If dental marketing was not allowed..

Imagine a world in which:

  • you are not allowed any prominent signage or advertising either outside your practice or in any media channels
  • you are not allowed to promote your services via the internet or external print media
  • any form of overt marketing activity is frowned upon by the dental regulators
  • networking is regarded as an unprofessional activity
  • you are not allowed to pay a percentage of fees to any associate – they MUST pay a rental for the use of your facilities
  • you MUST pay your hygienist or therapist a salary – they are not allowed to be self-employed
  • you MUST be fluent in at least three languages (French, German, English) to secure any position in the practice
  • expected wages for all staff are generally around 50-100% higher than in the UK

How do you think that would effect the way that you organise your business?

That was my day yesterday, working with Dr Violeta Claus and her business manager Alicja Jimenez at Violifesmiles in Luxembourg – a member of my Top Twenty Club.

They have one of the most beautiful practices I have visited in 20 years, located in the financial, legal and political district of Kirchberg, on a plateau to the North East of the city centre. A district of the most contemporary architecture, wide boulevards echoing to the sound of busy commuters.

I am delighted to be working with the team on the evolution and expansion of the current business.

Existing production figures are impressive, with a complete range of high-end and cosmetic dental services offered across multiple demographic groups but with an emphasis on the 35-50 age range.

We are implementing the best of the 7connections financial modelling systems (as amended to incorporate the associate payment model), patient experience systems and team-building systems. The quality of the reporting is improving every month now.

We have carefully calculated operating costs per surgery per day and know exactly what has to happen to make sure that each day, in each surgery, creates a profit.

The team are excellent, highly motivated, appreciated and excited about their future potential.

Violeta is passionate about her dentistry and about the quality of the experience that her practice delivers.

What we cannot do is roll out the 7connections marketing systems.

The Collège Médical keep a close eye and will immediately contact any practice who steps beyond their very tight boundaries.

So we MUST focus on excellent customer service and word of mouth systems – there is no other way.

Interesting that the inability to market externally focuses everyone in the team n the need to market internally – and the results are as good as any I have seen.

It does make you wonder whether we would all be more focused if the same were the case in the UK?

I’m looking forward to introducing Violeta and Alicja to the other members of a Top Twenty Club at our first gathering in London next week – the exchange of ideas will be very stimulating.



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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.