Friday, January 30, 2015

Protection Money

I love mob movies. I love watching “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” I also loved “The Sopranos” on television. In my next life, I plan on joining the mob. Perhaps even in this life, if I don’t manage to receive my AGD Fellowship award. Either way, I can’t wait to wear those cool-looking, brightly colored suits. Apparently, I’m not afraid to dream big.

When you watch these movies, you see a familiar scene. Some poor business man gets a visit from the mob and is told to pay protection money. “We wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to your business,” they warn. The scenario, of course, is that, if the money is paid, the mob would “protect” the business from those who would try to hurt it. Of course, these mobsters are the same ones who destroy the businesses of those who don’t pay for protection.

As I sit here daydreaming, I wonder how I could apply these business principles to dentistry. This is what I came up with, and luckily, no one has ever thought of this before:

Say I’m a well-known online review management company. I give you, a nice doctor, a phone call. I offer you a package for $399 per month. I say, “Think of it as ‘protection’… I mean, advertising.” As soon as you say no, all those nice positive reviews you had online suddenly disappear. I assure you it’s just an unfortunate coincidence.

Next, those few negative reviews about your practice suddenly show up at the top of your online listing. Or, better yet, only the negative reviews remain; the positive reviews seem to just disappear. Again, an unfortunate coincidence, I can assure you.

Maybe, I say, “If you had just purchased my nice advertising package, you would have been protected from such bad things happening to your business. You didn’t buy the advertising package, so I couldn’t protect you from my associates…I mean, those anonymous patients leaving bad reviews about your practice.”

To quote Michael Corleone, “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”

Wow, it’s a good thing that no one has ever thought of actually doing this!

What’s that you’re saying? What do you mean someone has already beat me to this plan? It’s already happening? For restaurants, too? I guess I’m late to the party.

Oh, well. I’d better go answer the phone. My office manager says a well-known online review management company is waiting with a special offer for me…an offer I just can’t refuse.

Andy Alas, DDS

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your tongue in cheek remarks are well received. This is EXACTLY what happened to me with Yelp. I was on their first page of a search in my town for a dentist. A couple of nice reviews were present. They later "asked" me if I wanted to subscribe to their advertising package to ensure my first page standing would remain. I politely declined. Suddenly my positive reviews disappeared as being from "unreliable" sources and I instantly jumped down to about page 5 on a search. I received a few follow up calls asking me to reconsider my decision. Best advice is when Yelp rings, don't answer the phone.


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