Seth Grodin, marketing guru, recently posted the following thoughts:

It’s not something you think about very often, is it? (Not my tooth, your tooth).

When you have a toothache, on the other hand, it’s all you think about.This is a double-edged sword for dentists. On one hand, dentists have no trouble whatsoever getting business from people with toothaches. They hardly have to try. Just show up, I’ll find you. On the other hand, when my teeth don’t hurt, you’re invisible. No amount of signs, service and wonderful marketing is going to get me to pay you to drill my teeth when they don’t hurt.

There are two challenges for toothache marketers (dentists and non-dentists alike). 1. Figure out a cost-effective way to be there. A way to gently be in my face so that when my toothache shows up (in whatever form that takes) you’re the obvious choice.2. Create new products and services that build engagement and possibly revenue among members of the population that aren’t in pain. That, of course, is why teeth whitening services are so smart. You can sell to people who didn’t know they had a problem until they met you.The worst thing you can do is get frustrated when the population (which is very different from the market) ignores you. I’m not in your target market until my teeth hurt, right?

PS: No, this isn’t a marketing post for dentists. There are toothache marketers in just about every industry. Realizing it is the first step to dealing with it.


You may be thinking, how does this relate to the practice of law? It’s actually relevant to any business. It’s about marketing when you don’t need the business, reaching out to cleints even if you are not currently working with them, sending a thank you note or birthday gift and most importantly, creating value. While your clients may not always need your advice, you want to stay in touch with them so when they do need you, such as when they have a tooth ache, your firm is the first place they will turn.