What makes a winner?

June 1, 2010
Winning is a state of mind. It creates a feeling of confidence when you have made some good decisions to create a winning outcome.

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: leadership, team management, winning, Web site, sales skills, Dr. Bill Blatchford.

Winning is a state of mind. It creates a feeling of confidence when you have made some good decisions to create a winning outcome. Do you feel, in 2009, that you were able to move forward in areas that made a difference?

In dentistry, you are aware of numbers from year to year. Think about this — since April 15 is a significant number, did your net increase in 2009? The most important number you can change is your own net. Is it better to produce $1 million, have 80% overhead, and take home $200,000 ... or produce $700,000 with a 55% overhead and take home $385,000 net?

The questions to ask yourself are: Why wasn’t my net greater in 2009? What do I need to do to make it better in 2010? What is my goal, and what action steps am I taking to make that goal a reality?

Watching your numbers and taking action to make them change is the method we coach at Blatchford Solutions. With economic woes being such a major topic these days, one can easily fall victim. Dentists check with dental peers, their lab people, and their dental supply reps to find out how others are doing in comparison to them. These dental professionals need your business. Do you really think they say to you, “Gee, everyone else is doing better than you”? They are smart and will answer, “Yes, we have noticed a slow down in orders.” It makes you feel good, but what are the different action results?

A winner looks within and grabs the opportunity to be stronger. Instead of feeling OK because your lab tech tells you others are slow, too, you must be willing to reinstitute strong systems for phone protocol, sales skills, internal and external marketing, hygiene protocol, cross-training, and developing new skills to add to your armamentarium.

Winners have strong systems which start with an excellent morning meeting coaching to a daily goal. Every team member should be involved in this 15-minute meeting and accountable for numbers. If your office’s total daily goal is $5,500, you — with your team’s help — need to be diagnosing about three times your goal, or $16,500. Is that happening? A winner “keeps on keeping on!” What skills does your team need to produce well?

Sales skills are critical. We encourage our teams to read a sales book each month. Role-play possible scenarios, and make sure that as the doctor you are the first volunteer. Spend at least an hour every month practicing sales.

A winning team has a scheduling template that allows maximum efficiency and service as well as meeting the daily goal. Do not deviate from the template. Block-booking is a strong system that offers your guests good personal time as well as the perception of time in scheduling their treatment plans. Avoid becoming sloppy in block-booking. Toe the line on scheduling.

A winner always has weekly team meetings and monthly training sessions. Is everyone on your team completely cross-trained? This is a must for efficiency as well as providing excellent service.

A winner leads the team with a positive attitude. Leadership can be lonely because you need to keep your concerns to yourself. Strong leadership provides the team with a vision and a path to follow. A good leader avoids micro-managing. Allow your team to join in the game of ideas for marketing, for example. Each team member can be accountable for a community project in which your team participates. Your team will take ownership in the results when they become involved.

Your Web site is a real factor in 2010. Is it up to date? Does it show warmth, style, passion, and energy? What makes your office different from others? Instead of listing all the same skills as everyone else, how about gaining a new skill this year? What interests you? We tend to focus on the areas where we were encouraged in dental school. But look again now that you are more experienced. Are you ignoring some areas that could make a real difference in distinguishing yourself in the community? To expand your thinking, the first 42 dentists who respond to the offer on our Web site (www.blatchford.com) will receive a free, two-disc DVD called “Purple Cow.” Eight Blatchford doctors share how they are expanding their services.

Yours can be a winning practice in 2010, and you can enjoy a higher net. Turn the ordinary into extraordinary!

Dr. Blatchford’s book, “Blatchford BLUEPRINTS — the Art of Creating Practice Success,” is available at www.blatchford.com for $39. Profits go to the Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation. For more information, visit www.blatchford.com.

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