Overcoming the Fear of Marketing Your Dental Practice

By October 27, 2015Blog

I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard dentists say that they are fearful of marketing. Here are 3 ways to overcome that fear and be successful:

1. Start.

Many dentists have lost money on marketing when it should have been a healthy investment in the practice. Dr. C. shared with me that he has been told by multiple marketing firms that his practice’s results are “not typical,” meaning lower than most practices. He only learned this after he invested the nonrefundable money and saw no return.

Others are in analysis paralysis. Dr. N. is quite simply terrified to do any marketing. She has always thought of it as a waste of money. In years past, patient traffic was healthy without any marketing. Yet now, new patient numbers have dwindled to just 1-2 per month. Having had no experience with marketing in the past, she’s not sure what to do – and she’s scared that her practice might not last the test of time.

Some say they have been “burned” by marketers in the past. Dr. L. had a “frustrating experience” with a national marketing provider that locked the practice into a long-term contract that didn’t produce results. Consequently, she is hesitant to sign up for more marketing even though the practice needs it to attract more implant patients.

All three of these dentists suspended disbelief and started where they were. They picked up the phone and called my marketing firm. They shared their concerns and asked the right questions to temporarily overcome their fears. They put one foot in front of the other and did the next right thing by taking action.

That’s all you can do each day to make success a reality.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ” –Zig Ziglar

2. Do the work. Then have faith.

When you take the right marketing action, anything is possible. Evaluate marketing offerings by asking vendors what return on investment you can expect from their programs, what guarantee might be offered and what your options are if the program is not working after a reasonable time has passed.

Go with your gut. If it sounds too good to be true, walk away. If you have a hunch that a certain approach will work for your practice, take the leap.

Know that marketing, like finances and operations, cannot be 100% outsourced. Be prepared to take some part in your marketing. Show up, do the work that is needed for you to feel confident that your marketers are on the right track, then leave the details to them, the experts. Namely, set realistic expectations and a reasonable strategy for reaching your goals. You might quantify your measurable goals for your marketer (10 additional new patients per month or 15% increase in production, for example), provide any source materials they may need for success (practice photos, past marketing materials, etc.), and communicate any specific expectations (your availability for calls and meetings, for example.)

Once this groundwork has been laid, it’s time to let go. Think positive. Meditate or pray, if that’s your thing. Turn it over to the universe. Do what you can to put the success of your marketing out of your mind until your next scheduled call or meeting with your marketers. Then it’s time to do the work with them again. And as soon as that session with them is over, it’s time to let go again until the next major milestone in your communication with them.

“Faith is fear in reverse.” –Zig Ziglar

3. Sit with your fears.

While skepticism and marketing results are like oil and water, quieting fear can be quite the feat. In fact, fighting fear only creates more fear.

Sit quietly and feel the fear. Examine not what is causing the fear, as that will only perpetuate the fear. Focus only on where the fear is felt in the body. Tight shoulders. Closed throat. Heavy heart.

Move the fear.

This might take the form of meditating on it in a caring way, soothing the fear like you would a small child who is frightened. You might journal, writing about what color or shape the fear is in the body. Drawing or painting can also work well.

Next, focus on all that the practice has already accomplished. Feel your gratitude replace the fear. Rinse and repeat. The more often you perform this activity, the freer you will be from fear.

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins

Make overcoming fear a daily practice, and your practice’s marketing will work wonders!