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If My Dentist Can Upsell, You Can Too

Dave Will
May 3, 2024

I live in a coastal town south of Boston. My dentist office was three doors down from my house right next to a General Store. About 2 minutes before my appointment, I'd walk into his old office, with slightly stained antique rugs and wood paneled walls. He'd greet me and I'd immediately sit in the fancy dentist chair. Never a wait. For 20 years, never a wait and he never missed a day. I don't think he bought a single new piece of equipment in 20 years. He was very comfortable with his few hundred clients. I got my teeth cleaned and cavities filled. That's it.

At my last appointment with him he suggested I find a new dentist. I felt like I was punched in the gut. Why was he breaking up with me? Then I noticed the tears in his eyes. Due to complications with his heath, he had to shut down shop. He cleaned my teeth for the last time in silence.

That afternoon, I went to the figurative yellow pages... ok, I googled "Dentists Near Me" and I found a group called Luxe Smile. They're on Facebook, Pintrest, Youtube, etc... they have hundreds of Google reviews, and all 5 stars!

At my first appointment, several months later, I met Will, aka "Dr Smiles". His office was teaming with people hustling around with energy. The walls were trendy brick and there was interesting 3-D art on the wall. Mobiles hung from above each chair and there was a Ukulele in every room. They took pictures of my teeth in real time with their fancy pencil camera. He even told me to wiggle my toes right before I got the novocaine so I wouldn't feel the pinch!

Towards the end my visit, the Dental Hygienist, Nicole, explained that as people age, like me, our old fillings and teeth get brittle and we should be proactive to fix them before they break. They asked me if I would be interested in having some preventative work done to minimize the risk of an emergency. They even showed me, with the pencil camera, all the cracks that were forming in old fillings and teeth. I agreed that was a good idea. Appointment booked.

A few minutes later, I was told about a cool new tech that allowed them to look inside my mouth with a magic flashlight to see if I had any abnormal growths (and Nicole whispered, "cancer"). For only an additional $60, I would ensure I don't have cancer in my mouth. YES PLEASE! (it turned out my wife did the same thing a few weeks earlier)

And finally, they have fluoride they can paint on your teeth that reduces the risk of cavities by 70%. Super easy and only $25. I'm IN!!!

Oh, and I booked my next cleaning for 6 months later.

By the time I left, they had successfully tripled their booked revenue from me. And I was happy because I didn't have cancer. Sincerely, I was happy to have the guidance and preventative medicine to maintain a healthy mouth.

That was a long story. But, I use this example because it shows how much opportunity lies in up-selling and cross selling in context when there's value.

Think about what you're doing to identify opportunities and up-sell valued products and services to your members. Are you proactively booking the next sale? Are you pre-selling tickets to your next conference? Are you collecting industry data that would be valuable to your members?

By putting context around your member activities, you'll have greater opportunity to turn relevant value into revenue.

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