3 things necessary to push through a plateaued practice

April 19, 2016
Michael Landry, DDS, runs a successful practice in Houston, Texas, and was doing just fine before I met him.

Michael Landry, DDS, runs a successful practice in Houston, Texas, and was doing just fine before I met him. In fact, "fine" is a huge understatement. In 2005, Dr. Landry's practice broke $1 million. He had the latest equipment, a steady flow of new patients, and a solid, capable staff. He was doing so well that at one point he actually stopped seeing new patients because his schedule was so full.

But Dr. Landry was still interested in growing his business. However, adding capacity was difficult for him to imagine because, like most small business owners, he felt compelled to "do it all"-handle all of the administrative tasks, solve all of the problems, and make all of the decisions. He had a great team but didn't know how to use them any differently. He wasn't sure how to break through to the next level.

Like many doctors reaching capacity, Dr. Landry simply didn't know how to be more successful than he currently was.

Looking for any angle to increase production, he and his marketing director and wife, Mary Ann, decided to assess the effectiveness of their front desk-the only group in the office without formal certification. They requested a mystery call from the Scheduling Institute. Upon seeing their disappointing results, they scheduled a telephone training. It turned out to be the beginning of the breakthrough they were looking for. Here's why: In order for the Landrys to go beyond what they had known and experienced, they had to accept and implement three basic principles to truly shift their focus and get their practice to the next level.

1. Commit to your plans

You may have a great idea for your practice, but you can't simply "will" it to happen. You have to create a plan for it and, as Nike marketers say, just do it!

"If you fully commit, you get something so much bigger than you ever dreamed possible," says Dr. Landry. "But if you only do it halfway, that's like doing half a crown or half a root canal-don't bother!"

2. Embrace change

"You have to change your mindset, your philosophy, the way you think about and do things," Dr. Landry says. There's no doubt change is hard. It's often painful or sacrificial. But it's sooooo good when it is understood to be necessary, is embraced, and is put into practice. If even the idea of change is difficult, set a goal that will cause you to have to change.

3. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

One of the biggest changes Dr. Landry had to make was to shift his focus. "It used to be all about me-Michael J. Landry, DDS. Now it's about the practice-Consultants in Dental Aesthetics," he says. Dr. Landry learned that by training his staff to run the business, he could focus solely on practicing dentistry. He and Mary Ann dedicated the next year to having quarterly training for their staff. They also implemented goal setting and monthly accountability meetings and quarterly debriefings.

By putting better-equipped team leaders in place, emphasizing training and development, and empowering the staff to make decisions, Dr. Landry was able to take everything off of his plate except practicing dentistry and signing checks. "In 2012, I did everything at this practice-from fixing computers to scheduling staff. Today there is little I do but dentistry."

The results of Dr. Landry's change in behavior and role in the practice quickly affected his bottom line. By the end of 2012, the practice's revenue had doubled to $2 million. In 2013, the practice grew 25% in six months. In 2015, it reached $3.2 million.

Today, Dr. Landry and Mary Ann are planning to triple the capacity of the practice. They are investing in a new 12,000 square-foot, 28-room office building.

"My world is so different now. I still love doing dentistry, but now I also mentor . . . I teach . . . I create . . . I give. I have more time to enjoy the things in life that are most precious to me and my family."

Are you ready for a change? Start with your front desk. Go to the5starchallenge.com to see if your staff holds the key to your practice's breakthrough.

Jay Geier is the founder of the Scheduling Institute and creator of the world-renowned five-star telephone training program that has revolutionized the way dentists attract new patients to their practices. He is finally revealing his secret for record-setting results, 600+ new patients in one week. Visit schedulinginstitute.com/DE to learn how he did it.

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