The ideas expressed are A merchant givers and theirs.
If something doesn’t go our way, it’s easy to point fingers at outsiders. We often don’t have to admit that we ourselves may be responsible for the bad outcome. Business owners – like myself and the dentists I work with – can be very arrogant and don’t like to think that maybe that’s the reason why opportunities haven’t turned into clients (or patients we have), and they always do. focusing on the source (eg, leads or opportunities) rather than on what is going on inside them.
I know this because I’ve seen it and done it myself in the past. As a business organization, the whole purpose of my company is to create the dental opportunities that we do to capture new business, and in particular, we are responsible for the types of opportunities that those practices receive. However, are we to blame when those opportunities don’t turn into new patients? Maybe, and maybe not.
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Cooperation is the key
Marketing agencies are often criticized for generating low leads, the same is true for a highly specialized agency like mine that only works with dental professionals. In theory, however, the quality of the leads we generate for action often depends on the quality of the components of the lead, and that is the knowledge we gain from the action itself. Naturally, the more clearly we can define the types of people we want to attract, the more likely we are to target the demographics of the community. This does not mean that every guide produced will be perfect, but most of them will be, or close to it.
I’ve said it before, and I won’t stop saying it: Marketing is a collaborative effort between the organization and the customer. The more you can work together and create a partnership, the better the results will be. Dr. David Pearce, a well-respected dentist in New York who has worked with my organization and is now working on consulting practices on this topic, agrees with me. In a recent article, he wrote, “When a dentist understands a marketing company well, and vice versa, they can help each other.” He knows that in order to drive the practice’s needs, he must work with the trade association to help them understand the practice’s needs.
Now, of course, some businesses may find it difficult to define their ideal customers or leads, and that’s understandable, especially if you haven’t taken the time to spend. But this is also where an advertising company can be a huge asset. Business professionals are experts in drilling down to find solutions. When the business owner is willing to participate in the process, he will receive the positives that he will receive and “slowly” he will have to do to remove the negatives from the mix.
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Test your schedule
What if you get a lot of leads, but those leads aren’t converting into customers? Is an advertising agency worth it? If the directors do not meet the requirements set by you and the organization, then the organization is responsible. However, if the leads are consistently good, meaning they check most if not all the boxes, then you may need to look inward to understand the connection.
Let’s take an example from my experience in marketing to dental practices. Say a dentist gets 100 good leads from an advertising agency, but only 15 of them convert (ie, become patients who follow through on treatment). That is a small number. But is it because the leads are not good, or is it because there is a breakdown in the sales process? Again, this is where an advertising company can be a great friend. If the dentist allows the marketing agency to carefully analyze the product from start to finish, they can identify any weaknesses that may prevent them from converting to patients.
Dr. Pearce elaborated on this in his article, adding, “Although a marketing company cannot change the requirements, the best marketing companies have internal processes to help each of their customers change the process.” So, although the trade association may not be responsible for the low conversion rate, they can still help to increase the number to the acceptable number, as long as the dentist is willing to work with them.
That said, in my experience, good leads don’t turn into good patients right away. You can contact them and get them to book their first appointment, but that’s not where the process should end. As Dr. Pearce says, “Healthy patients don’t just walk into the office and say, ‘Doc, where have you been all my life?’ The best dentists have a system that meets each new patient where they are on their journey to say yes to the best dentistry. From this point, the team will develop the patient’s understanding of the importance of proper dental care.” The same goes for any type of business. Fortunately, if a business owner is not used to thinking about leads and customers in this way, they have help. A marketing organization can work with them to identify areas of opportunity and convert more leads into long-term, quality customers.
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Trust your partner, and do your part
If sales and marketing doesn’t come naturally to you or your team, then finding the right agency to partner with can make a big difference. However, in order for this type of partnership to work, you need to be open to the possibilities and be prepared to change the way you approach and manage your leads. Be sure to ask your sales partner if they offer sales training or support to improve your sales. In some cases, they may have tools you can use to distribute to your employees and tips on how to manage incoming leads.
My company provides resources on how to effectively use new methods, interested in training office workers on how to use phones effectively and provide documentation from all aspects of digital marketing. You can also ask your marketing company to record calls to give you information about how incoming calls are being answered. This is a great way to provide real examples of what is working well and where your marketing needs to improve. In short, the more you make yourself and your employees available, the more productive your relationship will be.
It is also important to be honest with your business partner. It is not enough to simply express your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a job. If you want to get the most out of a deal, give more. Write a note, and tell your marketing company what you’re not happy with and why. Give specific examples of what you see that doesn’t match your expectations, especially when the relationship is new. When you provide detailed feedback, your marketing partner can better control and target campaigns to fit your needs, and you’ll generate more leads together.
When things start humming and you’ve found the “sweet spot,” be careful not to get discouraged. It’s easy to fall back into old habits when things are going well, and then your results start to fall flat. To avoid this, ask your business partner to check in periodically (if they aren’t already doing so) to find out how they are doing. These periodic calls will help you and your partner keep your marketing strategy top of mind, plus it’s a good time to discuss what’s working and what isn’t. Regular meetings keep your business partner informed and hold you and your employees accountable.
So, who’s to blame when the leads don’t work? Business or marketing company? In my experience, it’s not everyone’s fault, and playing the blame game won’t get you anywhere. Pointing the finger at a marketing agency for not generating good leads or a business for dropping the ball with its sales strategy doesn’t solve anything. Real progress happens when the trade organization and the business come together as partners to achieve better results.