THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

The biggest challenge of Christmas and the New Year…

…is that you lose MOMENTUM

The reason for this is that every treatment plan is a sale – and every sale is a cycle:


  1. the patient reaches a point where the pain of not doing anything is greater then the pain of doing something

  2. the patient begins to search for a solution

  3. via the web, direct marketing rot referral, the patient finds YOU

  4. the patient makes first contact

  5. the patient is triaged

  6. the patient interviews you

  7. you interview the patient

  8. you build rapport by listening empathetically

  9. you establish and confirm the pain

  10. you discuss solutions

  11. you make a recommendation

  12. you describe the benefits of the solution

  13. you have “the money” conversation

  14. the patient deliberates and/or discusses with another key decision-maker

  15. the patient decides

All of this is called a “pipeline” – and the management of patients in the pipeline is crucial to the success of your business.

The lowest earners in dentistry are those who simply offer preventative maintenance.

They don’t have a pipeline – patients just come and go, whether NHS or private – the biggest challenge is to get them to attend – the momentum is a well-managed recall system.

The highest earners in dentistry sell large treatment plans – their cash flow is lumpy – it can fluctuate wildly from one day to the next, one week to the next, one month to the next.

“Big case-itis.”

So momentum is created by a well-managed pipeline.

Making sure that, as the patient takes the journey outlined above, they never slip off the radar – they are kept engaged and not distracted by other BSO’s (bright, shiny objects) that they can spend their money on or become involved with.

Christmas and New Year are a momentum-killer.

We are all distracted by BSO’s.

So the danger is that you take 10 days off work – arrive back first week in January and have to “crank it all up again” – that can take time and, all of a sudden, you have lost a big slug of a month’s cash flow.

Now you are starting the calendar year with a deficit – and it can take a stressful half a year to catch up.

This post was inspired by a conversation with a top client a few days ago – a high earner offering the very best clinical standards and customer care.

He told me that in the week between Christmas and New Year he would be writing treatment plans.

He is a committed family man – but understands the momentum issue – and will organise his time to allow some work every day.

Wise man.

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