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Winter is still dragging along, and depending on patient appointments, those could be dragging, too. There appears to be a general consensus that this month has been slow for attended appointments. It could be the post-holiday blues slowing people down, or that the newest virus variant is making its rounds and keeping patients and staff closer to home. No matter the reason, it can be the pits, especially when you’ve come off a full schedule from the fall.

It could very well be possible, however, that you’re looking at things all wrong. Most dentists operate within two modes. One is “turned on” during times of plenty and the other one swoops in when times are lean. When you’re busy, you pace yourself and focus on treating as many patients as possible.  You are laser-focused on this one thing, leaving no chance for anything else to divide your attention. While working hard for your patients is an admirable trait, you could be setting yourself up for tricky times when things go sideways.  

Let’s look at the slowdown, which we’re seeing right now in January. What did you do when you first noticed the flow turn into a trickle in your schedule? Call back prior cancellations or no-shows? Boost your marketing with some social media posts? Take out an ad? How did you “turn on the patient machine”? 

Putting out fires won’t get you far. You’ll just burn your shoes.

If you’d like to avoid the slow-down we’re seeing this month — or any month for that matter — then let’s start thinking like an elite dentist. Instead of operating on two modes, the elite dentist is “always on.” The elite dentist knows he can “always be doing better” even when he’s booked solid. This mentality helps him avoid having to worry about up and down cycles. Sure they live through them like the average dentist, but it’s that steadiness in good times and bad that attract the best clients in the worst of times. 

You see, while you were busy treating patients, the elite dentist was busy building an impeccable reputation as the only choice in town. Through strategic marketing, data-tracking, and patient up-grading, the elite dentist created a community of the most profitable patients. A community that could easily withstand a downcycle because they have the discretionary funds to get the best treatment. And they go to the best dentist in town. The elite dentist. 

This is not a promise of a quick fix. Elite dentists put in the work — but it’s smart work that yields a lot more profit and better patients who’ve come to trust him. If you’re ready to hang up that fire hose and get down to meaningful planning for a wildly successful dental practice, then grab your copy of our newest report, The Secret of the Most Successful Dentist in Town. February does not have to be as slow as January. And remember, if this month was packed for you, are you prepared for the downward cycle when it hits again?

Like this blog? Here are other recommended readings:

Data Exile. How Not Taking the Time to Collect Metrics Could Ruin You.

And just in case you missed it - our first blog of the New Year: Let’s talk holiday hangovers and ditching your resolutions for real action


Written by Smartbox

SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.

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