Thursday, 27 October 2011

Are you being paid enough?

I have been having some very interesting conversations with clients recently regarding how much they pay themselves and what they should be paying their associates. One of the most noticeable points is that they usual way of deciding salaries, picking a figure of out the air does not work and leads to acute and chronic financial problems in the practice.

As a principal you have three main roles
  • Clinician
  • Manager
  • Business owner
Each of these roles requires you to have a different skill set, and responsibilities and for each of these roles it is reasonable and right to be to be remunerated. You would not expect your staff to work for free so why should you?

Every one of my clients who has gone back to the numbers has had stark discovery; if they were being paid the same rates as their associates for the work they do they would be taking home more money. Let me repeat that every principal that has gone back and done the numbers is being paid at a lower % than they pay their associates.

Added to this as a principal you are working as a manager, usually in your lunch hours, before work, after work and at the weekends. If you were paying a manager, administrator, book keeper, or employment specialist to do this work what would you expect to be paying them, maybe 25-45k year depending on qualifications and experience.

In the word of commerce people buy businesses and expect to get a return on their investments both in the short and long term. If the financial returns are not sufficient to reflect the financial risks they are taking and the work they have to do at a strategic level they will not buy the business. How much are you drawing from your practice as the business owner?

And then there are ancillary roles of engineer, maintenance, decorator gardener that many principals take on if you were paying someone to do these roles what would you pay them.

 I am curious to know what would it be like if your practice was set up so that you and every member of staff were being paid the full market rate for the work that they do.

What I would like to see happen is for you to change your financial budgets to reflect your drawings as a clinician, manager and business owner.

If you would like to discuss with me any of the aspects raised in this short blog post please comment or e mail me

Monday, 24 October 2011

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Thought for the day

"If you want to reap praise, you must sow the seeds: gentle words and useful deeds"


Monday, 10 October 2011

Win a coaching sesson valued £300

To win an hour of free coaching  valued  £300 
send an e mail titled OCTOBER PRIZE DRAW to answering the questions below and the first person out of the hat will win a one hour coaching session free.

To win this months’ prize draw please submit your answers by Friday 4th November, the winner will be announced inthe December 2011 Newsletter

Augusts’ winner is Dr. Claudia Muegge from Waterford

Congratulations Claudia, you win a free coaching session valued at £300

October prize draw questions
•    What are you tolerating in your practice or home in terms of inadequate facilities, equipment or systems?
•    What is stopping you eliminating these tolerations?

This is what some of the previous winners have said

“I have been quite staggered by the progress we have made since we last spoke”
RD Dentist Warwickshire

“I think you are excellent”
JT Dentist Ireland

“Thank you very much for a wonderful coaching session. I feel empowered again”
PJ dentist Harrow

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Psycographics of your patient base

As I travel around and talk to my clients and listen to what dentists are saying as they talk to one another, a common challenge I hear is “I don’t understand why my patients don’t take me up on the treatment I suggest.”

Improving treatment plan conversions is a big subject best covered in a in house training programme and I wanted to share with some interesting data that I came across the other day that will change the way you relate to your patients and enable them to access the really valuable treatment you offer,
 First the disclaimer, the research was not under taken in a dental practice and I am certain that the principles apply.

The research found that in a data base of clients at any one time
3% were ready to buy right now
7% were open to the idea of buying
30% were not thinking of buying
30% didn’t think what was being offered was relevant to them
30% were definitely not interested.

An average private list is approximately 1500 patients per dentist and an NHS list can be twice or three times that number. Take a moment to about you patients who are attending for their six monthly examinations, if your list size is 1500 you will have approximately 125 recalls each month

This means that 5 patients each month are likely to be coming into you primed and ready to start with treatment you offer.

9 patients will be open to the idea of proceeding with treatment. With these patients it will improve your conversion rates if you hone into what they are really after and discus the treatment options in term of the features, advantages and the benefits to them and remove all the obstacles to these patients starting with treatment.

37 patients each month will be attending their routine examination not really thinking about having any further remedial or elective treatment. With these patients it is really important that you are educating them about what you are able to offer and consequences of not accepting treatment early. The use of dental menus, videos in the waiting room, digital photo frames and informal conversations with well trained receptionists and nurses are really useful at this point.

37 patients will not think that what you offer is relevant to them. For these patients I think it is really important that you discus treatment in metaphors and stories that they can relate to from their working or personal life. For example for a patient who is a carpenter who has TMJD you may want to talk about warped, sticking doors and buckling hinges. For an IT technician who has occasional niggles that don’t really cause any major problems you may choose to liken the niggles to a computer that occasionally and repeatedly goes to a blue screen indicating that there is something in the computer that should be investigated and resolved before  it crashed irretrievably.

37 are definitely not interested in what you are offering, for these patients it is often best to acknowledge that they don’t want to go ahead and that you have a professional responsibility to inform them as to the condition of their mouths and if they still chose not to proceed that is their prerogative.
There are many exciting opportunities to you so that in between recall visits you can move your patients through from definitely not being interested through to being ready to buy.

If you would like to increase your treatment plan conversion rate or would like to discuss any issues raised, please comment on this blog.