I want to discuss a topic that most of us rarely think about and that’s questions or to be more precise; The Power of Asking Questions. There was a research study performed more than 20 years ago that revealed the differences between what the ad agency executives thought people thought and did vs. what people really thought and did. For example:
- “I want to look different from others.” Ad agency Guess: 89% Public: 62%
- “There should be a gun in every house.” Ad agency Guess: 9% Public: 32%
- “TV is my primary form of entertainment.” Ad agency Guess: 28% Public: 53%
One ad exec admitted: ” I have met the customer and he ain’t me.”
Often a dentist will receive a sales letter/advertisement via email or in the mail and immediately say something like “My patients would never read all that copy” or “They would never respond to something like that.” Guess what, you ain’t your patient. It’s very easy and dangerous to get in the way of what works based on your own biases and preferences, as well as your assumptions about your patient. Such assumptions can prove very costly.
Take for example my father, Frank, owner of Star Hardware in downtown Monroe. Last year, he made a comment about a dealer wanting to put a case of expensive Nebo flashlights in his store. When my father heard the cost, about $50 dollars, he told her that there was no way that someone would pay that much for a flashlight. She told him to leave the flashlights in his store for a month and whatever was left over she would gladly buy them back. They were gone in 10 days.
If you don’t KNOW how your patient will react, then you need to go and learn and continue to learn about the patient – not guess.