The Closed Mouth Gathers No Feet

The Closed Mouth Gathers No Feet

It’s very hard to say the wrong thing when you don’t speak.

The unspoken word is never incorrect.

But once spoken, an incorrect statement or comment can cause embarrassment and serious collateral damage.

So choose your words wisely.

Last week….

Last week I received one of those SMS messages that every adult dreads….

“CitibankAU Security Alert: We have temporarily blocked your Credit Card ending in 1234 as we have noticed a suspicious transaction at ABC ENTERPRISES US for USD 54.99 on 16-Jun-2021. Reply ‘Y’ to (123)456-7890 if this transaction is genuine or reply ‘N’ if you do not recognise it. You may also call us on 1300 550 12324.”

Yes, my credit card had been compromised.

I phoned Citibank and spoke with one of their call centres.

Interestingly, there were several much bigger transactions that did not create an alarm at Citibank:

  • Two transactions adding up to over USD$1600 for paint purchased in Cleveland
  • Over $6000.00 Canadian dollar purchase

Anyway, the reason for the dread is that when your credit card gets blocked, all of your regular payment transactions on that card need to be updated for each and every payee:

  • Internet service provider
  • Pay by the month insurances
  • Phone bills
  • Regular subscriptions
  • Storage rentals

It’s all very annoying for something that happens that is out of your control [as the consumer who owns the credit card].

Anyway, here’s what happened to me:

I received the following SMS message from my internet service provider:

“Hi, it’s XYZ Internet. Your payment details need to be updated. Access our App to update your details.”

And five hours later:

“Oops! Your credit card payment to XYZ Internet failed, your account 4691234 is overdue. We will continue to try to take payment or you can set up a payment plan on your online portal. To check out our financial hardship options visit [this URL]. We’re here to help on 1300 123 123.”

So my internet service provider immediately assumes and pigeon-hole me that I am experiencing FINANCIAL HARDSHIP because my credit card had been declined?

Is there no other reason for a credit card being declined than financial hardship?

Has my ISP even thought that credit card theft might have been a reason?

Did you hear the story about…..?

Have you ever heard the story about the shop assistant who asked the female shopper when her baby was due, only to be told by the shopper:

“I’m not pregnant.”

[Meaning that the shopper was overweight, not pregnant]

It’s about at that time that the shop assistant was hoping that a large hole would appear in the ground in front of her allowing her to escape this embarrassing faux pas.

Remember, the closed mouth gathers no feet.

It’s very difficult to put your foot in your mouth when your lips are together.

Are there times in your dental office where the wrong words are spoken?

There are always times in our dental practice when we wish we could rewind our conversations and replace careless remarks with better chosen words.

However, in dental practice, conversation and banter are important as a means of helping to relax any anxious patients.

So we need to realise that in our practice, we need to carefully choose our words so that they create MAXIMUM IMPACT.

It is important not to use careless language and diminish the meaning of what exactly we are attempting to convey.

Years ago…

Years ago in our dental practice we used to say a specific sentence to each patient after we had scheduled their next visit, and before they either left our practice that day or they finished their phone call with us.

And that sentence was this:

“Now Betty, I just need to go over the fees for your next visit.”

We used to then go over the fees with the patient for their [anticipated] treatment at their next visit.

We did this routinely so as to avoid any embarrassment at the next appointment if the patient was to experience any form of “sticker shock”. We wanted the patient to be absolutely clear as to how much their next visit was going to cost them.

However…

It was one of our very valued patients who pointed out to us when she was told:

“Now Betty, I just need to go over the fees for your next visit.”

This patient, Betty, raised up her hand and said:

“Jayne. It’s OK. I don’t need to know what the fees will be next time.”

What Betty was really saying was that whatever the fees were going to be, she was OK with them, and she was able to afford them, and that the fee was not an issue.

And there have been plenty of other patients who have said something like this:

“It’s OK. I have a rough idea of what it’s going to be. You don’t need to go over the fees.”

And so we changed our sentence:

And so, instead of saying:

“Now Betty, I just need to go over the fees for your next visit.”

We started asking this:

“Now Betty, would you like me to go over the fees for your next visit?”

We started ASKING patients whether they needed more detail on the fees.

Both what we used to say, and what we started to ask, gave the exact same result to us: a patient prepared for their next visit.

But the question we changed to was so much more politically correct and removed the [incorrect] presumption that everyone coming to us needed to know exactly how much money to bring to their next visit.

Are there any sentences or phrases or questions that you use in your dental practice that maybe should be replaced by something that says the same thing rather more gently?

Here are four of the worst:

“Have you been here before?”

“How did you find out about us?”

“You know you’re early.”

“Would you like to make another appointment?”

********************

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

How’s Your Business Plan Looking?

How’s Your Business Plan Looking?

Eleven years ago, the great Dr Omer Reed said to me that in the United States, 95% of dentists reach the age of 65 and are unable to retire to an income equal to the income they are making as a dentist…. Basically, they need to keep working to fund their lifestyle.

They cannot afford to retire because they have not saved sufficient and built a nest egg to fund their retirement.

They are tied to their dental drills.

Instead of being able to travel, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy their retirement, they need to ADAPT to retirement and work out what they can and cannot afford to do.

It’s all about planning…

Planning your life and your retirement should be as important a priority as planning a vacation.

But sadly, therein lies a truth…. Most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do spend planning their journey through life.

Let’s compare:

Both a vacation and a life, have a start point and a destination.

And that destination can be reached quickly, or slowly, [or never], and it can be reached comfortably, by travelling in style, or it can be reached by travelling via difficult means and circumstances.

A vacation has a beginning time and an end time.

For a lot of people, with their life, they just make things up as they go along….

And sadly, a lot of people do not have a plan for their own life, and usually in this situation, if they don’t have a plan of their own, they will become a part of someone else’s plan.

And that may not be a plan they like.

Be alert.

Know what’s around you and know what’s possible for you.

I meet so many dentists who tell me:

“I’m doing OK.” 

But yet they have no reference as to how they are doing compared to others around them, and whether what others are doing is better than what they have, or is something that they could easily achieve.

They don’t know what they don’t know….

Let me explain:

In 1987 I purchased a dental practice from a dentist who was supposedly retiring.

[in actual fact he sold me the practice saying that he was going to retire, and then went to work for another dentist at a practice near his home… and all those “personal friend” patients followed him to his new location…]

Anyway, in 1992, five years after purchasing my practice, I had built it up to be collecting DOUBLE what the average dental practice was doing…

And I thought that I was doing OK.

For the next four years I prided myself that I was doing double what the average dental practice was doing, until in 1996, I met a dentist whose dental practice was doing DOUBLE what mine was doing, and in a lower socio-economic area.

Suddenly I had a point of reference, and my thought was this:

I needed to know what he was doing, because if he could do that in his area, I certainly should have been able to do the same numbers in my area.

It was a wake up call…

All of a sudden I realised that I did not have all of the answers, and I needed to find out and learn more.

I needed to know if better was possible.

And it was.

In the following six years, I TRIPLED the collections at my dental practice, and in the five years that followed on from those six years, I DOUBLED the collections again.

And in the four years that followed on from there, I grew my dental practice collections by another one million dollars.

And all because I realised that I did not have all the answers, and that I had a lot more to learn, and a lot more to grow.

Over a fifteen year period my dental practice grew from three dental chairs to seven, from one dentist to three full time dentists and three hygienists.

And the collections grew by 8.5X.

How did I do this?

Firstly, I hired a coach to bounce ideas off and keep me accountable.

I recognised that I did not know what I did not know.

I hired a coach who had experience as a dentist, and had other clients, so that he could easily refer me to concepts that had worked for him and that he had seen others make work.

This was invaluable, because it gave me multiple points of reference

Secondly, I worked out a plan. I worked my practice so that I would be able to sell my practice at any point should the right buyer come along.

What I did not want to do was die in my practice, still owning the practice, and leave my wife and family the burden of trying to salvage some value from the practice.

A good friend of mine had dropped dead in his practice with a cerebral aneurism, and I remember looking at the practice, and talking to his wife, and it was as if I was on the set of “A Price Is Right”, and the dollar value of the practice was going down minute by minute because my friend was not there any more.

And that was a situation that I never wanted to put my family in.

I wanted to make sure that should I succumb to an early demise, that the asset of my dental practice had been fully realised, and did not become a depreciating asset for whatever reason.

It was all part of the plan.

Three take-aways:

So here are my take-aways:

  1. Have a plan
  2. Have a coach
  3. Don’t just make stuff up as you go along.
  4. Know what’s around.
  5. Do the work.

In the words of Coleman Cox:

“I am a great believer in Luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.”

Remember, there’s a whole lot more out there that others are doing, that you too could be doing, to do things better.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

***************

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

Are You Speaking With One Hundred Percent Clarity?

Are You Speaking With One Hundred Percent Clarity?

If you want people to act in a certain way, you need to give them clear instructions.

If your instructions are not precise, then there is the opportunity of variance created, and with variance comes confusion.

A person very close to me is a golfer. His golf club holds an annual match-play knock out event. This event is a prestigious club event, with the winner’s name being listed on an honour board in the clubhouse.

This year the format for the event was changed.

In previous years members could nominate to participate, and members organised to play and complete their matches by certain dates. When the matches were played was up to the members involved.

This year the captain organised a qualifying event, where the top sixteen players on a certain day qualified and then matches were to be played on certain dates.

Earlier this month my friend received an email from his golf club secretary, that read:

 

“Hi everyone,                      

Please find attached the official seeded draw for the Singles Matchplay event. Any questions please refer to member Joe Blogs [at his email]who is kindly overseeing this event.

Good luck!

[Secretary’s Name]”

 

Missing from this email was the date that the event was to be played.

The secretary’s email had included an attachment which was an image of the draw for the event on the computer, but my friend’s name had been spelt incorrectly in the draw, making it difficult for him to locate the draw on the club’s computer.

So my friend replied, simply asking what day the match was to be played.

 

“Hi [Secretary’s Name]

What day is this being played?

I’d look it up but my name has been spelt incorrectly… thanks

I will be there.

[Signed: My friend]”

 

Here is the reply my friend received from the secretary:

 

“[Friend’s first name],

It clearly states in my email to refer any questions to Joe.

  1. The dates have been published in the last the golf club website.
  2. I did not do the draw or enter the names on the time sheet.
  3. Your name is misspelt on the time sheet which seems to point to the staff member in the Pro Shop that entered the names.

But to answer your question, it’s the 19th.

Regards

[The Secretary’s name]”

 

Here is the reply that my friend should have received:

“Dear [My friend’s name],

It clearly states in my email to refer any questions to Joe.

  1. The dates have been published in the last the golf club website.
  2. I did not do the draw or enter the names on the time sheet.
  3. Your name is misspelt on the time sheet which seems to point to the staff member in the Pro Shop that entered the names.

But to answer your question, it’s the 19th.

Good luck in your match. Play well.

Regards

[The Secretary’s name]”

 

There was no need for the secretary to reply with anything other than the date.

Everything else on the email that the secretary sent was unnecessary, and simply reflected that the secretary was having a bad day.

How does this apply to dental?

Another good friend of mine says that the way people respond to our communications is a direct reflection on the clarity of those communications that we send. My friend says that if our communications result in an outcome that we were not wanting, then we should not be disappointed in the behaviour of the recipient, rather we should reflect that our initial communications have been lacking in clarity.

And I have found this to be a wonderful thought to reflect upon, and a good edict to live by.

In dentistry, it is up to us, as health care professionals to provide clear and precise communications to our patients and to our staff as to what exactly is to be done, when exactly it is to be done, and what exactly will be the consequences if it is not done at the time it is meant to be done.

The key word is “EXACTLY”.

As dentists, it is difficult to get patients to take medications, brush and floss regularly, and not consume harmful foods, and the use of specific unambiguous language is of paramount importance in conveying exactly what we mean.

When we fail to include vital information in our message we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

We should never assume that the recipient of our message has access to vital information we may have forgotten to include.

And we should always consider whether the information that we include [or should have included] will provide complete clarity as to the purpose and result of our communication.

In the email sequence my friend received from his golf club [above], my friend would not have needed to reply with a question if the date of play had been included in the secretary’s first email, and if his name had been spelt correctly on the Golf Club Website for the draw of play for that day.

It was probably less than appropriate for the secretary to redirect blame to my friend [for not referring to previous emails] and to the pro shop staff [for poor data entry].

In dental practices I have heard staff members say to customers:

“We need to check the warranty with our lab”

“That’s not in my pay-cheque”

“I passed your message on to him”

It may not be our fault, but the problem is still our problem, and we to make it  right QUICKLY for our customer.

We want the customer to remember how seamlessly and easily we were able to make things right, and forget how things went array.

That’s easy to do.

But it’s also very easy NOT TO DO.

And that’s what separates great businesses from their competition.

It’s their ability to do the little things way better….

****************

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

Are You Living A Life To Be Lived?

Are You Living A Life To Be Lived?

Do you have anything in your deep dark past that you used to detest or fear but now love and adore?

Is there a thing, or an object that you used to despise or think pointless that you now cannot do without or live without?

Is there a food, or a delicacy that you once used to say:

“Yuck! I’m never eating that!!”

And now you quite like it.

And secretly wish that you’d never denied yourself of it for all of those years?

For me it’s…..

For me it’s beetroot.

As a child, I so hated beetroot.

With a passion.

I couldn’t stand it.

The look. The smell. The taste. The colour.

It did not appeal.

Nowadays, I’m happy to have beetroot served up to me.

I quite like it.

And I’ll go back for seconds if there are seconds available.

I’ve changed.

I’ve become more tolerant.

I’ve become enlightened.

I’ve become a new man.

You can’t beat a beetroot.

What’s your personal beetroot?

What thing in life, what pleasure, which experience, are you denying yourself from because of some obsessive childhood misconception [or some illogical adult preconception] about what evil could possibly result from your experiencing of this feared object or thing.

Really?

Why are you being so irrational?

Plenty of people out there have eaten a beetroot and lived to see the next day.

And oysters?

There’s not many foods out there that look and feel as unappealing as a raw freshly shucked oyster leaving its shell and sliding down your gullet?

Yet people eat them by the DOZENS.

Plural.

At one sitting.

Yes.

Even Vegemite…

Even Vegemite, Australia’s national spread, is either loved or loathed, for whatever reasons.

And yet “Death by Vegemite” has never been the demise of any person, living or dead…

What’s your limiting belief?

What limiting belief is defying all logic and occupying valuable space in your mind when there really is no place for it there?

“Should I use a coach?”

“Only weak people have coaches.”

“What could a coach possibly do to help me?”

“I’m not stupid, I can figure this out for myself.”

These are all good reasons as to why EVERYBODY should have a coach to push them harder.

So they can see things they cannot, and are not seeing, on their own.

And to hold them accountable for their actions.

And inactions…..

After coasting and flatlining my own business for four years [because I thought that I was doing OK…] it was the act of employing a coach that saw me 8.5X my business in a 15 year period.. and that’s no mean feat, that’s for sure.

So ask yourself this…

Plenty of successful people have business coaches.

What do they know that you couldn’t work out for yourself?

Is having a business coach really the game changer that you think you can go through life without?

Is personal pride [and stupidity] getting in the way of your logical and rational self?

Haven’t you ever wondered what are the indelible lessons that a Personal Coach can successfully teach a student with an open mind….

********************

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

And The Patient Never Came Back…

And The Patient Never Came Back…

Do you ever see patients for one visit only, who should come back for more appointments, but for some reason never do?

You know the ones…. They phone your office, make an initial appointment, come in and see the dentist for a COMPREHENSIVE NEW PATIENT EXAMINATION, or they want something very specific, and then never ever return?

What causes this?

Why does this happen?

Is it something about them?

Or is it something about your office, and their first visit, that has caused this patient to do a complete one-eighty and disappear [figuratively] off the face of the earth.

I hear your team say:

“Probably a shopper.”

In reality, probably not.

Here’s what’s most likely happened….

What most likely has occurred is this:

This patient has turned up for their appointment full of high expectation only to have had the air let out of their tyres…

Something has occurred during the patient’s visit that was not up to the expectations that this patient was anticipating.

These less than desirable experiences for the new patient occur when the reality of their visit to your office does not match the expectation that the patient was anticipating as a result of the information they had gleaned from your marketing and your website.

There has been a message-to reality mismatch.

Or everything has gone as per planned with the patient’s arrival and visit, except that the patient, while they’re waiting to go in and meet the dentist, has seen or heard or overheard something that has again not lived up to the expectations of this patient.

They may have been happily relaxing in the client lounge and overheard the dental receptionist speaking on the phone to a caller who did not make an appointment?

Or they may have overheard the receptionist explaining to a patient why they were feeling discomfort post operatively, but yet had had no discomfort at all prior to their treatment?

Or maybe they heard a patient call in to the practice to cancel some appointments?

Maybe the new patient overheard a conversation between two team members discussing another patient in a less than favourable way?

Or the new patient may have just listened to two dental office employees gossiping about another employee not present?

Is your office set up where sensitive phone calls are received within earshot of existing and new patients? If that’s the case, you might want to reconsider your office layout and design to something more appropriate.

We also need to stop oversharing…

OVERSHARING is the process that occurs when a team member discusses a negative situation with someone where that someone does not really have any interest or need to know about the events that are being discussed.

And that conversation can be a direct conversation, or it can be an overheard conversation.

OVERSHARING is often just a form of gossiping.

It can often be unnecessary chatter that at best breaks silence, but is inappropriate, because silence is better than gossiping.

Or where another APPROPRIATE topic should really have been discussed instead.

Here’s my thought:

All speech in a dental practice needs to be purposeful.

What are we about to say?

What is its relevance?

Are we about to say something that stimulates and invites purposeful thought provoking conversation, or are we about to discuss gossip or fluff?

The purpose of all social conversation in the dental practice should be to discuss whatever the patient wants to talk about with the goal of GETTING TO KNOW MORE about the patient.

So that our relationship with that patient is strengthened.

And that goes for all discussion with all patients and in earshot of every patient as well.

No questions asked.

***************************

LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday November 25, 2021 in Sydney, NSW.

Click here for more details.

*****

Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link: http://www.calltrackingexcellence.com

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email Jayne@theDPE.com  for more details.

*****

Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order

*****

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

 

Paste your AdWords Remarketing code here

Pin It on Pinterest