By Jerry A. Jones
I want us, you and I, to start 2015 off really simple. Now, I didn’t say it’d be easy. In fact, it won’t be, I can guarantee you that. But, if we keep it simple, our chances for success increase exponentially, wouldn’t you agree? I would like you to do a couple of things for me, and for sure, this first one will represent a departure from what you’re used to reading on my “blog” here on DentalTown: I’d like you to promise me you will drink more water. Not just a little more, but the equivalent of 3 or 4 500ml bottles of water each day.
Why? I find that during the winter, I tend to seek out water far less than I should. Mainly, because I am not hot, or sweating or exerting as much effort as I do in the spring, summer and fall, so my body is not craving water – although, it needs it in winter as it does any other time.
If you do this simple thing, here’s what will happen to you: First, your body temperature will more easily be regulated if you drink adequate water. Second, because water is key to optimum blood, muscle, and brain health, you’ll get sick less often. (This is what caught me off guard one year over the Christmas Holiday – I got sick, I was dehydrated, and, probably a bit burned out from all that was going on – kids, school, basketball games, late nights from all the extra commitments that holidays bring, etc.) You’ll have more energy. Your body systems, all of them, will function better. You’ll eat less (and likely drop a few pounds). And, if you drink soda of any kind, STOP NOW. It’s poison. If you don’t believe me, do some research. All those energy drinks are poison, too. So, knock them off and replace them with water.*
If you drink coffee like I do (I drink 2-3 cups every morning as I get ready for my day and start work), then you’re starting your day with a water deficiency because, as we all know, coffee is a diuretic – it makes you pee a lot. And, if you’re like me, you like to enjoy adult beverages now and then, which are also diuretics. Ergo, now, you now need even more water. If you are active (like I am 11 months out of the year), then you’ll expend more water, too. So, you must refuel more often. How much water you need, according to nutritionists, doctors and other certified smart people, depends on your weight (and your activity, and the climate where you reside, of course).
The important thing is this: ALWAYS have water easily and readily available. Keep your fridge at the office stocked with bottles, or, have a water cooler you can access. In fact, if you reach for anything in between patients, it really should be water. I know this won’t be easy, so you’ll need to focus on it. I also know that most of you will be nodding your head at this point, in 100% agreement that you need to consume more water.
Next, I want you to promise me that every month, you’ll try a new advertising campaign/scheme. I don’t care if it works or not. I just want you to try one new campaign every month. If you do that, here’s what will happen to you: Sure, you’re going to spend money. And, I want to acknowledge the 800# gorilla. I want you to get over that and get in a habit of seeking out opportunities to invest in your business (not someone else’s – i.e. the stock market, but YOUR business) via marketing and not always just the “next clinical course,” or, the next gadget. Gadgets and courses don’t put rear-ends in seats. Ads do. So, choose wisely that which you’ll dedicate yourself. In fact, consider this: If you didn’t invest 1 single penny in clinical skills (FREE CE available at DentalTown.com) or 1 single penny in some new gadget (wait, or, buy used like I do) in 2015, do you think it would impact your bottom line? If so, how? Do you think if you dedicated money instead, to practice management and marketing (not just buying the next PM “thing” or program from some Guru, but digging in and learning about your practice by studying the numbers and the humans you are paying to work on your behalf) that your practice would do better in 2015 than it did in 2014?
I can guarantee you this: your bottom line, your profits, will increase. And, you’ll put more butts in ops than in any year previous. What could be better than that? Here’s what else will happen:
- You’ll have some breakthroughs in marketing. You’ll find out what works best, right now, to attract new patients and keep the ones you have. (Example: You’ll want to invest in a monthly newsletter about all the crazy shenanigans that go on in your office every month. This is what your patients want to read about – NOT clinical stuff. My Members get access to a FREE patient newsletter they can edit and send as part of their Membership - Details of course at www.ClearPathSociety.com.)
- You’ll become interested in what fuels ANY business: the acquisition of new customers and retention of existing.
- If you’re a Member of mine, you’ll start taking the examples I provide, the marketing pieces you have a license to use that I produce for you, and put them to work, giving you a far-better ROI on your Membership Investment. The best part is, I’ve already tested these and so you have some assurance you’ll do well enough with them to get your money back and then some! Exactly what we want. I want you thinking about “base hits,” not home runs in the marketing area. You don’t need one ad that produces 50 new pts. You need 5 that produce 10 that you can experiment with, make adjustments to, etc.
- You’ll make more money because you are focused on customer/patient acquisition and retention… the activities that power a successful practice. Fancy gadgets and clinical training non-stop do nothing to fuel an office. Do you know how many times I’ve taken the call, “Hey Jerry, I got this cool new gizmo, can you help me promote it?” That’s the wrong question. Let’s just get new blood in the door that we can then later, using a newsletter and other direct mail and in-office visits, to promote all these other cool things.
- You’ll have to ramp up your efficiency, or, add ops, or, goodness sakes, add a partner or associate. These are great problems to have. One of the major factors why I don’t blink when it’s time to add a new doc to my own dental office, Wellness Springs Dental of Salem, is simply because patient generation is the easiest thing for me to do. I can do it in my sleep. Almost.
Have I covered everything on your wish list for 2015? Make more money. Add an assoc/parter, travel less (fewer CE courses to attend), spend more time with family, be healthier, be more comfortable in your own skin, and, learn or develop a new skill (doing what it takes to attract patients and retain them – marketing and sales both) that you can apply to any business from here on out?
Another reason I’ve had better than average success when it comes to entering new businesses – I know how to attract clients and patients and customers. I’ve used this skill in the dental assisting school I started, in real estate transactions, in attracting new patients to offices all over the world, and, for attracting doctors interested in the kind of dental office we have at Wellness Springs Dental of Salem. The skill is universal, almost, and, is in demand everywhere I look. Right? If you had the knowledge to attract patients at will, would you ever go without? No. You wouldn’t.
In fact, one of the things I will teach both of my girls before they go off to college is how to sell something, and, how to market products and services. That way, they’ll never starve, and, they can serve their families and be productive. In fact, if they try to marry a guy that has big smarts but lacks these skills, I’ll either train the little turd myself, or, I’ll send him packing, and not let him have the privilege of being my son-in-law. He’ll not have a choice.
* Please seek proper medical advice and counseling from a licensed professional. My views here are my own and should NEVER be construed or confused as advice from a licensed professional - legal, medical or financial. Be sure to conduct your own due diligence.