The importance of being all-in with new patients

2016 08 02 13 43 19 561 Geier Jay 400

I was watching the Warriors and the Cavaliers play in the NBA Finals last week, and I started thinking about how much I love to see a player put it all out there.

It's the coolest thing. Have you ever been watching a game and noticed one player who just really stands out? Maybe that player is nailing shot after shot or outrunning every other player on the court, but you can tell the athlete is completely committed. The player is present. Everything the individual has inside is being left out on the court. It's almost as if the player has developed this superhuman strength and speed that's fueled by pure willpower, and we're all just lucky enough to witness it.

Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.

I remember one night, my daughter had a playoff soccer game, and she was nervous about it. So I texted her sand wrote, "Have fun tonight. Just have fun, and make sure that when you walk off that field, you've left it all out there. Everything you've got -- whatever that means to you. And try to get your teammates to do the same. No matter the outcome -- win or that other option -- it's fine. But once that whistle blows and the clock starts running, you've only got one chance. You don't get to replay this game."

For just a few minutes, I want you to pull yourself out of the weeds of clinical care and think about the big picture and about how you are shaping it. First, think about where your practice is right now, your finances, your team, your patients, the whole enchilada.

Now, I want you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I putting it all out there?
  • Is this everything I've got to offer?

I've worked with enough private practice owners to know the answer to those questions: You haven't put it all out there -- at least not yet. You may think you've tried everything, but you haven't. I've talked to thousands of clients who've said the exact same thing. They felt stuck, exhausted, financially drained, unable to reach the next level -- but they were "giving it everything" they've got!

Well, here's the game-changer. If you really want to see dramatic practice growth in a short period of time, you need to go all-in with new patients. You need to refocus your energy, attention, time, and resources on this one idea, and you need to become incredibly intentional about it.

“When you decide to go all-in and fully commit to new patients, you'll notice that your whole team will follow suit.”

I know what you're thinking, "Blah, blah, blah, new patients ... ." But here's what you need to understand. This one element is the difference between where you are and where you could be. Every single time patients want to schedule an appointment, they call your practice. Their call comes in through your telephones, and one of your team members picks up. Here's where things get dicey.

If your team member picks up the telephone without being properly trained to convert every call into a real, tangible appointment on your schedule, then that person is unknowingly allowing new patients to slip through his or her fingers every single day. And that means you are unknowingly losing thousands of dollars in new patient value every week, which adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. All of this is happening because of a lack of commitment.

So what's it mean to be all-in with new patients? It means knowing your numbers, setting goals, tracking your progress, and celebrating success. It means training your team members so that they recognize the importance of new patients and have the skills to influence those numbers. It means talking about it every day.

You know what's interesting about a player who puts it all out there? All the other players try to rise to that level. So, when you decide to go all-in and fully commit to new patients, you'll notice that your whole team will follow suit. Your attitude and engagement when you walk into work every morning will dictate exactly what you are getting back from your team.

If you aren't all in with your intention to increase your new patient numbers, then your team never will be either. This is your practice. Your livelihood. It's up to you to create the game plan. Whether you like it or not, the clock is running. You've got six months left to meet your 2017 revenue goals. It's time to go all-in.

Jay Geier is the founder and owner of the Scheduling Institute, a dental training and practice consulting company. To learn more new patient strategies that yield long-term results, register for a two-day Ultimate New Patient Attraction Event in September in Philadelphia and December in Atlanta and Phoenix.

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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