DrBicuspid.com is proud to present an excerpt from Dr. Roger P. Levin's latest book, What Dentists Can Learn From Top CEOs, which was published earlier this year. It draws together many of his observations about how techniques used by top corporate leaders can be applied successfully in dental practices.
The following is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "CEOs Set and Hit Targets."
"Targets reached are steps taken toward reaching your goals."
We all tend to use the words "goal" and "target" interchangeably. However, for clarity, we will make a distinction between the two.
Goals are broader and longer-range in nature. They define where your practice will be in several years: when you will be ready to take on an associate, what profitability level you intend to reach, and so on. Goals, once they are attained, flesh out your vision. They are strategic in nature.
Targets are tactical. When you break down the entire process of operating a successful practice, year to year, you end up with a set of targets. They are metrics, numerical, and very specific. Targets reached are steps taken toward reaching your goals. Used properly, they guide virtually everything the doctor and team do each day in the office.
For the best results, set the right targets
Think of targets as the driving force that will take your practice to the highest and most satisfying level. Levin Group teaches its clients how to accelerate practice growth by following this three-step method:
- Set specific numerical targets.
- Implement step-by-step systems to reach the targets.
- Train staff with effective scripting to get optimal results using the systems.
Obviously, this whole process depends on defining the correct targets in the first place -- based on the right component of production (for example, case acceptance percentage) and an aggressive yet realistic annual number to be hit (90% of all cases accepted as an example). The specific set of targets will be unique to each practice, based on the situation and vision. If the targets are achieved, the practice will grow and thrive. However, the immediate question is, "How can we reach these targets?"
The answer guides the design of new practice management systems that incorporate step-by-step protocols, scripting, and measurement techniques. Levin Group consultants work closely with their clients during this all-important stage, helping choose the targets that will propel the practice to the desired level of progress in nine months. Though critically important, the whole process is less complicated than it may seem. By using this method, the doctor, like successful corporate CEOs, creates clarity of purpose. All staff members in the practice know what they are expected to do and exactly how they are going to do it.
Now let's look at some of the essential targets that successful practices are using:
- 8% of all patients scheduled at all times
- 85% of inactive patients reactivated
- Collection of all money owed to the practice
- Closing 90% of all cases presented
- No-show and last-minute cancellation rate of less than 1%
- 40% to 60% of current patients referring at least one new patient per year
- Implementing 15 custom-selected internal marketing strategies simultaneously
- Increasing practice production by 18% in 12 months
- Increasing the use of outside patient financing by 15% to 20% every year
- Holding overhead to 59% of practice income
These examples are meant to demonstrate the range of possible targets and give you an idea of how they can be used to transform your practice. CEOs take advantage of this power of targets in setting the direction for their companies.
CEOs also understand that each target must be assigned to an individual who will be responsible
for achieving it. With the right systems in place and appropriate training, individuals can work as a team to achieve the targets that will take the practice to the next level.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.
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The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.
Copyright © 2014, Levin Group, Inc. Reprinted with permission.