Give Before You Receive

Friday Finish – March 27, 2020

Now, more than ever, it’s critical as practice owners that we are in the business of giving more value to our patients and team members. We are right in the trenches of a national crisis. No one knows for certain what will happen next. But what we do know is that major changes are headed our way, both during and after this historical time.

Every time a correction happens there is a shift. A shift in time, money, effort, trends and the way we think about our careers and day to day lives. It is a vital time to build and keep the trust of our patients and team members.

As practice owners, it’s easy to get caught up in getting credit for how much time and effort we put into a procedure. Most dental professionals are very much in a “what do I get paid per hour” mentality. But this is very short sighted. What you should be most concerned with is about how much value you deliver to the marketplace and your patients. What do you give before you receive? It’s how you overdeliver on your services that creates patients you retain, refer and pay on time. 

In his fantastic book Overdeliver, author Brian Kurtz states that business is all “about playing the long game.” It’s now about how much can you can get from your patient in one day, it’s about how well the relationship will work for both parties in the long run. Brian also has a great formula, he calls the “100-0” principle, where you give 100% of your effort and expect nothing in return when you give something special to somebody. 

Shark Tank co-host Daymond John, stated in the March 2020 edition of Inc. Magazine, “you can’t play at being kind or decent or grateful-people will see right through you.“ In his book Powershift he describes this as giving 3x the value before you ask for anything in return, such as working though dinner three times before asking his employees to do so.

I agree with this advice. We must give before we can receive, something I am continually working on personally. It’s the principle of reciprocity in action. I’m always asking myself, how can I give MORE VALUE to my patient or client? 

If your patients don’t feel you’re giving enough value, they will slowly vanish, until one day you will wonder where all your referral sources and recare patients have gone.

As the stock market was crashing in March, I was struck with a thought about how the curve in financial markets is similar to our relationships with people. In just one instance of failing to follow up, return a call, or be there when your patient has a major need – you can suffer with a “Relationship Marketing Crash” disaster. If you take too long to react to a call for help, you can lose everything you’ve worked so hard to build. 

It’s amazing at how all the relationship and/or financial gains that took weeks, months or even years to build up, can be crushed with just one bad or neglectful experience.

That’s not to say you should hold yourself to being perfect. You should always aim for perfection as your gold standard, but don’t beat yourself up when you don’t get there. As a dentist you probably have some level of peferctionist qualities in the way you look at your work. You have to be your best, but don’t expect to be perfect. To get an “A” you can still miss a couple of questions on a test.

I hope you have a great week and continue to build priceless relationships, whether in person or remotely.

If you would like to receive more information like this or provide your feedback, simply send me an email at and put “Friday Finish” in the subject line. 

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