CDs are a dynamic method of capturing the dentist's time and precious attention and getting your marketing message out to potential clients. Because of their high-tech nature, CDs are an effective strategy to pique the dentists' interest and they can also be a great way to make a smooth introduction to a new client. "Unlike a face-to-face meeting, you can be sure you won't slip up and say the wrong thing on a CD," says Dena Lanier, owner of The Lab 2000, Columbus, Georgia.
If you're looking for an easy way to sell your services and put a personal spin on your promotional efforts, this may be a good marketing strategy for you. An added bonus: if you're computer comfortable and can create them yourself, CDs are an especially economical business-building tool.
Here are five tips to maximize the appeal of your laboratory CD:
Let the picture do the talking. Owner Tom Zaleske is targeting an esthetically demanding clientele with his prosthetic work and, rather than trying to sell the dentist with a verbal pitch, he lets his CD speak for itself. It features a slideshow of 10 cases showing the "before" denture and his "after" remake seated in the mouth. The slideshow, which is set to jazz music, has a sophisticated, professional look and reflects his "show, not tell" approach.
"To market my dentures, it's crucial for dentists to actually see what kind of work I'm producing," says Zaleske, who has been creating his own CDs for Matrix Dental Laboratory in Bensenville, Illinois for about six years.
Make it personal. Lanier's five-minute CD includes a video of the laboratory and a voiceover that describes the lab, its staff and its services. "It engages the senses and makes the lab real," says Lanier, who is featured in the video. "When the dentist can see what you look like, you become a person and not just a lab name."
Since Lanier's goal is to enhance the personal connection, she drops off the CD in person and brings a gift that appeals to the doctor's sweet tooth--a box of doughnuts for the dentist and his staff.
Add a humorous touch. Instead of trying to 'wow' the dentist with visuals like esthetic case photos or a laboratory tour, Den Gray, CDT, hopes his audio CD tickles the dentist's funny bone and makes his lab stand out from the crowd. The CD, "Do You Know Where the Word 'Denture' Came From?" tells a humorous story about the history of dentures, tying in his first name. "I want my lab name to be on the tip of the dentist's tongue when he's looking for a new lab," says Gray, owner of Dentures by Den, Riverside, California.
Provide a service. Some laboratory owners provide CDs as a resource or tool for their dentist-clients. Jim Emmons, owner of Spectrafire/ The Esthetic Edge in Dallas, creates CDs that include step-by-step instructions for sending cases to his lab or basic guidelines for using digital photos to communicate shades.
Zaleske creates CD-portfolios for some of his dentist-clients free of charge, highlighting work they've done together. Dentists use the CDs to illustrate restorative options to their patients.
Learn from experience. After getting dentist feedback, Emmons realized he had room for improvement. "Not that many people looked at the first CD I sent out. I realized it was too long and that there were too many windows to click on to start the show. Dentists simply didn't want to put in the time commitment," says Emmons. So, with this in mind, he limited his second CD to five minutes and used a program that automatically starts up the slideshow after loading. The changes are paying off: out of the 60 CDs he's distributed, he's gained two lucrative clients.
And remember: unless your CD has a compelling title, users might not be willing to pop it into their computer in the first place. Lanier realized that her CD's original title, "Welcome to the Lab 2000," wasn't cutting it, so she switched to "Painless Dentistry" which has elicited a much better response. It may seem like a minor finishing touch, but it can be the key to your CD's success.