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The Trifecta of Practice Success

By: Wendy O'Donovan Phillips

Yes, 31-occlusal and 18-buccal have been treated – composite resin and sealant, respectively.

Certainly that's a success for one patient outcome, but how about for the entire practice? Hundreds of cases like these plus dozens of larger cases add up each year to a profitable and financially stable practice.

Yet true practice success reaches way beyond its financial soundness.

The trifecta of practice success adds up like this:

  • Loyal Team and Patients +
  • Strong ROI from Marketing and Treatment Coordination Efforts =
  • Stable Finances and Deep Personal Fulfillment

The trifecta is the foundational support to the practice, like a tripod for a camera. When the dentist ensures that all three legs are strong and equally weighted, the practice is wildly successful. Here's how to ensure that very thing.

Loyal Team and Patients

Honing loyalty in the team and from patients comes down to one concept: leadership.

Anyone in the practice can be a leader, but leadership starts at the top. The dentist must be clear about the vision and overall goal for the practice. He or she must find a way to clearly and regularly communicate this knowledge to the team. The dentist must inspire the team.

True leadership begins when every team member becomes a leader. A team of leaders:

  • Has a shared practice vision
  • Has a passion for the common goal
  • Develops ideas for reaching the practice goal
  • Sees how the practice helps them fulfill their personal goals
  • Offers solutions
  • Are individually indispensable to the function of the practice
  • Are insatiably positive
  • Extend genuine respect to those around them
  • Are natural caregivers

When everyone inside the practice is a leader, everyone is empowered to deliver dentistry in a way that forges raving fans of the practice.

Beyond that, when everyone inside the practice is a leader and a raving fan, that energy radiates to the community. Patients flock to and become loyal to practices that possess that high level of energy.

This brings us to the second leg in the trifecta...


Strong ROI from Marketing and Treatment Coordination Efforts

Internal systems and processes like marketing strategies and treatment coordination standards allow the practice to work for you, freeing you up to focus on care.

Marketing strategies attract potential patients, and treatment coordination standards ensure that the potential patient will become a new patient and accept treatment. A strong return on investment will only occur when marketing and treatment coordination efforts align.

For the marketing strategy, it's best to regularly survey the patient base to learn what marketing tactics get attention and what marketing message resonates.

Here are few survey questions to start:

  • What are we doing best?
  • How are we different from other practices?
  • What types of dental practice marketing do you pay attention to? (Website, online ads, direct mail, etc.)

From the answers to these questions, the practice can construct a true marketing strategy, complete with the right message and the right media. The message should reflect what respondents shared when asked what the practice does best and how it is different. The marketing plan articulates in writing what media, or types of marketing, respondents are most likely to consume. It's wisest to only market across the media that grabs the community's attention.

For treatment coordination standards, asking the right questions is also paramount.

Here are a handful of key questions, inspired by the book Being Mortal:

  • What is your understanding of your situation?
  • What is your understanding of the potential outcome if we proceed with treatment?
  • Based upon that knowledge, what is the course of action that best serves you?
  • If money was not a factor, how would you proceed?
  • Revisit these questions with patients on a regular basis for highest effectiveness. By doing so, the practice will strengthen ROI from marketing and team efforts.

And with that, we go to the third leg in the trifecta...


Stable Finances and Deep Personal Fulfillment

When the team and patient base are loyal and the marketing strategies and treatment coordination standards are producing strong returns, the practice finances stabilize and production and profitability rise.

More than all of that, personal fulfillment deepens. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it sure does make life easier. When the practice finances are stable, the dentist has more flexibility to pay off liabilities, finance growth, hire the right staff, give to philanthropic causes and enjoy time away from the practice.

Now that's fulfilling!

Adapted from an excerpt of Wendy O'Donovan Phillips's book, KABOOM!: The Method Used By Top Dentists for Explosive Marketing Results. Wendy is CEO of Big Buzz, the nation's third largest dental marketing firm.

About the Author

Wendy O'Donovan Phillips is CEO of Big Buzz (www.bigbuzzinc.com), the nation's third-largest dental marketing agency and only full-service firm, offering more than 50 different marketing tactics, all backed by research. She is the author of "KABOOM! The Method Used by Top Dentists for Explosive Marketing Results," which is on the Amazon Top 100 List for Dental Office Practice books. She has been honored by the American Marketing Association for excellence in her field, and she has been hired by the American Dental Association as an expert consultant in marketing. Her firm celebrated 10 years in business in 2017. Read more insights like these at www.bigbuzzinc.com/blog.

View all articles by Wendy O'Donovan Phillips

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All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

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