If you are reading this can I both thank and congratulate you. Most of you are probably preparing to open your doors to the public again and getting back to what you love to do. I know from speaking and coaching hundreds of dentists over the last three months, you are really looking forward to be going back to work.
I know it has been a challenging time, not knowing when you can re-open again. I also know that many of you have enjoyed the time off, enjoyed the amazing weather and spending quality time with your families. Even though I have been working on average 8- 10 hours a day I have loved being at home spending time with my family. I have also enjoyed the great weather that Manchester has had. When you have to water your garden in Manchester, then you know it is a good spell of weather.
From the many conversations I have had with dentists and their teams, I have learnt so many lessons from the last three months, some of these I would like to share with you, hopefully inspiring you, hence the name of this article: the winners and losers.
Here are examples of what the winners have done during the last three months
One of my clients from my Entrepreneur Group contacted several local pharmacies told them that if they run out of Dental repair kits that they had them and to send the patients her way. She had a flood of new patients to her Practice and in one week, signed up 19 new patients to her Practice Plan membership plan, on each occasion, the patients were complaining that they could not get through to their own dentist. Where some Practices lost patients, she made a net gain. The same dentist, also telephoned some patients at home who had come in for a consultation, had not gone ahead with the treatment plan at that time, to see if they were still interested and she signed up four brand new opportunities. They were not ready then, but were ready now. Some of the patients even thanked them for the call.
I helped one of my clients write a new newsletter to email to their list. The newsletter was personal, examples how they were helping the community and other interesting information. The results were very impressive, as 110 responded back with kind feedback, and again he managed to sign up new patients to his Practice.
One of my clients offered Zoom Consultations to patients who enquired about some treatments and again a large number signed up for treatments, appointments made, and deposits taken.
To be honest, I could fill this newsletter with loads more examples.
The losers, I met several of these
I heard examples of Practices closed, not answering telephones, not been able to leave messages on their answering machine, just telling everyone to contact NHS Helpline.
I delivered many webinars, many of these were free of charge. I had a response from a dentist who never done any work with me before, who wanted me to read his long newsletter that he had sent me, tweak it, send it back to him and then have a coaching call with him for free. When I suggested that we should speak first to have a discovery conversation, he never replied.
This is non dental. I need some building work done in my Training Centre, on a recommendation, two builders came to my centre, surveyed the building. On the surface seemed nice guys, three weeks later I am still waiting for their quote. Woody Allen once said ‘that 80 percent of success in life is just showing up. If they cannot get a quote in on time, on the back of a red-hot recommendation, then you must wonder what their time keeping will be like as builders. In addition, to this during lock down I passed two referrals to two separate companies, not once did I receive a thank you email, or an update on how they progressed.
I know when you go back everything is going to be different, it is going to be a challenge, and for a period it might be long days, long weeks to catch up. A theme I have discussed for a while, is that you are going to have ‘to get more from less’. I also know that communicating ‘the new way’, to your patients in advance, is going to be essential. This is where Zoom can be extremely useful.
I also know that we are heading into a difficult economy, I have been through four recessions in my lifetime, they come, and they go, every ten years. Like in most recessions, there will be some winners and many losers. I feel winners will have to be:
- Pro-active in everything they do
- Provide incredible world class customer service for your patients before they come in and during.
- Treat every opportunity like gold dust. Act quickly to new enquires, show that you genuinely care and are keen to have them as your patient.
- Ask lots of questions in the consultations, seek out new opportunities. You never know, money cannot be spent on holidays, but could be spent with you.
- Market yourselves to both existing and new clients
- Keep in regular touch with them, communicate by email and write monthly newsletters
- Have a follow up plan if patients do not go ahead with treatment there and then-remember patients will buy when they are ready to buy.
- Ensure everyone in your team is patient focused, on board and all singing off the same hymn sheet. If they are not and won’t change, or be trained, then you need to find a way of showing them an alternative place to work
- You are going to have to be flexible in your working house and adapt.
AND MUCH MORE
I was coaching a group of Australian dentists one morning and some of them told me that they were bombed out, lots of new opportunities, it seems that the Aussies are not travelling for a while, they want to spend their money on themselves. As I have already stated, it might be the same here, money might just come your way.