How Dentists can develop specialist higher value skill sets and sell these services to patients
In today’s labour market, industries are driven with a hysterical competitive rage to rise above their rivals. Dental practices are also facing an immense bit of pressure to enhance their work processes and to seize profitability from their patients. However, with the looming dentist manpower shortage and non-existent pools of dental associates, you’re compelled to take matters into your own hands by enhancing your soft skills to continue to grow and prosper.
Yes, in addition to reviving your technical skills, developing your soft skills is inextricably linked to expanding your practice. This can include anything from personality traits, language, personal habits, social graces, communication, and friendless, all those qualities that can help you build a stronger relationship with your patients. In fact, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research affirms that adhering to soft skills like these can significantly help organize, plan, and manage, and track changes in growing dental practices!
The needs for Particular Skill Sets in Dentistry
Many dentists are experiencing rapidly successive cashflows and profits now more than ever. In times like these, it is easy for these “successful” dental practitioners to become complacent. That is an amateur mistake. If you continue down the road of easy money and do not focus on attracting quality patients and employees who will stick by you long-term, even the most well-to-do practices are quick to observe a gradual decline in prospective patients. By doing so, you’re only sowing the seeds of a disastrous early retirement.
Dental care is inclusive of but not entirely limited by procedures that enable comprehensive management of oral problems and a complementary betterment of dental health. Instead, dental care is also about appropriately responding to your patient’s needs and wants, which in hindsight should be directly dependent on the dental practitioner’s qualities. Superior interpersonal relationships can go a long way to determine and build a long-standing relationship with your patients and their families.
A positive attitude, strong work ethics, quick problem-solving skills, and flexibility are some of the most highly regarded specialist skills you must strive to excel in order to build your empire of satisfied patients and committed employees. Developing close relationships with a dedicated fulfilment of mutual goals can make you a master in the dental sector.
What skills do you need to attract more patients?
A career in dentistry can be greatly rewarding but only if you tackle your oncoming challenges sensibly and responsibly. The Department of Health shared corresponding data on the number of active dental practices in the UK. In 2017, there were over 12,000 fully functioning dental practices and we can only assume that the number has quadrupled over the course of four ruthless years.
So, what does it take to achieve better financial freedom earlier and better than your competitors? Understand the difference between hard and soft skills – while hard skills are objected-oriented, soft skills are people-oriented. A perfect mixture of good technical and interpersonal skills will hence allow you to interact with your patients adequately and capitalize on it more successfully.
One heavily debated myth among dentists seems to be that your technical skills are far more impactful than your social skills. However, dental professionals who are clinically inept yet socially adept tend to flourish just as well, if not more than their rivals. Why is that? Dentists work closely with patients every day, so having excellent communication skills should be a prerequisite for a successful practice.
Interact with your patients to properly be able to meet their needs and to comprehend their qualms. Even if you’re a brilliant dentist or a technical guru, patients are more likely to return to you only if they can connect with you on a personal level and not just in a dentist-patient dynamic.
Patience is a virtue
Approach your patients from a personal point of view. While dealing with them, you must remain calm and patient, and address all of their concerns and complaints. Being respectful of your patients by maintaining a calm tone can help build trust in them towards you. You will also be depicting yourself as an attentive dental operator who values your business with each individual patient you deal with.
Be an active listener
Being composed when dealing with your patients should also be accompanied by good listening skills. How often do you interrupt someone when talking? Are you only listening to respond rather than listening to understand? Listening to your patient’s concerns and asking relevant questions is a crucial part of customer service.
Ask questions to relieve any doubts and to clarify anything that can be easily misinterpreted. If you listen attentively and show genuine empathy, you’re likely to receive praise from your patients.
Take a hands-on approach
In order to develop specialist higher value skill sets in your practice, you also need to learn how to efficiently deal with your employees and not just your patients. A true leader does not simply delegate tasks to his subordinates. Instead, take responsibility for each task and be involved in the process. Inculcate a culture of two-second improvement in your practice as described by famous entrepreneur Paul Akers. Aiming for too many big changes can set your practice up for failure, so anchor a culture of two-second improvement in your practice to be followed each day.
By taking small steps, your employees will be faced with fewer workloads and since the change is very small, the degree of risk will also be very negligible, in case your strategy does not work. Micromanagement does little to enhance your practice. Simply do periodic performance reviews and updates.
Be a master of your skill
No one knows your job as you do. The dental practitioner should excel in their technical skills but also should not neglect basic social cues to help build a connection with their patients. This also ties in with your problem-solving skills and how you can tackle each challenge that comes your way.
If a patient asks a question you don’t know the answer to, there is no shame in being honest with them. Unearth each solution as you go and invest your knowledge with the latest information and resources!
Manage your time
Time management may be one of the most important aspects of customer service. Beware of how long each call or appointment should take before you can convert these prospects into dedicated patients. Being conscious of the time each activity takes will help you stay on the right track, allowing you to accomplish more tasks in a set frame of time.
Patients pay for services that they receive or intend to receive and so it makes sense that they receive the best possible service. Interpersonal skills are important to help you sell your services to your patients. They make for a strong work ethic and can be game-changers in the overall functioning of your practice. In today’s competitive world of dentistry, take the help of excellent soft skills for your practice to stand out from the rest! If you are looking to enhance your career or bring specialist skills into your practice www.dentaltalent.co.uk is the dental recruitment job board for dentistry in the UK.