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  • Mike DiFrisco

Stick Out, So You Can Help More People


As a dental professional, you’re in business to help people. Help solve a problem, improve the oral condition, provide an unmet need, and help patients fulfill a desire for self-confidence and happiness.

But if prospective patients can’t find you, you can’t help them.

Recently, I was in a local Starbucks and struck up a conversation with a young man who was sitting alone and drawing in a sketchpad. As we chatted, I discovered he was a graphic designer looking for a position. I just happened to know of someone who was looking for a sharp designer, so asked him if he would be willing to share his contact information.

He handed me a business card that didn’t really LOOK like a business card. That’s because, in our own conforming way, we KNOW what a business card is supposed to look like. They’re three and a half inches across and two inches tall. They fit easily in a wallet or a filing box. Sometimes they’re printed on thick card stock, sometimes they’re cleverly die-cut, and I have one example stamped from metal. But they’re all basically the same shape.

This business card—the one the young designer handed me—was only an inch and a quarter tall, and was about five inches wide.

My first reaction was confusion. Why would someone have a business card that wouldn’t fit where most people put business cards? Why be so different? It’s just a business card!

But that first reaction lasted only a brief second. I pulled a few other business cards from my wallet and placed this odd-shaped card with the short stack.

It stuck out. Literally.

And not in a bad way. The other cards—in comparison to this newcomer—all looked the same. You couldn’t help but take notice of the contrast.

It’s the same way with your dental practice. To a prospective patient, most of them look the same. For the practice owner, the tendency is to “be like the others”. Blend in. Conform. Be “me too”.

But the only way you’ll be noticed is if you stick out. That’s why smart dental professionals understand that a key part of the branding or re-branding process it to determine your differentiating factor. How will your practice look or act different from the others in your same geographic area? How will your prospects and patients perceive your relevant difference from the other options at their disposal? And most importantly, if you don’t stand out, how will they even FIND you in the sea of sameness?

It’s your choice: Fit in or stick out. But if you really want to help someone with your clinical skills, you’ll stick out.

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