Pretty much everybody I know talks about ‘Googling’ something, we are generally comfortable with that because there isn’t really a viable alternative (how often have you done a Bing?) and we all understand why this part of their business exists. Increasingly though, we are becoming uncomfortable with the domination of big global brands – such as Google and Facebook – and the way they use secret and unfathomable methods to manage our data, lifestyle and what we type into our computers, in order to get a better outcome for their advertisers. Big global brands have been around for a long time and they come and go. We may have opinions about Nike, Coca Cola and McDonalds but in purchasing a pair of running shoes, a fizzy drink or a burger our lives are not intruded in the quite the same way as when we type a word into Google or Facebook, only to find a string of adverts, carefully selected to reflect our lifestyle, interests and demographic. Sometimes this is really useful but when does it becomes intrusive and at what point do we stop trusting these services?
Think about some other brands that you are comfortable with. What is different compared to those that you don’t completely trust? My bet is that these brands do the exact opposite to how most businesses position themselves. Rather than starting with the product or service, the most successful business always start with their values – they start with the why. Ultimately, nobody really cares what you do or how you do it, they buy your product or service because of why you do it. Think about it, all of the big brands and ideas that have failed or are failing; the only response seems to be to just reduce price. Compare that approach to aspirational brands, where the reason you buy them is because of what the brand stands for, not necessarily because of what it does. You can see this in action with desirable cars, fashion brands and gadgets. But what about dentistry?
Most people don’t buy the features and benefits of what you offer. Ultimately those elements help to rationalise the decision-making process but in the end patients buy the idea of how you can help them, they buy why your business exists and in this there is the real challenge for healthcare. Whether your patients were brought up in an era of free dentistry or they have never known anything but to pay for their services, their is an intrinsic relationship of trust that patients expect of their dentist which means that if there is the slightest incongruence between their expected level of trust and your delivery, then your patients will at worst walk away or at best leave to ‘have a think about it’. You just don’t get that many second chances in healthcare. This idea has an impact upon every part of your dental business and as a leader of your business you need to be aware of this. Why your business exists has an impact upon your ability to recruit and retain people with the right talents. Why your business exists has an impact upon how you attract and retain the patients that you want. Why your business exists has an impact upon how you motivate your team to help each other and deliver the level of care that you will be proud of. This means that why your business exists has an impact upon your own wellbeing, your ability to lead and let others manage and, of course, your results!
The seven key skills you need as a dental business leader:
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