Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Newsletter Archive- Distinguish Yourself

Distinguish Yourself from the Rest of the Pack!
Dr. Paul Homoly, CSP

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Sara who?
Sara ‘nother way to distinguish your practice?

Go get a pen and paper.

Make a list of everything you claim differentiates your practice from what other dentists claim about theirs.
Go ahead, make the list.
Nothing yet?
Okay, name just one thing you claim to have that other dentists won’t claim they have?
Quality dentistry? They claim that.
Great service? They claim that, too.
Great staff? Yep, they claim that.
Great training? Lots of claims about that.
You say tomato, I say tomahto – but your patients perceive the same thing. If the patient perceives no difference, then what distinguishes you from other dentists is your fees. Do you want patients selecting you as their dentist because you have the lowest fees? I didn’t think so.
If you’re having trouble building your practice, it may be because you have not distinguished your practice from the rest of the pack.

Distinguish Yourself

The best way to distinguish your practice is to distinguish yourself. This means getting out from behind the technical issues of your practice – what you do - and letting your personality shine through – who you are.

Patients are far better judges of personality issues than they are of technical issues.

Here are five steps that are sure to distinguish you:

1. Reduce stress around you. By reducing stress you allow the “real” you to come through. When you are stressed, patients perceive the “coping” you – the person who’s dealing with all the hassles around you. The real you is always more likeable than the coping you.

2. Give yourself and your staff permission to have fun with each other and your patients. There is no better substitute for fun when it comes to positively distinguishing yourself. If you’re not sure what fun is, take a long vacation to Club Med in Cancun. If you still can’t figure it out, then it’s time for some therapy.

3. Learn to tell stories. Stories are magic. Let patients know who you are behind the mask. Tell stories about growing up – your neighborhood, hobbies, and cool things you did. Keep your stories short - under one minute. You and your staff should tell stories about why you love dentistry and stories about other happy patients and successful events within your practice. A well-told story is the best communication tool to separate you from the rest of the pack.

4. Look great. Looking great is the first step to being perceived as being great. Master the basics – clothes, skin, hair, nails, eyes, teeth. If you’re not sure how to look great (many dentists – men and women - don’t) then hire someone who does. Most upscale clothing stores have fashion consultants who can fix you up.

5. Sound great. A major part of your impact is your tone of voice and word usage. Keep your language skills above the norm of your area. Just because you live in a sleepy little town don’t get lazy and say things like “ain’t”, “uh-huh”, “ya’ know”, “huh?” or drop the “ing” endings - “fixin’”, “hopin’”, “workin’”. If you have (or been told you have) below average vocal impact and/or grammar, get help now. Many language programs are available through colleges, private tutors, and professional associations (National Speakers Association, Toastmasters International, and Dale Carnegie).

When you let the real you shine through, learn to have fun in the office, tell memorable stories, look like a million bucks, and sound approachable and professional you’ll distinguish yourself in ways that patients easily recognize, identify with and appreciate.

Think about when you’ve asked others what they like about their dentist. They say, “He has a good personality”, or “I really like how she puts me at ease” or “I feel confident with his recommendations”.

Want to distinguish your practice?

Distinguish yourself.

Dr. Paul Homoly, CSP, is a world-class leader in dental education and is known for his innovative and practical approach to dentistry. Paul is author of the best-selling books Dentists: An Endangered Species, Isn’t it Wonderful When Patients Say “Yes”, Making It Easy for Patients to Say “Yes”, and Break Through. He is a leading columnist for The Official Journal of the American Academy of Cosmetic

Paul is affiliated with The Misch Implant Institute and The Kois Center. Paul is a member of The North Carolina Dental Society, and is licensed to practice dentistry in the great state of North Carolina.

Paul holds the highest earned designation in professional speaking – Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – from the National Speakers Association; fewer than ten percent of professional speakers are distinguished at the CSP level. He is the first and only dentist to earn this designation.

Dr. Paul Homoly is President of Homoly Communications Institute. This Institute’s focus is coaching high performance dental teams and advancing communication in dentistry worldwide. His unique process helps dentists master their practice, affording them greater freedom.

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