit for everyone. We need to find the people you are the fit for and speak directly to them. Just like you said, Dan, I love that. What else, in terms of questions that people could be asking themselves, perhaps in their messaging or in the performance of the tools out there that they’re using that could be helpful for people in their, in their external efforts?

Nate Porter (25:07):

Yeah, well, so, obviously there’s a lot of things that are commonly, ignored and for whatever reason, one of those things is, people assume that if they’ve worked with a marketing company or they’ve worked with, a website company or whatever that they maybe know best, and they may allow that company to put something out there that really doesn’t match their brand, may just look, stock, or it may or may not be uniquely what they do. If you look at their services section, it might just sound like a, a dictionary definition of a service or something like that. and that, that doesn’t create that connection. Does it create authenticity? So definitely trust yourself to some extent, to know, if someone walked into our practice, is this what we’d want them to learn, perceive about us, right. Does our online presence really match what we would want? so trust yourself in that don’t, don’t trust a marketing company don’t trust us or someone else too, to know that, question, question things. and also the other thing which commonly happens, and I kind of referred to it is, we see the same content on a hundred different websites, whether that’s an image or that’s a description of a service or things like, and that really hurts you in terms of your visibility in Google search, because it’s not helpful to the user. It’s just duplicate or plagiarized content as far as the bots view it.

Carrie Webber (26:56):

Well, yes. And it not only hurts you in terms of your search, but it hurts you in terms of perception. I feel like we don’t give human beings enough credit to be able to smell authenticity and smell just generic content. Nobody’s gonna want to read. I mean, do you, when you, anybody out there, when you’re online looking for something, can’t you tell can’t you tell if that is coming from that particular business, or it’s just somebody putting it on autopilot from something else. And I feel like that is something that we have to embrace as a profession that marketing’s not just a check the box. Okay. I have, I have a website. Okay. I have a Facebook page. I’m done. Right. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to do anything with it. I don’t want to have to put any effort into it.

Carrie Webber (27:47):

I appreciate that. And, we do a lot of work trying to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible, but, but success comes when there’s a real partnership with whomever you’re working with to help you partnering with them and, and participating in that, because just, as you said, Nate, only, what makes you special and unique and what connects your patients to you? And you have to use that if you want more of your ideal patients, you have to use what makes you unique to the patients that you already have and love. Dan, any thoughts on that from you? My friend?

Dan Cristelli (28:21):

Well, I, I think that you’ve talked about what is in my mind, one of the most important parts when we start working with a client, I’ve taken to referring to it as the finding the voice, segment where over the, especially in the first say six months, we worked very closely with each client to make sure that the content that we’re generating is exactly the content that they want to put out because not everyone has the same take on every, every possible thing. It, you find variances from, from one practice to another, to another, on the importance of various procedures. And, we want to make sure that we’re capturing that perfectly for each practice. So I think that’s in my mind, the most important part is when we get into that first six months and we really work together to find that voice,

Carrie Webber (29:16):

Yes, I love that. And, finding the voice. So that really kind of wraps up a lot of what we’re talking about right here, in terms of, do you have a voice? Does it, when you, and it’s something that I like to have people do is just to, to go through everything from your website to your online presence overall to your facility, like you said, Nate, to the patient and do the best you can to do a little emotional intelligence, put yourself in the shoes of your patients. Ask yourself the question: If I were a patient of this practice, or if I were someone looking to become a patient of my practice, is this what I would be looking for? Would this be acceptable to me? Would this be an exceptional experience to me? And if you can’t honestly answer yes to any of those areas, you have just pinpointed for yourself.

Carrie Webber (30:17):

The one of the places of highest need of attention in your practice. Because if we can’t even say yes of ourselves, that this is what I would want, if I, if it were myself or a member of my family coming to this practice, this is what I’d be looking for. This is what I would want. I mean, we can’t even answer that simplistic question since there’s probably work to be done. And then to really start thinking about that voice and, and the, the mindset of the patients that really love you and your team and your practice and what you do. And as Dan had referenced, really thinking about that persona, that may be some of those shared mindsets among the, those beloved patients, because asking for referrals is going to be the best way, because you can say, we want more patients like you, if you have any friends or family looking for some, for a dental home, we’d appreciate, that you would refer them to us. But if we’re doing external marketing, you have to take that ideal patient persona and go find them. That’s the challenge.

Nate Porter (31:26):

Yeah. Well, another challenge I would give, and I think it helps kind of think in the right direction is, it’s, it’s about your brand, the personality of your brand and the story that you have to tell. So the challenge I would give is remove services, remove price, remove insurance. What do you have that, that people would be, engaged with attracted to think about that minus those factors or, or maybe another way to think of it is, assuming that you and your competitors all had the same price services and insurances, what else do you have that people are going to connect with and engage with? Because that’s really what people connect with, the experience, the story, the personality,

Carrie Webber (32:19):

We’re, we’re all as human beings, a combination of emotion and logic. So, all logic things aside, how are you tapping into the emotional portion of, of the relationship of the experience? And I love that. That’s another great question. So, as we wrap up final thoughts or recommendations for anyone listening that is thinking, okay, I think my marketing needs some work or, I’m ready, but I want to do this right. What would be some of the things you would encourage them to consider?

Nate Porter (32:52):

Well, I would definitely say, you need to be connected with your marketing, whether you work with an outside company or you’re doing it yourself. and one way to sort of start small with that is to start whether you use it or not start thinking about it from a new patient’s perspective, start doing things like taking pictures of your practice of your team, with your patients, with their permission, of course. and just start getting used to being in that flow of incorporating marketing into your day to day practice.

Carrie Webber (33:28):

Yeah. I love that. Dan, how about you?

Dan Cristelli (33:31):

Yeah. I think being engaged is the first starting point, just really get yourself involved with how your practice is perceived and start thinking about that and in a different mindset than you normally do. And I think that’s really the, the first key step, start asking yourself some of those questions and they may be tough questions at first. and we’ve had people that realized that they want to do some different dentistry than they had been doing, and that’s okay. We’re all here to help for that, but, I think just really getting yourself involved and engaged is the first step.

Carrie Webber (34:11):

Yeah. I love that. It really kind of turns everything on its head in terms of, if the first thing you come out of the shoot thinking about is the results you want to get. Maybe the first thing you need to start thinking about is what does the best version of this look like to get the best results? And, I love that. I love both of your insights and you can’t find two more passionate people about the work that they do then Dan and Nate. So thank you both for being with me today. If you are interested in exploring marketing with Jameson, Nate provides the discovery sessions for marketing for our team, and you are welcome to schedule a session with him to review your current marketing efforts and explore how Nate and Dan and the rest of our Jameson marketing team could help you, take a new, healthy direction in the marketing that you provide for your practice today.

Carrie Webber (35:07):

So email us at [email protected]. And we can reserve that time with Nate and you. and also remember if you’re looking to, as a team, focus and refine your skills to make sure you’re ready to receive your new patients in the best way possible. We invite you to visit the growth platform and see how this online learning platform can help you grow in your skills and in your practice development now and into the future. So thank you both again for joining me. Thanks, Dan. And thank you all for joining us and listening in. We’ll see you next time and we’ll wish you all the best. And next time we’re going to have a guest speaker, a guest presenter. So you weren’t going to want to miss. So stay tuned. Don’t forget to subscribe and have a great day be well,

Thank You! (36:02):

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Jameson Files. Visit us online at You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google play music or Spotify. Do you have questions or topics you’d like for us to answer or cover on the next podcast? Email us at [email protected].

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