I have just opened my first community eye care practice and I am the main eye care specialist working. I want to become the best practitioner in the area and build a prosperous practice. Do you have any tips?
One of the essential ingredients for success is being pleasant and trustworthy because it allows whatever you are building—a business, a relationship, a project—to continue. Many relationships disintegrate before the rewards accumulate.
Here I will focus on being trustworthy. Prosperous practices are built on trust between the patient and the practice staff and especially trust between the patient and the eye specialists.
I sometimes work in a community practice where many patients have been attending for 25 years, ever since the practice opened. The waiting time for a routine examination is three weeks. Every clinic is full and it is very rare for a patient not to attend. This is because they trust the main eye care specialist. They trust him because he is totally honest with them. His glasses are not the cheapest in the area but offer good value.
If a patient needs new glasses he recommends the best lenses clinically and the best frames cosmetically and functionally.
If there is no requirement for new glasses he advises the patient accordingly.
If a patient requires referral to another specialist for treatment he explains the reasons behind the referral, what the treatment entails, and what the patient should do after the treatment.
If a patient requires further testing he explains why and what that further testing involves.
He allows time for the patient to process the information and for the patient to ask any questions there in the practice or later by phone.
His priority at any one time is the patient he is dealing with and nothing else. He is honest in what he says and his behaviour.
He does not prioritise a sale. He does not prioritise add-ons. He does prioritise the person. By doing so sales frequently follow anyway.
Honesty first, leads to trust which leads to repeat business and prosperous practice.