Recently I attended a meeting on marketing your dental practice given by Kirk Behrendt of Act Dental Practice Coaching. It was full of valuable information including a conversation on reading material in the waiting room. I had never before thought of the experience created by the reading material in my waiting room. The normal experience is to keep yourself busy reading the latest issue of people or golf digest. Well, maybe not even the latest issue, sometimes they are more than a year old. So maybe the first place to make a statement about who you are as an office is to keep the magazines current and create a system for someone to pull last month’s issue when they put out this month’s.
The classic thinking on this is to have material available to distract and entertain our patients, so they don’t focus on the length of time they are seated in the waiting room. The first question to answer is what are you committed to creating around scheduling, and your expectations on how long people will wait. Instead of distracting patients, what if we helped them know who we are as a team, and the possibilities dentistry has to offer. The website blurb.com allows you to quickly and easily create photo books. The books can be focused on what dentistry can offer, so you would include before and after portraits. I would stay away from the technical photos that appeal to dentists and sometimes gross out patients. Each one should have a little blurb about the treatment, and a statement or story about how the treatment impacted that person’s life. You could capture a testimonial from the patient and have it in the book.
Another photo book idea is a book that allows patients to meet you and your team, with each person having a few pages for photos, a brief bio, personal information about themselves, their families, pets and interests. Dental outreach that the doctor or team participate in can be a fantastic subject for a photo book as well. Let your patients know how you give back to your community or the world. Use these books and the material in your waiting room to have patients thinking about dentistry instead of off somewhere in Hollywood gossip, they will ask you different questions when the appointment starts.