When we were kids, our Mom took us to Dr. Isaac Koppel – a man who could be described as “The World’s Most Amazing Dentist.”
The multi-talented Dr. Koppel had no team members at all, and he could answer the phone, collect money from a patient, drill on a tooth and smoke a cigarette – often all at the same time. His amazing multi-tasking abilities surely kept overhead down, but even as kids we knew this was no way to run a dental office. Even so, some of his forty-plus year old amalgams are still in place!
Everyone these days knows that it takes a true team to have a successful practice. But sometimes, as opposed to Dr. Koppel’s office, it may not be clear exactly what everyone does. Sure – we know that the members of the business team deal with financial matters, appointments and other stuff like that. We certainly know that the hygienists provide periodontal therapy and that the assistants help the doctor with patient treatment. Most offices probably have a protocol for cleaning and setting up rooms, ordering supplies and many of the other tasks that go with the day to day running of the practice.
But one thing that we strongly believe is that EVERY team member is responsible for helping to bring new patients into the practice. Here are a few tips to make sure this is being done:
1) Every single team member needs to have personalized business cards. But it is not enough to have them – they must be given out at every opportunity!
2) All team members must know how to ask for referrals from existing patients. Many times it is actually more effective if team members do this instead of the doctor. Be on the lookout for opportunities such as a patient mentioning their spouse, children, co-workers, etc..
3) Let everyone know that you are a proud member of a dental team. All of the people you transact with on a regular basis – school parents, business owners such as dry cleaners, co-workers of your spouse, etc. need to know that you are a member of a fantastic dental office. Make sure that you e-mail signature says so as well!!
4) Telephone, telephone, telephone!! Every single team member needs to be properly trained in correct telephone skills. If this is not the case, your practice is losing hundreds of new patients each year!! We strongly suggest that you check out our “Profitable Scheduling” training program. Compared to other programs it is inexpensive, fast, and we believe it is the best one out there – guaranteed!! If anything will pay for itself many times over it is getting more potential patients off the phone and into the appointment book!
Even though good old Dr. Koppel may have been the world’s most amazing dentist, he most likely did not have the world’s most amazing practice. It takes an entire team to have a truly amazing practice, and that includes having a great flow of new patients. So remember – don’t ever say “That’s not my job!!!” Take the steps listed here and watch your practice grow!