Drinking Fine Wine: a Lesson in Dental Marketing.

‘What wine would you recommend?’ I asked the server. My companion and I were having a long-awaited celebratory dinner. We wanted just the right pairing.

The server disappeared and just as quickly reappeared with 3 taster-size glasses. She generously splashed a trio of samples for our consideration.

After some deliberation, we both pointed to the same taster glass. She nodded and a bottle of our choice appeared to accompany a most memorable sunset dinner.

Now compare a similar circumstance. An overly-educated server, asked the same above question, lists the qualities of the wines. He informs of the vineyards, the terroir.

He discusses vinification methods. And most importantly, he informs us of the PRICE. This usually is accompanied by the kiss-of-death-to-the-sale ‘B-word’ As in, ‘This is my personal favourite,’ the sommelier says, ‘BUT the price is . . . .’

The server in the first example was a master salesperson. She sold benefits galore. By saying virtually nothing. When tasting we thought nothing of vinification, or country or vintage or price.

That evening we were in the market for experience. The server recognized this. She silently gave us 3 options. Period. We wanted benefits. She sold the experience. And we bought and will go back. Had she mentioned price, I would have prudently picked a less expensive wine; and suffered the more for lack of experience.

In your dental practice, are you selling benefits to your clients? Are you giving them ‘samples’ in the form of before-and-after photographs? Are they seeing the live presentation in yourself and walking staff realities?

Or are you beating them up with ‘features’ like price savings, fewer appointments and durability? Are you tripping them up with a dental school lecture on materials chemistry?

Know your client. Let them decide what benefits they would like. Then present them with the benefits they are looking for: looking younger, having more sex appeal; you can give them more self-confidence, improved public appearance, freedom for a full blown, laugh out loud with a glass of wine in each hand.

As the wine waiter demonstrated to me, customers and patients will almost always make a final decision based on the existential benefits of experience. That’s all you have to present.