What Can The Olympics Teach Us About Patients
Unless you’re an avid swimming enthusiast I bet that you seldom follow swimming competitions. But in the last few days, millions of people are suddenly talking about swimming. The same goes for gymnastics, running and a number of other events.
The intense media focus and the stakes involved at the Olympic Games make many of us intense fans of these sports for a few days and then we basically forget about them again until the next Olympics.
This can give us a bit of an insight into how many people see dentistry. They have an awareness and appreciation for the profession to some degree, just as we all know and appreciate that there are great athletes out there doing great things every month of each year. But it’s an awareness that is at the back of their minds—until they get in the chair.
Thanks to the recare model, most patients who participate at even a basic level are almost guaranteed of being in a dental practice at least twice a year. And it’s on those occasions, when they are in the chair and have opened wide, that dentistry has moved from the background to the forefront of their thoughts. That’s your “Olympic moment.”
So what are you doing to make the most of that brief time when you have their full attention? They probably haven’t given much thought to their dental care since the last time they saw you months ago. They may not remember half of what you told them back then about their dental possibilities. You need to use this moment to celebrate their return and create excitement for their future. Every time.
Remember: Every four years, because of the Olympic Games, casual observers of a sport turn into lifelong fans or even participants. It happens in dentistry too. Every once in a while a patient who never expressed much interest before, suddenly is ready to embrace ideal care. But for that to happen you have to set the stage, create excitement and give people something to think about between visits.