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Setting Priorities: An Essential Dental Leadership Skill

According to Tim Sawyer, president of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, prioritizing the procedures that drive the most revenue in a dental practice is a problem for the practice leader – the dentist – to solve. This process begins with delegating anything that the dentist his or herself doesn’t need to do. Then, it’s a matter of fitting everything else that goes on in the practice around those core procedures.
DMD Staff
PUBLISHED: Monday, March 6, 2017


According to Tim Sawyer, president of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, prioritizing the procedures that drive the most revenue in a dental practice is a problem for the practice leader – the dentist – to solve. This process begins with delegating anything that the dentist his or herself doesn’t need to do. Then, it’s a matter of fitting everything else that goes on in the practice around those core procedures.
 
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
 
“First, I have to define what is the highest and best use of my time. That, again, is leadership. We don’t want the dentist doing things that somebody who is talented and credentialed can do outside of him. That’s number one. In other words, what can he or she move over to somebody who is not the dentist themselves? Then, it’s focusing on, again, what are the things that are going to drive the highest revenue?


These folks (dentists) are typically very good at time management. They’ve studied for dozens of years and they know how to manage a 12- or 14-hour schedule. Where a lot of folks sometimes miss the mark is, what should I be doing? I don’t think it’s an issue of, how do I fit all of this in?
 
RELATED: More Advice from Tim Sawyer
 
· Getting the Most Profit out of a Dentist’s Schedule
 
· Getting Dental Patients to Leave Positive Online Reviews
 
· Marketing Strategies That Make Dental Practices Thrive
 
For example, a quick story of ‘The Big Rocks.’ There’s this professor who tells this story of ‘The Big Rocks.’ He takes a mason jar, fills it with water, drops in the big rocks, and then asks his calls, ‘Is the jar full?’ And of course the students say, ‘Yes, the jar is full.’ Secondly, he puts in some sand. And then last, he puts in the water, and he says, ‘What’s the lesson here?’ And they say, ‘You can always be better at managing time. You can always put more into your schedule.’ And he says, ‘No, the only way it works is if you put the big rocks in first.’
 
So, what the practitioner has to establish and understand, the big rocks are those treatments and procedures that drive the most revenue and keep the folks coming back.”
 
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