“I feel communication is lacking in many areas of dental practices today. For example, at the front desk, reception staff often have no formal training in how to deal with new enquires into the practice. Many new patients will make enquiries about potential NHS services, but these often result in the reception team saying no and more or less ending the conversation. No rapport is built, no questions asked and a potential opportunity is missed. If the reception were to engage in a conversation with these patients, at least 30% would come into the practice at a later date and a new relationship would form.
“In addition, many dentists openly admit to me that they make assumptions about their patients on what they can or cannot afford. This means major opportunities are missed and treatment plans not discussed, because they feel that the patient is not interested. On many occasions after dentists take my two-day Ethical Sales & Communication Course, they realise their biggest opportunities are with existing patients of 10 years or more. These people mention treatment they would like to have because the dentist is now asking more meaningful questions. I have a list that could go on and on for similar opportunities missed.”
Considering whether the pandemic has impacted the level of communication needed and delivered in the dental practice, Ashley continues:
“Many things have changed since the pandemic. The big change is that patients are now more interested in ensuring they have a regular dentist and are seeing the value of their investment. They are more willing to join a membership plan and want the security of having access to a dentist in the future. With the growth of video calling technology, many people have noticed aspects of their smiles that they are not happy with, so there has been a big demand for treatments such as orthodontics and tooth whitening. The greater influence that social media and reality TV shows have, this has further increased demand for cosmetic treatments. Patients are shopping around and you only get one chance to make a first impression. Having world-class technical and communication skills is now essential.”
Professionals will have the chance to hear from Ashley and discuss some of his innovative ideas at the upcoming British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show (BDCDS) 2022. He will be presenting several sessions in the Next Generation Conference and Business Skills Workshops, about which he says:
“Delegates who attend my programmes will take many strategies away – that I can promise. However, the main thing they will gain is how many wonderful opportunities they have in their dental practice. By building incredible rapport, becoming superb at asking questions and listening to patients, they could be doing so much more of the dentistry they want to do and, most importantly, that their patients want.”
BDCDS 2022 will deliver a vast and dynamic range of education for all members of the dental team, covering a combination of clinical, technical and business topics. A world-class selection of speakers will share knowledge and inspire colleagues to take the next steps in their careers. There will be a mixture of lectures, interactive sessions and hands-on workshops, as well as time to engage with colleagues during discussions and debates. The trade floor will not only present a chance to browse hundreds of innovations, technologies and materials from various dental manufacturers and suppliers, but it will also be the perfect place to socialise with friends and network with new contacts across the industry. Whether you’re looking for state-of-the-art equipment, training for the team or ideas to give your business a boost, this is not an event you’ll want to miss.
Commenting on why he would encourage dentists to attend BDCDS, Ashley concludes:
“Why would you not attend? Ever since I have been in the business training industry – which is now over 30 years – I have spent at least an hour a day learning my craft, reading books, watching and attending courses. One new idea can literally change the way you think, behave and act. One new skill can change everything. You can gain access to all this; you can listen to some brilliant speakers and attend some wonderful courses all in one location, over two days. It seems like a no brainer to me.”