Proactive v Reactive?

Most of the practice managers I meet are terrific at handling the operational side of making a practice work on a daily basis.

They make sure the place is compliant, that the receptionists book the patients into the right slots, stock the cupboards, have the kit working, arrange the nursing rota and make sure the principal has the coffee he likes. They sort a lot of ‘situations’ and everyone relies on them (and often they get little thanks for their efforts).

The challenge for these practice managers is they are always reacting to situations and they are often frustrated that they cannot be proactive in supporting their principal in taking the business forward.

Here’s a simple example of one of the practices we work with taking massive action to increase their new patient numbers. Boyne Dental in Navan, Ireland ( know they need to make themselves more known among the local community. They are implementing lots of the marketing tactics we have suggested (both digital and non-digital).

Adrienne, the patient manager, contacted the local shopping centre and arranged to have a table on a Saturday with a large bowl of apples and packs with toothbrushes. Over 80 people were drawn to the stand and Adi chatted with them asking them whether they had heard of Boyne, had they got a dentist and were they happy with their oral health.

She took their details and she knew at the end of the day she had about 40 prospects and she confirmed to them she would call them on Tuesday when she was back in the practice. AND Adi did call all 40 on Tuesday AND she has already booked 20 new patient consultations AND agreed follow-up calls in two weeks’ time with the other 20 who might be interested.

What’s Adi’s secret? She’s taken massive proactive action:

  • She said she would contact the shopping centre, she didn’t wait for her principal to ask her
  • She was confident and smiling (without being pushy) and proactively approached shoppers
  • She asked about them, she didn’t tell them about Boyne
  • She took everyone’s details that she spoke to
  • She said she would follow up (very quickly) with those who were interested
  • She did what she said she was going to do, when she said she would do it (she phoned 40 people on Tuesday)
  • She didn’t wait in hope that people would contact the practice, she phoned them and they were delighted: 20 people booked in then and there
  • She didn’t let all the other things she had to do on Tuesday get in the way of making those phone calls
  • She hasn’t given up yet: she has agreed to follow up with the other 20 people interested (and she will!)

Wouldn’t you, as a potential patient of Boyne, think “they seem really lovely at Boyne, I think they will look after me, yes I’ll come in and see them”?

What you don’t know about Adi is that a year ago she knew nothing about dentistry. She’s got a fantastic attitude and a way with people and she’s learnt a few skills and tips from Breathe on running and managing a practice to support her principal.

If you would like your practice manager to behave more like Adi, please call for a chat about our Business Manager Training

t: 0845 299 7209

With my very best wishes,

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