Staying Resolute in your 2017 Resolutions
Tips for Keeping Your Team onTrack and Setting Realistic Goals
The beginning of the year is a great time to hit the reset button, learn from past mistakes, and resolve to make changes in your practice. Right now, you’re motivated by the idea of a fresh start and clean slate, and set lofty goals for a successful new year. But by the time February rolls around, that motivation for change begins to compete with the day to day distractions of running a business and treating patients. Inside Dentistry sat down with Jay Geier from the Scheduling Institute to discuss how to meet your practice goals in the coming year.
Inside Dentistry (ID): How do you keep your team on track for hitting major goals throughout the year?
Jay Geier: There are a few things to consider when creating goals that will stick beyond the first couple of months. First, create goals that are specific and measurable. Don’t just say you want to increase your new patient monthly average. Say exactly how many you want (and know how many you need) each day/week/month to meet your quarterly goal. Focus on incremental growth—monthly and quarterly targets—and begin to build on your successes.
Set goals that are big and exciting enough to get your whole team on board, but not too big where they don’t seem attainable. The best way to get your team on board with your goals is to make them their goals as well. Be sure they are known by visibly posting them and strategizing for them in morning huddles. The more that number is on their mind or in their sight, the better chance they have to reach it.
You can keep your team motivated throughout the months by regularly measuring progress and celebrating wins along the way. Contests and financial incentives are a great way to keep everyone on track, stay excited about the goal, and go above and beyond to reach it.
ID: What is the best way to ensure you stay focused on your goals month after month?
Geier: It’s great to set big, exciting goals but they don’t mean anything if you aren’t willing to invest in them. You can’t just throw some numbers up on the wall and expect your team to jump through hoops to reach them. You need to provide them with the tools to reach those goals through proper training. When you invest in anything financially, you are more committed to implementation. It’s my version of hiring a personal trainer. You won’t pay someone that much money and then not show up.
And your investment isn’t just financial. You need to be ready to invest your time and energy into making these goals a reality for you and your team. When your team sees how you invest in them and support their efforts, they become more engaged and want to help you reach that goal.
ID: Our resolutions often involve multiple areas of the practice. Which is the most important for a private practice owner?
Geier: For a private practice owner, your first priority should be your new patient goal. Regardless of what is going on around you personally or with your practice, your focus needs to remain on your new patient number trending up.
The great thing about increasing your new patients is the ripple effect it has on so many other areas of your practice. Increased patients lead to increased collections, increased revenue, and increased margin. Think of it like this: new patients are the first domino to fall and create a sequence of events that open up new opportunities for your practice. If you don’t knock over that first domino, then nothing else will change.
If you are constantly focused on that number, you are likely to act or react if the new patient number stops growing. In these cases, you need to increase your efforts and reengage your team through targeted huddles, contests, or financial incentives. If you’re not focused on the new patient number and it drops, it may end up in a free fall before you even realize it and it will be harder to revive.
With all goals, remember to celebrate all successes, even the small ones, and don’t let failure disrupt your progress. Even the best in their trade fail, but it allows them to learn and be better for it. Commit to staying on track this year and make 2017 your best year ever.
About the Author
Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute and the creator of the world-renowned five-star new patient generation training program that has revolutionized the way dentists attract new patients to their practices. Learn more by visiting www.schedulinginstitute.com/ID.