- 3 Minute Read -

The lawyers squirmed uncomfortably in their seats.

They were being asked to do something that took them a billion miles outside their comfort zone.

Someone was actually asking them to destroy their business.

This law firm has just run head-first into 180 degree thinking.

So what's 180 degree thinking?

Let's drop all logic for just a moment and play a game that makes your brain run awry...

Imagine you run an airline. You know... Delta, Southwest, American, etc.

Now imagine that you want to destroy your airline as ethically as possible. How would you do it?

You'd do everything your customers hate.

So let's make a plan:

  • You'd squeeze more seats onto the plane.
  • You'd hire the Grinch (who never smiles) to be your hostess.
  • You'd make sure every plane departed and arrived 45 minutes late.
  • You'd have boring meals and even more overpriced drinks.
  • Good start, eh? Now let's suppose you changed your mind...

    You decide you don't want to destroy your airline.

    What would be the first thing you would do to grow?

    That's easy... wider seats, attractive & smiling hostesses, be on-time, and serve great food and drinks.

    And that's what made the lawyers uneasy.

    Because when they went through their 180 degree thinking concept... When they stopped thinking about "How to grow my business" and they turned it 180 degrees, instead they came up with the hard truth.

    ...And the truth made them squirm.

    So what did their clients hate?

  • They hated how they got charged for every single email, minute, and phone call.
  • They hated how they were "nickel and dimed" for every photocopy and fax on top of $400/hour.
  • They hated how they could never talk to the attorney only their assistant's.
  • And guess what those lawyers did, day-in and day-out?

    We're all good at bugging our clients.

    Now I'm not taking potshots at lawyers, I'm just saying - we all do it. And most of the time we don't even realize we're doing it.

    Even as you read this article, your patients are searching for an exit sign. And no, they won't leave in a fit of rage yelling and screaming.

    94% of your unhappy patients will quietly slip away from your practice without saying a word, unless you ask them a critical question...

    What would you have to do to destroy your dental practice?

    First, do this exercise in your head: What dumb things would we have to do to run off our patients?

    Write down every possible thing you can think of.... EVERYTHING that would make your patients stampede out of your practice.

    Now that was easy, right?

    The hard part is sitting down and actually asking your patients "what bugs you?"

    Funny enough, the fear of feedback doesn't lie with your patients. It lies with you.

    Yeah you - the one who's afraid of what your patients might say. And now that you've got their feedback, now you have to fix something.

    In every case study we've done before, the patients were more than happy to talk about their bad experiences - they just didn't know how.

    Getting complaints is like winning the lotto!

    You need to ensure you're getting a constant stream of complaints (or if it makes you feel better, call it "feedback"). Get rid of the "feedback" form and go right to your patients, face-to-face. Let them know if anything goes wrong, to come talk to you.

    Complaining patients don't want to leave your practice, they want to be wooed back. Fix the problem, and let them know how you fixed it. Patients brought back from the brink are extremely loyal.

    Richard Branson, billionaire serial entrepreneur and CEO at Virgin Atlantic Airways, has been known to make personal appearances at the gate when flights are late to apologize. Can you imagine how you would react to this?

    Remember, it costs 8 times as much to get a new patient as it does to keep an existing one.

    Can you see what's happening?

    In effect, you're removing failure.

    And when all the failure is gone, guess what you're left with?

    Just the success.

    180 Degree Thinking is Only For the Brave.

    The lawyers were uncomfortable. The airlines squirmed a little. You'll have this same "butterflies in your stomach" feeling when dealing with 180 degree thinking.

    Get over it.

    If you want to grow your practice, it's vital to employ 180 degree thinking.

    And if you want to destroy your practice, that's easy.

    Just do nothing.


    Written by rcarroll