Why my job (and yours) is to restore happiness

I’ve frequently commented that people don’t contact me because they are happy.

So when the emails arrive, what is motivating the enquiry?

The requests for help seem to fall into three categories:

  • people who want to learn how to do something for the first time
    • I want to learn all about digital marketing and how it can work for me
    • I want to take control of my finances but don’t know where to start
    • I want to be a better leader/manager/entrepreneur/communicator
    • I want my team to deliver a 5-star patient experience
    • I want to open a new practice
    • I want to buy a practice
    • I want to sell a practice
  • people who want to break through a glass ceiling
    • I’m stuck at my current level of sales/profit and need help to get to the next level
    • I have operated from one practice for some time and now want to expand by acquisition
    • I’ve plateaued clinically and want to develop more skills but also make them pay
    • I’m only able to get my team to do X and I need them to stretch to X+
  • people who face challenges and need a guiding hand
    • I simply don’t have the time to get things done
    • In order to get things done I don’t have any time left for myself or my family
    • It’s costing me too much money to keep the business afloat
    • I’m not making enough money to compensate me for the time I’m putting in
    • I don’t have enough people supporting me in the right way
    • I don’t have enough patients
    • I have people in my organisation who are barriers to progress

Understanding the above lists is essential for me to determine how I’m going to present my brand and how I’m going to market myself (as the person who can supply the answers).

It is equally essential for you as a TCO or dental business owner to understand why patients contact you for help (beyond the obvious pain relief and functional repair).

The various 12-step programmes offered by organisations helping those with addictions will always state that:

  • Step 1 is to recognise that you have a problem
  • Step 2 is to decide to do something about it
  • Steps 3-12 are what you do about it

Dentists are the same when it comes to hiring help. Patients are the same when it comes to cosmetic dentistry (and by that I mean everything from tooth whitening to implant-retained dentures).

It is almost impossible for me as a business coach and mentor or for you as a TCO/dentist to accelerate Steps 1 and 2 for the client/patient. They are often triggered by forces of which we have no knowledge.

One of my future clients may have had enough of their boss/team/patients/life or had enough of insomnia at 03:30.

One of your future patients may have been hurt by a chance comment made by a a grandchild or may have welcomed the news of a family wedding.

We – the business coach/mentor – the TCO/dentist – have to be there and ready when it comes to moving from Step 2 to Step 3.

Branding and marketing is about understanding why people contact you.

I suggest that it would be a useful team exercise to create a list of the reasons that people contact you and ask for help. It would help your team to understand the difference they can make when the job is done properly.

We are all in the business of restoring happiness.


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.