Something a little 'Kink-y' for your practice

2015 02 15 23 17 12 996 Madow Brothers 200

Here is a "Kink-y" lesson or two for your dental practice.

Many music fans consider the Kinks to be one of the great bands of the classic rock era, right up there with their British Invasion counterparts the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who.

And while they certainly were an international phenomenon, in the U.S. the Kinks never reached the popular heights of those other bands.

Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS.Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS.

Some music buffs suspect this was for two reasons. Their on-stage fighting and arguing made many people uncomfortable, which led to the second reason -- they were hassled by and thus refused to join the musicians union in the U.S., making it practically impossible to get good concert bookings.

When it came to musical creativity, the Kinks did not play by the rules. Their music was so original that even the Beatles cite them as influences. But their big mistake was not playing by the other set of rules -- the business rules that would have put them in front of large audiences hungry for great British music (this is well-documented in the fantastic play "Sunny Afternoon," which you should definitely see if you will be in London anytime soon).

So can we learn two big "Kink-y" lessons from this great band? Of course.

Everyone must get along

The Kinks' frequent fighting, even on stage, unnerved a lot of people and detracted from their music. Concert promoters and business managers were afraid of them. The same thing can happen in a dental practice.

Petty fighting, backstabbing, and gossip are destructive forces. They cause tension, lower productivity, and divert attention from where it should be -- giving quality care. And by the way, the patients can always tell when this stuff is going on.

Sometimes you gotta play by the rules

Musical creativity notwithstanding, the Kinks didn't play by the basic rules in the music business. And as much as we may try to fight it, we need to play by certain rules in our dental practices as well. Things such as the following:

“Sometimes we must bite our tongues, waive a fee, give a refund, apologize, and more—even if the patient doesn't really deserve it.”
  • Accepting most insurance plans and filing for the patient
  • Appointing new patients for a "cleaning"
  • Having some evening and Saturday hours
  • Making financing easy
  • Not always being "right" -- even when you are

The list goes on and on, and the point is that playing by the rules means being as patient-friendly as possible. Sometimes we must bite our tongues, waive a fee, give a refund, apologize, and more -- even if the patient doesn't really deserve it. That's the way to build, grow, and keep your practice strong.

Back to the Kinks for a second. If your radio has been in the "on" position over the last few decades, you certainly have heard "You Really Got Me," "Lola," "Tired of Waiting for You," and many other Kinks classics. But if you're not familiar with the amazing "Waterloo Sunset," you are missing what some call the greatest song ever written.

In 1989, Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, founded The Madow Brothers with the goal of helping their fellow dentists achieve success and happiness in their practices. For more information about their e-letters, audio series, New Patient Mail marketing program, Dental Powerhouse group, their live presentations (including "How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun, and Prosper," "The Ultimate Dental Boot Camp," and especially "TBSE"), and more, check them out at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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