Reactivation Campaign Question

17 replies
This is more of a philosophical question than anything. I see time and again people telling us that Small Business owners are not as stupid as online marketers make them out to be. Understood. Fair enough.

If that's the case, though, why wouldn't dentists, doctors, or other service professionals know to contact the people who have already bought from them in the past to drum up more business? It seems like old customers are obvious candidates for new business. Is it that they just don't know to do it, how to write the letter, or something else?

What am I missing here?

Thanks.
#business #campaign #question #reactivation
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    You stated Dentist's and Doctors... far from a stupid bunch of people LOL. As much as I deal with this question on pretty much a daily basis... I think most business owners let alone Doctors and Dentist think more about onboarding New clients, and simply overlook reactivation. You even mention " reactivation " and the look on their faces is funny every time I see it LOL.

    Ill give a freeby today... the best method of activation for a family practice dentist or doctor, is to have someone at the office call each and every patient with a birthday that day. Dr X had us call today to wish you a happy birthday. hope all is well yada yada. Birthdays are a really great time to schedule your yearly check up.. do you still have X insurance, great than this visit would be covered. would you like to schedule that?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but that's so stupid.. smart business people would never think of that! LOL


    Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

    This is more of a philosophical question than anything. I see time and again people telling us that Small Business owners are not as stupid as online marketers make them out to be. Understood. Fair enough.

    If that's the case, though, why wouldn't dentists, doctors, or other service professionals know to contact the people who have already bought from them in the past to drum up more business? It seems like old customers are obvious candidates for new business. Is it that they just don't know to do it, how to write the letter, or something else?

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.
    Signature
    Success is an ACT not an idea
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11314785].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Lots of reasons... excuses :-)

    "Email marketing doesn't work any more"
    "I'll be seen as a spammer"
    "You've got to have a huge list"
    "I once sent out an email and got no response"
    "I don't have the time for email marketing"
    And more...

    Truth is many business owners know that they should be doing this, but they find excuses not to, because they're really busy.

    And of course, this is an opportunity...
    Signature

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    What I do for a living

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11315660].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    They are not marketers.

    They do not think of themselves as being in the marketing business.

    My last corporate role, six years ago, was at an Inc. Top 1000 franchisor. They had plenty of products to be sure. But the three owners at the time were quite clear: "We're not in the product business. We're in the marketing business."

    Most business owners, especially those in trades-type roles (if the dentist ain't drilling and filling, they ain't making money--or at least, that's what they believe) have not made this leap.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11315714].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      They are not marketers.

      They do not think of themselves as being in the marketing business.

      My last corporate role, six years ago, was at an Inc. Top 1000 franchisor. They had plenty of products to be sure. But the three owners at the time were quite clear: "We're not in the product business. We're in the marketing business."

      Most business owners, especially those in trades-type roles (if the dentist ain't drilling and filling, they ain't making money--or at least, that's what they believe) have not made this leap.
      Absolutely. Most business owners think of advertising/marketing as an expense...not the driving force in their business. They think of it as a necessary evil that can be delegated.

      Ask any business owner what business they are in. They will give you the name of the profession or product.

      When I was speaking at a vacuum cleaner dealer convention, I asked the audience "What business are you in?"
      They all named the product line they were selling...."I'm in the vacuum cleaner business" was typical.

      Then I said "Here is the difference, I'm in the business of selling and marketing vacuum cleaners".

      And there is no better source of new business...than old business. Nothing is even close.

      In fact, the single most profitable thing I ever did with an hour (in my store) was calling a short list of people who bought a vacuum cleaner from me 5 years ago.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316074].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

    This is more of a philosophical question than anything. I see time and again people telling us that Small Business owners are not as stupid as online marketers make them out to be. Understood. Fair enough.

    If that's the case, though, why wouldn't dentists, doctors, or other service professionals know to contact the people who have already bought from them in the past to drum up more business? It seems like old customers are obvious candidates for new business. Is it that they just don't know to do it, how to write the letter, or something else?

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.
    I run about 5 miles a day. Eat healthy food and exercise daily...and still currently own 7 businesses (which means anyone has time).

    But I wonder why I see so many out of shape...can't hardly walk a flight of stairs without breathing hard out of shape people...

    so many fat people...

    so many people with preventable illnesses...

    so many people with low self esteem...

    Don't they just know exercise and proper eating are healthy?

    Don't they know it helps you live longer?

    Don't they know it prevents and often can even reverse illnesses?

    Don't they know it makes you happier?

    Don't they know it makes you better looking?

    Don't they know it makes you younger looking?

    Sometimes it's just a case of not knowing how to get started or even how to do something.

    Sometimes it's just a case of them saying they'll start tomorrow.

    Sometimes it's just a case of them thinking it's too late to start.

    Sometimes it's just a case of not believing in themselves to accomplish something.

    Sometimes it's just a case of them not thinking they have time. (BS reason)

    Sometimes it's just a case of them being afraid what others will think if they try something.

    No matter what the case...it gives you the chance to step in and help.

    Since helping can mean money, I guess it's sometimes a good thing that people always seem to have a case that keeps them from doing what we all know is the best way.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11315925].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Once upon a time, I opened a real estate appraising company. Because I got pissed off at the one I had been working at and thought, the hell with them, I can do better.

    I entered the competition for appraisal jobs just as the boom was starting, so within 3 days, I had more work than I could handle, so I hired an appraiser. Within a couple of weeks, I had so much work, I hired another one.

    I had that much work without doing anything but registering a company, getting a phone number and telling a couple of people I had gone in business for myself.

    Thought #1 I had: Damn this is easy.
    Thought #2 I had: If it's this easy, how come not everybody's as successful as me?
    Thought #3: Damn, I'm smart.

    My business grew and I never had to advertise/market... I did a few right things, in terms of delivering quality as defined by my clients (speed was important to them and having someone live to talk to when they called) all the while complaining that they did not understand what a good appraisal was... And they did not, nor did they care, and now I understand them and agree with them. Not then.

    I raised my prices, and still had too much business. So, I raised my prices, and still had too much business. So I hired more appraisers... But they had to be newbies: the trained ones had all the business they can handle on their own, they did not need me.

    Every now and again, a marketer would call and, proudly, I'd tell them I do not need them, I was good.

    Then the downturn came... All those trained appraiser who wouldn't work for me, wanted to work for me. But I need to market. Which I had started a bit ahead of time, knowing it was coming... But I was not good at it.

    Anyway, the idea of calling past clients did not cross my mind. The idea of having my assistant call companies listed in the phone book did. So, one week I'd have her call mortgage brokers; one week I'd have her call divorce attorneys, one week I'd have her call small banks.

    Not once did I ask her to call past clients.

    The thought did not occur to me. If it had, I'd had dismissed it. Past clients in a repeat business are past clients for only 2 reasons: I did not want them as clients or I'd pissed them off and they did not want to work with me.

    The possibility that they'd just got distracted by some other appraiser outfit and could be induced to come back.... Or that at least some of them could have, that idea did not cross my mind.

    Because in the logical world of a small business owner, the idea that you lose business to inattention, forgetfulness, or other such non-hard facts, that idea does not exist.

    Once I started to read up on marketing, that idea made perfect sense.

    Long way of saying, not all business owners are business people. Some are managers or technicians who've got upset at whoever they worked for or think (rightly or wrongly) that they can do a better job than their previous boss or have come up with an idea for a good business, but they do not know all that's involved in running a business and, often, fail at the marketing/growing the business part. Especially at growing the business using new means/ideas.

    You will find a bunch of them that only do networking and phone book. A bunch who only do facebook ads, because nothing else works... (Because, previous boss could only make facebook ads work or they, themselves, could only make facebook ads work).
    Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

    This is more of a philosophical question than anything. I see time and again people telling us that Small Business owners are not as stupid as online marketers make them out to be. Understood. Fair enough.

    If that's the case, though, why wouldn't dentists, doctors, or other service professionals know to contact the people who have already bought from them in the past to drum up more business? It seems like old customers are obvious candidates for new business. Is it that they just don't know to do it, how to write the letter, or something else?

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316096].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author StarkContrast
    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    You stated Dentist's and Doctors... far from a stupid bunch of people LOL. As much as I deal with this question on pretty much a daily basis... I think most business owners let alone Doctors and Dentist think more about onboarding New clients, and simply overlook reactivation. You even mention " reactivation " and the look on their faces is funny every time I see it LOL.

    Ill give a freeby today... the best method of activation for a family practice dentist or doctor, is to have someone at the office call each and every patient with a birthday that day. Dr X had us call today to wish you a happy birthday. hope all is well yada yada. Birthdays are a really great time to schedule your yearly check up.. do you still have X insurance, great than this visit would be covered. would you like to schedule that?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but that's so stupid.. smart business people would never think of that! LOL
    No, I actually think dentists and doctors are highly intelligent. I was merely echoing what I've seen written on forums like these about the business astuteness (or lack thereof) of small business owners.

    What you're suggesting about Birthday wishes is a great idea, though I'd be puzzled if I got a call from my doctor on my birthday. The skeptic in me would immediately wonder what he wants.... The guy I leased a car from called me on my birthday and asked me how things were going. My mind went racing to what he could possibly want.

    Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

    Lots of reasons... excuses :-)

    Truth is many business owners know that they should be doing this, but they find excuses not to, because they're really busy.

    And of course, this is an opportunity...
    Animal, I've seen some of your posts about this very topic. Thanks for chiming in.

    It just seems too obvious of a tactic that everyone should be doing it.

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    They are not marketers.

    They do not think of themselves as being in the marketing business.

    My last corporate role, six years ago, was at an Inc. Top 1000 franchisor. They had plenty of products to be sure. But the three owners at the time were quite clear: "We're not in the product business. We're in the marketing business."

    Most business owners, especially those in trades-type roles (if the dentist ain't drilling and filling, they ain't making money--or at least, that's what they believe) have not made this leap.
    Thanks for your response, Jason.

    My wife was in the prosthetics/orthotics business and most companies required their prosthetists to be able to market more for the company than to do the actual work of making and fitting devices. They certainly weren't in the medical care industry (with few exceptions). She had to be aggressive and a salesman to survive, both of which she declined to be. It just wasn't in her DNA

    Her scenario was very clearly what you're talking about here.

    Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

    I run about 5 miles a day. Eat healthy food and exercise daily...and still currently own 7 businesses (which means anyone has time).

    But I wonder why I see so many out of shape...can't hardly walk a flight of stairs without breathing hard out of shape people...

    Sometimes it's just a case of not knowing how to get started or even how to do something.
    Sometimes it's just a case of them saying they'll start tomorrow.
    Sometimes it's just a case of them thinking it's too late to start.
    Sometimes it's just a case of not believing in themselves to accomplish something.
    Sometimes it's just a case of them not thinking they have time. (BS reason)
    Sometimes it's just a case of them being afraid what others will think if they try something.
    No matter what the case...it gives you the chance to step in and help.

    Since helping can mean money, I guess it's sometimes a good thing that people always seem to have a case that keeps them from doing what we all know is the best way.
    Thanks for your thoughts on this. Seven businesses? Seriously? Wow. Why so many? It's probably beyond owning a business "to make ends meet." And how can you possibly have time to write anything at length on a forum like this?

    To your point, though, what's plain and obvious is not always obvious I guess.

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Absolutely. Most business owners think of advertising/marketing as an expense...not the driving force in their business. They think of it as a necessary evil that can be delegated.

    Ask any business owner what business they are in. They will give you the name of the profession or product.

    When I was speaking at a vacuum cleaner dealer convention, I asked the audience "What business are you in?"
    They all named the product line they were selling...."I'm in the vacuum cleaner business" was typical.

    Then I said "Here is the difference, I'm in the business of selling and marketing vacuum cleaners".

    And there is no better source of new business...than old business. Nothing is even close.

    In fact, the single most profitable thing I ever did with an hour (in my store) was calling a short list of people who bought a vacuum cleaner from me 5 years ago.
    Thanks, Claude.

    Similar response to what I wrote to Jason above. I guess gone are the days when you could open a shop and a steady line of people will walk through the door. Or perhaps that was never the case, and marketers drove them to the store. And we "innocent bystanders" didn't know why we walked into the store...

    Thanks again.

    Originally Posted by DABK View Post

    Once upon a time, I opened a real estate appraising company. Because I got pissed off at the one I had been working at and thought, the hell with them, I can do better.

    Long way of saying, not all business owners are business people. Some are managers or technicians who've got upset at whoever they worked for or think (rightly or wrongly) that they can do a better job than their previous boss or have come up with an idea for a good business, but they do not know all that's involved in running a business and, often, fail at the marketing/growing the business part. Especially at growing the business using new means/ideas.

    You will find a bunch of them that only do networking and phone book. A bunch who only do facebook ads, because nothing else works... (Because, previous boss could only make facebook ads work or they, themselves, could only make facebook ads work).
    Max, these are great points. I guess when you're swamped with the day to day, it becomes a little harder to come up with working ideas to generate more business...unless the idea comes to you on a silver platter in the mail or inbox.

    Thanks All, for taking the time to write your thoughts on the matter. Food for thought and actionable items....
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316169].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

      What you're suggesting about Birthday wishes is a great idea, though I'd be puzzled if I got a call from my doctor on my birthday. The skeptic in me would immediately wonder what he wants....
      Why this works... yes I am sure there is skeptism... BUT there is a free visit ( insurance coverage considered) The added tho this... Forget the average check up, and start thiking wellness... Send them a quick questionaire about concerns of health, and thier relationship with the doctor... the visit is no longer a " Check Up " as it is one on one time with the Doctor to get an idea of overall wellness. Going over general thoughts and concerns. ( this billsd more to an insurance company btw - in terms of a " consultaion" ) This " PERSONALIZES " medicine is what's missing in todays " modern " medical practice.

      Discuss these concepts with a MD.. they will understand I promise!
      Signature
      Success is an ACT not an idea
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316258].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Another reason that the business owner should call customers to re-activate them....

    Many people think of business owners as celebrities...or at least important people.

    This is especially true of doctors, lawyers, dentists, CPAs.....anyone with a title.

    If you call customers on the phone, they will always take your call, and will at least listen to you. You just need a reason for the call. At least that's my experience.

    When we started selling "whole house air purifiers", I called a list of my vacuum cleaner buyers (over a certain dollar amount), and simply said "I just got in a supply of whole house air purifiers and I thought of you and a few other customers. I'd love to have you stop in and tell me what you think. And if you decide to get one, you'd get a special discount of course".

    Maybe 10% of the people I called would come in and buy. (Although almost all of them would tell me that they were going to come in).

    I used to attend Dan Kennedy events. They were three day events with a ticket price of $1,500-$2,000. I stopped going a few years ago...

    But you know what? A call from old Dan himself, asking me to attend? I'd probably go.

    And I know if he spent a day on the phone with past attendees, he'd sell a ton of tickets.
    Purely from the power of his celebrity (in a very small niche)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316559].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author StarkContrast
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Another reason that the business owner should call customers to re-activate them....

      Many people think of business owners as celebrities...or at least important people.

      This is especially true of doctors, lawyers, dentists, CPAs.....anyone with a title.

      If you call customers on the phone, they will always take your call, and will at least listen to you. You just need a reason for the call. At least that's my experience.

      When we started selling "whole house air purifiers", I called a list of my vacuum cleaner buyers (over a certain dollar amount), and simply said "I just got in a supply of whole house air purifiers and I thought of you and a few other customers. I'd love to have you stop in and tell me what you think. And if you decide to get one, you'd get a special discount of course".

      Maybe 10% of the people I called would come in and buy. (Although almost all of them would tell me that they were going to come in).

      I used to attend Dan Kennedy events. They were three day events with a ticket price of $1,500-$2,000. I stopped going a few years ago...

      But you know what? A call from old Dan himself, asking me to attend? I'd probably go.

      And I know if he spent a day on the phone with past attendees, he'd sell a ton of tickets.
      Purely from the power of his celebrity (in a very small niche)
      If I got a personal call from my doctor or dentist personally (rather than the front desk people), it would grab my attention. Good one, Claude. Thanks.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316829].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Yes, they are stupid.

    As you, as us, as all.

    Everyone is STUPID for SOME THINGS: i mean, we cannot infere all, know all.

    Something in our profession or life wich is really obvious to increase for a professionist, can be totally insignificant by us or even not seen.

    That's why there are some people called Marketers.

    They see the opportunity of marketing, expecially email marketing, where others do not see.

    How many doctors you know that ask for client's email and market them with new optionals, etc or remind them a check up via mail?

    Or how many professionist in general?

    Not too many cause for doing good email marketing you have to master a set of skills which are not quite easy to learn and also to even know the existence of.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11316808].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    SC, a lot of the folks you mentioned are confused themselves. They don't know the difference between "stupidity" and "ignorance."

    As others have said, many business owners know they should be doing certain things, but they don't know how to effectively do them and still run the business. In the case of some professionals, there's also a thought process that goes something like "if I do a good enough job at [whatever], people will just naturally come back for more."

    Often, then, the key to selling marketing services is connecting the dots. Owners know they want more business in the door; some even accept intellectually that it's easier/cheaper to get a current customer to repeat than to find new customers.

    Present them with a way to do that which doesn't require them to do much more than cut a check, without insulting their intelligence, and your odds are pretty good.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11318092].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      SC, a lot of the folks you mentioned are confused themselves. They don't know the difference between "stupidity" and "ignorance."

      As others have said, many business owners know they should be doing certain things, but they don't know how to effectively do them and still run the business. In the case of some professionals, there's also a thought process that goes something like "if I do a good enough job at [whatever], people will just naturally come back for more."
      And most business owners are intelligent.

      My personal experience is that they aren't exposed to marketing ideas.
      It isn't that they reject marketing, it's that the concepts are completely unknown to them.

      For a couple of decades, I made a good living selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes.

      And for the first ten years or so, I had no idea that getting referrals was even a thing. It wasn't that I wasn't sold on the idea...it's that I was unaware that getting referrals was even a technique. Of course, once I studied it and used it, it was obvious.

      And contacting old customers? It took me almost 30 years to connect those dots.

      It simply never occurred to me. And when I tried teaching that from the stage (to groups of direct salespeople), it was like I was speaking a foreign language.

      Doctors, dentists,lawyers.....simply didn't learn marketing in college. I suspect most of them don't even know that it's an option.

      Just put out a sign and wait........
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11318114].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by StarkContrast View Post

    This is more of a philosophical question than anything. I see time and again people telling us that Small Business owners are not as stupid as online marketers make them out to be. Understood. Fair enough.

    If that's the case, though, why wouldn't dentists, doctors, or other service professionals know to contact the people who have already bought from them in the past to drum up more business? It seems like old customers are obvious candidates for new business. Is it that they just don't know to do it, how to write the letter, or something else?

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.
    When I hire a service professional, I find myself hoping he IS NOT a marketing expert. (Yes, I've actually had that thought when sitting in a dentist's chair.)

    Why?

    Because I want him to be focused on one thing: fixing my problem. No distractions.

    Alex
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11318241].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      When I hire a service professional, I find myself hoping he IS NOT a marketing expert. (Yes, I've actually had that thought when sitting in a dentist's chair.)

      Why?

      Because I want him to be focused on one thing: fixing my problem. No distractions.

      Alex
      Yes.

      In fact, I have noticed the same thing in Chiropractors and doctors. The ones that are the real marketers are never the best practitioners. It's the guy that thinks that "getting better at the job" is the way to success, that gives the best service.

      Some chiropractors (as an example) go to marketing seminars. Others keep going to seminars on how to better treat patients. I suspect these aren't the same groups. Which group would you rather have treat you? The best Chiropractor I ever went to was an abject failure in his practice. Eventually he just had to close his doors. But he was incredibly competent at his job.

      Even in my industry, most of the retailers know far more about vacuum cleaners than I do. But I'm a marketer/salesman first, and vacuums are just what I happen to sell.

      These guys think about the product, and how to fix them....all day.

      Frankly, I'd buy from one of them before I'd buy from myself.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11318699].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      When I hire a service professional, I find myself hoping he IS NOT a marketing expert. (Yes, I've actually had that thought when sitting in a dentist's chair.)

      Why?

      Because I want him to be focused on one thing: fixing my problem. No distractions.

      Alex
      There's a LASIK doctor in my neck of the woods who advertises in the local 'coupon clipper' booklets. He offers a coupon for the surgery.

      This is different from the others in this market, who all pretty much offer free exams to see if the surgery is a good fit.

      Personally, i'd never choose someone to cut on my precious eyeballs with a laser because I had a coupon...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11321668].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jeffrey Joson
    i think its correct but they could grow even more with online advertising
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11321923].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics