Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Modelling great practice from other businesses

As a NLP practitioner and coach I like to model excellence where I see it. That is notice what someone else is doing really well and work out how I can incorporate it to my life or business.
I have recently become a fan of Lush cosmetics, there stores smell gorgeous, their staff are attentive and enthusiastic and their products are gorgeous.
Rather than making the trek into Oxford and pay the overinflated car park fees, I placed and order on line. My order arrived and I was struck by two incidences f excellent practice that I would like to share with you.
• Quality control. The package that arrive had a sticker on it with a lady’s face on it saying “Lovingly prepared by Sally P” I don’t know if Sally P exists or looks like the face on the sticker, and that is not the point, I felt like the package had been prepared just for me with all the love that I would wrap a birthday present.

Given in business that our customers buy people and not products what an innovative way Lush have found to create a personal touch in an otherwise impersonal on line order system.

• Inside the package attached to my invoice was a card that read “Pass it forward” “ we have put something extra in your parcel today just because we thought you’d appreciate it. It cheers us up to carry out random acts of kindness. We hope that it will cheer you up too. Feel free to pass it forward and carry out a random act of kindness of your own.”

What a truly elegant way to encourage me to recommend their products to other people I may know.

What can you take from these two exquisite business systems and emulate in your practices, to engage your patients and encourage referrals?

P.S. Visit lush at www.lush.co.uk

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Why conventional teaching methods don’t work
(Why my trainings are different and why coaching really works)

Most dental trainings consist of a large number of delegates sitting in a lecture theatre, being addressed by an expert supported by a power point demonstration. Generally the delegates will be given a copy of the slides.
The following diagram is a summary of some research conducted by NTL Institute for Applied Behavioural Science, to assess information retention when the data is delivered in different ways.

The research shows that when information is delivered in a lecture only 5% of the information is retained although this does increase to 20% when it is supported by audio visuals. This may be efficient and profitable as far as the training provider is concerned, but does it deliver what you are paying for, more knowledge?

When a training session includes a demonstration as I have seen at a rare number of dental seminars the information retention is increased to 30%.

When the tutor facilitates a discussion retention is increased up to 50%. This was my preferred way of revising for finals, a group of friends agreed what we were going to learn, spent a period of time studying our notes and text books, and then got together and discussed the ideal answers for past paper questions. This is also why one of the many reasons that clients who recruit business coaches like me learn so much more about how to run great practices as a skilled coach will facilitate a discussion and ask questions rather than disseminating data.

If training sessions become a workshop style, where the delegates are involved in learning by practicing what they are learning, the information retention will increase to 75%. Dental training of this format are on the increase at still comparatively unusual.

To increase our information retention to 90% it was found that it is beneficial to learn the information immediately or teach it to someone else. This is one on the many reasons that when working with my clients I will ask them at the end of each session what they would like me to hold them accountable for doing by the next session, as I will always check in at the beginning of the next session to find out what action has been taken, it will come as no surprise to learn that my clients are making immediate use of the information they have elicited during our discussions.
Many of my clients will also make sure that they have staff meetings scheduled after our sessions so they can feed back to their team what they have learned.
Your training budgets may be being squeezed, and investing in your education is an essential investment, I would invite you to choose training and coaching programmes that make every penny count.

If you want to improve your clinical skills, choose a training that offers a small group and builds in facilitated discussions and hands on using phantom head or real patients. (From personal experience I would recommend Paul Tipton’s trainings www.tiptontraining.co.uk/courses ) Plan ahead, book time off in your diary as soon as you come back to the practice and share with your staff what you have learned.
When developing your business skills work with a business coach that offers regular 1-2-1 coaching on the phone, Skype or face to face, in a discussion style where your coach elicits information from you. Make sure your coach holds you accountable for taking immediate action as a result of your coaching session and share this information with other people as soon as possible. Ensure your coach offers practice training days with the whole team, where your coach facilitates group learning by discussion, inviting the team to practicing what they are learning and they hold you accountable for taking the action necessary to move your practice forward.

These are some of the reasons you will seldom find a power point presentation at one of my seminars or practice training day, and I will invite you to contribute and practice.

For further information as to how I can help make you your good practices great call me on 01296 770462 | 07989757884 or e mail me Jane@healthyandwealthy.co.uk

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Does your practice have toothache?

Have you got some patients who as soon as there the slightest niggle from their teeth they have made an appointment to find out what the problem is and to get it sorted. And yet there are others who let things deteriorate and leave making their appointment until their tooth has broken or they are in intractable pain and simply have to do something.

Would you agree that the former are easier to manage?

The treatment options are generally simpler and therefore from the patients perspective less expensive in terms of time and money. You probably have a greater number of treatment modalities to choose from and the prognosis is usually much better.

Conversely, the patients who have left treatment to the last minute are often making distress purchases, and difficult decisions, to save the tooth or not to save the tooth, the levels of investment can be much higher and treatment can often be more complicated with less favourable prognosis.

The majority of dentists I know prefer their patients to come in sooner rather than later when they have a dental problem.

I am often surprised that seldom seem to apply the “stitch in time saves nine” when it comes to running their business.

The majority of clients come to me because they are experiencing
• Financial challenges
• Lack of patients buying sufficient treatment
• Staff issues

Any of these sound familiar?

As the clients talk they tell me stories of how bad the pain is, and generally how they have been aware of the problem for a long time and it is only now when they are confronted with a crises that they seek professional help and guidance.

Yes, I can help if your practice is experiencing acute challenges, and I can also help as soon as you notice there is a problem. When would you like your practice challenges to be dealt, sooner or later?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Thank you Mark

I have had a productive day thanks to Mark Oborn, you can all now down-load my free e book. Mark's course on dental marketing for dentists and his follow up material on CD was brilliant check out his blog too. http://blog.markoborn.com/

I am really keen to know what you think of my e book, I know i have developed a unique concept to help you make your good practices great.

Off dancing now, it is just one of my high flow activities and helps me to be be the best dental coach you have worked with.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

I love my job :-)

A great full day with a client yesterday this is what she said
"Thanks again for a cracking day. Really enjoyed it and felt it was super productive.”

We explored many things
Reviewing her goals and achievement from the last month
How to franchise her business
How to enable her clients to say “Yes”
How to become a more influential communicator
Effective diagnosis and treatment for TMJD and where to find a suitably trained dentist

Looking forward today as I have a full morning with two new clients.

I love my job, every day I see real evidence that working with me has made a difference to my clients and their business.

Top tips for a happy dental surgery

Colours According to many studies the colour of your walls affects your moods. Colours can be used to enhance specific skills. Orange stimulates creativity, Yellow raises the intellect and increases motivation, red gives you energy, blue is calming reducing physical and mental tension, green has healing qualities and reduces irritability.

Music Music also affects your well being and mood, certain tunes will be relaxing and soporific and others uplifting and joyful whilst others can make you combative or confrontational. Choose your music carefully and ensure you have a license.

Plants Plants will clean pollutants from the air, they also add humidity and oxygen as well as looking attractive

Breaks Studies show that for most people their concentration span is between 20-45 minute. Physical movement will enable your brain to re-engage and stay active. Sitting in one place for prolonged periods can also be very detrimental to your posture. Make sure you get up and walk around every 20 minutes.

Water Your bodies are over 80% water, and good hydration is essential for good mental function and physical well being. Stay hydrated by regularly drinking fresh pure water throughout the day

Eat well Dentists very often skip lunch, often working through; this can be very detrimental to your metabolism. Make sure you eat lunch, a fresh salad is far better than a carbohydrate laden sandwich.

Sleep Studies have shown than most the population is chronically sleep deprived. Know how much sleep you need and make sure you sleep adequately.

Top reasons for Dentists to network

Last night I was at the committee meeting for my local networking group, in my capacity of co chair.

Networking is a key element of my marketing strategy and has been crucial to me building my business. Last year membership of one group , As I look at my top 10 sources of referrals for the year to dates 7 out of 10 of them are networking contacts.

Many dentists often ask me “Why should I network?”

Here are some very good reasons why networking is an essential low cost high return form or marketing, and why your practice should be represented at each networking meeting by you or a member of your team.

• It will become a source of direct and indirect referrals from members in the group.
• It significantly increases your profile in the community.
• Enables you to get very clear about your ideal clients.
• Enables you to share with others what value you add to your patients and have many people spread the word for you.
• You will find people who can help you in your practice, e.g. bookkeepers, web designers, accountants, computer support, marketing agents graphic designers, printers etc. Who will be able to offer you a more personal and cost effective service.
• You will identify other businesses with whom you can develop strategic alliances and do joint marketing ventures and cross sell your services, e.g. photographers, beauticians, image consultants, hairdressers etc.
• You will build a support network of fellow local business people.

To find your local networking group contact your local business link

The power of a mentor

Spent today with "The Incredibles" my mentoring group which consists of two IFA's and business coach specialising in working with IFA's and me.

Mentoring groups are powerful because:
• They provide a safe environment to share your successes and challenges
• They keep you focused on what you have set out to achieve
• They help you brainstorm ideas
• They provide a team if you work alone
• They have probably already experienced the challenge you are having now and can offer possible solutions.

Question: What is the difference between a mentor and a coach?
Answer: A mentor has made a similar career path to you and you will be able to benefit from their previous experience. A coach does not have to have had a similar career path, and will be focused on you achieving the outcomes that you want to achieve. Your coach will help you identify many choices that may be available to you and identify the correct one, based on you.

If you do not have a mentor or a coach I would suggest you find one of each to work with, they have different roles and they will enable you to be successful faster.

Advice for Dental Practices – Dealing with patient objections - the ‘but flip’

I have been encouraging you, my clients, to eliminate the word but from your vocabulary,because it restricts your options. I encourage you to use 'and' in place of ‘but’ and notice how many other options became available to you.
Just to remind you;

"I would love to go out to dinner with you but I have to be home by 10:00 pm." as opposed to
"I would love to go out to dinner with and I have to be home by 10:00."
Notice how in the second example dinner becomes a possibility.

I would also like you to use the ‘but flip’ to overcome objections. This is a fantastically powerful and simple technique that is used to overcome objections and deepen rapport with patients, staff and everyone else.

If we use the previous example;
"I would love to go out to dinner with you but I have to be home by 10:00 pm." When using the but flip, reflect the objection back to its’ creator swopping the parts of the sentence before and after the ‘but’ and add a ‘softener’.
A softener is a phrase that allows the listener to feel understood, these include, I understand, it is normal to feel, of course it is appropriate to feel..., etc.
Examples of the but flip in action
"I understand you have to be home by 10:00 pm, but I would love to go out to dinner with you."
Suddenly what was an objection becomes a compelling client outcome with an opportunity to find a way forward.

Other examples may include
Example 2
"I would like to go ahead and have my teeth whitened but I don’t want to wear something in my mouth over night."
"I appreciate you don’t want to wear something in your mouth over night but you would like to have your teeth whitened."
Example 3
"I would really like to have a root canal to save my tooth, but I am scared about the amount of pain I may experience."
"It is normal to feel anxious about the possibility of pain but you would really like to have the root canal to save your tooth."
Example 4
"I would really like to attend one of your training courses but I am not available on Mondays."
"I understand that you are not available on Mondays but you would like to attend one of my training programmes."

Once you have done the but flip, and your client is focused on their desired outcome, you can then simply inform them as to how you can help them reach their goal.
Using our previous examples

Example 1
"I understand you have to be home by 10:00 pm, but I would love to go out to dinner with you, why don’t we go to that lovely restaurant that is on the way back to your house?"

Example 2
"I appreciate you don’t want to wear something in your mouth over night but you would like to have your teeth whitened, we can use a system at the practice that will lighten your teeth within the hour, how does that sound?"

Example 3
"It is normal to feel anxious about the possibility of pain but you would really like to have the root canal to save your tooth, I will use a strong anaesthetic that will ensure that you won’t feel anything. When would you now like to go ahead?"

Example 4
"I understand that you are not available on Mondays but you would like to attend one of my training programmes we are able to offer all training programmes at your practice, which is the most convenient day for you?"

How to quickly improve your dental practice finances

I have recently been working with a number of practices that have been asking me how they can improve their patient revenues and cash flow. One of the ranges of options that I discuss with them is reactivating dormant clients and treatment plans.
As I travel around, I discover that most, although not all, practices send out routine reminders for recall appointments. Needless to say there is not 100% uptake from patients who contact the practices to make the appointments. I am staggered to discover how many assume that if the patient does not respond they have left the practice and don’t contact them again.
What I have found, with the clients who have established a system (with periodic letters and telephone calls) to follow up patients who don’t respond immediately, they have a significantly increased number of patients returning and consequently many more conversations that result in treatment plan conversions.
A frequency of contact that appears to be successful in enticing the patients back to the surgery is
• A routine reminder when a recall is clinically indicated, six, nine or twelve months.
• One month after the recall was due
• Three months after the recall was due
• Six months after the recall was due
• One year after the recall was due
• Eighteen months after the recall was due
• Two years after the recall was due

As you send each letter you should also add special offer vouchers and details of treatments available to attract your patients back.

Would you now like to find out other ways to reach the untapped profitability in your practice?

Call Dr Lelean on 01296 770 462 or 07989757884
E mail Jane on jane@healthyandwealthy.co.uk
Visit our website www.healthyandwealthy.co.uk

together we make your good practices great