June 30, 2022
by Peter Barry, C.M.C., Practice Success Coach
Each new grad enters the world of private practice with dreams and visions of maintaining that fresh and vital feeling of importance. As dental professionals, we are excited to deliver great dental healthcare experiences to happy, appreciative patients that value what we can do for them. Then, as patients arrive, the realities of private practice set in. Regardless of what role you play in your office, the hidden barriers to ideal care emerge. Patient education challenges, insurance dependance, financial barriers and the need for creating value become central markers for success. Throw different patients into the mix and we have a recipe for trust and appreciation or resistance and price shopping, based on the way we come together as a team to touch the hearts and minds of the people attached to the teeth.
The fact is, we can go to 20 different dental offices to have the same tooth filled, yet we will have 20 completely different emotional experiences. As the digital world cascades businesses towards sameness, convenience and price comparisons, your unique approach to cultivating meaningful healthcare relationships begins to play an increasingly impactful role on the patient’s overall perception of how special we are. This is your brand. Your brand is what makes people choose you and want to come be with you.
In dentistry we all do similar things completely differently. Two same service businesses cannot be identical in the people they attract, the work they inspire, the information they pass on, or the emotions and feelings they create. It is impossible! Human beings are too different and their unique interactions only magnify those differences. We have all walked into a company and immediately detected these forces at work. Compassion, energy, and excitement in a dynamic service company. All these qualities are palpable within the first 30 seconds of entering your practice. Patients will feel the DNA of your culture at the front office and find it replicated throughout your entire team.
If we fail to differentiate our office then the primary distinguishing feature between us and someone else is reduced to who can do it “cheapest.” On the other hand, if we don’t want to compete on price then we have to give our patients something else to value. Each patient transaction must be turned into an interaction of the heart. This step is so very basic, yet often people forget or fail to apply it fully. Especially when the day gets busy.
The fact is, all of us feel more trusting and open to people we like. The more we feel connected to someone, the more influential they become. That’s why the most significant part of your practice isn’t the dentistry. The most significant part of your practice is YOU. When patients make a decision to accept advanced care, they are making a decision to accept you. Your dentistry gets you into a game where relationships win. We must always strive to find the patient’s heart before we look into their mouths. Perhaps we are not in the dentistry profession serving people. Perhaps we are really in the people business providing dentistry. Which means that without people, we have nothing. But with people, we have something much bigger than dentistry. Working from the heart builds a tribe of loyal patients who will not only stay long term but who will also become walking billboards out in the community, advocating for your practice. Service to others is the rent we pay for our room on this earth. That’s when the magic happens.
About the Author
Peter Barry, C.M.C. Practice Success Coach is a highly sought-after Transformational Trainer. For more than 20 years, he has empowered dental teams & dental Industry experts to achieve extraordinary growth, higher income, and exceptional quality of life. He is the founder of “Practice Mastery” a practice & team development coaching company that serves the growth & development needs of your practice. He provides customized team and one-on-one “Success Coaching” to Dental professionals across N. America and is a faculty member at The Institute for dental Excellence. He can be reached at @peterbarrycoach / email@example.com 416-568-5456 / www.practicemastery.com