What I Learned Marketing At Costco – Part 1

Marketing for New Patients…Like Costco

So, as you know, being ground marketers we tend to get into a lot of companies and market inside of these companies and businesses.

Whether it’s setting up a booth and advertising dentistry in the companies break room, warehouse, or even advertising outside of a company’s building.

Anyways, we tend to get invited to Costco quite a bit which we love and appreciate!

However, over the months I have come to notice some things. I am only going to state one in this blog post but there are several I will share with you throughout the time you are following me, so I guess you can call this part ONE!

When we market for a dentist in Costco we mainly go into Costco’s break room and set up our booth and get ready for the employees to ask us any questions and concerns and sign people up to visit the dentist which we are marketing/ advertising.

Sounds simple right?


These employees already have their dentist and most of them like their dentist but for all the wrong reasons!

What I have learned is that some dentists give their patients extra benefits, and I don’t mean a “free whitening” or a 30% discount off of treatment.

Some of these dentists become desperate and start waiving co-pays to attract new patients, or work around insurance companies to maintain the patient’s happiness.

I have even heard of dentist PAYING the new patient $100.00 to come in for their first visit! (and that’s not even guaranteed that they’ll stay!)

Do you want to know how I know this?

What I Learned Marketing At Costco.

While I was marketing at Costco, employees were coming up to me, but not for any dental questions and concerns (well some were but most weren’t). These employees came up and asked me “If I become your new patient, what are you going to give me…as far as cash?”

This has spread!

I hear this a lot now and not just from Costco employees anymore but from larger corporations. There are dentists out there actually paying people hundreds to come into their practice and become a new patient!

When these employees ask me what am I going to give them to be one of our new patients, I just say something along the lines of honesty, loyalty, great care, affordable prices, financing, every ethical thing you can think of…

But they don’t care about that. Heck, they don’t want to hear that!

They want to know what you can give them NOW. In that moment, something that will benefit, not their dental health, but benefits them financially.

This made me realize 3 very important factors when thinking of dental marketing strategies.

What I Learned Marketing At Costco 2.

1. More and more people are becoming less loyal patients.
2. People only want financial benefits.
3. People want that benefit as soon as possible.

Every single person (and I mean every single person WITHOUT FAIL) that asked me “what would I give them in order to come to our dental practice” was willing to leave their dentist on the spot for a better financial deal.

I asked the employees if their dentist is any good and why they want to leave their current dentist, and they reply with: “he/ she is a fantastic dentist but they only pay me whenever I come into my major appointments; if you pay me every time I make an appointment then I would switch to you!”

Now not everyone replies this way but the majority will leave their family dentist for a better financial bribe, even though their dentist is great.

They would rather get $100.00 now, just to show up to their first visit at a new dental office, than get 30% off their needed dental treatment with their local family dentist whom they have been visiting for years.

Sounds ridiculous right!? It is.

So what I am saying here is, find a way to beat these dentists who are causing these employees/people to be less loyal patients.

These dentists are causing a chain reaction to where people won’t go to the dentist (even if they have to) unless they see some sort of financial bribe.

The good side to this…

What I Learned Marketing At Costco 3.

The good side to this is that these types of dentists don’t last long, or if they do last long their work eventually diminishes or their bribes go away which leaves VERY angry patients.

So guess what? These patients start to look for another dentist with a financial bribe.

BE THAT FINANCIAL BRIBE (in a good way).

Don’t be desperate and offer them cash to come in at every appointment or anything like that. These people are going to you for a reason, because the world still needs a dentist.

Remember that, you have the upper hand, they need you!

Just use the right bait (financial bribe) to reel them in. So do your research and see what bait is appropriate and obviously ethical to attract these new patients but just make sure it is; a financial benefit, a benefit that happens ASAP, and a benefit that you can see will build trust and a loyal patient.

Don’t worry though guys…

I ALREADY did the research for you!

I already know, tried, and currently use the RIGHT bait to attract these employees to become your new patients. I know what to do and it’s all done with a simple script!

But I will share this with you in PART 2 *cue the exiting music* ..so be looking out for the marketing strategy I created next week in the What I Learned Marketing At Costco PART 2.

To be continued…

This guest post was authored by Michael Arias. Michael Arias is the owner of The Dental Marketer; a dental marketing company.

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Michael Arias is the owner of The Dental Marketer, a dental marketing company.

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