Dental Practice Marketing-Truth in Dentist CE Advertising. What are you buying?
After you have left the expensive CE course, have you the tools to do the dental practice marketing required to attract the type of patient you gained the skills you just learned ?
I love dental CE marketing that crosses my desk. You’ll find one from Frank Spear below that we’ll look at in a moment related to what’s being promised. It provides some insight into what’s being sold and more importantly what’s not being discussed and blatantly absent from the sales material.
There’s some amazing CE out there to pick from especially once you move up to the institute/symposium level. If I had to rattle off a few of our member dentists favorites that have put them on top clinically this would be the list: Misch Institute, LVI, Pankey, Dawson, Midwest Implant Institute, DOCS, Pikos, PacLive, Kois, Spear. You get the picture.
Dentists by and large are a very analytical bunch EXCEPT when looking for what’s missing from these CE courses related to how they will (or won’t) find patients with problems who need those advanced services and the lack of dental practice marketing that should go along with it. Most will salivate over the clinical CE offering and then be “surprised” that they go back home and see the same cases as they were seeing before they completed that grand symposium.
Example #1: I can think of one former member dentist from West Virginia who had been through the entire Spears series and was about to repeat it even though he refused to elevate the practice’s marketing and sales process. By the way, he was extremely bitter that he’d have to pay someone to help him with those non-clinical keys that unlocked the cases. He’s still ruminating somehwere about the slight the profession has paid him—in the meantime, he’s flying somewhere sitting in a CE class.
Example #2: An acquaintance of mine. who was actually in a leadership mastermind group with me a number of years back and unfortunately he never was willing to take on the role of leader of his practice. Another truth: those who choose (it’s a choice since leaders are made not born) to be better leaders of their practices and teams have a higher success rate doing fee for service/big elective cases. Why? Because they’re willing to make the tough decisions that go along with making those things happen. Several years after the mastermind, he called me up to ask how things were going, related how he didn’t really have any changes in his practice, and then rattled off a couple of expensive CE courses he was signed up for. When queried, “why are you doing that since you don’t have any cases and aren’t working to fix that issue?” There was dead silence on the line and that was the last time we spoke. He’s very likely still unhappy in Columbus at this very moment.
None of the above comes cheap—be it CE or the painful learning lesson that comes if you have a bunch of education without a return on it. Big educations require big expenses. Total up a full series of courses and before long you’re at $50K-$100K including travel. Calculate the time away from production and Oy! that number goes up another 50%. By the time I was through with enough CE to feel comfortable being a reconstructive oriented dentist my investment in the education certainly hit that sweet spot—at about the mid-way point through those massive CE years, I realized that there were no cases and went out to find ways to fix that problem. That adventure was the seed of genesis for an entire consulting business built on handing other advanced clinicians those same tools including proper dental practice marketing strategies and a check list sales system.
Okay, back to the giant elephant in the room and the topic usually missing in the CE promotions is the utter lack of acknowledging that the attendee will need to find the case and then sell it so dental practice marketing is not mentioned at all.
This promo from Frank Spear (Spear Education) is a great example of just that. Lots of hype, fun and exciting copy that talks about re-energizing you as a dentist and elevating your skills. By the way, all of the big guys market this way—they’re just copying each other. It just so happens that Frank’s stuff crosses my desk a lot—that’s a sign that he’s pouring big bucks into HIS marketing.
Whats MIA? Not a peep about actually linking up the clinical with the non-clinical (sales or marketing) skills that will be required to make any of those dreams and aspirations actually happen. Yes, it’s fun to be in a room with other excited clinicians learning—not so fun to be staring at your daily schedule and it’s a bunch of “regular’ dentistry even though you paid $100 G’s for all that training.
Imagine if a CE provider had the cojones to require every attendee to attain a mastery of selling their services and show the tools they will use for dental practice marketing before attending a major CE course or even being willing to take any of your tuition dollars.
The room would instantly shrink by 80% driving most clinical CE providers out of business. It is an amusing concept. While that’s fantasy for the clinical CE guys, we actually live by this rule.
As a consulting entity, we won’t provide any marketing (no ads of any kind) without a sales process being invested in first for the practice. It’s easy to create phone calls, much harder to take those phone calls and turn them into $20K+ cases. It’s easy to blame everything on an ad for failure versus responsibility for having or lacking in a process or system for selling.
We’re being honest and realistic, these advanced clinical CE providers are being dishonest.
This issue isn’t going to go away. In fact, it will become ever more difficult to sell elective dentistry and only those who are aggressive with marketing and sales will enjoy the high levels of income, prestige, and life style that dentistry can allow. Join my members here to learn how to get the best out of their CE courses or try my #1 top selling book on Amazon.
The middle class economic train has already left the station and the changes underway effect every dentist in the Western Industrialized world whether they know it or not.