Themes in dentistry

My monthly call-in day is always a “main event” in the calendar as it provides me with an accurate litmus test of the issues that my clients are facing.
From Scotland to the South Coast there can be uncanny similarities in the questions I am asked – indicating that there’s nothing new out there – and also that consumers (the patients in this case) can be relied upon to be consistent in their desires and dislikes.
Themes yesterday included:

  1. Dentists in negotiation on financial clawbacks from PCT’s – following alleged under-performance. I say “alleged” because the record keeping seems to be in dispute in many cases. PCT managers are taking a hard line, until it can be demonstrated that the dentist’s records are more accurate – then they capitulate. The moral – make sure your records (and especially those of your associates) are very well maintained and recorded;
  2. Associate productivity continues to be below acceptable levels – if your associate is grossing £750-£1000 a day, you are in trouble. If you (as principal) are grossing £1000-£1250 a day, you are in trouble. You need more production – which means higher prices and longer sales conversations, NOT MORE HOURS!!!
  3. Marketing is finally happening – dentists are waking up to the fact that they cannot just sit there and wait for patients to return or arrive – they must take ACTION to ensure customer loyalty and promote new enquiries. I’m pleased that our next round of team training days are on this subject – just the right timing;
  4. Its now time to launch your winter marketing campaign – obvious choice – tooth whitening – “would you like a whiter Christmas?” – with time-limited discount vouchers to drum up high-profit business in the weeks up to the Festive season – there are only 15 tooth-whitening weeks left to Christmas you know!
  5. Dentists are buying and selling practices – 2 of my clients confirmed that they had concluded practice sales in the last 24 hours – both of them have “had enough” of ownership and want to get out of the rat race – that’s their choice – and in each case a good one;

Dentistry continues to be a positive place to be – full of opportunity – for the right people.
I’m delighted to report record attendances at our workshops next week and in the coming months.
Bonnie tells me that the phone has been ringing all week.
We are all back from the summer vacation and getting down to business.
Don’t miss the boat.
And if you came back from the summer break, having had enough of where you are in business, ready to bite the bullet and take the plunge into coaching for success – then contact us!


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.