Thursday, October 19, 2023
These Will Change Your Future!
Ever since I was a child, the realm of time travel, as depicted in films and literature, has fascinated me. The allure of witnessing history's pivotal moments firsthand, standing in the midst of world-altering events, is intoxicating. How many times have we all wished we could venture back in time and impart knowledge to our younger selves?
While I can't traverse time and space to enlighten my younger self, I can share insights with you, particularly about All-on-4 Dentistry. So imagining a brief visit with myself out of school; here are the pearls of wisdom I'd share:
1. DON'T PROSTITUTE YOURSELF - Don't simply exchange your passion for money. Expect more out of the patients you treat. Pre-frame patients that you have high standards for patients and only begin treatment with those that you believe are a good fit. This is a great way to say 'No Thank You' to patients that believe money is the only thing they need to bring to the altar. I say this phrase all the time to my staff and patients. "We don't do booty calls".
2. REALLY GET TO KNOW THEM: See consultations as a two way street. Think of consultations as dating. It's essential for both parties to be involved and invested. LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND NOT RESPOND. Don't begin treatment with people that exhaust you or you don't like to be around. If you notice your energy dropping quickly then its a sign that this individual isn't aligned with you.
3. LET THEM KNOW THE REAL YOU: Authenticity Always Wins. Be vulnerable and share with them what you love in life. Talk about what you love about ALL-ON-4. Stay true to yourself from your marketing message to the end of the consultation.
4. NEVER GIVE AWAY YOUR TIME: Recognize the importance of your time and allow patients to invest their resources in you. Free consultations bring in people that expect free things in the future.
5. EMBRACE SILENCE: Give patients the room to think and answer as you inquire about their needs. Don't fill the silence with your voice. Be present and confident. Too often we shy away from these moments that allow patients to formulate questions.
6. EDUCATE EDUCATE EDUCATE: Take the time to communicate clearly about the patients options. Ethically this is what is expected and right but further it helps establish trust and gives patients confidence to make a decision. Confused patients don't make decisions.
7. LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES AND HEART: 90% of communication is non verbal. Don't just hear what they say but observe how they appear. The body has a much tougher time lying. When you notice they appear nervous, bring it up in your conversation. This will help them feel safe around you.
8. TRANSPARENCY IS POWER: Provide written consents early with clear fee structures. The critical aspect is to include the fees and time constraints when treatment doesn't go as planned. This upfront communication can save you millions of dollars and countless hours of lost sleep.
9. DON'T OVERLOOK MENTAL HEALTH: Timing is important to treatment and as doctors we often overlook the emotional health of our patients. The world has never seen such a rise in mental health problems. Beginning treatment on someone who is in a vulnerable place may cause them to get worse. This is why reaching out to their primary provider is part of the workup.
10. SHOW THEM YOU REALLY SEE THEM: What does it mean to really see someone? Seeing someone is being so present with someone that they feel understood, feel important to you in that moment, and feel safe that they don't have to protect themselves. This is my favorite part of consultations.
11. PHYSICAL CONNECTION: Don't be afraid of physical touch. When appropriate and with consent, use touch as a comforting and connecting gesture. This is what makes us human. It doesn't always have to be a hug but just a tap on the arm at the right moment to connect your heart to there's.
12. ITS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY: Don't buy into the belief that money is always the issue. This go's back to what was explained about listening with all your senses. Ask heartfelt questions about what they see as obstacles that have stood in the way in the past. Provide them with evidence that slowly erodes the self limiting beliefs holding them back.
*BONUS: TRUST YOUR GUT: If a potential patient seems overly demanding, aggressive, or exhibits a sense of entitlement during initial interactions, trust your intuition. It's always better to refer such patients elsewhere rather than risk a complicated professional relationship.
*BONUS: DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF DOC. Remain humble and stay kind to everyone, including yourself.
These are the nuggets that I would impart to myself all those years ago and humbly impart to you!
God Bless You For Your Goodness!
Dr. Bryan H. Hendriks
EMBRACE SILENCE: Give patients the room to think and answer as you inquire about their needs. Don't fill the silence with your voice. Be present and confident. Too often we shy away from these moments that allow patients to formulate questions.
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