By Roger P. Levin, DDS
When too many people share responsibility for a task, very often no one really takes ownership of it. Internal marketing frequently suffers this fate.
Many dental professionals imagine they have an effective internal marketing system, but a closer look reveals that no one is truly in charge of the program. Without an internal marketing point person, practice production will typically fall far short of its potential. This does not need to happen! When correctly implemented, internal marketing is inexpensive and highly effective.
While systems are essential to effective internal marketing, they are meaningless without a well-qualified part-time Internal Marketing Coordinator (IMC) to drive the program and be accountable for its results.
When selecting your IMC, look for the following traits and skills:
1. Extroverted, warm personality. Must enjoy interacting with individuals and groups. Shyness is not an asset in this position.
2. Neat, professional, and poised. Nothing is more distracting than an IMC who looks overly casual and unbusinesslike. This individual should exude confidence at all times.
3. Dependable. Must have excellent follow-through. You don’t want to feel that you need to be looking over the IMC’s shoulder.
4. Good organization and time-management skills. Should be self-directed and able to handle tasks efficiently.
5. Strong verbal communications. An individual who can speak articulately will engage patients.
6. Should have a pleasant voice and use correct grammar and pronunciation. This team member will be the spokesperson for the practice. Your practice image is greatly affected by your IMC’s interpersonal communication skills. There’s no excuse for poor grammar. It reflects poorly on you.
7. Effective relationship manager. Must be skilled in building relationships with a wide variety of personalities and be comfortable taking charge.
8. Arithmetic skills. Should be able to do basic math calculations to keep the marketing budget on target. A surprising number of people do not possess these basic math skills.
9. Computer literacy. Must have a working knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, email, and Internet applications. Yesterday’s skills aren’t good enough. The IMC has to be proficient with changing technology.
10. Basic clinical and management knowledge. Must be familiar with dental terminology, office functions, and dental staff roles. Your team will not take seriously someone who comes off as an outsider.
A team approach to internal marketing can be very effective, but choosing the right IMC to keep everyone on track is imperative to your program’s success.
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Roger P. Levin, DDS, is chairman and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973-0000, or www.levingroupgp.com.
Who should drive your internal marketing?
By Roger P. Levin, DDS