In the Feb 2011 edition of Dental Economics, Dr. Mike Schuster wrote an excellent article.
I felt compelled to share my thoughts. Here's my email to him:
Dear Dr. Schuster:
My two cents: Your reference to Level III GPs consists of those few dentists I have encountered in my 15 years as a practice marketer, a non-dentist practice operator (in my 7th year I believe), etc., that actually have a personality that people "like."
That ability to build rapport and relate to patients is the single most important asset a dentist can have. All other skills are secondary. If you can't "woo" a patient and keep them for life, you've got a tough row to hoe. From what I've seen, they (Dentists) either have it or don't.
But, this is the case in ANY business or profession. People will not do business with people they don't like, trust or think are weird.
RE: Level III Docs...Patients relate to them. Trust them. Do not think they are weird and are accepting of them as, as you put it, a coach for their health.
For the most part, upon graduation, all dentists are equipped with the same basic educational level, at least from my experience. It's what they do post-graduation and what kind of person they are (how pts perceive them), that will ultimately determine their failure or success.
Basically, from what I've seen, if you're a jerk, you're going to struggle. If you're a likable, competent dentist who has the ability to build rapport, then selling that $3000 or $30,000 case is not a chore at all.
Many of my clients, and I can tell you they are personality driven offices for the most part, were up in 2010 over '09...
Appreciate you keeping folks honest. I wish more people weren't afraid of telling the truth to Dentists that need to hear it. I've lost a few clients being honest, but that sure beats the alternative.
P.S. I am going to send you a book I wrote next week. It's called, "24 Common Mistakes Doctors Make to..." It's also on Amazon.com, too.