I get it – most of us are introverts. That’s why we strive to hire amazing staff to chit chat with the patients. Just let me do the dentistry and I’m happy…
If you are anything like I was I loved getting my patient numb and then running back to my office to check social media, my phone, the stock market, read the latest article on the newest bond, or who knows what else.
Well I’m here to tell you that by doing that I was missing huge opportunities. Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel”.
What started happening because I quit hiding was that I began to make my patients feel valued.
Let me back up – I got rid of my office so I could add another operatory. That was the real reason for it. However, what happened because I didn’t have a place to go and hide was amazing – even to me. It went way beyond being able to accommodate more people because I now had an extra treatment room.
All of the sudden I found myself actually staying in the operatory and getting to know my patients on a much more personal level. We’d chat about everything and anything and find out we had more connections than we even realized. My patients appreciated me in a whole new way. I became a real person to them with kids in the same schools and parents who worked in the same places.
Which to my amazement led them to ask me more questions about their dentistry. Once we had a real relationship and connection, without my prompting they would ask “So hey doc, I think you mentioned last time we should fix that one tooth – what’s the plan with it again?”
Or even if they didn’t bring it up – after 5-7 minutes of really getting to know someone it felt much more natural for me or even my team to bring up the patient’s outstanding treatment plan.
And getting up to my front desk and reception area during those times proved to be just as impactful. Patients coming in would be directly greeted by me – the dentist. It was a wow factor for them. I’d be able to answer questions directly. It instantly sets us apart.
Robert Cialdini wrote a great book on Influence – and having you as the doctor speak directly to patients influences people more than you know. Delegation to our teams is key to being successful in practice but don’t underestimate the power you have just simply due to your authority.
The second thing that happened when I got rid of my personal office was my connections with my team became stronger. I somehow seemed much more approachable. I was “one of them”. I got to know them on a deeper level, a more personal level.
This led to being able to coach them in a much more authentic way. When your team feels you care, that you know them in a personal way, that you see them as more than someone who works for you – believe me they will go above and beyond to meet the expectations you set out for them. Their loyalty, dedication and motivation increases exponentially.
It’s the power of a relationship.
So get out of your personal office, stop hiding, and see the magic that follows.