Your Winning Practice Playbook: Part 6 – The Most Underutilized Team Member

I’m most excited for the Offensive Plays you are going to read about today because if there is a so called “secret weapon” in a practice that outperforms any industry metric, this is it.  We are talking about the ultimate difference maker in blowing up the score and achieving things that others look at and say “wow, these people are in a totally different league!”  By the way, that is what my doctors hear from their CPA’s, their Financial People, or Practice Brokers if they go to sell.  No one can fathom how they have such incredible profitability.

It’s because of this “secret weapon” on offense and that’s all about how you engage your patients as a team member and as part of (the most important part of), the plays themselves. 

First, let’s take a look at everything we’ve accomplished and put together so far in our Practice Playbook.

We have now gone through the four principles of being on offense and building an playbook for you and your team. We have looked at how future focused applies to every person’s role within the practice.  We have gone through what it is to be creation minded in all aspects of dentistry.  We have described the role of every team member in having an awareness of opportunity.  We have also talked about the discipline of being proactive and taking initiative no matter what someone is responsible for within your practice.  

If you embrace these principles and everyone within the practice employs this approach to dentistry, then I can promise you: you will help more people every day, you will run up the score on your goals, and you will have more profit in a month’s time without any more hours in the office.  

If you have been here for very long and you’ve been doing the work necessary to win, then you are already experiencing that month in and month out.  Because that’s what Champions, people who are on offense, do.  Losing it isn’t in their system anymore, as they always find a way to win.  They are playmakers and they know how to make things happen.

Now, there is an important distinction to make.  It’s about more money for the time spent.  It’s not about simply having more collections or even more profit.  Those can be achieved any number of ways (often requiring more hours, more overhead, more patients – basically more of everything).

So, unless you are very deliberate about it and intent on maximizing the value of your time, then you will leave a lot of money on the table.  Period.  It isn’t going to happen on its own. 

The real leverage found when being on offense, is creating and capturing more value within the same time on the “field of play.”  This is why you and your team should always have a mentality of ‘what can we do right now’ and ‘who can we help right now.’  Not in terms of same day dentistry, though that is just fine if that is warranted.  

Instead it means same-day opportunity.  For presentation, acceptance, diagnosis, scans and starts, impressions and go, referrals and schedule with pre-payment.  This is the deal.  And if you are a great quarterback then you will “see the open man or woman” down field every time, you will find the play that’s available, zip the ball, and score the points.

The trick is to get your team to do the same and that’s why the Morning Huddle done right is so important because you should literally be able to identify where you are going to create, capture, convert, and collect today that is not on the schedule and already planned out.

Here’s the good news: if you are a serious entrepreneur and for that matter if you are a doctor, then you have an innate ability to sense opportunity, to see it before it’s there, to know what is going to happen before it happens, and to be ready to capitalize on every opportunity.

For most people this takes practice and it takes clear mindedness.  Which is why your team has to be laser focused in the moment and present throughout the entire day with every patient.  This is why I talk about the fight we must battle and win against just going through the motions because you miss everything when you are too focus on just completing the tasks of the job instead of actually engaging and connecting with patients.  

There’s a powerful team discussion and role-playing session right there that I just gave you, if you want it.  “How can I be more present and in the moment with my patients?  What does that look like?  What is the difference between going through the motions to just get it done versus really making a difference in a patient’s life?”

I will tell you, authentic genuine interest in helping patients and the belief in the value that you are bringing to them with – are you ready – an unabashed commitment to understand that no one wins if you don’t score points.  It is about being on offense and playing to win instead of just being content with playing.

Think about this mentality, “How can I help the patient win today?”  You define what winning looks like to you and to your patients.  By helping them determine what it looks like for them to win, you won’t feel any resistance from your patients because everyone is winning their own game.

We have to reposition away from the idea that winning is them getting out of your practice keeping as much of their money in their pocket and doing as little dentistry as possible.  Instead, explaining that winning is all about helping them get healthier faster, improving the quality of their lives, and getting them back to optimal health they’ve been living without.

Offense is measured and games are won by the score.  We can tell how well we did by the results we got and whether we won or lost.

Offense from the patient stand point is scoring on their health and wellbeing and sending them back out into the world better than you found them and better than they knew they could be.

Now that is a worthy mission.  It’s never really about the dollars, you know that, it is about what the dollars represent.  

I really can’t emphasize this philosophy enough because if you are going to have a team built for offense you have to go to work on their mentality around what is means from the patient perspective also.

Okay, it’s time to hammer out how you get your patients on offense with you.

When a patient is FUTURE FOCUSED you help them play out in their mind the benefits and consequences of their health decisions.  You get them to see the future in the crystal ball; the more you take their mind there, the more they will be willing to invest to take their health there.

CREATION MINDED for patients is the fun one because you get to dream and envision with them what is possible. “What can we create today for you and for your health, if anything were possible?  Describe your smile, your sleep, your bite, your ability to chew.”

Help your patients create the mouth and health they want and deserve with them.  Creation is, once again, in the mind before the mouth and in this case getting them to see it in their imagination and in their reality (if possible with technology and other visuals) leads to amazing things.

And yes, it is possible to get your patients to have an OPPORTUNITY AWARENESS too.  Can you believe that?  Well you should because I have been talking about the term “self-diagnosis” a long time.  The idea is, under control and in certain circumstances with guidance, you let the patient play doctor.  You let the patient determine their own opportunities to be helped.  

This is a huge principle of patient engagement.  Let the patient point out the opportunities that exist for you to help them.  You can do this by saying, “Tell me what you see?” or “Do you see that, what do you think that means?”  You can ultimately say, “How would you like me to help you with…?”  If you help the patient be aware of opportunity to improve their health, you will find they are excited to do it. 

Finally, if you skip this step then you don’t have a patient fully bought into and taking ownership over their own health.  You are building a Pathway to Health (treatment plan) that they don’t yet own in concept or value in significance.  They haven’t lived through it in their mind first so it’s hard to execute the play on the field successfully and score points.

Last but not least, and it speaks for itself, is making sure you are including your patients in our principle of PROACTIVE ACTION.  It is more responsible to do something today instead of putting if off until later if delay causes uncertainty of outcome or the outcome is assured to be worse off.

Every adult knows this life principle.  Each person has at least a couple (and likely many) regrets in life that by having waited and delayed, they missed their chance to solve a problem before it got worse.

You can be blunt but compassionate with your patients when it comes to your belief and commitment to making sure you are proactive on their behalf and you hold them accountable to being proactive for themselves because it will always beat the alternative every single time.

Being proactive is the game clock ticking away.  If you wait, if you hold the ball too long, you are certain to lose.  There’s no better way to help your patient reach the end zone than by making them part of the play.  After all, they are a team member and we are actually winning for them in the first place.

There you go my friend and quarterback.  Now, it’s up to you to take it from a playbook to the field and run up the score by making the most of your best players and secret weapon, your patients.

Next, we’ll be talking about the other side of the ball because we all know the best teams find ways to score points on defense too.  That’s how you win big, all on your terms!