Personal Power and the Concept of Setting Fees
It is important that each member of the team personally recognize that if they seek to be compensated well, their self-worth must be communicated in verbal as well as non-verbal methods so that patients perceive their value and will pay for it.
There is no such thing in the dental business as a highly paid doctor or staff member who quotes an average or below average fee to their patients.
As an exercise in discussion, your fee should be based on what will allow you to feel richly rewarded regardless of whether you think that people will pay. The challenge for you is to create services for you patients which will allow them to pay those fees with delight.
The doctor and team must learn that they should be richly rewarded for their work and when the staff knows that the patients must pay with joy, then we have something significant.
It is critical that the team understand that they have the power and responsibility to create and deliver services that will permit each patient to pay with delight. This is not the sole responsibility of the dentist.
The staff’s responsibility is not to scrape teeth, not to place cotton balls, not to such spit, but instead to create and deliver services which allow your patients to pay your fee with delight. The emphasis here is on delight not the fee.
Hygienists, of course, scrape stuff out of people’s mouths, but that is not their job. Their job is to create for the patient, an environment of service, sufficient in quantity and quality, that the patient can pay his/her fee with delight. Consequently, the scraping of teeth becomes the means to an end and not an end itself.
Each team member must grow personally in their own life and world view to understand that they, not the doctor, are primarily responsible for creating this situation. As each team member comes to recognize their responsibility in this area, it also becomes obvious that each team member becomes a primary producer.
In fact, they are more of a producer than the dentist. Remember that the dentist can only work on one mouth at a time. The team takes the responsibility of helping large numbers of people who want the best and finest services which the dentist can provide. The reason we can now keep the dentist in the mouth producing $400 per hour or more, is because the team is creating an environment in which the people will place their “fanny” in a dental chair, and as a result of being with the team member, the patient already wants the best and finest service that his/her dentist can provide.
Without the team, the doctor cannot reliably produce the $400 to $600 or more per hour that is necessary. When the team recognizes that each member is a primary producer, there becomes a change in his relationships with the team.
It is now possible to sit down with a team member who understands the concept of risk and reward and that reward goes up with increased risk and ask her what her fee to the practice will be for helping the patients to see the value and pay the fee that she feels is necessary. It is important for each staff member to set her fee but also the fee must be set so that the doctors can pay it with delight.