Does Your Team Understand Your Competitive Advantage?
You know what sets your dental practice apart from the competition, but does your team? If not, you could be diminishing your practice’s reputation unintentionally.
Although you’re the face of the practice, it’s your team that has direct contact with your patients before you do. They’re the ones who are booking appointments, answering insurance questions, and getting patients into your chairs before you even get the chance to show them your skills and knowledge.
If your team doesn’t understand what sets your practice’s brand apart from others in your market, they’re not able to convey that message to your patients.
Before you shift into training mode, it’s a good idea to take a step back and do a quick wellness check, so you can understand how your team views your practice. Here are a few questions to guide you in this process.
Answer these, and you’ll find the loopholes you’ll need to fill, so your team is on the same page with what differentiates your dental practice from others in the area.
How Does Your Team View Your Practice Culture?
When you first hired each team member, you sent them home with a packet that outlined your mission statement and vision for the practice. Although they read it, do you know if they interpreted those statements in the same way you intended them to when you wrote them?
Talk to your team about the mission and vision of the practice. Ask your team members what it means, so you can get a better gauge on how they’re putting it into practice every day. Better yet, show them with specific examples of how you expect them to put your mission to work with each interaction with a current or potential patient.
Does Your Team Speak in Benefits Terms?
Your team can definitely list off all of the services you provide, but that’s not enough to get a patient into your chair or get case acceptance on a service. Your team needs to learn how to speak about your services and your expertise from a benefits-centric point of view.
Listen to your team talk about each of your services. Then, train them to speak from a patient’s perspective, using the patients own needs and wants to talk about the benefits of your service or skill.
For example, if your team is talking about your implants service, get them to use the terms patients use like, “gives you more confidence when you smile” or “lets you eat all types of food again.” This will help people have a greater understanding of your services, makes them feel at ease with what you are recommending, which ultimately will help you fill your chairs.
How Well-Versed Are They In the Technology You Provide?
The dental industry moves fast. New types of dental technology are introduced every day to help dentists like you offer better, faster, more comfortable and convenient services to your patients. Does your team understand this technology and how it impacts your patients?
Talk to your team about the technology in your office – especially that, which sets your practice apart from others in the area. Make sure your team knows if you are the only dentist within 100 miles that offers laser dentistry. Then, shift the way they speak about this technology to come from a patient point of view.
For example, talk about how the technology is less invasive, a time saver, convenient, or reduces the number of appointments needed. This is more convincing for potential patients than rattling off high-tech names and machinery that have no meaning to those who don’t operate in the industry on a daily basis.
How Well Do They Listen to Your Patients?
Listening skills are marketing skills and definitely a competitive advantage. Your team’s reactions to everyday concerns can make or break the way a person feels walking into your office and sitting in your chair.
For example, if a patient says they are terrified of the dentist, do they know how to react? Empower your team with messaging, to say something along the lines of, “we’re so glad you found us. Our patients love the doctor’s gentle touch.” Then, have them go on to reassure the patient that you, the doctor, will spend time individually with each patient, offering dedicated, personalized care.
Depending on the situation, it might also be beneficial to talk about the technology and sedation techniques used during treatment for patients that have expressed anxiety.
The goal is to get your team listening with a keen ear to the patient’s concerns and then addressing them with empathy and compassion. The better they do that, the better your team will position your practice above others in your area.
There is always room to train or refresh your dental team, even highly qualified teams, on the specific differentiators of your skills and your practice. Doing this, and teaching them their role in how they can support your practice, is critical to how your community perceives you.
Ask the right questions, do some research into how your competition presents themselves, and you’ll discover areas where you can increase your practice’s advantage simply by providing the right tools to your team.
Looking for help with implementation or team dynamics in your practice?
Check out our Live Team Training Workshops to learn how we work with teams across the country reach their goals.