If you’re getting disappointing results from your dental marketing, it may not be your marketing agency holding you back. It may be your leadership skills.
It’s easy to blame the marketing agency for not delivering enough new patients or a poor ROI. You might also blame the front desk for not converting those calls into appointments. Then, you can blame the hygiene team for hurting retention by not setting the next recare appointment. Or, you can go stand in front of the mirror and realize that every result you get in your practice is a direct reflection of your leadership skills.
It’s important for doctors to have ownership of what they want from their marketing. If you want a strategic approach that brings in high quality new patients, don’t go to a cookie-cutter marketing company who pitches the same formula to every practice. Be involved in the process and speak up to ensure you get the outcome you’re looking for.
Even if you are partnering with a marketing agency that is willing to tell you what to do, Kirk Behrendt, CEO and Founder of ACT Dental, feels that dentists still need to trust their vision for the future when plotting out the strategic marketing process.
“You can find great companies to bring your marketing to life, to support you, to do all the wiring, but you, my friend, are the chief marketing officer,” says Behrendt. “You’re the one with the vision. You’re the one that makes it happen. You’re the one that makes people feel the way that they do and you have a team of people that support you and buy into that vision. Otherwise you’re just throwing money at the wall.”
Genevieve Poppe, CEO of Poppe Practice Management, says that even with a well-planned marketing strategy in place, things can still fall apart if the leader fails to clearly communicate the plan to the team.
“Often, their team doesn’t even understand the purpose of marketing or sometimes what is taking place in their office,” notes Poppe. “There can be a huge lack of communication around what’s being done for marketing, what’s the intent of marketing, what we’re actually trying to attract or accomplish with marketing, and our own efforts to convert those leads.”
One of the most important leadership skills is accountability. It’s human nature to want to blame someone else for poor results, instead of slowing down to see if the problem is something you should own, and ultimately be able to impact. For example, if the team says they are getting a lot of poor quality new patient calls, an untrained leader will just accept the team’s statement at face value. A strong leader will sit together with their team and listen to the call recordings to see how to improve their approach. The simple act of reviewing those calls together lets your team know that you are invested in their success. That’s true accountability.
Get the leadership edge for your dental practice
How are your leadership skills affecting your dental practice? Find out where you stand and how you can improve with The Ultimate Guide to Leadership for Dentists.