Dare to be remarkable

An article written for dentists that could apply to most professionals. Though specifically aimed at dentists, it covers the mindset needed  and necessary for success.

It used to be enough to just say “I am a dentist” to have flocks of people queue for assistance. They would wait hours and sometime days to have an opportunity to receive help from someone who could help them be free of their pain. You may be of an age to remember those times or at least have heard the stories of others who had walked the path before you and were treated as gods.

Those days have long gone and the prestige that kept people coming back for help has changed. It is no longer enough to say “I am a dentist”.  Much more is now required to remain in the dental profession.  Regrettably some will fall by the wayside; some will perish through atrophy and others through ignorance.

There are those whose arrogance will cause them to vanish into their own cavities. They know everything and “they know” that the problem is not them. To them it is that people are stupid enough to go somewhere else and not come to them.  They are trapped by the sheer weight of their own ego.

Let me help clarify the position and perhaps some may be in time to help save themselves and join the ranks of the successful.  As a point of interest only one in ten will make it to the ranks of the successful and of those about half will reach their the summit of success.

It used to be enough to say that a person has qualified as a dentist. That used to bring people into their practice. There it is, a degree from a university proudly displayed behind an impressive desk right next to the oath.  The patient is confident that the bearer of the degree is qualified to treat their teeth.

More and more dentists are produced each year from fine universities and what they lack in experience they make up with knowledge, technique and energy. It is essential to continue updating skills and techniques and be informed of the latest research. This though is no longer enough.

There are those that have been able to stay ahead by maintaining their position by using the latest products and procedures. They keep up do date with what is new in the market place and quickly introduce quality products and services into their dental practice. These dentists are up to the minute in terms of what to provide for their patients.

They are the risk takers; they go the extra meter to stay ahead of their competition. They are well informed and know where to look for new products. They know where to find the suppliers and importers of latest products and who to talk to get the best prices. These used to be well kept secrets and gave them an advantage that gave them the edge.

Access to the internet has made it possible for everyone to access hundreds of suppliers who are prepared to jump through hoops to get your business. This information is now available to all. It is essential to keep up to date with the latest products, yet it’s not enough to succeed.

Over the years many professionals understood the importance of introducing the latest technology into their practice. Everything from modern drills that operate efficiently to computer generated images of dental structures that show the finest details for better analysis as well as helping the patient participate in their betterment through getting a better understanding of what is going on in a matter of minutes.

Those investing in modern technology create a better image of dentistry to their patients. In addition technology helps remove ambiguities and confusion from patients seeking assistance.  Dentists are able to work with more certainty with their patients. It is important to invest wisely in your future and keep up to date with the latest proven electronics, digital imagery and mechanical tools.

If you do not, it may result in the patients of the future, who are savvy about technology, moving to a dental practice that provides such accurate services, fast, efficiently, and cost effectively. Yet even to have the latest technologies is not enough. Most dentists have the ability to, if not do it themselves, employ a dental consultancy to refurbish their surgery. This is essential if you seek long term stability.

As a business and personal consultant, I have spent many years studying and mastering the various business models currently used around the globe. I have designed and run many workshops on thinking skills to corporations as well as change processes and Neuro Linguistics.  It has been an enlightening journey that I continue to share with anyone interested in self betterment.

As a consequence it has become more and more obvious that the key to success lays in more than the training one has received, the information that they have access to, the technology they rely on and even the modern environments they can create.

The key to success requires that you have all of the above to a lesser or greater degree. More importantly is that you have the one vital ingredient, without which everything else is deemed useless. That vital ingredient is the skills to develop healthy relationships with your patients. Without this ability, the chances of success are minimal.

As a point of interest, it appears that for some strange reason, some confuse their qualification in dentistry as being an MA in business management.  Then they wonder why success eludes them. Take it from me that they are very different skills as different as chalk and feta.

It is highly unlikely that you have as part of your training been taught modern marketing skills and most probably have little or no appreciation of the importance of rapport in any successful business. The ability to clearly communicate your message with empathy and authority is vital if you are to expand your business. Perhaps I should have said, stay in business.

One thing is for certain that by continuing to do what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got. So unless you want more of the same, do something different. If you are short of ideas then speak to someone who is successful and ask them how they do it.  This is not intended to be a provocation to test how sensitive your ego is. It is just a suggestion.

Investing in your future is essential and needs to be prioritised and given the time and energy to become part of your development. Yet you may have gathered in reading this article that it is neither your competence, nor knowledge base nor is it the technology that you employ that makes the difference. These are commodities that are available to most who seek them.

When finding ourselves trading in the same commodities what will make the difference is the ability to deliver a greater value to the patient. Personally I can not think of a greater value than a healthy relationship that creates a solid foundation for a long and lasting future of care for your patient.

Relationships and communications skills are an area of my expertise and I take a great interest in both verbal and not verbal communication.  As a coach and mentor, time is invested in making adjustments to my client’s communication skills. The rewards for clear and transparent communication can be profound. It seems that many have failed to understand the importance of words and the power they have on our psyche.

Words can lift us to heights of ecstasy or send us in to a state of despair. What matters is what is received in the communication by the listener. And just in case you might be thinking “I did not say anything” one thing is assured, you can not, not communicate. So not saying anything is in itself a communication. I will expand on this further during a short presentation I will be making at the second international congress of Endo-Prostho conference in Athens.

The words you use mean more than you mean by using them. You may be unaware of the effects your words are having on yourself and your patients.  This is something you will need to address as a matter of urgency if you are to minimise the loss of future business.

Defining yourself requires that you consider your mindset, that is to say your attitude towards your business, as well as your appearance, your mannerisms, your tone, your pitch, your rhythm and as obvious as it seems your scent.

Belief in yourself and in what you are doing is critical. In essence, beliefs define where you will reach and where they are lacking may cause conflict. Beliefs can cause some to fear failure to they point where they simply live in fear of doing anything and consequently fail through inaction. The wrong beliefs can result in a failure syndrome where no matter what you do the outcome is a guarantied failure.

For some who have low self worth, a belief may exist that prevent them from having success there probably exists a belief that they are unworthy of such success. This is an area that I would suggest requires to be dealt with. Get help to alter limiting beliefs would seriously change what awaits you.

All this might sound daunting, the idea that you will need to change some of your misconceptions does sound like hard work. It can be, yet more often a little coaching and mentoring can result in great things happening.

Be assured that the prize for getting it right is well worth it. Not only on a financial level but also the benefits of extracting more pleasure from what could, if left unchecked, become a routine job.

Continuous personal and professional development is a must if you desire success.  Just as an athlete trains for most of the year to perform in their chosen sport, so too you will need to keep abreast of the latest information available. It is extremely beneficial to congregate with like minded individuals who are open to new possibilities and are able to discuss and share experiences.

In a recent visit to my dentist, I was heartened to notice children’s drawing on his desk and having completed my treatment coincidentally the next patient was a child who came running in to see the dentist. Exited and full of his news, greeting his dentist with a massive smile.  How often do you get to see that? What are the chances of this child ever going to see another dentist? This is providing added value to the consumer. And by the way let me point out the cost is, zero.

By now you have probably realised that you knew most of this. Some may feel a little uncomfortable as they read through the article. The stress of the current economic climate is already creating pressure and now the realisation that you need to do a little more to establish yourself a successful practice.

The good news is that there is still time for most to turn things around. Just remember that it is not just a business you are running, it is your business and your future. The desire to change and the will to follow your dream for a better future is the prerequisite.

Enjoy the journey.