I love this Honda commercial as I have lived most everything depicted within it.  I have slept in my car, I have sat in the garage talking on the phone because I dare not walk in the house until that conversation is over.  I have certainly screamed in the car and I have had my dogs make messes, and my kids.  I don’t think I have ever seen another TV commercial that pegged me this well!!  It is safe to say they got my attention.


How well do you know your existing patients?  Do you assume what their values are?  I had a rather interesting discussion once with a receptionist in an office that insisted their patients would only get the dentistry that was covered by insurance.  I was blown away.  Do you want to bet she was right, because she probably put those thoughts into their heads.  However, I know lots of practices all over the country that have a practice full of patients that are cash patients.  Can you imagine the discussion if you were to sit the two receptionists down from these two offices?  My guess, the one that says patients only accept was is covered by insurance, would insist that it isn’t that way in her town.  Wouldn’t it be funny to tell her later, they are 6 blocks apart!!


We can’t prejudge our patients.  Until we ask them and educate them on what their health could be, they won’t know.  If you have never driven a luxury car, how would you know if it is worth it?  I had a doctor tell me a story once about a new patient that was due in as the last patient of the day the last day of the week.  The patient pulled up in an old beat up car with the cloth material from the ceiling hanging down and almost blocking her view.  As she got out of the car, she flicked her cigarette into his parking lot.  Then she walked in and told the doc she wanted her teeth fixed.  At this point, he got impatient and just wanted to leave to start his weekend.  She insisted she wanted her teeth fixed.  So he quickly looked in her mouth (she needed a lot of work) and said it was going to cost a bunch.  She said it was fine.  Again, he was just dying to leave for many reasons, the biggest being he didn’t think she was serious.  So she pressed him for a price.  He just shook his head and said $20,000 thinking he would be able to get out of there.  She said done.  Flabbergasted, he is now thinking, sure but how are you going to pay for it, so he asks.  She shrugs and says she doesn’t have that much.  He actually get up and starts to walk out of the operatory and she stopped him.  She asked if she could put half down today and the balance upon completion.  He stopped in his tracks and asked how would you like to put the half down?  She pulled out a brown bag of cash!!

Never in a million years could he have predicted that.  He was so quick to judge and be impatient that he almost let a $20,000 case walk of of the door.  Now obviously this doesn’t happen all the time, but that might also be because you don’t allow it.  I have so many stories like this it blows me away.  


It is very dangerous for any business to prejudge your clients interest and economics.  Now there might be times we think we know them, but it is still wise to simply ask before we suggest treatment.


I think that commercial brings up an interesting point when it comes to marketing as well.  For those of you doing a bunch of marketing to new patients, how well do you know the market?  Recently I had a doctor email me about a particular paper she wanted to run an add in.  She didn’t think her ads that she has done elsewhere would be well received as this group of people apparently don’t like some procedures typically done.  This is an example of a doctor that knows her potential clients.  She should absolutely run a different ad.  Now of course the million dollar question is what type of content should she have in that ad.  Without knowing the demographics of the readership, I don’t know.  That will be the first question I ask her.  


When creating marketing material, we need to understand the audience that will read it.  Will the interests be different in Iowa vs Manhattan NY?  Probably, but not necessarily.  It is also smart to run different ads to target different groups.  To really answer this question, you will have to email me the particulars of your target audience, your desired outcome, and lastly your dental philosophy.  Then we can help you to create a custom ad for you.


Darren Kaberna


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