Your journey into finding the right agency could come from online reviews, referrals from colleagues, or tips from your mentors. It’s all up to whose word you trust and don’t trust. What you probably want to avoid is hitting up a directory and selecting the business at the top of the list, or worse, weeding through dozens of options with no easy way to narrow them down.
Confirm Experience and Knowledge
Once you find the company you want to work with, you want to make sure they are who they say they are. Ask to see finished products or talk to clients the company has worked with before you. Ask prospective service providers about success stories with businesses like yours and don’t hesitate to get references so that you can confirm successful marketing campaigns.
While you won’t want to copy what another person did, it can be helpful is giving you ideas of what is possible.
Be Aware of Salespeople!
If someone seems too good to be true, he or she probably is, and it is best to walk away. BEWARE of new salespeople and salespeople in general. If the person have been with the company for two years they will not know the scope of the service they provide. Do not trust salespeople in general, ask to speak to the project manager or the account manager, the people who are implementing your marketing. As you know salespeople will say anything to get the sale.
Talk Strategy and Forecast Results
Although a serious agency won’t give away all of the tips and tricks they’ve learned in your initial meeting, you should be able to get a feel for what they will do. You’ll want to find out what they’re going to do for your business, why their services are preferable to competitors, and what kind of results they intend to deliver.
Trust the plan not the price
Each company will have a different approach. The companies to avoid are the ones that talk about product. For example, they’ll promise reaching 50,000 patients for $5. Focus on the approach, each has a clear philosophy of how to get you patients. Trust the ones with the plan not the low cost.
Ask how many new patients you will get with your investment and ask them how he came to that number. If he knows what he is talking about he should be able to analyze and explain the process.
Reminder: Just be careful about taking the bait hook, line, and sinker from a flashy company. If one company is promising you the moon and others are offering more moderate results, you can probably assume that the outlier is too good to be true.
Look at the portfolio
Look at the portfolio of work for your specific agency as well as the individual you will work with. You want to make sure it’s the level you want. Don’t just look at the best portfolio piece, look at all of it. You can even make notes of what you want, and more importantly, what you do not want at all. Keep in mind if you go with a high end company they won’t be able to produce lower end more cost efficient products. And if you go with a low end agency and even offer them more money they won’t be able to produce high end quality work because they are not skilled in doing such work.
You will likely have many other dentist friends who have started their company before you, ask them about companies they used and their experience with them. There are also places online you can look for reviews from others. Don’t just take one opinion and run with it, double or triple check before you spend time getting to know a company that cannot offer you what you want. The cost is not just losing money on a bad company but the opportunity cost of making more revenue.
A good method in other industries is to call a few of the agency’s clients. Ask to speak to the person who deals with the agency, if they are happy with the agency they will take the time to speak to you and give the agency lot of praise. Be aware of non enthusiastic responses which means they are not delivering satisfactory results. Even worse are complaints about the agency, there may be a small chance that the agency is great and the clinic had too much of an expectation but you don’t want to take the chance, cross them off your list.
Ask their clients
Ask them for a list of customers or ask if they mind you contact some of their clients. Some might not be able to give you them, but if you look at the portfolio, you will have some ideas about who they worked with, and when. Anyone you want to work with will allow you to call around to check up on them. You will know what they really feel rather than reading prearrange testimonials.
A good method in other industries is to call a few of the agency’s clients without notifying the agency. Ask to speak to the person who deals with the agency, if they are happy with the agency they will take the time to speak to you and give the agency lot of praise. Be aware of non enthusiastic responses which means they are not delivering satisfactory results. Even worse are complaints about the agency, there may be a small chance that the agency is great and the clinic had too much of an expectation but you don’t want to take the chance, cross them off your list.