In Part I of “Fighting for What You Want in Your Practice,” an unspoken factor at the heart of many dental business owner’s problem as an independent dentist is an irrational fear of ‘asking for directions’ when it comes to marketing and selling their services.
It’s like those days before GPS when the joke was that the difference between a man and a woman who gets lost driving around is that a man refuses to stop and ask for directions and a woman asks for directions and arrives at her destination faster—the unstated reality behind either sex asking for directions on “what to do” is that no one wants to seem foolish. The same reality applies when it comes to getting help and direction for better results at selling your services as an independent dentist.
TRUTH: The majority of dentists haven’t a clue about how to sell their products and services. After all, they are “professionals” and what does all that selling have to do with us? The concept frightens them because they haven’t had any real sales (sigh….okay…call it case acceptance) training beyond an hour attached to a clinical CE course and are reluctant to pay for it or take the time from their busy but unprofitable practices to learn necessities of what makes the world go around in all the other industries without monopoly licensure. Basic treatment walks in courtesy of “being on the plan.”
There are others who see excellent profit potentials in what dentists do, especially in the tighter economy, and they dive in like vultures on a dead carcass, with the tools of marketing and sales at the ready to reap reward. Savvy business men (and some women) who do know how to market, open retail dental stores and hire needy dentists on the cheap.
‘Meanwhile, for the “professional” too good for seeking out help on this ‘do or die; matter, the insurance company happily preys on the entire lot by paying less and less for work. C.O.D.B. (Google it) ALWAYS goes up meaning margins are always on the way down for those refusing to acknowledge this reality.
For most in the dental profession, this situation (more work, less pay) is apparently good enough. Work cheap, work hard, and you’ll make an OKAY living as an independent dentist.
It is an employee mentality and it’s exactly where the great majority of dentists in the U.S. are already today or are headed there rapidly despite those of us shouting out proven answers and beating a steady cadence to march by for that small minority who are not asleep, who are paying attention, and who are getting (again) what they want from dentistry by helping more patients. [HAVING employee dentists but not BEING the employee dentist but an independent dentist is a very smart plan for the future but alas another topic…..]
If you think all that any of this will change any soon, you are dead wrong. It will only get worse! As the power of the non-professional business owners and insurers grows, so will their influence in the ADA and local dental boards to restrict the options of the independent dentist to advertise and compete against them. It’s all politics and power of the wallet.
Fortunately, there is still some latitude left for dentists to compete in the marketplace in most countries. The opportunity is greatest in the United States where the entrepreneur still is highly regarded.
Even with the highest opportunity level, most of the US based dental profession will continue to do nothing.
Are you one of THOSE individuals? If so, have a good life as an employee and a servant.
You’ll have time for hobbies, family, friends and some leisure – but at the cost of being your own person directing your own fate and never at the economic level that gives you the choice to be truly happy and satisfied. Insurers will use and abuse you and you’ll have an ever diminishing pay check to fall back on but without a pension.
For those few of you who have some entrepreneurial spirit (even if it is a tiny spark for now that needs attention) and want to take charge of your life as an independent dentist, it’s possible to get all of the things you want from our shared profession but you MUST decide to compete in the marketplace for the patients you want and at the prices you need to command!
Fighting for what you want delivers exactly that AND more patients are helped.
Emotionally decide one way or the other and then move on to logical decision making…to get started go here or check out my #1 top selling book on Amazon.