One of the best things I was told by Dr John Martin when I bought his [my first] dental practice way back in 1987 was this:
“However you want your practice to be, begin that way from Day One.”
These were very wise words.
He said to me:
“Whatever days you want to work, start working those days from Day One.”
And that principle, the principle of ME being in control, carried through to a lot of things that I did in my dental practice.
So many times I talk to dentists who have painted themselves into a corner, or an imaginary corner, because they have failed to stand up for their principles when their principle beliefs and values have been challenged.
And they have always regretted those poor decisions that they made from that day onwards.
Remember, as the owner of your business, your name is the one on the door, it’s the name on the lease of the rooms and the equipment finance, and it’s the name on the bank account that pays the wages and salaries of the employees of the practice.
And that title does have rights.
And one of those rights is the right to choose.
It’s the right to make decisions.
Here are five simple decisions you need to make right now that will alleviate stresses and pressures in your business immediately.
1. Stop allowing patients to make “throw away joking style” comments about you, dentistry, and what you do.
In any other arena, these comments would be seen as acts of bullying.
Which is what they are.
In this day and age, patients need to appreciate you.
Not slag off at you for being a dentist.
Dentistry is what you do.
It is not what you are.
2. Stop giving patients discounts.
Why do you openly surrender valuable profits in your business by giving away financial concessions to your patients?
Often I see dentists give “discounts” [what a VULGAR word] to their patients without the patient even requesting a price adjustment.
If you feel your prices are inflated then stop discounting and slash your prices across the board.
And if you feel that you need to reduce your price because you have done a multiple of the same type of procedure at one appointment, just ask yourself this:
Does Michael Bublé give you a discount for buying more than one concert ticket?
Does American Airlines give you a discount for buying more than one seat on a plane at one time?
Do Hilton Hotels give you a price per night reduction if you stay longer?
And does your grocery store charge you the same price for the seventh tin of dog food as they do for the first?
The simple answer is “NO”.
And this is why, when you do six fillings, you need to be reimbursed full freight for each of them.
3. Stop allowing your dental lab to deliver your lab jobs after the patient is seated and in the chair.
Make sure that you schedule your patients outside of your lab’s schedule.
If your lab tells you the crown will be back in fourteen days, then put the date [fourteen days out] on the job sheet and schedule the patient for twenty one days out.
And do this every time.
Always ask the patient this:
“Betty, now that crown will be back here in three weeks, so I’m going to organise your next appointment then, but if it comes back sooner, would you like to come in earlier than the three weeks to have that seated?”
If you have patients who regularly cancel, and reschedule their appointments with you, and continually disrupt your appointment book, you need to read them the RIOT ACT.
You need to tell those patients that they cannot be patients of your dental practice any longer, unless they show respect for their appointments, their health, and your time.
5. Stop seeing patients who can’t behave like patients.
Do you have patients who cannot lie all the way back for dental treatment?
Yet sleep in a bed at night?
And others who need to sit up and rinse repeatedly ad nauseum?
What about patients who continually shut their mouths while you’re changing burs?
And other patients who want to crane their necks out of the chair and peer at your bracket table?
All these annoying behaviors by patients slow down your processes, and extend your appointment times, raising pressures for you, and for your future appointments with others.
Set your appointment guidelines and let these patients know that this sort of squirming around and disruptive behaviors will not be tolerated.
And when you eliminate these annoying behaviors….
When you eliminate these annoying behaviors you will find that practicing dentistry, on your terms, becomes far more enjoyable and far more profitable.
Remember, you should be the one in control….
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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.
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