Using The ‘Help Me’ Method

The importance of talking to patients in their language.

Do you remember a few years back when Allegra came out? After they aired their commercial, which showed people happy and dancing around a field and everybody rushed to the doctor saying they were depressed and needed Allegra. Which we all know has nothing to do with depression, but it’s for your allergies.

These major drug companies were expecting patients to self-diagnose their needs and run to their doctor requesting that particular drug.

Patients see the words “veneers”, “endo”, and “Cerac” in many (too many) dental office marketing on the Internet and in print. And as dentists, we are expecting patients to know what these mean to self-diagnose their dental needs before they call the office for an appointment. I blame this on the pharmaceutical companies.

Recently while strolling through a local department store, I came across something I hadn’t seen before and I thought it was brilliant. And because in my brain everything goes back to helping dentists somehow, I wondered why more dentists were using this method in their advertising.

It was a wall of these packages that all said ‘Help me I have….’. ‘Help me I have a headache’, ‘Help me I have heartburn’, and so on. And all you had to do was pick the drug packaging that matched your symptoms…no self-diagnosis or needing to know what drug treats what condition. Plain and simple. No big long description of the problem, and what caused it, but a plain solution to their problem in a way they cared about.

I have seen a lot of dental websites that have lists of every procedure they perform and all the medical terminology to go along with it.  But what a patient really cares about isn’t that you do dentures or that you do Invisalign, they have concerns like; ‘help me I have loose fitting dentures’, ‘help me I don’t like my smile’. So for your next marketing piece, I want you to use this thinking.  Put a problem out that you know your patients are concerned about and simply tell them ‘I can help you with that.’
It’s about helping them connect the dots of their problem and how you can give them the solution.  You are making it easy for them to realize you are the person to ‘give their loose fitting dentures’, not telling them all the fancy procedures you are qualified to do.  And if you start applying this simple ‘Help me’ method I think you will see more patients finding it easier to say, ‘Yes’ to accepting treatment.