Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Patient Peddling

Hope you are having a good week.

Not much going on with movies or books lately. I feel like I go from work, to sports, have dinner, clean up, kids, brushing of everyone's teeth, praying and putting them to bed, then I plop down in front of the boob tube and I am asleep in less than one DVRd show. Saturdays are for college football and Sundays are for church and football and family (not in that order). And my day off (Monday), seems like a crazy day of catching up. I have been reading the same book for over a month and a half. It is not that it isn't good but... I don't see an end to this until after Christmas. But it is good.

Real quick, my son David turned 2 on Monday. We had family over on Sunday. I told you my assistant and front desk person make cakes. Here is the cake they made for the party.

(double click on this to see its awesomeness)

My friend and I were talking this weekend of a good blog topic: patients peddling products. What I mean is someone comes in to get their teeth cleaned and says after their exam, "Hey can I talk to you for just a sec in private?" By the way, this is never good.

Not that I don't like talking to people but this one can only be a couple of things. For me it is always either that they have a friend who is down on their luck or they have a problem with something that is going on in my office.(It is never, "I just wanted to tell you how much I love your office and I think you might be undercharging.")

Or it could be, "Have you every heard of X?" And x could be Amway, probiotics, vitamins, supplements, Mona-Vie, cleaning products, magazines, tutoring, parent classes, ect. It could be anything.

I know we all have this happen to us. Now we all have to do the dance. This is a dance that looks like trying to get out of this but not offend because I don't want to ruin this relationship. This puts me in really tough situation because I may really like them as patients and I want to support what they are doing, but I really don't have a need to make my feet more comfortable or something like that.

Now some of you might be into things like this. Maybe you have a little side job that has you selling product. I don't know how you do it. People are always looking for people that can appreciate what they have and can afford it. I usually can afford it, but have no appreciation for it. I am a pretty black and white kind of guy. I think eating right and exercising is the way to lose weight, not a pill or spandex or any other thing that is not exercising and eating less.

My friend brought this up to me while he was in his car driving to a meeting, a meeting that he agreed to go to because a patient tried to sell him something. He then had to go to a meeting about a vitamin or some sort of supplement that was going to change his life ON A SUNDAY. He only agreed because he thought it was the right thing to do. I told him he needs to learn how to dance better.

He told me he danced, but the guy was insistent. Now, if you are a patient and you ask a potential client about a product and they say, "No thank you," what class ever told you to continue to rake them over the coals until they buckle? I felt so bad for my friend. In this class, he ended up signing his name on something (always a big NO-NO) and signing up for a month of supplements. Then he found out that you have to be on the supplements for over two months for them to work.

Are you getting uncomfortable yet? We have all done this. We go out of our comfort zone to try to please a patient in this way, but the next thing you know, you are going to meeting on a Sunday afternoon totally not wanting to be there and buying junk that you don't want.

Listen, I love that I can support Katy and buy a bunch of magazines for her cheer leading squad. I love that I could give money to help Ryan go on a mission trip to Chile. I want to help Sara who is going to Isreal with her band (don't ask me why a band has to go to Isreal, I just support it). I want to get involved in food drives. I want to be on their list for anything they need. I want all that. I want to be part of this community. I want to be part of these kids' lives and support them. I want to be part of these families' lives. I even will try to support my patients when I am buying stuff. If I know I am going to have my pool repaired, I try to make sure I give my repair guy patient the first dibs on the work.

But here is the thing. I try to make myself very approachable in my office. I have people that sign in at the front and then just walk to the back (we don't have doors) and, while I am working on someone else, start talking to us. I want this. I want people to feel at home here. I want people to want so much to talk to us that they can't even wait for their appointment time. I kind of bring it on myself. If I wasn't so approachable, people wouldn't approach me.

Anyway, that is what I have been thinking about lately. Any thoughts?

See you Friday,


navygatordmd said...

I totally agree, we have almost weekly requests for donations to cheer camp, running club, yearbook, soccer teams, and it goes on and on and on. It adds up quickly. First we will look and see if it is a loyal good patient or family and then what is it for. I got hit up for Amway the other day. I waltzed out of that one. Having small kids always gets me out of the meetings, just say I have to watch the kids or soccer games something going on always no time for much else.

Dr. Andy said...

Great topic! You don't see this discussed in the dental journals. Real life stuff.

I also contribute to our regular patients' fundraisers. Great PR. Don't get many new patients for it but man do you keep the ones you got.

The dance for other offerings. I tell them my wife, brother, classmate, etc. already sells me that financial planning, insurance, vitamins, time share, etc. It works

gatordmd said...

OH MY GOSH, what a great idea.

My issue and I forgot to mention it was the same person bringing multiple things. Like every six months they are into something else.
Drives me crazy.

see you soon,

Anonymous said...

I support the causes and schools if I think they are legit. I do not buy stuff or use services of pts it never works out well. There are a lot of causes or fund raisers that are for corporate profit. There is a poster place in Colorado that calls and tries to sell advertising for high school basketball and football posters with the schedule on it, but the local schools have never heard of or seen these posters!


PLEASE NOTE: When commenting on this blog, you are affirming that any and all statements, and parts thereof, that you post on “The Daily Grind” (the blog) are your own.

The statements expressed on this blog to include the bloggers postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), nor do they imply endorsement by the AGD.