can blowing up balloons grow your dental practice?

In a word, yes. Seth Godin, marketing expert and author, spoke about Lizard Brain at a 99U Conference. An easy to understand concept, it is also challenging to put into practice. Seth compared starting a project to blowing up a balloon. Getting started is hard, but once you have put those first few breaths of life into the balloon, each additional breath gets easier and before you know it, the balloon is full. We’ve all experienced it; we know it’s true.

The key to success – to all success – is finishing. Without the finish, we aren’t paid, and our customers aren’t happy. Millions of great ideas never see the light of day. Why? Because they were never implemented. Why were they never implemented? Because nobody ever started. Getting past the starting line of a project is the toughest hurdle, and if you get those first breaths in well and early – all up front – the rest is easy.

It’s all about getting started. The first breaths into a balloon stretch it out so the remaining breaths become an easy part of the process. It’s the same with planning. Get all the hard stuff out of the way up front, by disciplining your team and stakeholders, and the rest of the project takes care of itself with little more than ensuring the momentum continues. You see it your own practice. Consider a patient in your chair for a crown placement. You’ve done the preplanning and blown some air into the project … you did the work upfront – planning, color, size, patient buy-in – it’s all taken care of – the balloon has some life – when it comes to actually placing the crown, it’s a perfect fit. Why? Because you did the work up front. You worked out the kinks before you started the work. Then the work sorted itself out along the path you set out for it at the beginning.

Seth went on to explain that one of the hurdles many people face at the start of a project, and at many points between, is Lizard Brain. Lizard Brain will thwart all great ideas if you listen. With thoughts like not good enough, fast enough, clever enough, Lizard Brain kills many projects ... and derails many more. It’s not just the doubts, but constant changing and revising mid-project that can stop a project from ever being realized. If you work up front on the planning, hash out potential issues, implement solutions, and then start, Lizard Brain will not set in and the project will continue along without many of the roadblocks that will derail many solid ideas and turn them into missed deadlines.

Even as experts in dental marketing, we can attest to the truth in this. In our wish to generate the best results for our clients, we sometimes struggle between our flexibility to be responsive to our clients’ needs and wishes, and our experience and expertise. Then what happens? The project goes off course and the target date has passed. And that can be reflected in the results.

Another easy to understand but difficult to implement concept is the one of consistent new patient flow. With attrition accounting for a 20% reduction in patients every year, without new patients to replace the ones naturally lost it’s impossible to attain practice growth. Without consistent communication, outreach and reactivation programs, and introducing new products to your patients and potential patients, bringing in these necessary new patients is an onerous job. With Patient News, all you have to do is identify the course, take a deep breath, and let our support team fill up the balloon and tie the knot!

Further challenges we must all overcome are last minute changes once a project is underway. The further along the process we continue to hash things out, the more expensive it becomes. Thrashing is a task for the beginning of a project – before you start, you address the challenges, plump up the ideas, brainstorm solutions, and make decisions. Then let your project management team bring the idea to life. Experts agree. Making things happen is the key to success.

In analyzing the results of prospects that did not see through their marketing plan versus those who did, we see that those committed to achieving results made things happen. There were no excuses like those we heard from the also-rans … waiting for this, waiting for that … staff doesn’t want … patients don’t need… Committed to achievement, they determined their plan and followed through – with outstanding results. Consistent double-digit growth in annual revenue and number of patients of record, increased referrals, 10:1 ROI and better, and the list goes on. When you commit to results, you will make those results happen.

This is why your Patient News Account Management Team works diligently with you to both establish the right marketing plan for your practice, and to ensure it stays on track. All you do is make the decisions and your AM team works to fulfil those goals. They ensure your plan succeeds while keeping it on time, on budget, and on target. For more new patients or to reactivate missing ones … call 888.377.2404 for free unlimited client support and complimentary demographic analysis. Call today to breathe some life into that balloon and watch your schedule fill up!