Building Out Your Dream Dental Practice

Building Out Your Dream Dental Practice

Some dentists have a vision of what their “DREAM” dental practice is going to look like.

I mean, they know in their mind what their facility will be like from the front door and every pace and step to the back door.

“If you build it he will come.

Other dentists never have this sort of vision.

Other dentists purchase an existing practice, with an existing clientele, and they adapt their purchase over time.

[For some dentists in this situation, they want to make changes from day one. And other dentists “take their time”. More on that another day.]

During my twenty-eight years of owning and running my own practice, and during my thirty-five years of being a dentist, I never ever had the “dream” of doing a start-up.

Never.

Ever.

To me, buying a cashflow, buying an existing dental business, made a lot more sense than building something on hope.

And after all, if I ever grew that business, I could build out a new facility in a new location and bring my clientele across to that facility, couldn’t I?

After all, a lot of dental practices do this relocation very successfully, don’t they?

 

[Funnily, I had two dentist friends each working in Newcastle NSW at the time of the 1989 earthquake there.

Both of my friends believed that the earthquake, and the subsequent rebuilding that the town was going to need, would impact negatively on the town’s economy, and on dentistry.

What my friends reported was that in contrast to their predictions, both their dental practices became busier and increased business despite of the destruction in the town.

And that extra business they experienced came from new patients to their dental practices who had been patients of other dentists whose practices had to relocate.

When my friends explained to these new patients that their (affected) dentist had temporarily relocated and was still working, but in rooms nearby, the common answer from these patients was:

“Yes, I know. But we felt like changing. And this gave us the chance to.”

Interesting….]

I think, around that same time, or just after, I was looking to relocate my dental practice that I had purchased, into a newly constructed building across the other side of my town.

Ultimately, for one reason or another, I decided not to relocate, and in the end over the twenty-eight years that I owned and operated that practice, I was fortunate enough to be able to expand my facility into adjoining suites in the same location.

You see, what I learned from my friends in Newcastle was that people primarily are creatures of habit, and they often don’t like change.

Especially change applied to them without consultation on their behalf.

It can be disruptive and disorienting.

[In fact, recently I spoke with a dental practice owner who under the advice of an employee dentist who wanted to “buy in” to the practice, built a new facility and relocated.

As things were proceeding with the build, the employee dentist had a change of mind and decided to leave the practice and work elsewhere, leaving this dentist with the problem of finishing the build and relocating the practice on his own.

End result:

New facility.

More overhead and cost.

Less business.

Financial disaster]

In fact, one of the things that dissuaded me from relocating my dental practice back in 1990 was when my then landlord brought a neighbouring dentist around to look at renting the rooms I was about to leave.

This kind of got me thinking that maybe I needed to seriously rethink whether the reason for my intended relocation was actually logic based or whether it was simply an attack of the BIG SHINY OBJECT syndrome.

What I learned:

What I learned was that dental practices aren’t really about facility so much.

They are really about people.

Because without the people, without the patients of the practice, all you really have is the walls and the floor and the ceilings.

And your practice doesn’t have a heart.

It’s the people who you serve that make your dental practice what it is.

And so long as your practice is clean, and tidy and friendly, and you do good dentistry, you’ll always have patients beating a path to your door.

I couldn’t have imagined how tough I would have made my life by relocating my dental practice into that brand new building and giving myself a huge financial burden to administer?

As you know, what I ended up doing was to grow that original practice into a thriving practice in its original location and then sell it for several million dollars.

That counterintuitive decision to not relocate into a big grand brand new facility allowed me then to invest more wisely in myself as well as in other non-dental assets.

Don’t get me wrong:

There is a lot of opportunity in building out a brand new dental office.

But at a cost.

And not only the financial cost.

A friend of mine built a new dental practice in a new suburb in north western Sydney.

Which was fine.

Until the next year another dentist did the same.

And the following year another dentist came to town.

And all of a sudden his “so-called” market was being divided up by new competition coming to town.

A factor that my friend had not even considered.

Also, a few years ago the Australian Government gave grants to dentists to help them build start up practices in rural locations in Australia.

And some of these start up practices have been very successful.

Other dentists who participated in this programme were disappointed to find out [after they had committed] that some rural towns were getting multiple start up dental practices being approved [unbeknown to each other].

Just because others are doing it

You see, just because others are doing something, doesn’t mean it’s the way things should be done.

In 2009, Dr Omer Reed told me that in the USA, ninety-five percent of dentists reaching the age of sixty-five cannot afford to retire and still need to keep on working.

With the opportunity that a career in dentistry offers, that statistic is a tragedy.

What that statistic tells me is that ninety-five percent of dentists are doing it wrong.

They’re following the wrong plan.

And so I need to ask…

I need to pose the question.

Whose plan are you following?

*****

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 Your Dental Office Staff Ripping Up Hundred Dollar Bills?

Are Your Dental Office Staff Ripping Up Hundred Dollar Bills?

Thirty-eight percent of phone calls coming in to dental practices never get answered.

Statistically, only sixty-two percent of calls to dental practices get picked up and answered by a real live human being.

Why is this so?

What actually happens?

Firstly let’s take a look at who is actually calling the dental practice and why the dental practice phone is ringing in the first place…

When you consider the fact that nobody calls dental practices just for the fun of it, then what we realise is this:

Every call to a dental practice is being made by someone with a dental problem.

And it’s a problem that needs to be solved.

Which means, that every time a dental team member answers the phone at work they have the open opportunity of being THE SOLUTION to the problem that that caller has.

They have the opportunity of being a problem solver.

They have the opportunity of helping someone in need.

Now, realistically, not every caller to the dental practice is thinking rationally when they phone.

Some just want immediate help, and believe that to be their God given right.

But not many do…. and with skill we can certainly filter out those less grateful callers and refer them on to another practice if necessary.

Now, when the phone rings, some dental practices rely on a message service for those calls that are inconvenient to answer.

But we all know that the only people calling dental practices who actually leave messages on the dental voice mails are patients looking to cancel their already made appointments.

New patients calling a dental practice for the first time and who get funneled off to a voice mail service are more than likely to simply hang up the call and dial another dentist.

And why wouldn’t they?

After all, they’re probably thinking that if this dentist can’t get his phone systems right, then there’s probably a whole list of other things in that practice that need improving…

What I’ve seen in practices I’ve visited is that the dental receptionist of today is quite poorly skilled when it comes to juggling multiple phone calls.

And I consider managing two calls concurrently to be too difficult in a lot of cases.

I also find that the average dental receptionist is also poorly skilled when it comes to receiving phone calls while trying to attend to live patients in front of their reception desk.

Things just aren’t like they used to be back in the good old days….

How do we improve this situation?

It is my belief that the modern day dental receptionist does not fully comprehend that the ringing phone represents income to the dental practice.

John DiJulius III said:

“The ringing phone is next week’s paycheck, treat it as such.”

The ringing phone is not an inconvenience, and is not to be treated as an inconvenience or an interruption.

All ringing phone calls need to be answered and dealt with appropriately and professionally.

Not answering the ringing phone at all is akin to ripping up hundred-dollar bills.

The phone is ringing because the caller has a problem that they need your dentist to solve.

When the ringing dental office phone is respected and treated as an opportunity to serve, that’s when the magic really starts to happen in your dental office.

*****

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 Your Negative Thinking Is Killing Your Business

How Your Negative Thinking Is Killing Your Business

 

Last week I wrote about goals and improvement.

This week I’d like to talk about mindset and how a negative mindset can be holding you back.

And holding your business back.

Have you ever met someone who always sees the small chance of failure in every opportunity?

Someone who hopes that it’s not going to rain, although rain is not in the forecast?

To be successful in business we really need to think like a racehorse thinks.

As Jerry Seinfeld said, the only thought in the mind of a racehorse is to get to the end of the race so that it can receive its oat bag.

Throughout that race, all that racehorse is thinking about is the oat bag.

As Seinfeld said, if racehorses even thought that they could trip and fall, and break a leg while racing, they would certainly tread more gingerly.

A fall, and a broken leg would result in the racehorse having its brains blown out.

But during the race the racehorse is focused completely on that oat bag.

Failure is not an option for the racehorse.

Apollo XIII

When things went south during the Apollo XIII mission to the moon, the key focus of Mission Control in Houston was to bring the spaceship and crew home.

“Failure is not an option.”

This edict was paramount in the Mission Control team effort that saw the lives of the astronauts saved.

Burn the Boats!

When Cortes and his fleet landed their eleven ships in Central America in 1519, Cortes’s first edict to his six hundred men in this newly discovered land was to

“Burn the boats!”

Once the boats were burned, there was no going back.

There was no path of retreat, no change of plans.

The aim of the mission was to succeed or perish.

Sure, they understood that their mission could fail.

But without their boats, the men were now more focused on succeeding than ever before.

How’s your thinking?

Are you an action taker?

Is your brain wired to always focus on the win, and not to focus on the possibilities of losing or failing?

It does make sense to be a realist, but not at the expense of limiting your own successes.

After all, the chances of being killed in an automobile accident are much higher than the chances of being killed in a plane crash.

Yet all of those who fear flying will happily jump into a car.

Where’s the logic in that?

Disruption or discomfort?

Sometimes the fear of change, and the potential disruption caused by change, prevent people from venturing outside of their comfort zone to achieve what can be achieved.

Sometimes the habit of mediocrity overrides the prospect of achievement.

This is true in weight loss and diet.

For some, the discomfort of exercise and the discipline of sensible eating seem too much compared to the “normality” of inactivity and grazing on comfort food.

Yet the long-term benefits to your body of a lower BMI and regular exercise gives you a healthier body and mind not needing so much medical attention and intervention into your older years.

It’s the same for business

Those targets and stretches that you set your team and your business maintain a focus that reflects in the results that your business achieves for you and for your customers.

And in business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

As the great man said:

“If you’re going to think, you might as well think big”

Which is logical.

How’s your thinking?

Is your negative thinking hampering and strangling your success?

*****

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 Good Is Your Peripheral Vision?

How Good Is Your Peripheral Vision?

We all know how difficult it is at a restaurant to find a waiter to bring over the check when you want it.

When the time comes that you and your party want to leave the restaurant it seems that nearly all wait staff have disappeared and those who are still on the floor are simply looking away from you frantically waiving your hand.

[Which is really amusing when you think about how wait staff in general are so keen to take your order from the moment that you arrive at the restaurant.]

And when you need some more sauce, or more salt, or just another beverage, attracting the attention of wait staff can really be quite difficult.

Just this morning I had to visit a local medical practice for a blood test that my doctor had ordered. When I entered the practice the one receptionist was on the phone talking to a patient [based on the conversation I heard].

All I needed from her during that two minute wait was a visual acknowledgement of my presence so that I could sign her, or show her my pathology referral so that she could wave me through to the pathology rooms at the back of the practice.

Sadly, there was no acknowledgement.

It was as though I was invisible.

Is it just me, or does it seem that in this day and age, service staff are unable to multi-task at all?

Is mono-tasking now the norm?

Years ago, I was consulting in a dental practice where I witnessed a new patient arrive at the front desk and be ignored for over three minutes while the dental receptionist mono-tasked with a patient on the phone.

There was no act of recognition, no act of motioning towards a comfortable seat, no act of smiling “hello”.

As a spectator sitting in the practice reception lounge this was very painful for me to witness.

And I wasn’t the only person present in that lounge…. Other patients witnessed this act of ignoring first hand.

Has this ever happened to you in a service situation?

More importantly, is this happening in your dental practice behind your own back?

In business today, more and more, as a business owner you need to have staff with exceptional peripheral vision, who are able to offer assistance, and offer attention, and solve issues and resolve issues without the need of being constantly asked to do so.

Proactivity is what is needed.

Sometimes I feel that I’m living in a world where service staff are wearing invisible dog cones that I cannot see.

And that they cannot see around out of.

They are permanently blinkered?

Is this your experience? 

As a customer?

As an employer?

If it is your experience, then it’s time  for things to stop.

Blinkered employees should no longer be accepted, and companies and businesses lacking in service because of poor peripheral vision do not deserve your patronage.

*****

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

 

Goals. Goals. And Goals.

Goals. Goals. And Goals.

As is usual and customary, the celebration of a new year, or calendar, for many people seems to be as good a time as any to start afresh with goals and resolutions and aspirations.

The sad thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that most resolutions made at this time of year are abandoned.

And often abandoned well before the end of the first month of the year.

Why is that?

Lack of accountability is probably the main factor.

Considering that the VAST majority of resolvers discard their resolutions, conformity [to failure] is considered acceptable.

It is said that only three percent of the population have substantial written down goals and review those goals.

 

 

And when you corollate those numbers beside the fact that at age sixty-five, only five percent of the population can afford to retire [considered well off or wealthy], then there might just be something in this goal-setting exercise?

A Matrix of Goals

Dan Kennedy said:

“A matrix of long term, medium term, and short term goals linked to a chief purpose and/or a clear vision is essential if you are to tap both your own full potential and the full potential of others to assist you.”

These are powerful words.

Goals and aspirations cannot successfully be achieved if they are in fact only a list of random dreams and desires.

Your goals need to be a progressive course of achievable events that will lead you to your ultimate finale.

When I talk with clients about achieving financial personal and practice goals, we relate our lofty aspirational goals to the incremental monthly, weekly and daily and hourly requirements that need to happen consistently so that the lofty annual goal can be achieved.

Chunking our big goals down into smaller achievable bite-sized components is the best way of accomplishing what we set out to achieve.

Ensuring a commonality of purpose and a congruence amongst our goals, as Kennedy stated, is indeed the best way of staying on track towards achieving what we set out to do, because the actions required towards achieving one goal may be of assistance in achieving other subsequent goals.

The setting of goals that I’ve worked on with clients has allowed them to smash through their self-limiting beliefs and self-imposed glass ceilings and achieve dramatic improvements that they had never thought possible.

*****

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 Greeting The Arriving Patient With An Ultimate Patient Experience?

Are You Greeting The Arriving Patient With An Ultimate Patient Experience?

Recently I wrote about the importance of managing the ARRIVAL processes for the patients visiting our dental practice, and how the management of these processes, or the failure to optimally manage these processes, can have an effect on whether or not a patient continues as a patient of our practice.

As I have said, if your practice is falling down on any of the intermediary steps between what’s getting people to call your office and when they learn about what treatment they actually need to be getting done, it really doesn’t matter how great your case presentation skills are, nor how schmick your marketing is.

Looking after the needs of the arriving patient, and exceeding their expectations can be a real game breaker for your dental practice.

Here’s what you should be doing when the patient arrives at your practice:

When a patient arrives inside our practice there are certain parameters that need to be met.

The practice needs to:

  • Identify the arriving patient
  • Greet the arriving patient
  • Let them know the time frame for their visit [is the dental provider running on time?]
  • Direct them to a seat in the client lounge area

But what if we could do better?

What if our team members were:

  • Trained to Beat the GreetTM?What if our staff actively tried and succeeded in greeting each arriving patient by name before the patient had time to announce who they were?
  • Ready in anticipation?How many times do patients walk in to your dental practice and are made to feel as if they are an interruption to someone there’s “busy” schedule?
  • To have the arriving patient’s favourite beverage READY for them on arrival?
  • Letting every arriving patient know how great it was to see them, and how we had been looking forward ALL DAY to their visit?
  • Thanking every arriving patient sincerely for being on time, or better still, early, for their appointment?

 

How’s Your Hang TimeTM?

Hang TimeTM is the time spent by the patient between their arrival to the dental practice and their transfer from the client lounge down to the treatment room.

I’d rather not call it WAITING TIME as I’d like to think of it as being peaceful and serene, like hanging up in the air on a hang glider, soaring majestically without a care.

The way that we attend to our patients during this time [or that we FAIL TO attend to them] can seriously affect their state of mind and have bearing on whether or not they accept or decline any treatment we propose.

What we want to avoid during this time is “PARKING” or neglecting or ignoring the patient to such an extent that they decide [before meeting the dentist] that our dental practice IS NOT where they will be getting their dental treatment done.

Sometimes it is the LACK OF attention to our patients or our indifference or their perception of our indifference towards them that creates these feelings and opinions.

That being said, the cost of avoiding these negligent or neglectful scenarios is far less than the ongoing effects of allowing the feelings of neglect to take root.

So what can we do during Hang TimeTM?

Our practice could:

  • Have pleasant music being played at an appropriate volume
  • Maybe have their favourite music playing?
  • Offer a range of beverages and refreshments
  • Maybe even have their beverage of choice ready for them to enjoy?
  • Have suitable and appropriate [current] reading materials available
  • Have clean and well-presented furnishings and fixtures.
  • Have people employed in a concierge style role, visiting with patients, sitting and discussing their concerns, or even themselves.
  • Discuss any recent events or occurrences particularly mentioned previously by the patient?
  • Offer secure wi-fi access
  • Offer them warm or cold towels, if needed, prior to their treatment
  • Be mindful of the time and offer apologies and also explanations for any time delays.
  • Congratulate them on being a patient of the practice for however many years?

Managing the arrival processes at your dental practice in a way that makes your practice stand out from your competitors is a sure fire way to build a bevvy of loyal customers who wouldn’t think of ever going anywhere else for their dental treatment, ever.

*****

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

 

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