Business Stories Jan 31, 2012

“Open Wide.”

If that got you thinking about a visit to the dentist, 10 out of 10.

I had a visit not to one dentist but to a very large group of them over the weekend in Newcastle, UK at the weirdly out-of-the-box named ‘Marketing Pirates of Dentistry’ Conference (well, more of an experience than a conference really!)

And all our mouths were wide open as we heard about the amazing ways dentists like David Hickey and Jaspal Sandhu are involving their patients in B1G1 giving. And it’s amazing in ways you might not imagine.

Take David as a case in point. He is, somewhat famously now, know as the Pain-Free Dentist. One look at his site vividly illustrates what Pain-Free literally means. And he guarantees it too.



Part of the magic of Pain Free is ‘diversion’. For example, you never actually see the syringe if you’re having an injection and other things are going on so that you don’t feel a thing.

And now, B1G1 is playing a part in that diversion by focusing people on the joy of giving instead of the potential pain of dental work!

Here’s a typical dialogue:

“Mrs. Johnson, just before we begin, there’s something really important we want you to choose. Can we get you to do that now?”

“Of course”

“Well, as you know, here in our practice we change lives and we want you to choose the impact we’re going to have today. Is  that OK?”


“Well, let me ask Julie to explain the things we’re doing this month …..”

And then the Dental Nurse simply explains that this month the team has chosen 3-5 projects for the month from the 605 projects on B1G1 — for example it could range from giving a child access to water for the rest of their life, giving a family a sustainable income, protecting so many square metres of rain-forest for the Orang Utans, to 15 children getting a nourishing meal each day.

And then Julie takes note of Mrs. Johnson’s choice and lets Sally on Reception know.

Then, when Mrs. Johnson pays the bill as she leaves, Sally hands her a personalized Certificate of Appreciation. Imagine the WOW and the Connection (let alone the pain-free!)

Flip to Jaspal (or Jas as most people know him) at High Street Dental. His system is simpler: just purple-colored tokens. When a client leaves, they simply put their token into the jar marked with the name of their favorite project that month. And then Jas’s team allocates the giving that month based on which project got the most tokens.



But there’s something else going on here too. Go back to how David Hickey expressed it earlier:

Well, as you know, here in our practice we change lives and we want you to choose the impact we’re going to have today. Is that OK?

It’s a brilliantly way of linking PURPOSE into what you do every day. David (and all of his colleagues with Marketing Pirates) don’t do dentistry — they change lives. Mrs. Johnson walks away with a perfect smile after David does his magic on her teeth. Her life is forever changed. And now the lives of others are changed too.

But it’s also deeper than that isn’t it?. Mrs Johnson now has a real reason to refer her family and friends to David.

For example, when she goes home she’ll not just say,  “I went to the dentist today” she’ll add, “And I helped change lives.”

Changing lives is part of the magic of B1G1. Come and experience it too. Whatever it is you do, now you can do it AND change lives as well.

Masami Sato

Masami is the founder and CEO of B1G1 and is the guiding light behind almost every project in B1G1! She is one of the most humble and inspiring people you’ll ever meet.

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