8 Oct 2015  •  Our News  •  4min read By  • Anthea Hardiman

What I learned…by Anthea Hardiman

If you’ve been using social media lately, chances are you’ve seen some reference to the Practice Plan Workshop Tour 2015, being hosted by Laura Horton and Michael Bentley, entitled ‘How to create your ULTIMATE dental practice, room by room’.

With so much noise around the tour, we realise there’s only so many times you can hear us say ‘attend this event, it’s going to be great!’, because we would say that, wouldn’t we?
With this in mind, we asked Anthea Hardiman, Business Owner and Principal Dentist of Stoke Lane Dental Practice, to share her experience of attending the inaugural workshop.

My team and I attended the Practice Plan Workshop Tour event in Bristol – the first of the 12-date tour. As well as the usual great Practice Plan welcome and hospitality, we had a marvellous action-packed day delivered by two very dynamic speakers, Laura and Michael.

Laura and Michael are a brilliant double act and really entertained us with their insights into how to develop the ultimate dental practice. This was something that Laura and Michael really reinforced throughout the day – that it was all about creating the ULTIMATE dental practice – so don’t feel bad if you are not doing all of these things, or some of the things you won’t be able to do, just cherry pick the things that you could do to make your practice even better than it already is!

Our team were truly inspired by the content of the day and some of our ‘light-bulb moment’ ideas have been implemented straight away to make our practice better. Here are my three top things we took away from the day:

Don’t try to be a master of all trades!

Get to know your customers and appeal to a niche. So, for example, don’t have a roller banner that tells everyone the 50+ different treatments that you offer, this will not be read by passers-by! Appeal to one or two specific markets and have different banners for the different treatments that you offer and use them appropriately! You may find when advertising in a shopping centre that the promotion of cosmetic treatments works really well on a Saturday and advertising dentures is really effective on a Tuesday – get to know your audience and where and when you’ll find them!

Give a face to your brand

Successful brands evoke feeling and allow customers to connect emotionally with them. An excellent way of doing this is to have a face of your brand – take Lenny Henry and the Premier Inn as an example. Dentistry is a very personal industry and your patients need to have a good rapport with your dentists. Laura and Michael suggest that having the dentist(s) as the ‘face’ of the practice could really help patients engage with the practice brand, so have them at the forefront of your marketing materials.

Diary zoning

Many dentists have diaries with little or no ‘zoning’, therefore allowing their front desk teams to book any type of appointment at any time of the working day. Laura and Michael stressed the importance of diary zoning to reserve certain slots for different types of treatments.

They recommend your high-value appointments are scheduled for the start of the day – this is when it’s most suitable for dentists to deliver their complex treatments. This is also when the phones on the front desk are typically at their busiest – by having the longer appointments scheduled for the morning, this should free up the staff on the desk to deal with the incoming enquiries. Also, ensure you have some time reserved for new patients during the week – having a new patient enquiry come in and not being able to see them for three weeks is a big no-no and a sure-fire way to send them to a competitor!

These are just three of many, many tips my team and I took away from our attendance at the workshop. I would strongly recommend you book places for your team today and see how you too can benefit and really make a difference in your practice.

The Practice Plan Workshop Tour has eight dates remaining for you to choose from with locations including Solihull,Edinburgh, Manchester and Stansted.

The tour is free to attend for Practice Plan members with over five patients on plan, and they are also throwing the doors open to non-members too, with tickets costing just £100. Places are being snapped up fast, so if you’d like to secure your ticket, simply visit our events page or call 01691 684135.

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