Time for TCO’s and USP’s – making the most of what makes you special

Practice Plan Workshop #9 in Cambridge yesterday and we are still seeing the following:

  • less than 10% of practices have a full-time TCO;
  • of those who do:
    • all deliver a free assessment meeting between TCO and prospective new patient;
    • the free assessment lasts from 30-minutes to “as long as it takes”;
    • the objective of the free assessment is to triage the patient – first, do we want that patient in our practice and second, who will be the best clinician for this patient to meet?
    • the outcome of the free assessment is a paid consultation, ranging from £65 – £85, ranging from 30-minutes to an hour;
    • the paid consultation leads to the creation of a treatment plan, presented at a third “options meeting”;
    • the majority of treatment plans are still printed straight off the practice management software with little or no attempt to “beautify” or explain the print out – a small number are accompanied by a narrative letter.

For those who do employ full-time TCO’s, average productivity is “up” by 30%:

  • higher conversion rate from enquiry to treatment delivered;
  • higher average treatment plan value.

You would think, wouldn’t you, that by now the idea would have caught on?

Clearly, the Laura Hortons and Michael Bentleys of this world have a lot more work to do – it’s not part of my brief (or Sheila Scott’s) to deliver TCO training – simply to encourage clients in that direction.

Equally – and on the subject of digital marketing and preventative maintenance, most practices:

  • don’t know whether they are page 1 Google for organic search;
  • don’t know the bounce rate on their web site;
  • don’t know what percentage of web site visitors are using mobile devices;
  • don’t offer a free download in return for a newsletter subscription;
  • don’t offer online booking;
  • don’t make full use of social media channels;
  • don’t write a blog;
  • don’t issue a monthly email patient newsletter;
  • don’t answer the phone properly;
  • don’t conduct Dental Health Reviews properly.

You get the picture.

In my mind’s eye, the audiences at the PP Workshops are a cut above the rest?

Yet we have discovered that the level of implementation when it comes to modern and professional business practices is minimal.

The audiences tell us that they don’t have the time, the money or the people to put in place the bouquet of ideas that Sheila and I are sharing with them and that they can learn from the other trainers, consultants and coaches out there.

Whilst facing some of the greatest business challenges that we have seen in my 21 years and Sheila’s 28 years?

It makes me fearful for those practices who don’t get the superb support and encouragement that PP deliver.

Our work will never be done.

I’ll bet it’s the same on the uptake of clinical advances and digital dentistry – that we are only scratching the surface as yet.

Look at this another way.

If you are one of those practices that does embrace modern and professional business practices – think of how far ahead of the competition you actually are.

More importantly, think about how you get that message across to your patients and to the people that they can introduce you to.

I suggest that your USP list is longer than you think – but you may well be keeping many aspects of that a secret from the very people (patients) who can help your business to grow.

If you are in the top 10%, it’s time to start telling people how and why.

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.

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