So many dentists really miss the point about business.
The purpose of any business is to obtain repeat business.
Repeat business provides income that recurs and recurs and recurs.
It is very difficult to be in business without regular customers.
Take garden maintenance for instance.
Lawns grow, trees grow, weeds grow.
Lawns need mowing, trees need pruning and weeds need removing.
Some people choose to do these jobs themselves in their own home, while others hire in outside help to keep the lawns and hedges looking immaculate, and the trees in shape and the weeds out of sight….
Those who run a homecare garden maintenance business have a regular set of clients paying them a continuing stream of revenue to keep their gardens in immaculate condition.
It’s easy to see those homes who use the professionals for their garden maintenance. These homes always look immaculate and the maintenance is done during the week, leaving the owner sufficient weekend time to enjoy his leisure.
While those who do it themselves just don’t seem to have the “presentation”?
In dentistry the repeat business is your database of regular patients.
These are the people who come and see you on a regular basis for hygiene and dental maintenance.
They love your work, they love your office, and they love everything that you do for them.
They trust you implicitly and accept your treatment recommendations and go ahead and book, and keep their appointments.
Usually with no questions asked.
They refer their friends and colleagues to you.
And they know your name…..
A list of regular attendees does not simply happen overnight.
It grows over time.
A great dental practice turns new patients into regular attendees and then into long term patients.
Patients only leave a dental practice when they either move away, or pass away, or feel that they are taken for granted.
When a regular patient feels that they are being taken for granted it usually means that they are feeling ignored or they are feeling a lack of appreciation.
I recently had dinner with a couple who had been long term patients of a dental practice for over thirty years.
Their dental practice had been acquired by a corporation, and in the three times that the woman had been back to that practice she had seen three different dentists who had each raised three different issues about her teeth, none of which she understood and none of which she believed.
She and her husband are now looking for a new dental home.
Did the Corporation understand what they had acquired with this dental practice?
It appears not….
It appears that the corporation had simply taken the dental practice data base for granted.
Last week, I drilled my last cavity.
I seated my last crown, and I did my final dental examination.
For all of my patients who had followed me to where I had been working part time for the past two years, I made sure that they all had a definite place to go to continue on with their dental health.
Dentistry is more than just “I need more New Patients”.
Dentistry is about relationships with those customers who are proud to call you their dentist.
A U.S. dentist who is a coaching client of mine has just this month ceased accepting Medicaid patients in her dental office.
This has meant the discontinuation of entitlement to several thousand patients of record.
Medicaid is a government funded dental programme for a means tested population. The fees paid to the participating dentists are very low.
Of those patients contacted by my client’s office, the overwhelming response has been “Well where do I go now?”
Because of their entitlement mentality they couldn’t care less where they got their dentistry. None of them asked “How can I continue to be a patient of this dental office?”
For my client it has meant that she has stopped performing those dental procedures that are underpaid and are not profitable, on those customers that don’t appreciate her services.
How’s my client’s bottom line?
Well her Dental Office is up in collections about $250000.00 this year, and her no shows are dropping dramatically.
Her paying clients are able to be seen, and she is able to spend more time with those clients.
Treatment acceptances are up….
She’s building a business of repeat business of clients who are happy to see her and happy to pay her fees, rather than a business of trying to see everyone at any fee and hoping that there’s some profit in there somewhere….
So, how’s your plan looking?
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