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a blog by Chris Barrow

Abundance versus scarcity

Saddened this morning, when I’m forwarded a fellow professionals newsletter that professes opinions prompted by an alleged question from a prospective client. “What makes you different from all the other coaches out there?”

I don’t actually believe that any client would ever ask that before choosing and advisor – after all, we know that such a choice is based on 80% relationship and 20% skill.

The inference in said newsletter is that you cannot do as good a job of helping clients if you are:

  1. a one-man/woman band

  2. you haven’t run a successful dental business yourself

  3. you don’t hold a dental qualification

  4. you have a strong personality and are not afraid of speaking your mind

  5. you offer packaged solutions

And on that analysis I have to admit that I would make a lousy coach.

❑ I’m a one-man band and I love it ❑ I have never owned or worked in a dental practice – successful or otherwise ❑ I don’t hold a dental qualification ❑ I have a very well developed ego and use it to express strong and sometimes unwelcome opinions ❑ I offer packaged solutions as well as tailor-made coaching

Oh dear – perhaps I should sail back to the BVI?

But then – on that analysis, a lot of other very talented people would be in the same boat.

Later in the same publication is an invitation to hear a member of their team speak at The Dentistry Show.

Why is it necessary to include the phrase “Don’t listen to the same old stories, come and hear a fresh approach.”

I’ll be delighted to attend both days of the show – and to hear what other people have to say, old and new – because the age of the material doesn’t matter if the material helps people to build better businesses and lives.

Let’s refer back to an article “what I wrote” just 10 days ago in my own newsletter – and which I am motivated to repeat here in its entirety.

Before I do so, let me suggest that on the above criteria for ‘The Difference“, most of the advisors mentioned in the article below would “fail” to qualify – and that, of course, is pure nonsense.

Abundance is about recognising a few simple facts:

  1. competition stimulates demand – the more coaches there are, the more coaching gets bought. The more dentists there are in a town, the more people buy dentistry.

  2. Its OK to recognise that there are consultants out there who have specialities and that you can pass work on to them without damaging your own business – what goes around comes around – look at the list below – I’ve been thanked by every one of them for the “mention”

  3. clients are looking for strong leadership and guidance – a good business coach has a strong ego – refer again to the list below and point out the ego-less?

  4. Its OK to mix “old stories” with thought leadership and innovation – the clients appreciate both

  5. When you denigrate your competition, no matter how subtly done – you make yourself smaller – and I appreciate the paradox here, that I am writing a blog post, criticising the fellow professional who authored the original comments. To clarify, I admire the results that they undoubtedly achieve for their clients but feel prompted to comment on this particular article and the negative attitude that it promotes

I’m motivated this morning to establish a new “tribe” – The Association of Dental Coaches, Consultants, Trainers and Advisors (or some such – needs a zippier title).

Perhaps to establish a code of professional conduct which might include

  1. acknowledging that there is room for us all and more business than we can all ever cope with

  2. freely passing potential new business to each other

  3. without financial inducement

  4. a central web site where prospective clients can search for a speciality

  5. regular meetings to share ideas and plans and create an incubator for innovation

Any interest?

If so please email me at

To quote once again…

Scarcity is about fear – abundance is about sharing.

Here’s that article again, showcasing all those less competent people like myself 😉Abundance This week – an issue primarily devoted to other people who are offering professional services to dentistry. Go to guys and gals I am constantly (and I mean constantly) in receipt of requests for referrals to other professional service providers for dentistry. Chris, can you recommend a good:

  1. accountant

  2. lawyer

  3. financial advisor

  4. web architect

  5. graphic designer

  6. marketing consultant

  7. employment law expert

  8. recruitment agency

  9. search engine optimiser

  10. social networking expert

  11. front desk trainer

  12. ethical sales trainer

  13. treatment co-ordinator trainer

  14. tax advisor

  15. restorative course provider

and so on……. and I do – recommend – but with the important proviso that no commissions, introducers fees or other inducements change hands. That’s been a house rule since the early 90’s and it has served me well over the years – my judgement is never coloured or favoured by hidden sources of income. As part of my current re-brand (as mentioned last week), I’m going to create an area on my web site called a “G2G” section – featuring the best “go to guys and gals” for every other service (and perhaps even other business coaches who I rate highly). So if you are a professional advisor to dentistry and would like to be included in that section over the next few months – drop me an email to say “hi” and prepare a brief synopsis. I’ll then use the G2G section to showcase your talents (and save myself a lot of emails to prospective clients). On the subject of competition – I’ve been involved in a few conversations recently that come from a scarcity mentality. “Chris – a practice has opened across the road – should I be worried?” “Chris – if one marketing agency are serving two practices in close proximity, is there a conflict of interest?” I have always maintained that the busiest dental practices are in the areas with the most dental practices – competition stimulates demand. I equally maintain that the more business coaches, trainers and consultants there are in dentistry, the busier I become. Here are some people who I trust, respect, like and admire their work:

  1. Ashley Latter – ethical sales training

  2. Emma John – front desk training

  3. Laura Horton – treatment co-ordinators development

  4. Jane Lelean and Kevin Rose – business and life coaching

  5. Sheila Scott – team development

  6. Tony Gedge and Hilary Ford – marketing

  7. Guy Levine – optimisation

  8. Mark Oborn – social networking

  9. Ray Prince, Martin Haines and Thomas Dickson – financial planning

  10. Krishan Joshi – web design

  11. Kate Adam and Alex Nicolau – marketing

  12. Cathy Johnson and Yvonne Wallace – branding

  13. Alun Rees – business coaching and team development

  14. Kim Black – iPhone app development

  15. Jem Patel – video on web

  16. Kelly Michele-Hagget – recruitment

  17. Alison King – HR consultancy

  18. Sital Ruparelia – headhunting and recruitment

  19. Andy McDougal – financial modelling

The profession is full of outstanding advisors who are committed to helping people create a better future for themselves – there has never been a better time to hire them. And I’ve never seen so much business opportunity for us all. Scarcity is about fear – abundance is about sharing. Remember – a new G2G section on my web site – apply now – its free!

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