Don’t Show Them HOW We Make the Sausage!

There’s a saying:  “Everyone likes sausage, but nobody wants to see how it’s made.”

sausage-makingWe dentists are technically very highly-trained.  And, we love to show our talents off to our colleagues… and our patients.  The latter can be a mistake, in my opinion.  One of my dental school professors told me, “Dentists are the kind of people who, if you ask them for the time, they’ll tell you how to build a clock.”

We love to talk about the FEATURES of what we do and gloss over the BENEFITS.   Patients are interested in BENEFITS.  They don’t care how we do it!  They really, REALLY don’t!

Homemade traditional sausageOn so many dental websites, I see CLINICAL descriptions of dental procedures in excruciating detail.  The focus is on the HOW rather than the WHY.  We have to remember who are target audience is.

Besides the encyclopedic descriptions of how we do that voodoo that we do so well, many dentists mistakenly use clinical photos that would do well to grace the pages of a dental journal, but they have NO PLACE in marketing our services.  Just tell me what time it is!Today I was “ego-surfing” on Google to see how my website was doing for certain keywords.  And, I came across another local dentist’s website that I had to check out.  I’ve seen some photos on websites that made me cringe.  But, the real test is my wife’s reaction.  She’s not a dentist.  She’s a NORMAL person.  And, I think her reaction is a reasonable representation of what we could expect from a lot of laypeople.

Here’s what I found… and what made my wife turn away, exclaiming, “Geeez!” 

The photo starts off with the left half as the “before” and the right half as the “after.  There’s a clever tab in the middle that the visitor can drag back and forth.


This is how the photo starts.  I do think the “drag tab” in the middle is a cool feature.

Here's the full view of the "before."  Yeeeeiiiiiiiiiikes!

Here’s the full view of the “Before.” Yeeeeiiiiiiiiiikes!  Prepped teeth!

The "After" shot.

The “After” shot.

Please, my fellow Dental Warriors… don’t use photos of PREPPED teeth!  Don’t use photos of implant abutments.  Stop grossing out your website visitors!  Don’t show them HOW we do it.

Show and tell them WHY.  Discuss and illustrate the BENEFITS of treatment.  Will it LOOK good?  Will it FEEL good?  Will it LAST a long time?  How will it enhance their quality of life?  Eat their favorite foods?  Smile with confidence?  Speak with confidence?  Be kissable?  Attract a mate?  Get a job?  Enjoy looking in the mirror?

Just for a moment….  stop thinking like a dentist.  What do patients REALLY want?

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4 Responses to Don’t Show Them HOW We Make the Sausage!

  1. Mike says:

    A dentist I worked for right out of school used to refer to Ruth’s Chris when he told me to “sell them the sizzle, not the steak”.

  2. Paul O'Boyle says:

    Cheets mate, just deleted my entire website content with detailed descriptions of how we do that. Waste of time. Just told people what we do every day to make people feel better. Simple as that. Thanks for making me feel better about my decision. Keep up the fight.

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