When traveling around North America speaking at dental conventions and study clubs, I am invariably asked some form of the question, "How can I attract more patients to my practice?"
Nate Booth, DDS
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When traveling around North America speaking at dental conventions and study clubs, I am invariably asked some form of the question, “How can I attract more patients to my practice?”
My answer surprises most people. “If you want people to be interested in coming to your dental office, you need to be interesting. On a scale of 1 to 10, how interesting are you?” I typically receive a blank stare and silence.
I like to be confusing sometimes because confusion knocks people out of their habitual patterns of thinking and prods them to consider new possibilities.
My “Yes” System training program teaches dental office teams how to make it easy for people to accept comprehensive dentistry. The first of the six “Yes” System steps is Interest. There are three ways to be interesting: who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
My personal Who You Are
Here’s a revealing Who You Are story. My partner, Linda, wanted to have some cosmetic surgery done. She interviewed three surgeons. The first physician was extremely well known because she nipped and tucked many celebrities here in Las Vegas. Her office was lavish, the team was dressed to the 9’s, and her fees were the highest in town. Linda was very impressed with the physician after their conversation.
The second cosmetic surgeon had an excellent reputation. His office was nicely decorated and his team was attractive and well dressed. Linda spoke with him and really liked the guy.
The third cosmetic surgeon was Dr. Benjamin Rodriguez (Dr. Rod). He practiced in a nice office and his team was dressed neatly, but in very ordinary attire. When Linda met him, she was impressed with his demeanor and knowledge, but what really caught her attention was who he was.
As part of Operation Smile, Dr. Rod had made numerous trips to China, Bolivia, Russia, India, Egypt, Cambodia, and Ecuador to do cosmetic procedures on people who would normally have zero access to that kind of care.
Dr. Rod even gave Linda a calendar with color photos of him and his patients on each page. Then he said something very profound: “It’s my patients who actually make it possible for me to go on these trips. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have the resources to take the time off to help the people in these photos.”
|Dr. Benjamin Rodriguez and patient|
Which of these physicians did Linda select? Dr. Rod, of course. It was not because she believed he was the most skilled surgeon. It was because of who he is as a person.
So, who are you? Are you an interesting and appealing character like Dr. Rod? Do people know about who you are and want to be part of your world? I am not saying that you shout who you are from the rooftops.
It’s really not necessary to do this. To paraphrase the mysterious voice in my favorite movie, “Field of Dreams,” “If you be it, they will come.”
Here are two ways to put who you are into action:
1. Do a local smile makeover. In cooperation with a local newspaper or television station, improve the smile of someone whose life has been negatively affected by an unattractive smile.
2. Hold a free dentistry day. Have everyone in the office donate their time once or twice a year and provide free care to those in your community who need it, but cannot afford dentistry.
I have created material to help you achieve these suggestions. To gain access to the information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In next month’s column, you will learn how to harness the power of the second way to be interesting. In the meantime, be like Dr. Rod — in your own way — of course. Because, as Jana Stanfield says:
“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”
Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD based program, The “Yes” System. For more information, go to www.theyessystem.com, or call (702) 444-1362.