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“Contagious” Book Lessons!

By January 15, 2014June 27th, 2023Michael's Operatory, Practice Management

I’m still going through the “Contagious” book I previously blogged about and wanted to share some more lessons I learned from it.

Remember: word-of-mouth marketing works best when you employ the 6 STEPPS (that’s not a typo): (1) social currency, (2) triggers, (3) emotion, (4) public, (5) practical value, and (6) story.

Let’s look at this a little deeper, shall we?

Social Currency

Are you a cool dentist? Is your practice cool? Is your website cool? Are your staff cool? Are you the James Bond of the dental world? My wife, Paris, likes “Harvey” from the Netflix show “Suits” (a show about lawyers). He’s a lady’s man, a charmer, a great orator, a knowledgeable lawyer, and a skillful negotiator. And s  thinks he’s also pretty good-looking.   Bottom line: he’s cool. And she likes talking about him to her friends because of his character. I like James Bond. He drives a fancy car, has cool gadgets, has nice watches and suits, and has a license to kill. He’s also fit and is a charmer (he usually wins at cards as well). He’s cool too.

So, going back to your practice, think about this: do you consider yourself, your team members and your practice remarkable, unique, and cool? Are you doing anything different from other practices? If you want to see some “cool” examples of businesses, just look at restaurants. Sure, lots of them fail. But every now and then, you come across a restaurant that is just “cool”. Like those rest rants that offer a unique dining experience – completely in the dark! Or what about a  restaurant that is on a pirate ship? Or what about a restaurant in a haunted house or top of the CN Tower? Just watch one of my favourite shows – Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and you’ll see what I mean! And within those restaurants, in addition to having a unique theme, they may offer something truly unique – like a $35,000 bottle of alcohol I was told about (apparently, the CN Tower acquired one recently).

Is the atmosphere in your practice ‘cool’? Do you and your staff dress professionally but in a noticeably different fashion from other dental practices? Does your practice sm l different from other practices (think: white tea as per Westin Hotels)? Do you have spa-like amenities like a massage chair, foot bath, espresso machine, big-screen TVs, and magazines? Do you have a play area or young children with the latest gadgets and gizmos? Think about how you can keep yourself and your practice ‘cool’. The ‘cooler’ you are, the more likely your patients will tell others about it/you / their experience going to your office.


This is a tough one, I think. You need to look around yo  (prospective) patients’ environment and get them thinking about coming to see you when they need to. Triggers are all about conn ting two or more ideas together so that they seem to go hand-in-hand. Eggs and bacon. Hockey and b r. Politics and $#@^@#. You get the point.

So when your prospective patients are drinking coffee, for example, or wine or tea, they might think about the stains that they are creating on their teeth. How can you get into their heads that you offer teeth whitening services? In the morning, before leaving their house, they typically eat breakfast, take a shower, and brush their teeth (among other things). When they go to brush their teeth, something they should be doing regularly, but have pain, where is your practice in their mind? Where is your presence in their ba room? What if they have a special occasion coming up that makes them think they need to get a cleaning/treatment? A job interview, a date, professional photos, a wedding, etc. Think about these things and how you can position yourself to make them think about coming to see you when they are going thinking about these special occasions. What about if they’re doing something routine – like going to the gym or shopping for food or filling up on gas. How can you create a ‘trigger’ so that they think about your services during these routine times? Here’s your chance to be creative.

Remember: top of mind means the tip of the tongue, and the more likely it is they will call you/your office.

In future blogs, I’ll discuss Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Story.

The Content of this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal, financial, tax, or other professional advice of any kind. You are advised to contact DMC (or other counsel) to seek specific legal advice concerning your individual situation.