Becoming a Principal Trusted Advisor

I want you to suspend your disbelief for the next few minutes and take part in a mental exercise with me.

  • think of your top 5 patients from last year with reference to
    1. their level of investment – which were your 5 biggest treatment plan sales
    2. their level of affluence – which were the most “well to do” (as my parents would have described them)
    3. their level of networking – which were the most well connected in either professional or personal circles

Stop reading this now – grab a pen and paper – think…

Patient 1:

Patient 2:

Patient 3:

Patient 4:

Patient 5:

  • plan to allocate some time before their next extended visit to do some research on them – via the web and through open forums and social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin;
  • plan to allocate the time to get to know them better this year – longer appointments during which you will be able to engage them in conversation about their lives
  • plan a series of VIP patient dinners later this year
    1. an evening dinner
    2. in a private dining room
    3. in a high quality local restaurant
  • invite the first 5 to your VIP patient dinner AND ASK THEM TO BRING ALONG A GUEST AT YOUR EXPENSE
    1. make a promise that there will be no talk about dentistry and no sales pitch – it will simply be an informal dinner to chat about life, the universe and everything
    2. ask them to invite guests who fulfil the second two criteria with which we began – well to do and well connected
  • after the dinner, simply send a hand-written thank you note to all the diners with your contact details for future reference and request consent to add them to your email newsletter database
  • make the VIP dinners an event in your calendar 3 or 4 times a year – with a different set of patients and guests every time

If this sounds like a mad idea that could never work in dentistry – then good, I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve.

Where did this mad idea come from?

Simply through working with a very successful North West asset management company and looking at the ways in which they generate word of mouth recommendations via:

  • briefings
  • seminars
  • VIP dinners

in order to become one of their client’s Principal Trusted Advisors.

Then asking myself – “is there any reason why a dentist couldn’t become a patient’s Principal Trusted Advisor?”

I wonder if any of you will have the vision and cojones to do this?


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.