Even if “everyone” needs your product or service, you can’t effectively market to “everyone” at the same time with the same generic marketing message.

People naturally do business with people they know, like and trust. But how do you start and develop that relationship—especially when you’re competing in a crowded field of professional service providers for the same patients, clients or customers?

A dentist asked for ideas on creating a “tripwire” for his marketing funnel in one of the Facebook marketing groups I’m active in. A tripwire is typically an irresistible, inexpensive product or service that is used to turn an ideal prospect into a paying customer, so you can continue marketing to them and build an ongoing relationship. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your value, and makes the next, larger purchase more natural and comfortable for them (and easier for you.)

It’s often a challenge for a professional service provider like a dentist, attorney or Realtor to stand out in a crowded marketplace. When you have the same basic menu of services as your competition, it can be especially difficult to come up with a promotional idea that hasn’t already been done.

Another challenge with professional service providers is their desire to help “everyone,” which—though well-intentioned—is the opposite of effective when it comes to designing a marketing campaign.

And from my side of the keyboard, how does a copywriter write totally unique sales copy for five different dentists (or Realtors or HVAC companies or plumbers) who offer the same services? How do you keep from repeating yourself?

The key to writing unique and effective copy is to focus on a very specific prospect with a very specific emotional need, and speak directly to that person in a way that proves you “get” them.

I can hear all the dentists saying, “But Kathleen! Everyone needs a dental checkup and thorough cleaning twice a year!”

True, and immaterial. Your prospective patient it hit with hundreds of marketing messages a day. We all learn to tune them out in self-defense, lest our brains explode. Generic marketing messages are the easiest to tune out. Don’t believe me? When you go to the mailbox tomorrow, which envelope will you open first—the one addressed with your full name and a real stamp, or the one with the Bulk Mail indicia that’s addressed to “Occupant”?

Yes, your Zoom Whitening treatment offering is exactly the same as every other provider in your field—but every patient is unique, and white teeth can mean very different things to different people at different times in their lives.

Clean, white teeth are the feature, not the benefit. (Is there a dentist anywhere who doesn’t sell clean, white teeth?) As a dentist, the key is discovering what clean, white teeth mean to the particular person you’re targeting with your marketing message.

Selling benefits is almost always more effective than selling features. Here’s a brainstorming exercise I use when I’m teaching copywriting. It’s designed to help you uncover the unique benefits of your service or product to a particular target audience.

Start with your product or service, then look at it from as many different customer perspectives as you can, to exercise your “benefit muscle.” Focusing on benefits is the key to writing uniquely effective copy.

  • What will gleaming white teeth mean to the 41-year-old single mom of a kid about to have their graduation pictures taken before going off to college? What kind of emotions does that thought inspire? What does it mean to that mom? What is she proud of, or afraid of?
  • What would a cleaning and whitening mean for a 32-year-old female libertarian life coach who hasn’t been able to go to the dentist since Obamacare killed her dental plan?
  • What would it mean to a 70-year-old man who stopped smoking a few weeks ago for his upcoming high school reunion, where he hopes to run into his high school sweetheart?
  • What would that mean for a 55-year-old man whose divorce was just finalized? How is that different from what sparkling white teeth mean to a 25-year-old woman who is getting married in 2 weeks?
  • What would a dazzling, bright smile mean to a 36-year-old former sales executive who has just graduated from the rehab where he overcame his meth addiction?
  • What would a dazzling, bright smile mean to a 48-year-old breast cancer survivor who has finally been declared cancer-free after a year of chemo that damaged her teeth?

Speaking of an untapped niche, would a newly-diagnosed cancer patient be interested in an educational webinar or booklet on oral care for people receiving chemotherapy? Would her oncologist or cancer support group be likely to send her to that webinar if you shared the registration details? Would she be likely to become your patient or refer friends and family (and other cancer patients) to you after you demonstrated your expertise, caring and compassion for cancer patients during the webinar?

How do you make your dental practice stand out? Focus your marketing campaign on ONE customer and find out what clean, white teeth mean to them on a deep level (the benefit). Then dig even deeper until you discover what I call “the benefit of the benefit.”

Then you’ll know exactly what kind of lead magnet, tripwire, or even in-person event will have the most meaning for them…and you’ll know exactly what to say when presenting that offer.

Kathleen Hanover, “The Benefit Whisperer,” is a marketing conversion expert and Certified Go-Giver™ Speaker. Are you struggling to uncover the benefits of your service to your ideal customer? Frustrated by expensive ad campaigns that get ignored? Get in touch today if you’re ready to get an expert’s eyes on your lead generation or conversion issue.

Kathleen Hanover
Certified Go-Giver Speaker and Copywriting Trainer
Kathleen Hanover helps entrepreneurs tell their story, attract their ideal audiences, and persuasively communicate their value. As a highly-regarded marketing copywriting trainer, she teaches persuasion psychology and the magic words that build rapport and sales. And as Ohio's first Certified Go-Giver Speaker, Kathleen shares the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from the international best-seller, "The Go-Giver," by Bob Burg and John David Mann, with business and community audiences alike.
Kathleen Hanover on FacebookKathleen Hanover on LinkedinKathleen Hanover on Twitter