• Mark Topley

Four tips to help you win this Dental Awards season

A working weekend

Ten months ago, at 4.30pm on a Friday I was thinking about shutting up shop for the weekend when an email from my good friend Chris Barrow popped into the inbox. It was a request for help for one of his clients, who had left it late to submit their entries for the Irish Dentistry Awards. They were keen to win. They had compiled all the information, but needed help to put the final entries together.

At the time I had just left Bridge2Aid and was beginning to work on setting up The CSR Coach. So I was open to any offers. The only challenge was the deadline was the coming Monday, so working on things over the weekend was going to be necessary.

During my time at Bridge2Aid, I served on the judging panel for the Private Dentistry Awards, and so I’ve seen a fair number of submissions, and seen what makes a great entry, and a win, and what makes a poor one!

Four Tips to help you win

My client’s entries needed a few things to bring their good work to the surface and make it clear for the panel. Here are my tips for increasing the chances of a win:

  1. Match the judging criteria – matching the published criteria is absolutely crucial for success. I even structure my entries to follow the flow of what the judges are looking for, and illustrate with examples.

  2. Present it well – I encourage people to use a designer to layout their entries. Although this requires some investment, an attractive, clear and branded entry goes along way to generating interest.

  3. Keep it simple – The aim is to get your points across as clearly and succinctly as possible. So keep the language simple and clear. Avoid long sentences. Use subheadings to break up the text.

  4. Inject your values and your commitments into your entries – tell the judges the ‘why’ behind what you do. Why do you care about nervous patients? Why are you passionate about your practice? Tell stories of people you helped. Don’t talk just about tech, say why makes a difference for people, and tell the individual and personal stories of how it’s worked.

The results are in…

In the end, I’m delighted that my client – Alexandra Dental Practice – was recognised in five of the seven categories they entered, with four wins and a Highly Commended. They thoroughly deserved the wins, because they had done the hard work. I’m delighted I was able to use my skills and experience to make their achievements shine through.

With awards deadlines fast approaching, time is short to get your entries in. I can help – but I have capacity for just 5 clients this year. Contact me now before I’m full up for this year!

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