38th Australian Dental Congress.

I have been invited to speak to Dentists at the 2019 Australian Dental Congress on Saturday 4th May, Communication in Dentistry – 3 key skills for more effective practice.

In my abstract submission I applied to speak at the lunchtime sessions – this less formal round table style is much more suited to interactivity and practical learning with the aim of taking away knowledge that can be applied immediately in your practice.

I will focus on 3 areas;

  1. How to make a good first impression“you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. You will gain an appreciation of what ‘presence’ you project to patients even before you meet them and what to think about when you greet a patient for the first time.
  2. Learn to listen – discover that there are different types of listening and realise the most effective method so our patients can truly recognise that we care for them.
  3. Understand empathy – the ultimate hack to building rapport and trust with your patients.

The old adage of customer service is more relevant than ever today in this increasingly corporatized environment – “people are likely to forget what you say or do, but they will never forget how you make them feel”.

A proportion of patients are searching out deals and they will be drift to whatever practice gives them a special of the month. You will attract these patients by winning a ‘race to the bottom’ – your margins will be so hollowed out that you will have to see more patients or ‘up-sell’ them on something else they might not necessarily need or want.

The patients you want to attract are the ones who value good service and seeing the same dentist who cares for them – they will never mind paying if you make them feel better about their choice to see you over somebody else undercutting your fees.

Using these skills creates strong, resilient relationships where your patients feel genuinely cared for, will value you and recommend you to their friends.

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