5 Ways to Get Your Team to Promote Your Private Dentistry
When you combine NHS and private dentistry, you need to have measures in place to control both. Every practice will have different goals; some might be aiming to get out of the NHS, while others may want to keep their NHS list and still have a steady flow of private work. Regardless of what your goal is, you need to know your numbers. Involving your team in those numbers and for them to understand every aspect of each treatment is the start of setting them up to be responsible.
1. Share your goals and your vision with your team.
Your team members are likely to have different personal values and can influence how they buy into private dentistry or not. You might have to present your case for why you need to increase private dentistry. Many years ago I worked with a receptionist that allowed the patients to leave without paying their very small NHS bill. She actually said to the other receptionists, she didn’t think it was right asking people who didn’t have the money, to pay. This particular lady had been a single parent and had had struggles financially and she allowed her values to get in the way of the practice values and norms. She didn’t work there for very long and although this is quite extreme, it is not uncommon for team members to do dilute versions of this.
2. Create analytics that matter
Look at your numbers over the previous 3 months to identify the income (or numbers of patients) for each type of private treatment per provider so you can see averages. From this information, set targets of the private dentistry you would like to be doing each day or each week. Again share these with the team.
In your monthly team meetings, share these figures. By doing this and discussing it you can set new targets and strategies for managing your ideal level of private work.
So what should you be analysing?
You may see that you are doing an increasing amount of composite restorations but you want to be moving more towards smile design. From looking at this from an analytics viewpoint (away from your dental chair) can trigger you to be more focused on what it is you need to do. Do you need to go on a course, do you need to explore labs, and do you need to build up case studies so you can promote your work or do you need to invest in marketing? Whatever it is, it can get you focused on setting a target that everyone works towards achieving.
Differences between practitioners are likely to be evident – why is one doing more private work than the other? It may be that it is set up for one associate to run the NHS lists while others move into taking over private patients. If each associate is the same but one always has more private work, there may be an opportunity for peer learning. So many valuable goals can be set and decisions can be made from collecting and analysing your numbers.
So many valuable goals can be set and decisions can be made from collecting and analysing your numbers.
3. Educate every team member
Make sure that your team members know about each type of dental treatment and can answer any question about that treatment confidently. Also, ensure they can compare it to a similar NHS version of the treatment so that they can present that to a patient if asked or challenged why it isn’t on the NHS. No team member in a dental practice should ever say, “I don’t know”.
Dentistry is your product and every team member needs to know the product inside out. The detail of knowledge, of course, will vary but everyone should have enough knowledge to explain to a patient. This is the biggest support that your team can provide for you and it’s up to you to ensure that they have that knowledge. Taking time to develop a training programme is worthwhile so that every new recruit goes through the programme, leaving you to concentrate on your dentistry.
4. Ask for input from your team members
Team members often have great ideas but don’t have a place to voice them where they are heard. When a person suggests something, they own that and want to make it work. When something is suggested to them that they see problems with, they won’t own it and won’t have the motivation to make it work.
If you want your team to be ideas people, to be motivated and be supportive, do not shut down their ideas too quickly. When you are suggesting something, actively seek to understand potential problems with it. You need to get potential problems out in the air so they can be addressed.
You may set a target of doing four smile design cases per month and everyone is excited for that except reception because she knows no one has appointments for 4 weeks. That is a big problem that needs a solution and she needs to be able to feel comfortable in bringing that up. Is your receptionist going to be enthusiastic when these patients call? Her thoughts would likely be “where on earth am I putting these patients”? When she is thinking that, she is not excited, she is not enthusiastic and could potentially lose the call!
5. Have your team experience your private treatments?
Make sure your team has had the private dentistry you provide. Now, there has to be a mutual benefit here. Team member gets her treatment at either a reduced cost or free, whatever your practice policy is, on the basis that:
We take before and after photos, she writes a testimonial and even better does a video testimonial. She records her journey from the problem she had, to why she opted for the treatment she is having, and the result that was achieved. We need to know how much it has improved her life. If you are starting to provide a treatment, absolutely use your team to get started.
Make sure your team are always happy to speak to patients about their experience and what it has done for them. Your team should be the ambassadors for your business.
Dentists, do not work alone on this! It’s stressful enough dealing with all your patients and every other non-clinical dentistry responsibility you have. Invest some time is sharing everything with your team and with the right approach, I’m sure you will be rewarded!