The Madow Brothers have spoken with many practices that are finding themselves in the difficult position of searching for a new team member. Whether it is due to practice growth (congratulations!) or natural attrition from retirement, relocation, pregnancy or dismissal (or as we call it – giving a “job opportunity”) – the dynamics and style of an existing dental team can make finding the right person very difficult.
How to Find Team Members
One of the big mistakes many practices make is looking for someone with “experience.” While it may be ideal to hire a dental assistant who knows mesial from distal or a business team member who is familiar with dental insurance and knows your software, oftentimes “experience” translates into hiring someone who did not work out in another office or multiple offices. Anyone who complains about their former boss in a job interview is waving a red flag that can be seen from the moon.
While it may be scary to hire a complete neophyte and ask them to jump right in, our experience has shown that it is better to hire the right person and tough it out during the break-in period rather than having to modify someone’s bad habits and horrible attitude. (Of course, an experienced person with a great attitude and work ethic is a different and better story!)
It is almost always better to follow the old chestnut “hire for attitude and train later.” As challenging as working in a dental office may be, someone who is bright, enthusiastic and has excellent people skills combined with a good work ethic can become a fantastic part of your team – someone with experience who is a whining pain-in-the-ass or queen bee will have you paying unemployment or cursing the day you hired them.
So where do you find this wonderful person? One good rule is to always be on the lookout for an excellent team member, even if you don’t think you need one at the moment. Sometimes adding the right person to your staff will be a move that pays for itself many times over even if you think the timing isn’t right.
An excellent and often overlooked place to search for team members is in your existing patient pool. Think about it – you already know so much about them.
A patient who is responsible with their appointments will probably be the same with their job. A patient with a trucker’s mouth will probably not work out. You know who cares a lot about their smile and dental hygiene, and most of all, you know if someone is a “people person.”
You also know who is bright and pleasant. And here is the kicker – many times you even know the employment situation of your patients. If someone meets all of the criteria and is a recent graduate with no set career path, a young retiree looking for a second career or a stay-at-home Mom who no longer wants to stay at home, it may just behoove you and your team to ask them if they have ever considered a career in dentistry.
Have them come into your office for a few days and see how they like it (and how they tolerate the blood and guts!). This can be the easiest, cheapest and best way to find that next fantastic addition to your team. Now is a good time to start!
Does Everyone Know You Are A Dentist?
Ask the expert marketers what the best return on investment is when it comes to increasing the visibility of your practice and grabbing more new patients. Many will say it is a well lit sign in front of your office, visible from the road and as large as legally possible. Great advice for sure, and the sign will be worth every penny.
Why? The answer is easy – visibility. Everyone who drives by will soon know there is a dentist there.
But there are some other things you should be doing that may increase your visibility even more and are completely FREE!!
Simply stated, every single person you come in contact with on a day to day basis needs to know that you are a dentist. Now that does NOT mean every single person that you see face to face, although that is important too. This is actually about circles much larger than that.
Think about this. How many emails do you send and receive all day? How many are “group” emails that are seen by many people? Probably hundreds. Do all of those people know you are a dentist? They should. It’s so easy. Simply make all of your emails have an automatic “signature.” You can set this up in whatever email program you are using in just a matter of minutes. The “Signature” is the line or lines that are automatically generated at the end of every email – and if yours doesn’t have your name (with degree or “Dr.”), office phone number, tag line (such as “Creating Smiles In Eastern Wisconsin Since 1984” or “General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry”) and website – you are simply missing thousands of opportunities each year.
Along the same lines, even though in this electronic age the printed word seems to be vanishing, there are still chances to let those in your community know that you are a dentist for free using good old paper and ink. Here’s an example. Let’s say that you have volunteered to be coach of the 8th Grade girl’s soccer team, and at the first practice all of the parents are given printouts with the names and phone numbers of the team members.
Do it on your office stationary! It’s a simple little thing, but now everyone on the team knows that Jenny’s Mom or Dad is a dentist! So what will they do at the next practice when they have a little dental question? They’ll give you a chance to say “You really should call the office so I can have a look!” Or they will know someone they trust and respect when the need for a new dentist arises.
Okay – one more simple one. Carry your business card everywhere and give it to everyone!! Make sure that every restaurant owner, dry cleaner, bank teller, gas station owner – every single person in your community who you do business with – knows that you are a dentist! After all, you are giving them business – the code of good will says that they will do the same for you! It’s so simple to do. And, as with the rest of these, it’s free!!
So sit back, relax, and get ready for your phone to ring. Oh – by the way – when your phone rings, it’s crucial to have the skills to convert that caller into a patient!! If you don’t, nothing else matters! So to be sure, check this out: http://bit.ly/2mtu95