During the Christmas holidays, every specialist is bombarding referring dentists and their staff with goodies. It becomes more difficult every year to find something unique that will impress them. My motto has always been “If you are going to do it, do it right”. And to do it right, include a branded item or two that will make your gift more memorable than your competitors and other specialty practices. Don’t kid yourself that Drs and staff don’t compare your gifts to your competition and every other specialty practice ….they do. I did for over 30 years. Your gift elicits an emotional response from every member of the referring team. The question will be… is it worth remembering, will the response be positive, and do they feel appreciated? Market your practice “through the eyes” of your referring Drs and teams. Think about:
- How would you personally feel if you received the gifts you are delivering during the holidays?
- Would you feel appreciated or think you were just going through the motions because it’s that time of year and a gift is expected?
- Referring office staff members are responsible for a good portion of referrals. Does it cross their minds that the doctor always get the good stuff… what about us?
I thought it worth mentioning to everyone that Charis Santillie of Smile! – Tools For A Progressive Practice, is offering a holiday special through September 25th on gifts branded with your personalized logo. She offers some unique items for both referring dentists and their staff. I also would like to mention that all my recommendations are unsolicited and I have no association with any of the vendors I have listed here.
Smile! has a large collection of branded gifts to choose from that allows you to assemble your own personalized gift baskets. With a little imagination and creativity, you will have no problem making your delivery stand out. Lucky Clover offers some great deals on wholesale baskets, sausages, and cheeses, and other goodies you can add to your branded gifts. Quality Components also offers a large selection of inexpensive baskets and ideas to assemble your gifts. For some really creative packaging ideas try Creative Gift Packaging.
If you have the time to do it yourself, you can order your own branded wine at Custom Wine Source. Or you can add your logo to a bottle stopper and include it with your own choice of wine if you are concerned about quality. Branded coffee is available also to do it yourself. Just keep in mind the time it takes to order these products, before you even begin to assemble the baskets. I am a big proponent of outsourcing services whenever you can if you don’t have a marketing coordinator to do it for you. Ordering through Smile! and Charis Santillie saves time and effort when dealing with wholesale distributors.
Whatever you decide upon for your holiday gift giving, make it memorable. Take advantage of every opportunity to out market your competition. I always took pride in the unique ideas and feedback I would receive from staff at referring offices concerning the unique gifts our marketing team put together every year. Above are just a few ideas you can mull over. Make sure you are aware of the size of the referring staff and order accordingly so there is plenty for everyone. The Christmas holidays is no time to be frugal with your marketing budget. Watch your budget during other delivery times during the year. Also, consider delivering in January instead of before the holidays. It will be unexpected, referring practices will be wondering what happened, and you can steal everyone’s thunder after the fact and bask in your own sun for a longer period of time without competition. Take advantage of the holiday let down.
What are your thoughts on holiday marketing and gift giving? Leave a comment and offer some of your own creative ideas to build upon. In the spirit of the holidays, lets all work together. I will be compiling a list of gift suggestions with vendors in another blog post. Make sure you watch for this blog post in the next few weeks.
Here’s to marketing smarter, faster, and with less effort.