I’m through with listening to dentists giving me excuses for their business inadequacies and failures.

It’s amazing the list of reasons that doctors will come up with as to why certain things will not be successful in their business.

“But My Business Is Different”

Dan Kennedy quotes the businessperson’s safety net of “But my business is different”.

This phrase is fallacious. All businesses are primarily the same. Dan will tell you that. They are all the same. All businesses rely on customers paying to receive goods or services of a certain value.

The fee that the customer pays is a reflection on the quality of the good, the quality of the buying experience, i.e. the service, and the skill and the notoriety in the marketplace of the provider of the service.

My thoughts are that this Kennedyism is a fundamental truism. All businesses *are* primarily the same. And for that matter, then, all dental offices are primarily the same.

So why are some dental offices successful and others not?

Larry Winget said something along the lines that you are exactly where you want to be; otherwise you’d change it. I think he said “You’re broke because you want to be”. Hard stuff!!

I say, if you’re not happy where you are, then you would be changing it, wouldn’t you? Larry says it even better: “Your life is your own fault and if you shut up, stop whining, and take action you can create a better life.”

Now you all know that as a dentist, I built a very successful dental office with high fees and high revenue, in a very ordinary part of Sydney, with average patients, on average incomes, living in average homes. This was not Beverly Hills CA.

So how was I able to do this?

I guess I was always motivated to create the best dental office that I could create. However, I became even more motivated after seeing a colleague’s office, some twenty-five years ago, which was in a part of Sydney that was notorious for lower incomes and smaller homes than where I worked. This colleague had built a good quality dentistry office that back in 1996 had collections that were more than double those that I was collecting! And I thought that I was doing quite well!!

This eye opening light bulb moment opened my eyes to the fact that I really needed to open my eyes.

Because, if I was not open to seeing a different world, I could not create it.

I told you recently about a good dentist friend of mine who I know who had difficulty in being accepted by the owners of a dental practice where he recently went to work.

You see, that practice was “different”. According to the owner dentists. The people living in that area are “different”, my friend was told.

I challenge that! I believe, at that practice, the doctors tend to only do whatever needs to be done to get the patient by.

At that office, they liked to watch things. In fact, my friend said that their dental office had more watches than a Park Avenue TAG Heuer store!

They liked to patch things. They had more patches than a pirate’s convention.

You see, my friend was a high producer, and a pretty amicable, friendly sort of dentist. He was able to create rapport easily, but he was also pretty good at selling people the better dentistry that they needed. He preferred porcelain to patch ups.

The trouble with selling better dentistry is that better dentistry comes with a higher fee….and that can shock some people/patients, who are lulled into a false sense of security by being patched and watched and patched and watched.

Now, when it comes to treatment philosophies, I’m with my friend. I believe in offering only the best. No compromise! Doing the best. Giving the treatment that I would do for my sister, my wife, my mother or my daughter.

Many years ago I had a patient say to me: “Doc, why are you giving *me* all of these choices? You’re the Doc. Give me what’s best. That’s why I’m here”. And then he said…

“You’re the one wearing the white coat!”

And that’s been my mantra from that day forth.

You see, I’d like my dentistry to stand the test of inspection by my peers. I’d like to know that I had done my best and given my patients what is best for them. I’d hate to be known as a patch up dentist because “my patients are different”.

The other disadvantage of providing lower fee dentistry, is that it attracts customers with lower respect for their teeth and for your work and your training and skills.

The best thing about doing your best dentistry is that it allows you to feel appreciated. And when you feel appreciated, and only when you feel appreciated, can you give exceptional customer service.

It’s very hard to win over poor goods with great service. Your goods need to back up your level of service.

It was with this quality of goods in mind that allowed me to build a great office on great customer service.

The thing about great customer service, about Wowing your customers and patients, is that you need a solid foundation.

Your customers are happy to pay for great service, and better quality.

And these can be provided in any location. There are people who appreciate both….there’s no difference between businesses and locations and people.

Remember, you are exactly where you want to be, otherwise you’d change it.

Larry says it even better: “Your life is your own fault”

So don’t make excuses. Don’t tell me “But my practice is different”.

You can change it. And if you really want to, you will change it!


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business