PDA’s Chris Moriarity interviews Kari Miller about how she coaches doctors to their vision of success.
By Kari Miller, Business Development Coach
It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. To focus so much on the bottom line that you lose track of why you got into dentistry in the first place. This is one of the first things I do when coaching a new office – we dig deeper into this conversation to discover what you, as a doctor, want most.
YOUR Vision of Success
Success looks different for everyone. For example, I’ve worked with doctors who have four kids who are heading to college. With that clear goal in mind, we developed a plan of attack for what they needed to collect and put in the bank to support their kids’ educations. I’ve also worked with several doctors who are happy with what they are producing but want to put more into their retirement account. From a business coaching standpoint, I help you determine what you need to be producing and collecting to reach those goals. The point is, there isn’t a cookie cutter answer for what success is. You define what success means to you.
One of the first things I do with coaching clients is pull three reports from their office system. It’s actually quite common in really busy offices for Accounts Receivable and collections to go by the wayside. I look at these reports and help the offices create simple or refine systems that everyone can follow so it’s not a big project at the end of the day.
- Accounts Receivable & Credit Balance Report – Most doctors don’t spend enough time reviewing their AR report. They see the number but they don’t know how to do anything about it. This is where I spend a lot of time with the doctor and the team so they can take that next step to making a difference in the checking account. The Credit balance report shows me how effective the office billing is, and if patients are given accurate estimates.
- Credit Report – This shows how effective the office billing is, if patients are being given accurate estimates, the impact of PPO adjustments, and the impact of discounts.
- New Patient by Referral Report – With this report we can see how new patients are coming in and track the ROI on marketing efforts.
Finding the Balance & Building YOUR Vision
Most offices come into coaching because they aren’t where they want to be financially. Then they start coaching and get their AR under control and increase by a couple hundred dollars per hour. This is great! But it’s not my goal to set an office up for just one good financial year. We work to build a system that is designed to give you long-term success.
It might be surprising, but not every dentist wants to be more financially wealthy. As a company, Productive Dentist Academy defines wealth as freedom of choice. For me personally as a Business Development Coach, I view success as helping you create a practice you love and are happy to show up to every day, while living the lifestyle you want.
The next step past finances, is finding the balance of not becoming too comfortable with the status quo, while helping you achieve your life and business goals. Some doctors are interested in focusing on training their team. Others want more fee-for-service models than PPOs. Some don’t want to do any more fillings, and instead want more oral surgery on their plate. And others want more time for family and travel.
Bringing Your Team to YOUR Vision
For a doctor, staying motivated toward your goal is relatively easy. After all, it’s YOUR goal! But getting your team to buy into your dream can be a bit trickier. Aside from ensuring that coaching is a win for you, I also help put systems in place so the team understands the “Why” behind process changes.
For the team, it’s all about that “Why”: We need a good collections system so we can pay our bills, the doctor can get a paycheck, and the team can get a paycheck. And now, if we can increase the production, the team can benefit from compensation evaluations and going fun places on team building trips. But those benefits only come after the bills are paid. If the team knows that they are working towards specific goals, they will throw their support behind you. They really do want the office to win!
Taking the time to build your office culture and team’s regard for you is important. The level of regard a team has for their doctor is usually a strong predictor of how productive a team is going to be. It’s my hope that every practice is able to get to the point where people think working there is an honor. In fact, I was in a practice recently and a woman stopped by and dropped off her resume. She said, “It’s my dream to work in this practice.” Those are some really powerful words! That’s where I want all of the practices I coach to get to.
Spring Into Fall
Start coaching for your success today with Spring Into Fall. A special, one-month offer, Spring Into Fall gives you the proven combination of a Coaching Discovery, Business Coaching, Productivity Workshop attendance, In-Office Training, and much more. Offer is limited to 10 practices and ends May 1. Click here to learn more.