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Just Say No -Timeless Advice from Bob Newhart


 

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Some months ago I wrote a guest post on Lee Ann Brady’s blog called Trust is the Killer App. 

It is no great revelation to understand that no matter what business you are in, your success will depend on your ability to build trust and above all to develop trustworthiness.  In that post I described the Trust Equation:  T=C+R+I/S, where T stands for trustworthiness, C for credibility, R for reliability, I for intimacy and most importantly, S stands for self-orientation.

This is a topic I discuss thoroughly in my new book, The Art of Case Presentation...because trust is so germane to case presentation.

By far, the key to building trust is to increase the numerator and diminish the denominator…in other words to lower the degree to which you are self-focused.

But how do you do that?  My last post implied that you just do it (I hate when I get self-righteous), because it’s more difficult than you might imagine.  In fact it’s the essence of good leadership and falls under the categories of knowing oneself, self-awareness, self-management, empathy and social skills.  It requires the uncanny ability of executive attention, or focusing to the degree of shutting off your emotional brain. 

Most of the time we operate from our emotional brains…it’s the default.  When we don’t pay attention our minds wander.  When our minds wander—they wander to the self…increasing self-orientation and raising that denominator.

The key to reducing that number is to practice attention training…I’ll get to how in a second.

Dan Goleman, in his new book Focus, says, “Stopping on cue is the holy grail of cognitive control.”  By that he means that once we realize we have been emotionally hijacked we need to stop and correct.  In other words become more mindful.

After years and years of practicing dentistry, and fighting off my own demons (like an over-awareness of myself), I agree with Goleman that attention training and mindfulness is the key.  But it takes practice.  In my book I write about practicing the soft skills, but mindfulness practice can go a long way in helping you to develop the trustworthiness you will need to become an effective presenter.

What kind of practice?

Meditation, (Goleman suggests twenty minutes per session at least four times per week), and breathing exercises.

For me…I do meditate and I do hot yoga.  Both of these have done wonders for me physically but I can also tell you that the focus needed for both, slows the mind down…so I can become more aware…and just stop it when I am thinking of myself too much.

Simple? Yes. But not easy.

Or…just take the advice that Bob Newhart gives to his patient in the classic comedy skit that you can click on above.

Enjoy the video — it’s hilarious…and there’s a lot of wisdom and business sense in here too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Selling S***t No One Wants to Buy


 

 

Dachshund puppies

In my forty years of practicing dentistry I never had the opportunity to tell a patient, “It’s a boy!”

“You need a root canal,” aren’t the words that most people want to hear.  There’s a reason why comedians have picked on dentists for years.  If I hear the root canal metaphor one more time it won’t be too soon.

Persuading people to get their teeth fixed is a bit more difficult than selling cars or puppies.  I know…I sell puppies.  People come looking and they always leave a deposit.  I wish my front desk had it so easy.

There’s a reason sales professionals created something called the “puppy dog close.”

The closest thing we have to a puppy dog close is the trial smile, or cosmetic mock up.  But we can’t tell the patient to take it home for the weekend like a beautiful puppy.  A photo will have to do.

I can discuss needs vs. wants till the cows come home but the problem, as I see it, it’s what Avram King expressed years ago when he said you want your patients to be paying with “happy dollars.”

I really think this was the reason why the cosmetic dentistry revolution started.  Dentists realize that complete dentistry is a tough sell, what with all the objections, so they grabbed onto the most obvious visible benefit.

But esthetics shouldn’t be the driving force behind dentistry.  Hiding beyond the idea that everyone wants a beautiful smile (well, not everyone), is that everyone wants to keep their teeth (yes, everyone).

Strangely, not everyone likes dogs, but even still puppies are quite persuasive.  It’s a 55 billion dollar per year industry.

So how do dentists fulfill their obligation to help people keep their teeth?  Yes, I do believe it’s an obligation and if you are a dentist reading this, and you have other thoughts, I would like to hear from you.

It starts with leadership.   It really is about becoming the change you want to see in the world.  That is why I wrote my new book The Art of Case Presentation...to teach dentists there is no way of closing someone on keeping their teeth.  No gimmicks, no manipulative tricks.  Case presentation, persuasion, and leadership are all one.  An approach to practice and life.

Persuading patients to lose weight, stop smoking or get their teeth fixed will never be as easy as persuading them to take one of those dachshunds home…but that’s part of our job.  If we can do that- then  just like Sinatra said about New York—“if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”

For a short time I will be offering the Art of Case Presentation at a 25% discount by clicking on the ADL Newsletter sign up button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Deadly Sins of Case Presentation


Avoid These 5

Avoid These 5

 

 

Becoming a great presenter is a requirement for leadership.  Avoiding the 5 deadly sins of presentation is one step in the right direction toward becoming a leader.

I find that dentists commit these sins on a routine basis, and in this age of mega-information it behooves dentists to get their point across as fast and effectively as possible.

                        1. No Clear Objective.  Many dentists just present from the hip without thinking about what action they want the patient to take.  It’s a good idea to write down exactly what you want the patient to do as a result of your presentation.  This will serve two purposes…you will know if you are successful and it will keep you focused during the presentation.

 

                      2. The Presentation is Too Long.  Case presentations or any presentation shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes.  It’s way too much information for anyone to digest.  When you are focused on the action you want the patient to take, then you will present only what is necessary for them to make a decision.  If you see their eyes glazing over…you have lost them.

 

                      3. No Benefit.  People will accept treatment when they understand the benefits.  Usually those benefits are emotional.  Don’t present the features of the work you are going to do…just tell them WIIFM (What’s in it for them).

 

                      4. Too Detailed.  It took a long time for you to get through dental school.  Now it’s time to condense that education into a succinct understandable presentation…not a lecture.  Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

 

                      5. No Clear Flow.  Find a way to organize your presentation…the best way is to use story as your structure.  My new book The Art of Case Presentation explains how to structure presentations with story.

 

Prepare your next presentation avoiding these mistakes and observe how much better you do…remember the objective.

 

 

 

 

 

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