Digitising Dental CPD – guest blog

Modern dentistry is a highly regulated and time-starved profession. Whatever your role in the practice, you’ve probably found yourself struggling to fit more work into less time thanks to an administrative burden which always seems to be increasing.

These pressures can make your working life far more stressful than it needs to be and can ultimately affect the standard of care you can provide. Cumbersome administrative processes take time away from your patients and reduce the time you have available to dedicate to personal development and further learning.

An excellent, albeit unfortunate, example is the controversy that surrounded the CPD end of cycle in July 2013. The extraordinarily large number of DCPs failing to report made it clear that there is something fundamentally broken with the way busy dental professionals are expected to record and report their CPD.

Paper-based systems are not helpful to time-poor professionals and it is not surprising that so many found themselves in this difficult position.

CPD is not supposed to be a burden. It exists to reassure the public and to ensure that dental professionals are committed to lifelong learning. It should not come with an unnecessarily large administrative overhead.

Thankfully, there’s a solution and it’s probably in your pocket right now. Today’s average smartphone offers more computing power than the combined power of every computer NASA used to send humans to the moon in 1969 and it can be put to a variety of uses, including helping you to manage your CPD!

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Paperless & Mobile

Using a paperless mobile method to log and report your CPD has a number of key advantages. It’s instant, accurate and easy.

Since your phone is almost always with you, it’s easy to log an item of CPD as soon as it’s been completed, no matter where you are or what form the CPD takes. This is better than being tied to a desk.

In fact, with such a handy way to log everything, you’re probably going to record more of your learning than you ever did before. If you read an article in a magazine or discuss a case with a colleague it may count as general CPD, but who really remembers to make a note of it at the end of a busy day? However, if you tap out a short note on your phone as soon as

you’ve completed the exercise, the record is saved and your notes will most likely be of high reflective value, as you will have made them whilst everything was still fresh in your mind.

If you enjoy reading dental articles online, or watching educational videos, you can use the LogME plug-in on your browser to add that activity instantly to your electronic CPD log, no matter what website you happen to be using.

Once your records are stored electronically, they immediately become more useful to you. It’s easy to analyse what you’ve done and what you may be missing. You no longer have to try to remember – or guess – the number of hours you’ve completed as you’ll have a digital record which is updated in real- time.

This means you can spend more time focussing on your job and on your learning, confident that the administrative side of your CPD is being handled. As a bonus, at the end of the CPD cycle, your electronic records can be sent to the GDC with just a couple of taps on your phone. Since everything is digitised, including your certificates, you can always be confident that you will be able to respond to an audit without breaking your stride.

We all know that recording CPD is a burden – but it doesn’t have to be. The technology to make it simple already exists and by embracing it and taking advantage of these innovative apps which have been designed with you in mind, CPD really can become hassle-free.

Download the Dental CPD Pro app for free – search your favourite App Store for cpd pro or visit https://dental.cpdpro.org.uk

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Rajeev Shah is founder & CEO of Dental CPD Pro.

 

The companys mission is to reduce the cost, hassle and wasted time that you may currently suffer when managing your CPD, by providing you with well thought out, user-friendly technology which works for you.

The 100% Growth System – Part 8

 

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Getting serious about recommendations

Everyone agrees that recommendations from existing patients are simply the best way for your business to grow.

The benchmark test here is whether at least a third of your new patients are coming from recommendations?

Historically, the terminology was “word of mouth”, implying that people were talking to each other about you.

Let’s get real.

People talk to each other in the wine bar on a Friday night, at school or sport events over the weekend and at family and social gatherings.

But what are people doing when they aren’t working or watching the television?

They are hunched over a smartphone and reading, posting and sharing.

SHARING IS THE NEW WORD OF MOUTH.

We’ve talked already about encouraging those patient “selfies” at the end of treatment and about the active maintenance of your social media channels.

If you can generate your quota of good news stories about patients whose life you have changed – they will get shared.

To grow your business by 100%, you and your team will have to start taking the subject of recommendations seriously.

In a recent marketing workshop I challenged a very successful client on the number of business cards he was handing out and the requests he was making for recommendations.

He and I have worked on his referral communication skills, he has suffered the torments of role play sessions with me in his surgery.

His own production has grown by 100% in the 18 months we have worked together – and there is plenty of room for more.

Given that so many of our ideas have borne fruit, you would think that this would be a natural game changer?

“I just keep forgetting.”

Was the response to my challenge.

If he says that – what hope is there for the rest of his team?

In the 100% growth practice, the request for recommendations begins right at the start of the new patient experience and carries on throughout the lifetime of your relationship.

The 12-Point Recommendation Checklist in the 100% Growth Practice

Go through this list with your team and measure how many points you have fully covered.

1. Your website includes reference (to the fact that many of your patients arrive via recommendation) on your home page and on your most frequently visited pages;

2. Reference is made on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and any other social channels;

3. When you ask a patient for a written, audio or video testimonial, you always ask them to begin by referencing how they first found you;

4. Your paid media programme (advertising on Google and Facebook) references recommendations;

5. If you invest in print media advertising and promotion, A-boards, signage, banners, pop-ups and adverts, you reference recommendations;

6. Any B2B or B2C activity in your community allows you the opportunity to describe yourself as a practice that grows via recommendation;

7. You collect “selfies” and stories from happy patients at the end of treatment and you ask for them to be shared;

8. You collect data (email addresses and permission) as we have laboured in this series – and when you send White Papers, short-term e-mail nurture sequences and monthly e-mail newsletters, you repeatedly make reference to your status as a highly referrable practice;

9. At the start of any new patient journey, the TCO or clinician reminds a prospective new patient that, when and if treatment is completed to their satisfaction, recommendations will be requested. Yes – at their first consultation. It is known as “the sale before the sale”.

“Chris, having listened carefully, what I would like do next is put together some thoughts and ideas on how we can help you to achieve your desired outcome. In so doing I will be mindful of the history and current status that you have explained and I will endeavour to create a treatment plan for you that is appropriate and affordable.

One thing I would like to mention is that our practice enjoys a high level of recommendations from existing happy patients.

If you do proceed to treatment with us and if we are able to deliver the clinical outcome you desire and look after you well, we will ask you to recommend us after your treatment is completed.

Would that be OK?”

10. Your printed treatment plans contain narrative that makes reference to recommendations being welcome;

11. The all important end of treatment meeting contains a specific face to face request:

“Chris, now that we have come to the end of your treatment I want to ask firstly whether you are happy with the clinical outcome that we have delivered and, secondly, whether you are happy with the customer service experience?

If so, I wonder of I might ask a couple of favours?

First, we have mentioned throughout your journey with us that a significant number of our patients come to us through recommendation.

I would like give you three of my business cards, would you be happy to pass them forward to any family, friends or colleagues who you think might benefit from a visit to a practice like ours?

Second, we are very keen to build a collection of video testimonials from patients. We find that 90% of our patients would never be happy in front of a camera but 10% are quite relaxed and happy to help. Could I ask which of those groups you belong to?

If you are in the 10% we would love to capture your thoughts in a brief video.

If you are in the 90% group we were wondering if a still photograph and some quotes or a simple written testimonial from you would be possible?”

This is the conversation that my client was “forgetting”.

12. At every dental health review a reminder is made that recommendations are welcome, business cards are handed out by dentists, therapists and hygienists. That means in every recall cycle you might be handing out thousands of business cards – nothing wrong with that. Also, you ask your patients at recall to “like” your Facebook page and share the page on their newsfeed. This can achieve a much greater “reach” the simply handing out cards. Do both!

How do you measure up to this list?

Tactic #10 – Implement The 12-Point Recommendation Checklist

Should an inducement should be offered for recommendations. The “if you send us patients you will get a £25.00 M&S voucher” approach?

This is tacky and runs the risk of interpretation as desperation.

Far better an unsolicited “thank you” – a personal note from the dentist, thanking the referring patient with some gesture – good ideas include a lottery ticket (with a note to say “thanks a million”), a voucher for a movie night for two or a dinner voucher.

In the 100% Growth practice, your recommendation systems are paramount.

You recognise that a third of your growth (if not more) can come from implementing the successful habits I have listed above and at a fraction of your marketing budget.

Why, then, is the implementation and consistency of these recommendation steps so elusive?

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Summary so far of The 100% Growth System

Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question.

Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations

Tactic #3 – download the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients

Tactic #7 – Create reactivation sequences for dormant treatment plans.

Tactic #8 – create a CRM software-based recall system that encourages up-sales and referrals

Tactic #9 – get trained and adept with Digital Treatment Planning

Tactic #10 – Implement The 12-Point Recommendation Checklist

The 100% Growth System – Part 7

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Digital Treatment Planning

You want your business to grow 100%.

To do that, you are going to have to embrace INNOVATION – and I’ll define that as embracing ideas that most people will shun because they see too much hard work and no guarantee of return.

It’s the INNOVATORS who make the real progress.

We have looked at a lot of innovative ideas so far in this series.

Which brings me to Digital Treatment Planning.

You would have been living in cave if you hadn’t heard of or seen the concept in the last 12 months.

I’ve written extensively about DTxP (as I’m going to call it).

I’ve spoken at 3 separate DTxP training courses in the last 12 months:

Luxembourg with the lovely Violeta Claus from the Violife Academy and Livio Yoshinaga and the DSD team from Brazil.

Amsterdam with the talented Quoc An Nguyen from the Ardent Academy and the amazing Florin Cofar and Teodora Motorca from Dentcof in Romania.

Stockton on Tees with The Smile Spa team and Elaine Halley and Gary Jenkinson, who are building a series of DTxP courses in the UK.

DTxP is a wonderful addition to the patient experience of treatment planning and the software being developed around the concept is truly impressive.

Tactic #9 – get trained and adept with Digital Treatment Planning

I’m not here as an advocate of any of the current course providers and 7connections doesn’t have a commercial relationship with any of them.

I speak for free at their conferences because it is good marketing for us and because I like to hang out with people who have a bigger future.

But what I do know is that INNOVATORS in dentistry who are taking the DTxP concept on board are increasing their case acceptance rate and increasing the average value of the treatment sold. They are also creating happy patients who are ambassadors for the experience and the results, an unpaid sales force for your practice.

I’ve shown plenty of videos that demonstrate the principle of DtXP as seen from the patient’s perspective – what follows is one of my personal favourites – because it is simple, brief and uses a metaphor to make an important point – that DTxP is the crossroads of science and art in smile design.

To grow your business by 100% you simply must research and familiarise yourself with DTxP.

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Summary so far of The 100% Growth System

Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question.

Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations

Tactic #3 – download the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients

Tactic #7 – Create reactivation sequences for dormant treatment plans.

Tactic #8 – create a CRM software-based recall system that encourages up-sales and referrals

Tactic #9 – get trained and adept with Digital Treatment Planning

The 100% Growth System – Part 6

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The Digital Recall System

We are still looking at those red hexagons on the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow – previously defined as “things that you can automate”.

7connections - Lifestyle Marketing Workflow Updated 29th June

If you haven’t yet downloaded the free PDF you can do so by clicking immediately below.

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We’ve looked at the automation of

Attraction to your web site
Data Capture
Short-term nurture of current enquiries
Long-term nurture of existing patients and prospects
Reactivation of dormant treatment plans

Today I want to examine your existing recall systems and galvanise them into an opportunity that can support your 100% Growth System.

Part of the current recall problem is that 83% of independently-owned dental practices use practice management software (yes – 17% still don’t own a computer) and inevitably use the pre-written, in-built recall systems provided, whether by letter, text or email.

The result (of which we have spoken before) is a lifeless system:

“we note from our records that you are due for a dental health review”

By using CRM software (that’s Customer Relationship Management), you can turn the patient experience at recall into an opportunity to up-sell additional treatment and obtain digital word of mouth referrals – if you take the time and trouble to ask and present your case in an attractive way.

Consider this simple narrative for an email:

Miss A Patient

24th July 2015

Our Ref: 123456789

Dear Miss Patient

This is a gentle reminder that, as a member of ABC Dental Care, your inclusive dental health review is now overdue.

Your review will be with me/Dr Smith

Your dental health review has the following benefits:

* • We can answer any concerns or problems that may have arisen since your last visit
* • We can give your teeth an overall clean and polish
* • We can check your dental health and identify any potential problems that might cause future discomfort if left unattended
* • We can reduce the cost of your future dental treatment
* • We can help you keep a lovely smile for life!

During your visit we would be happy to answer any questions you might have on your future dental health and confidence in your smile.

We are also recruiting new patients at this time, so if you have any family, friends or colleagues who you think would benefit from a visit to our practice, we are offering free assessments with our lovely Treatment Co-ordinator, Julie Jones.

Julie would be happy to meet you or any referral from you for an informal chat over coffee.

Now – back to your dental health review.

To ensure that you are getting the most out of your membership, please click the telephone icon in this email and member of our care team will call you in the next 24 hours to confirm your recall appointment time.

Or, if you prefer, use the on-line booking facility by clicking the link below.

When you arrive, please let us know about any changes in your health, medication or personal details since your last visit.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Because we can use automated email software, the letter can

be beautifully branded

be graphically designed

include hyperlinks to your web site

include a video testimonial from a patient, describing the benefits of regular attendance

include a video from a member of your dental care team, encouraging the patient to respond and/or refer

include a downloadable White Paper on a selected treatment modality that can invite the existing patient into a short-term nurture sequence and/or allow sharing via email and/or social media.

By building the architecture that drives this process, designing the look and feel and automating the issue, we are helping our clients to transform what used to be a chore into a sales and referral opportunity.

Here’s a screen shot of some of the previously routine letters that we have re-written or created with one of our clients to freshen up their patient communication systems:

Shine_letters

 

Tactic #8 – create a CRM software-based recall system that encourages up-sales and referrals

p.s. Almost 10% of independently-owned practices in the UK are now actively using on-line booking – there are products in the market that will bolt on to the main practice management software providers and in the very near future those on-line booking systems will become more common, easily available, cross-platform, robust and usable on a variety of PC, tablet and mobile devices. It’s the future!

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Summary so far of The 100% Growth System

Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question.

Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations

Tactic #3 – download the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients

Tactic #7 – Create reactivation sequences for dormant treatment plans.

Tactic #8 – create a CRM software-based recall system that encourages up-sales and referrals

The Dental Practice Manager (as seen by The Government)

The_Dental_Practice_Manager__as_viewed_by_the_Government__—_Evernote_Premium

 

The Dental Practice Manager

I thought you might be interested to download this (free of charge and we don’t need your data in exchange).

The Government sponsored Trailblazer scheme has been extended to Dental Practice Management and in assessing the qualities required for the job and it’s scope of practice, they have come up with the attached.

Well worth a read and you might, if you are a Principal, want to compare what is expected with what is being delivered.

There again you might, if you are a Dental Practice Manager, want to compare what Her Majesty’s Gov. expect you to do with what you are being allowed to do.

I’m such a trouble-maker 😉

The subject came up during a recent conversation with John Castledine at Healthcare Learning, reviewing their plans for:

  • an ILM Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership & Management focusing on “Leadership Essentials for Dental Practice Management and
  • an MBA in Healthcare offered jointly with Plymouth University

You can learn more about both at www.healthcare-learning.com/qualifications.

How the world is changing.

 

The 100% Growth System – Part 5

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If I could show you a way of generating an extra £38,000 of sales in just one month, would you be interested?

Recently, that happened to a client of ours who implemented Part 5 of The 100% Growth System:

Reactivation

This is so simple in concept, its embarrassing.

Step 1

Gather the email addresses of all those prospects and patients who had a treatment plan in the last 24/36 months and did not proceed.

Step 2

Create an automated email nurture sequence that invites them back in to discuss that treatment.

Step 3

Turn on the sequence, get back to what you were doing and wait for the calls.

Of course, the content of the email nurture sequence has to be sensitive and well designed, not too pushy, not too wishy washy.

That’s where we come in, working with our clients not just to build the architecture but also to assist with the branding and content of the emails.

Here’s an example of what one full sequence looks like as a blueprint:

Internal Web form 1 – enter sequence

Email 1 – (to the TCO) task for the TCO to call patient

Email 2 – email – tried calling you

Email 3 – frequent obstacles that patients find

Email 4 – (to the TCO) task for the TCO to call patient for a second time

Email 5 – email – tried calling you again

Email 6 – email treatment benefits/testimonials

Email 7 – email treatment offer 1

Email 8 – email treatment offer 2

Email 9 – thanks for listening

Internal Web form 2a – request TCO call – reactivation

Internal Web form 2b – book TCO manually

Internal Web form 2c – patient says “no” to treatment plan

Email 10 – reminder message 7 days before

Email 11 – reminder message 1 day before

Email 12 – thanks for listening

Internal Web form 3 – attend TCO follow-up meeting

Email 13 – thank you for attending

Email 14 – confirmation of time, date, clinician

Some of these emails, namely 1 & 4 are internal emails that remind your TCO to take action – they look like this:

Internal email

You are already aware of how the internal web forms work from Part 4 of this series.

All of the emails that the dormant patient receives are beautifully branded, simple in content and designed to encourage that reactivation – here are a couple of examples of one of the emails:

Key_questions_about_your_treatment_plan

_I_love_my_new_smile_

Emails and sequences just like this produced £38,000 of sales in one month.

From an automated process.

Not bad eh?

And we are starting to see similar results around the client base.

In fact, we are jumping reactivation to the front of our build queue with new clients because we know that there is a good chance of some quick wins.

Quick wins are very useful when you are working to demonstrate MROI – marketing return on investment.

Tactic #7 – Create reactivation sequences for dormant treatment plans.

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Summary so far of The 100% Growth System

Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question.

Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations

Tactic #3 – download the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients

Tactic #7 – Create reactivation sequences for dormant treatment plans.

The 100% Growth System – Part 4

landing-page21Today we are going to take a look at a little-known trick of the trade that is increasing our clients’ lead conversion by up to 100%.

The Internal Web Form

If you have the PDF download for this series you will see the internal web form in the red hexagon either side of “telephony”.

7connections - Lifestyle Marketing Workflow Updated 29th June

If you haven’t yet downloaded the free PDF you can do so by clicking immediately below.

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So what is an internal web form and how does it work?

This is a secret and private page on the web that is separate from your website and your practice management software and will never be seen by the public – only by you and your team.

We’ve been running automated marketing systems for our clients for over 2 years now and have noticed that there are many new patient enquiries that are not necessarily the result of web traffic and may have been prompted by your direct marketing or by a referral:

  • a telephone call to the front of house team or
  • a personal visit to the practice or
  • a direct email
  • a direct on-line booking

Hopefully, that enquiry results in a new patient consultation with a clinician or TCO.

It occurred to us that such an enquiry doesn’t necessarily experience the benefit of your short term email sequence.

No White Paper on their chosen treatment modality.

No information about your practice and your people.

No existing patient testimonials.

Which, if you stop to think about it, is crazy.

So, we train our teams to ask a simple question at the conclusion of a non-website enquiry:

“Mr. Barrow, to confirm, you will be visiting us on Friday 10th at 10:30am for a consultation.

Normally, we like to send our prospective new patients some background information on the treatment we have discussed, together with general information on our practice – would it be OK to take a note of your email address now and start that sequence of emails?

Every email will end with an unsubscribe button, so you can switch off any time you like.

Does that sound OK?”

On the assumption that the answer is positive, then IMMEDIATELY after the call or visit, our teams open the internal web form and complete the required fields – here are a couple of examples:

 

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Equally, we are asking our TCO’s to check that their new patient consultations include a check to see whether the person they are with has been entered into an email sequence and to make a similar request if not.

Teams who get their heads around this are demonstrating a significant increase in lead conversion.

It takes just a few minutes but has the obvious advantage of allowing you to build rapport with that prospect before, during and after their treatment planning journey.

Additionally, we are discovering that people who don’t immediately take up treatment will happily continue to receive your monthly newsletters and, therefore, are more likely to reactivate at some future point.

Finally, prospects who receive emails and newsletters are more likely to share them and refer you.

Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients

The Internal Web Form is a little-known gem of an idea and all part of that route to implement The 100% Growth System.

Summary so far of The 100% Growth System

Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question.

Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations

Tactic #3 – download the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

Tactic #6 – complete internal web forms for all new patient enquiries and up-sales to existing patients

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The Running Lean Workshop

Running lean

Spending 2 full days in a Central London workshop is never a decision taken lightly, especially when you factor in the transport and accommodation costs.

A pragmatist might, therefore, question the fact that Tim Caudrelier and I invested around £2,000 of the company’s money in attending this event.

Was it worth it?

Well let me get to the point – an unreserved “YES” in answer to that question.

Let me also share with you the reasons why (which may surprise you – at the same time they are the moral of the story).

1. The opportunity to simply spend some time away

Tim and I are partners in a business.

If we are lucky, we see each other once a week (Monday) at our Manchester offices, where we are engaged with the rest of the team in the deployment of our tactical business plan.

Once a month, we have a full-day Board Meeting with our third business partner.

We are always under time pressure, always racing through a list of “stuff that needs doing”, questions that need answers and decisions that must be made.

Hardly ever do we have the chance to just sit and listen to how we feel about the business and our individual balance.

During the workshop itself we had the time to discuss the points raised by our host Ash Maurya.

On the Thursday evening (remember those steaming hot summer evenings a few weeks ago?) we walked over to The South Bank and enjoyed beer and burgers al fresco – and the chance to enjoy some really good conversation away from the pressures of daily task lists and targets.

Same again over a lovely breakfast on the Friday morning.

I rank this as one of the top benefits of the workshop.

“Why the hell don’t you simply book the time out and spend a couple of days together every now and then?”

Good question.

2. The “aha” moment

In every course, lecture or workshop there is at least one “aha” moment, defined by me as that moment when you suddenly see the light.

The challenge is to maintain your concentration so that the “aha” can arrive.

Occasionally the “aha” is a direct answer to a question you arrived with.

The really beneficial “aha” moment is the one that hits you in the face from an unexpected direction.

You were thinking along a pathway that seemed defined and, all of a sudden, an idea, approach or solution manifests itself that takes you in a completely different direction.

You realise that you have been asking the wrong question or seeking the wrong solution.

During The Running Lean Workshop we enjoyed two such moments:

1. On Thursday morning, the realisation that we must develop an MVP – that’s a “minimum value proposition” – an entry level, low cost product or solution that allows curious prospects to become paying customers.

Strangely, we were already aware of the concept, having been introduced to tripwires and lead magnets by Ryan Deiss and the team at Digital Marketer.

It took our workshop to put that into context and give us the confidence to proceed.

2. On Friday morning, our second “aha” was understanding how we can present metrics to our clients that will directly link marketing spend to sales results.

The elusive MROI (marketing return on investment) that allows a client to answer the Golden Question mentioned in our “100% Growth” series:

“I gave you my money – what did you do with it?”

3. The workshop content

It may seem a paradox to have this as third choice – after all, our tickets were over £500 each.

The workshop content was excellent and I’m not going to elaborate here – read Ash Maurya’s blog and buy his book (see below).

During the two days we had the time to carefully construct a Lean Canvas for 7connections, refining our strategic business plan for the next 3 years.

First Canvas

It really is a fascinating process of self-examination.

The Lean Canvas process will accelerate our business development, giving us clarity on our offer, our unique abilities and exactly what we have to do next.

I’m also inspired to hand-hold some of my clients through the same process and so I came away with practical new coaching skills.

If you would like me to facilitate the construction of a Lean Canvas for you, just email me at coachbarrow@me.com.

So our £2,000 will pay us back in many ways.

We emerge more aligned in our thinking, inspired by new ideas and, ultimately, more confident about the future.

http://leanstack.com/books/

Running Lean

The 100% Growth System – Part 3

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Today I will be explaining how you can increase the traction at your web site by 100%.

Here’s the home page of a web site with plenty of traction:

Bolton_Dentist___Private_Cosmetic_Dentist_in_Bolton___Cahill_Dental_Care

Do you know why?

To explain, I’ll be referring back to The Lifecycle Marketing Workflow that you downloaded after reading Part 2 of this series – if you didn’t, here is a second chance to download that now.

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In Part 3 we begin our journey at the red hexagon that reads “website”.

Can I remind you first of all that:

1. Getting visitors to your web site is mission critical in the 100% Growth System;

2. In Part 1 we looked at automated systems to attract people to your web site

SEO
Digital marketing
Direct marketing
Active use of social media
Word of Mouth

3. In Part 1 we also looked at the team approach to attracting people to your web site

Collecting email addresses – VERY IMPORTANT
Word of Mouth
Sharing
Networking
Storytelling
Collecting video patient stories

I’ve written about the importance of the “roving reporter” in your practice team – the investigative journalist who is always quizzing colleagues to find the next “scoop” – a patient story worth sharing because it is so evocative.

I’ve also written that “sharing” is the new word of mouth and that photo and video “selfies” can accelerate your reach.

Everything you do (even if you take a stand at an exhibition, trade show or county fair) is about attracting and encouraging people to visit your web site.

THE MAIN PURPOSE OF YOUR WEBSITE IS TO COLLECT EMAIL ADDRESSES AND PERMISSION TO CONNECT

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I shared the story recently of a dentist who hired me as his business coach 17 years after first hearing me speak on a restorative course.

He had followed my stuff all that time and called me when he was ready, when events triggered a need for my help (in his case, a practice sale).

People (your existing and prospective patients) are no different but their triggers are different.

A daughter’s wedding.

A wedding anniversary.

A retirement.

The sale of a business.

An inheritance.

Feedback from a loved one.

A relationship separation and new life.

Yes, of course, there are folks out there who want you to get them out of pain or restore function – they are highly motivated to remove short-term discomfort.

There are also those who are equally motivated by the recent experience or impending arrival of one of the events listed above.

But to increase the traction of your web site by 100% you have to appeal to those who are browsing but perhaps not yet highly motivated enough to take action.

Those who may enter your door in the next 17 hours are important but many dentists miss those who might enter in 17 days, 17 weeks, 17 months or, for that matter, 17 years.

Dentists miss them because they do not have systems to NURTURE their relationship with them before they visit or become patients – and therein hides one of the biggest secrets in The 100% Growth System

Some years ago I shared with Krishan Joshi of Dental Focus my “7 P’s” of web site design and construction.

7 questions that a visitor will ask themselves as they look around your website.

1. Profile – are they trying to attract people like me?

2. People – do I like the look of their team?

3. Premises – what does their practice look like inside?

4. Prices – is this the value proposition I’m aiming at?

5. Promises – do they deliver the level of customer service I’m looking for?

6. Proof – what do other people say about them (and are those people like me)?

7. Products – are they experienced in what I’m searching for?

All of which remains true, even four years after we recorded some video blogs on the subject.

However, if the only objective of your site is to encourage them to CALL NOW, you will only succeed with those who are highly motivated on the day – those who are triggering right now.

Whilst that’s a good result, it’s a short term gain and misses the opportunity that exists in the long tail of your enquiries.

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So how do you begin the relationship that will allow you to nurture those who haven’t triggered yet?

WHITE PAPER MARKETING.

The process:

1. a visitor to your site visits the page relating to their treatment of interest.

2. as well as reading some brief notes (and, better still, viewing a short video), they are invited to download, free of charge, a short explanatory guide (this is the white paper).

Here’s an example of a web page that includes the offer of a white paper on Invisalign:

Invisalign_Invisible_Braces_in_Mansfield_Nottinghamshire

3. this request for a guide initiates a sequence of 7 emails over the following 33 days

Email 1: download the guide (Product)

Email 2: learn more about the practice (Profile, People & Premises)

Email 3: watch a patient video testimonial (Proof)

Email 4: read answers to FAQ’s on their chosen treatment (Product)

Email 5: watch a second patient video testimonial (Proof)

Email 6: read details of a special time-limited offer (Price)

Email 7: watch a third patient video testimonial (Proof)

No prizes for spotting that we are reinforcing those 7 P’s from the original website visit.

4. at any time, the recipient can either unsubscribe from the sequence or request a call-back which will stop the sequence – that means there can be no accusation of spamming – the control is with the viewer.

Evidence – practices who employ white paper downloads and short-term email nurture sequences can improve their lead conversion by up to 400%.

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

At 7connections we have created over 20 White Papers for different treatment modalities and we are deploying them across our client’s websites with exciting results.

Along the way, we have discovered an important BONUS feature.

If you include links to White Papers in your regular email newsletters to existing clients and prospects, you will also reactivate enquiries and up-sell extra treatment.

Here’s an extract from a patient newsletter with the white paper embedded:

Welcome_to_our_July_Newsletter_

 

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

Next time, I want to take a look at short and long term nurture sequences and how they can be used to improve your lead generation by over 100%.

Summary so far of The 100% Growth System

Tactic #1 – hold accountability meetings face to face with your SEO, Digital and Direct Marketing providers EVERY MONTH AND PREFERABLY FACE TO FACE and ask them the golden question.

Tactic #2 – lead your team in actively asking for emails, social connections, testimonials, referrals and networking invitations

Tactic #3 – download the Lifecycle Marketing Workflow

Tactic #4- Create White Paper downloads on your web site for all of the major treatment modalities that you wish to broadcast

Tactic #5 – Embed White Paper offers into your existing email newsletters

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Why The Hippo can slow your business growth

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The Hippo in your business is……

“the highest paid person in the room”

and that may well be you.

The problem with Hippos?

Because they are the Hippo, they believe that:

1. they must know everything;

2. they must know more than everyone else;

3. they must be right.

They are, of course, wrong on all three counts.

But try telling that to a Hippo.