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Fred Joyal's Blog (20)

The ABCs of Advertising

Advertising is a profession, and if you’ve heard me speak or read my book, you know that I always suggest hiring a professional to create your advertising.

However, while it’s better to leave the design and creation of your ads to the pros, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know some basic advertising tips. After all, without an understanding of what makes an ad effective, you’ll have no way of evaluating whether your advertising material should be sent out into the…

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Added by Fred Joyal on August 16, 2010 at 10:55am — No Comments

Setting the Right Atmosphere

I want you to try a little exercise. The next time you walk into your practice, pretend you’re walking into it for the very first time. You’re not a dentist, office manager, hygienist or receptionist; you’re a patient visiting the office for their initial appointment. Look around your waiting room. Does it feel homey, like a family living room, or does it feel clinical? Are your floors swept or vacuumed? Are there toys for young children to play with? Take a look at your…

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Added by Fred Joyal on July 15, 2010 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

How to Handle Price Shoppers

I’m sure you know the drill. A patient calls your practice and asks how much it would cost for an examination. Knowing that this patient probably needs some restorative care if he or she hasn’t seen a dentist in a while, you’re faced with a choice. You can quote the patient the price for an exam, fully aware that the cost for treatment will probably be much more than that, or you can refuse to quote a price and risk upsetting the patient. …

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Added by Fred Joyal on July 1, 2010 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

Social Media: The New Web

You may have noticed that I’ve been talking a lot about social media lately. Last year, I released a new edition of Everything is Marketing that includes strategies for using social media in your marketing and I recently uploaded a new whitepaper on the subject on GoAskFred.com. It may seem like a lot of attention for one topic, but it’s for a very good reason: I believe social media is one of the most important marketing tools to emerge since the creation of the…

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Added by Fred Joyal on June 15, 2010 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

The Future of Dentistry — Today

In my last blog, we discussed how to change the commonly held perception of dentistry, but this time around, I’d like to talk about how modern technology is changing the reality of what dentistry can be. Our world is becoming a far different place than it was even 10 years ago. The tools used for performing dentistry are changing, and now’s the time to make certain that your practice is changing with them. …

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Added by Fred Joyal on June 1, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Changing Face of Dentistry

Dentistry, like most industries today, is in a state of change. While this isn’t unusual or surprising, what I’ve found does catch dentists off guard is how few consumers realize this. When most people think of going to the dentist, they still think of painful shots and endless drilling. They don’t realize that there are less intrusive and gentler options available today that could eliminate both of them. For many people, this knowledge alone could be enough to…

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Added by Fred Joyal on May 15, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Taking the Mystery out of Motivation

Dental practices are different than most businesses because there really isn’t a lot of room for advancement. The job you start out with is usually the job you’ll stay with. As a result, keeping your staff motivated so that they’ll continually put forth their best efforts can be a challenge. If it’s something you’ve struggled with, you’re not alone.



So how do you ensure that your staff remains motivated,…

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Added by Fred Joyal on May 1, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

A Web of Marketing

I talk about Web marketing frequently for good reason. It’s been estimated that around 80 percent of consumers look for health-related information on the Web. With more and more of your prospective patients growing up on the Internet, an increasing number of them are throwing out their phone books and reaching for their mouse when shopping for a service.



I realize that a good number of you already have practice websites. However, remember that launching a website is…
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Added by Fred Joyal on April 15, 2010 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Target Your Own Market

I often get questions asking how a practice can target “high-end” patients from a more affluent part of town or adjacent city. While I understand why that would be an attractive prospect for a dental office, it’s ultimately the wrong marketing approach for a couple of different reasons. The first is that so-called upper class patients almost certainly have a dentist already. The other reason, which is actually the more important of the two, is that with few exceptions, most…

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Added by Fred Joyal on April 6, 2010 at 4:29pm — 1 Comment

Smarten Up Your Internal Marketing

As the CEO of the nation’s largest dental referral service, I know how important new patients are, particularly when people seem to be tightening their budgets. However, it does occasionally feel as if those of us in the dental industry spend so much time discussing methods of bringing in new patients that we sometimes forget about the ones already in the practice.

Most practices understand the importance of internal marketing on some level and are already conducting…

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Added by Fred Joyal on March 2, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The Truth About Emergencies

You’re no doubt very familiar with this situation:



You get a call a few minutes before you’re heading home on a Friday night. The caller isn’t a patient of yours. In fact, he hasn’t seen a dentist in years. He’s broken a tooth, is in extreme pain and doesn’t have a lot of money. He’s not sure if he can afford to have his tooth fixed, but hopes you might be able to prescribe him some pain medication to help him get through the weekend.



Most dentists would receive a call… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on February 2, 2010 at 2:08pm — 5 Comments

Let's Talk Loyalty

Legendary film producer Samuel Goldwyn once famously said that he’d take 50 percent efficiency to gain 100 percent loyalty.



While I highly doubt he was talking about dental practices, the sentiment applies to our industry in a big way. Patient loyalty is essential to dental practice success.



Now, I know what you’re thinking: “My patients are loyal to me.” But the truth is, while the majority of your patients may be satisfied with you as their dentist, that… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on January 15, 2010 at 2:07pm — 5 Comments

The Matter of Cost

A common complaint that dentists hear, particularly in a tight economy, is that their fees are too high. The truth is when people complain about cost, it’s almost always because they don’t realize the value of what they’re paying for. That’s certainly true of dentistry. People don’t understand how it can be so expensive because they don’t understand what they’re getting for the money.



It’s incumbent upon all of us in the industry to educate patients about the… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on December 21, 2009 at 12:05pm — 4 Comments

Reaching Out for Referrals

In these challenging economic times, I’ve noticed that I’m getting more questions about increasing word of mouth referrals. It’s only natural to want to make every marketing dollar count, and considering the cost (or more accurately, lack of cost), you can’t get a better return on investment than you do with good word of mouth.



If you’re not already doing it, start actively pursuing referrals. It sounds simple, but most dentists forget — or are unwilling — to actually… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on December 3, 2009 at 3:04pm — 3 Comments

Track Down Your Marketing Results

Here’s how most dentists track the results of their advertising. They ask the receptionist, “How’s that ad campaign going?” And she will say one of two things: “It’s great — got a new patient yesterday.” Or, “It stinks — nothing but losers and shoppers.” And based on that response, the dentist makes a decision to continue or abandon the advertising.



Unfortunately, this decision is being made based on anecdotes, not facts. These questions generate a response that is more… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on November 18, 2009 at 12:33pm — No Comments

"Sell" is not a Dirty Word

Most dentists hate the idea of selling.



I hear it all the time: “I don’t want to have to sell;” “I didn’t get into this profession to sell;” “I didn’t go to dental school to become some kind of carnival barker.” Believe me, I understand.



But today I’d like to challenge you to put aside the negative connotations you associate with selling. Selling is merely communication with a purpose — and we all do it all the time. We’re selling when we’re convincing our spouse we… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on November 3, 2009 at 1:40pm — 3 Comments

Size Up Your Spending

Most dentists wonder what they should spend on advertising relative to their gross revenue. First of all, recognize that advertising is the fuel for your practice, not just now but in the future. Advertising gets you patients who hopefully will continue to spend with the practice for many years, and who also will refer their friends and family.



To me, ad spending breaks down into three tiers:



When you are starting up, you should probably set aside a significant… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on October 15, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

A Few Words About Websites...

When I hear dentists say that they don’t have a website (or even use e-mail!), I cringe. In these modern times, patients are more Web-savvy than ever — especially the new patients you want to bring into your practice. In fact, studies indicate that 80% of Internet users go online to find health-related information; this, of course, includes dentistry! Practices that don’t have a website look less professional than their competitors. Like it or not, these days, it’s hard for would-be patients to… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on October 2, 2009 at 12:38pm — No Comments

Making the Most Out of the Recession

Lately I've been hearing economists talk about how our nation's economy has turned a corner and is starting to improve. Consumer spending seems to be up, and here in California, recent months have seen growth in the housing market. Experts are claiming we're finally emerging from the recession that has cost so many of us jobs and opportunities and ground the world economy to a halt.



I realize my expertise is in marketing and not economics, but I'll believe it when I see… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on September 18, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Heart of Your Practice

There’s one area of marketing where 80% of dental practices consistently fall short. Most doctors and office managers I talk to don’t even think of it as "marketing," and even fewer realize they may need improvement. Give up? I’m talking about answering the phone.



I know what you’re thinking: "My staff already answers the phone!" But statistics show that one out of four calls to a dental practice goes to an answering machine — when the office is open! The reality is most dental… Continue

Added by Fred Joyal on September 1, 2009 at 12:31pm — No Comments

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