Dentistry’s Ups and Downs

Something familiar to many in the business world is the “Elevator Speech.” Experts say that you should be able to give an enticing and accurate description of your business in the time it takes an elevator to get from top to bottom (or vice versa), thus maximizing your time with a captive audience.

The reason is that many times we have opportunities to tell someone about what we do but only have a few seconds to do it. In this instance, you absolutely have to be prepared.

So when you meet someone and they ask what you do for a living, just saying “I’m a dentist” or “I’m a dental assistant” will most likely not get them to run towards your office. But if you have a ten second or less elevator speech prepared and memorized, you may just pick up a few new patients along the way.

The elevator speech is similar to branding – it is essential to point out what is unique and exciting about your practice – and what makes you better than the competition. And of course even though it is memorized it should sound off the cuff.

So please take a few minutes and think about your elevator speech. Be sure to include information that sets your practice apart from the pack and will pique someone’s interest. Then memorize it and repeat it until it sounds natural. Now imagine this scenario.

You are at the bank setting up a checking account with the bank vice president. When they ask you what you do for a living, instead of just saying “I’m a dentist,” you can now say:

“I’m a dentist in Oak Brook – we’ve been there for fifteen years! We’re really careful about making sure our patients are extremely comfortable during their treatment. We do veneers, whitening and keep up to date on all types of cosmetic treatment – and we see regular families as well.”

Or how about if you are in line at the grocery store and start chatting with the person behind you. When they ask what you do, instead of saying “I’m a dental assistant,” you can say:

“I’m a dental assistant with Smiles On Main Street in Kansas City. It’s a great place – we use all of the latest technology like digital x-rays and lasers, but still have an old fashioned atmosphere that makes our patients comfortable.”

Which will lead more towards a chance to hand out your card and turn a stranger into a new patient?

And while these elevator speeches may seem a bit stiff in print, with a little practice yours will sound totally natural. Even though dentistry has its ups and downs, this is one simple thing you can do to take your practice to the top!

Write This Down

We love being on stage. It’s what we do. And it’s interesting to note that when we are speaking to a live audience, whenever we say the words “write this down,” we can see mostly everyone pick up their pens or pencils and obey our commands! It’s simply human nature. If there is someone in control, the audience generally listens.

Have you ever thought about your language skills and your choice of words when speaking to your “audience?” After all, you want to be in control, correct?

Let’s pretend you have a patient in the chair and he or she needs a crown. Do you realize the way you tell that patient that they need a crown can mean the difference between them appointing or not?
Most dentists will use terminology like this: “I am going to recommend a crown for that tooth.”

Good way to say it? It’s ok, but are you really in control when speaking like that?

How about this? “Listen. You need a crown on that tooth. Let’s get you on the schedule right away.”

Most people do not realize that by adjusting a few words in the way you communicate has the power to turn you into a more productive dentist. There is no question that the second phrasing will more than double the amount of case acceptances.

Please put some time into rehearsing the way you communicate. And it’s not only the words you use; it’s the body language as well. Make sure your posture is good and that you are confidently looking at your “audience.” You’d be surprised how a little tweaking will make a huge difference!

And when someone asks you what it takes to become a very successful dentist, simply answer…

Practice, practice, practice!