Why Bet on the future when you have a sure thing today?

Amazon founder and visionary Jeff Bezos was recently asked, as he often is, what he sees in the future? I love his answer.

 "I don't know," he said. "BUT, I do know what is NOT going to change."  He goes on to say that "people will continue to want tons of variety at the lowest price."  

Nothing about flying robots or beaming things to us but a commitment to what is and not what might be. 

I think it is safe to say that dentists' like most small business' can fall prey to the "next big thing," in an effort to get an advantage.  To often we are left with a piece of technology or a strategy that didn't work.  Not because the technology or strategy is bad but because it was not true to what we believe. Which begs the question, what are your unchangeable truths?"

While some truths may be "self evident," others might need to be written down or pondered for a while. I encourage you to write yours down and even discuss it with your team. 

At a recent "Half-time" session I led with a number of leading dentists' and medical doctors we came up with a few.  See if you agree. 

  • Patients believe customer service and friendliness are gone. So, providing even the smallest amount of either can have big returns. Especially referrals. 
  • Patients generally do not think past the current visit. Especially a problem focus visit.  
  • I am losing patients to fellow dentists for services or treatments that I offer but patients never ask us about and they don't know we offer.

What about you?  Do these sound familiar? If not, start from scratch with your own list. 

For me, the exercise provides a "check list" on which I can base Waiting Room Videos future goals and decisions.  For example, here are 3 of my "unchangeable truths" to demonstrate.   

  • I believe current customers (patients for you) are 6 to 8 times more likely to say yes because they already know, like and trust me/you.  (source; Wall Street Journal, Metrics: a case study on loyalty 2014-2016) 
  • I believe it is at least 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep or convert a current one. (Source; White House Office of Consumer affairs) 
  • I believe most patients do not know what all their dental practice has to offer and that most dentists' do not like "selling." (Also reflected above list.)  (Source; Dental Economics, The non-sales, sales guide)

These truth's guide my decisions from creation to implementation I want a product that my customers are asking for.  I know dentists' like all small business'' look for way to increase profits that are affordable, proven and simple to use.  Marketing to current patients does that.  That is truths 1 and 2.  Our videos are "non-salesy," friendly, testimonials produced with the  high production value we all expect.  That takes care of truth number three.  

The exercise can cut through the clutter and help you see what is truly important and if you are delivering it.  One note though, be sure to list your truths before you start looking for solutions to those truths.  Otherwise you might try to fit your current services with your truths when they may not fit at all. 

Of course, nothing is perfect, no system is full proof and your message will not hit with everyone, and that is o.k. Doesn't it make more sense to stop gambling on what might work and deal with what already does work? 

Besides, I have it on good authority that if you stay true to your truths, that  "The Truth will set you free."  

I want to hear from you.  Tell me your ideas on the topic and what your practice's truths are.   Leave your comments below.