Ensure your team knows the value of your work.
As we work with dental practices across the country, we often are exploring ways to elevate service and the sense of value of care the practice provides from the lens of the patient. But, what if the problem isn’t in the patient’s perception of the value, but it’s in the team’s perception of the value?
When we do work that comes with a high fee, especially if the service feels intangible in nature or doesn’t appear to be valued by the consumer in a way that is reflective of the price tag that comes along with it, we often get stuck in a battle within our own minds about what it’s worth. The psychological wall of money goes up and we get in our own way when it comes to doing the great work that we do. Think of it this way, if we don’t value our own work to the point that we believe wholeheartedly it is worth the fee for the service, then how will we ever impart that sense of value to our patients or our customer that what they receive is worth it? It is a massive hill to climb.
When we talk about treatment coordinators in dental practices, one of the most important qualities they need to have is a sense of value for the care and confidence in quoting total fees – no fear of the talk of money! When we discuss presenting treatment, we often talk about only having team members or doctors that are comfortable with talking about the investment doing so. The reason is that if we don’t have the comfort, the confidence, and the overall sense of value for the work—we will be our own worst enemy. We will backtrack recommended treatment. We will piecemeal a plan together, even if it doesn’t fully accomplish a patient’s needs. We will assume inaccurately on the patient’s behalf and remove certain options for care or for payment before we have even given that patient the choice to decide for themselves. We will do more and more for less and less and eventually find ourselves financially stressed, overworked, burned out, and out of balance.
So, how do we pivot our minds to have a healthier outlook on the work that we do and its worth? In my experience, it is an intentional investment of time and practice, working on yourself and with your team on two things: Mindset and skill set.
Have you clearly cast a vision with your team about what type of practice you want to have, the type of care you want to provide, and the value in which you believe that care is deserving of—and even before that, have you come to terms with a healthy mindset of what you deserve?
Taking a piece out of my own history with wrestling with a sense of value for my work, I have learned that my knowledge, my time, my experience, my study, my results—they are worthy of an equitable investment. I will in turn create an experience that even further builds upon that value and reflects an experience, a relationship, and a result that exceeds in value the actual financial investment. It is a mantra, a commitment, and it is something that I speak into existence for myself and with my team on a regular basis. If what we are providing is NOT reflective of exceeding the value, what do we need to do in our skill sets and service to make it so?
Consistently speaking your purpose and value, and building the strength of mindset among your team of that value will reflect itself in your overall business health—as well as your patients’ health. You are the experts and the advocates in their corner for total health. If you compromise on their care because of your own personal discomfort in talking about the fees and the investment it will take for them to get healthy, everyone loses.
Often, we as team members sense and embrace the value for the care, but we are not equipped or comfortable with the skill sets it takes to navigate that care or those conversations. This is where time together as a team working on verbal skills, processes, and excellence in service is key. By making room and investing time discussing the objections, the obstacles, the questions, the concerns, the places we get stuck and by practicing and working through those scenarios together, we are, in turn, improving the outcome of every future interaction and conversation with patients from that point forward.
Dale Carnegie, one of the business greats in communication and leadership, always taught that the best way to gain more confidence in our conversations with clients—or for you with your patients—is to stop “selling” and start “helping”. When we start to partner with our patients in the conversations about their health, when we ask questions and listen, when we ask them what their goals and expectations are, a new type of relationship and conversation takes place—one that gives room for a comfortable conversation exploring what we need to accomplish, and the value in that care is being built with every word that is spoken.
What is your mantra? What is it that you embrace about your role in your patients’ lives and how you advocate for their total health? Do you believe in it? Do you believe in your doctor? Do you believe in the quality of your care? Do you believe it is deserving of a fee? If the answer is yes, then begin believing that you are worth the investment! Your confidence builds their confidence. Your passion and care build your patients’ understanding and belief in the care. You have the power to create a ripple effect for both your practice and your patients.
What skills do you need to improve? Where are you strong? Where are you weak? Who can help support you in becoming better and more confident in the areas that need attention? What processes need to be refined?
Access training on the overall patient experience, customer service, and treatment presentation through Jameson’s online learning platform, Grow.
Remember, in order to create Raving Fan patients, we need to be doing what the author of the book Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard, taught us: Decide what we want to provide (get clear on your vision); discover what our patients want from us (ask questions and listen—identify their goals); and finally, deliver everything that is expected plus a little bit more!
When we lean into that process and begin to build our skill sets and mindsets around those three Ds: Decide, Discover and Deliver, our confidence will build, those conversations will not be ones that we shy away from but we will now run toward—because we will know that those conversations are a gift, our patients have a need and we are a solution, we are the answer, we are delivering the very best and, most importantly, we are worth it.
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