Thanksgiving Food For Thought - Dental Marketing Reprieve

Time to eat and talk turkey. Tomorrow we have a date with the dinner table. Friday we have a date with the mall. Soon we will party till we ring-a-ding in the new year.

There is something WRONG with this picture, much like how dental marketing is unflatteringly employed. You and I need to talk frankly about how dentistry should be presented to the consumer to affect a positive and productive result.

It is time to change the rules. You need to avoid overindulgence on supposedly simple million-patients-in-a-month, fairy tale spun marketing tripe. Stop bingeing on super secret 100% money back dental advertising turkey droppings.

Following 'all the rules' and practices of yore vidal sassoon without serious reflection will too often mean ending up going in the wrong direction.

Thanksgiving dinner can turn into tummy tuck redux. Holiday shopping can trample the reason for the season. Tipping a few too many glasses of bubbly back has caused a staggering number of people to hear sirens sound rather new year's party horns blare.

Instead of following other dentists off the cliff of same old outlandish brain-locked marketing schlock, get real and start building an integrated, consistent, scalable communication strategy. It will take some hard work and even cost more money than you think makes sense. Of course, this cheaper by mutton headed philosophy might sound like something dentists like you have heard from patients.

Stay away from the easy and the cheap, anyone can do it, buy another lottery ticket solution. Following these tired and "always about money off your valuable expertise" rules will take you down a path where you will meet patients of the same perspective.

How can it cost that much doc? Why can't marketing/dentistry be easier and done without a lot of thinkin? Can't I just watch a training video, steady the marketing drill on my own and take care of that tooth back there? Oops. Ouch! Darn. That dental marketing without a net thing is more dangerous than I suspected Skipper.

You could ask me to show you how you can actually build your practice, increase revenues, bring in more new patients and help more people get the care they need. Or not.

Just wait till things turn around. Sit there at the table and keep telling yourself eating all this food is a good thing. That some day you will get up and do some jumping jacks and calisthenics to tighten up your belly full of yesteryears when things were easier and money flowed like milk shakes and honey ham.

But when you realize no one uses the words calisthenics or does jumping jacks anymore. And figure out the milk toast selling dental marketers are shaking you down. Regain consciousness from the ham handed money scam you been hit with. Let's talk turkey about raising some revenues so you can improve the dental health of more consumers instead of navel oranges grazing.

Leave the lameness of last year's simpleton marketing ideas behind. Flush the toilet of no revenue movement. Whether it is virtual reality or real world advertising techniques, make a pact with yourself to do things in the pragmatic, continual build mode while utilizing concepts that help real people make real decisions about dentistry.

Promoting dentistry like its a sale on turkey franks at the big box grocers is detrimental to the health of your practice and us consumers. Frankly, I recommend beefing up your marketing strategy with data reality developed through comprehensive marketing tracking. I even have some grade A prime steroid infused data that will whet your "prove it to me" appetite.

Here is something the slick marketing their magic tricks group won't tell you - even in their super secret dental marketing reports... "It ain't easy to get it right, partner." And most fail because they thought it was easy and were shocked into backing off.

Of course, there is an "easy" part. It is in how THEY take your money and then move on to the next dentist waiting with fork in hand.

These marketers sell you smile whitening gel when you have periodontitis. They pull your teeth when they should have performed a root canal. Place a sold sign on the London crown and bridge when implants would have conserved even healthy teeth of a Brit.

So. Before you get sold a bill goodies again make sure their idea does not reek of LIMITED TIME ONLY marketing halitosis.

If these marketers have done so much good with their reports and deals of the century - why does this STATISTIC remind me of the movie by Dr. Even Steven Cling : "Caries" - the dental visit horror report.

"Overall, there was no change in the percentage of the population
with a dental visit from 1996 to 2004." (

Looks like my time is up. See you next week. Same bat channel. Same lame puns. Blame tame nuns. Game day runs. Claims son's name. Hum gains fame. Gun came framed.

Okay... it has gotten to be too late again. Sorry about that. Good night.

Happy Tank Living. A Marry Billie Hollandaise to You. Lappy New Beers. Dunk Murray, He My Pappy. Just scream when it starts to hurt.

Dick Chwalek
• Dental Marketing Coach • Dentistry Communication Consultant
CALL 866-453-1026


Dentists: Can A Lease Negotiator Can Help You?

> Dental Office Leasing Article By George Vaill

Bryn Mawr Dentist Bill Deal had a problem. He'd found a terrific location for his new dental office in this Pennsylvania town, and negotiated what he thought were good rental terms.

The office space would be delivered "as-is" but the landlord was to give him an allowance of $30,000 for renovations. He thought the allowance would be sufficient and was about to sign the lease when he became concerned about how far he could stretch $30,000.

Upon expressing his concerns to his dental equipment specialist, Bill was urged to contact a nationally recognized dental office lease negotiator. "They specialize in negotiating office leases for dentists all over the country." Bill was told "Why not give them a call?" So Bill contacted George Vaill of Winchester, Massachusetts to see if he could help.

Bill explained his circumstances to George and asked him how he could negotiate without knowledge of local market conditions. George explained that his services are about the lease negotiation process - not about how much the rent is on Main Street in Peoria - and that he had successfully negotiated leases for dentist all over the country because of his knowledge of landlord needs.

His concerns satisfied, Bill decided to hire George. George said he’d be glad to help and set out to establish his negotiation strategy. His first task was to educate himself as to Bill’s negotiation goals, the condition of the space, the occupancy status of the property and the history of the negotiations to date.

Next, George spoke to Bill’s contractor to learn what would be required to bring the property up to an acceptable delivery condition. George then spoke with the landlord to understand his perspective and to learn what the landlord’s needs and attitude were. Armed with all this information, George was able to determine how much leverage he could expect to exercise and then develop a negotiation posture and strategy to maximize that leverage.

Once the negotiation strategy was in place, George called the landlord and discussed Bill’s concerns. Describing the truly poor condition of the building and spelling out in detail the cost estimates for the work that was required to even to bring the building up to a reasonable starting position.

The persuasive techniques George employed with the landlord were so effective that, within three days of being contacted by Bill Deal, his lease advisor had renegotiated Bill's rental deal, persuading the landlord to triple the renovation allowance to $90,000!

Bill was thrilled. Not only had George saved Bill $60,000 and crafted a more beneficial lease, but he had made Bill's life much easier during a complex negotiation with which he had little experience.

Unusual experience you think? Quite the contrary. This dentist's experience is typical of the result many others report after they have engaged a lease negotiation specialist. More and more dentists are coming to the realization that they need lease negotiation assistance from a professional. Because it is not just a casual arrangement about dollars and dates, negotiating a lease effectively requires specialized knowledge and skill.

A lease expert applies in-depth knowledge of lease concepts and of what landlords need employing negotiation skills borne of years of experience to level the playing field with landlords who negotiate leases every day for a living.

Their involvement eliminates the acute disadvantage experienced by dentists who attempt to negotiate a complex and unfamiliar contract unassisted and leaves them free to concentrate their time and energies, providing dental care without intrusion from the lease negotiation process.

The return on a modest investment in the services of an expert includes a considerable saving of time and money and elimination of most of the hassles and anxiety inherent in the process.

© George Vaill 2001
34 Edward Drive, Winchester, MA 01890

George D. Vaill is president of George Vaill Dental Office Lease Negotiations. He specializes in negotiating the economic elements of office leases for dentists throughout the United States. Additionally, George reviews, and in many cases renegotiates, leases as part of dental practice transitions.
Call George

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Start managing success with the right plan. Claudia Walters will make sure you are 'scripted' for big time results!

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Thanks to Claudia we have a perio recall system that keeps three full time and two part time hygienists busy. We employ a part-time hygiene recall coordinator that spends 20 hours a week making phone calls to patients that are due or over due. We have an extensive chain of command that begins with our Front Desk Manager and her three front desk co-workers that do everything according to our front desk manual put together from Claudia's scripts and financial arrangement protocols.

We do a daily fifteen minute huddle that reviews our previous days work, today's goal and patients, as well as the entire week ahead to make sure we are all on the same page. We do a weekly meeting, every other is a team meeting and then each department is arranged on alternating weeks so every area is addressed every 5 weeks. Claudia was instrumental in developing our present day blueprinting and color coding our appointment book (now computer), so that we were better able to meet our daily production goals just by plugging patients into our daily blueprint. It makes for a much better day, week, and month when we spread our needs over each day instead of the haphazard ways of the past. She was able to help us implement a successful strategy for payment options so that patients are able to choose one to four options that allows them to afford and receive the care and treatment recommended to them.

I could go on, but I believe Claudia can take any practice and guide them to be more efficient and organized from the front desk to everyday huddles. Again, she has helped many and can do so for anyone willing to listen and learn."

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Blog entry by Dick Chwalek