So how many of you just cringe when you walk into a national retail store in late July and see aisles filled with Halloween and Thanksgiving décor/items? Then by August 15, the next several aisles are filled with Christmas trees, lights, wrapping paper and the like … and you think to yourself, “really?” Trust me, I’m in the boat with you!

When I moved into a marketing role I quickly learned, however, that marketing plans are annual plans and you are consistently working months in advance. The marketing plan for your dental practice should be no different. So yes, my blog post today is to remind you that fall is here and you probably haven’t even thought about the holidays. So let’s change that.

Is your office sending that personal note to your patients during the holiday season? I recently had an office manager tell me that they treat several elderly patients who live alone. “They’ve told us they so appreciate the cards and communication they receive from our practice because they just don’t have much communication at all.” Think about how powerful that statement is.

At this time of “e” this and “e” that, so many have lost sight of the simple, personal note to say thank you, we’re thinking about you, Happy Birthday, etc. In my opinion, sending a personal greeting to a patient, especially during the holidays, is not only one of the most powerful marketing tools you have, it extends the caring philosophy of your practice beyond the walls and into the lives of your patients.

It is of course important to communicate to your patients in the manner they prefer. So if you have patients who prefer to communicate using email, send an electronic holiday greeting with a personal message. Older patients (like me) love to receive physical holiday cards with a handwritten message.

Don’t think you have the time? Take one of your team meetings and fill out your cards as a group. Not only will the task get completed more quickly, but the entire team has a chance to send greetings to patients.

Just imagine if that holiday card you send is one of the only communications a patient receives that day or week. What a powerful message it sends to that patient! So jot a to-do on your list to order those cards (whether physical or e-cards), and schedule a team meeting to write the greetings to your patients.

And yes – Patterson has a full selection of holiday items. Just click here to see our online catalog: http://bit.ly/pattersonholiday

Let me be one of the first to say, Happy Holidays!

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