If you sit back, stop “thinking like a dentist”, and consider any successful business, you would be hard pressed not to agree that any metric you can buy your way out of is probably not a useful metric to measure yourself by. Seth Godin, in his daily blog, said: “If it’s important and you can spend money to fix it, by all means go do that, but the helpful metrics are the ones where cash isn’t the solution.”
I have always thought that what I write about should not be telling you “what to think”, but in reality, I want to help you learn “how to think” about your business. Looking at your career from a different aspect than most almost guarantees exponential success over the common dentist. This “uncommon approach” will take you to keeping the main thing the main thing. Success quickly follows and builds on itself to keep you ahead of the “sheeple” (those that tend to think like a dentist) that struggle to take your share of the consumer’s purchases for services and products. Once you learn how to think, you will find yourself in that rarified area where you have no competitors.
Here is a short list of the areas or metrics that really don’t require money to remedy.
- The percentage of new patients coming from direct referrals: Should be over 50%+.
- Production per Op per month: Should be $25,000 to $30,000.
- Production per Employee per month: Should be $20,000 to $25,000
- Percentage of phone calls turned into an appointment: Should be 90%.
- Percentage of Cancellations and No Shows: Should be less than 9%.
- Percentage of Case Acceptance: Should be over 80%.
- Collections Percentage: Should be over 100% a month.
- Turnover of Staff: Your staff should be with you for a decade or more.
- Lifetime value of a patient: Should be measured in years if not decades and thousands of dollars.
- Your production per new patient: Should be in the $2,500 to $3,500+ per month per patient range.
As we move away from “thinking like a dentist” (BAD) to owning our performance and the culture of our practice, your new found accountability and focus on the metrics that really matter will propel you into the next level of practice. For the large percentage of dentists, these metrics are not even measured, much less known by the doctor and every staff member. While throwing money at a problem to see what sticks is a strategy, it’s not much of one. It is the default of a person that has been sold and told to think this way rather than someone who has learned to ask the right questions and has learned to think differently. This is how you Summit: Own your past, but change your future. Learn to think differently than the herd of doctors that simply try to spend their way to a new successful future because it is not sustainable. Those that follow this short-sided quid-quo-pro strategy from the newest 90 day wonder that has to come up with some never before, can’t miss service or product to sell you is a common mistake repeated by the 90% of the dentists that will never find freedom, peace, or financial security because they failed to learn how to think. They decided to let someone else think for them.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
PS. To read the blog post STOP THINKING LIKE A DENTIST (BAD), click here.