At the Golden Globes this year, U2 received the award for best song in a film for their song “Ordinary Love,” from the film Mandela. In their acceptance speech, tucked in the laundry list of names worthy of thanks, they gave a nod to Chris Martin for his insights and feedback in the writing of the song.
Why do I find this so intriguing? Chris Martin is the lead singer for the band Coldplay, and also just happened to be nominated in the same category for his song from The Hunger Games. A “competitor” running for the same award, in the same industry, in the same genre of music, shared his expertise to the aforementioned song for the sake of, dare I say it, art.
Here is the question of the day: What could the idea of collaboration do for the growth of your practice?
How is your referring relationship with specialists in your area? Do you have any? How is your referring relationship with like-minded small businesses (i.e., plastic surgeons, dermatologists, healthcare professionals, salons)? How is your relationship with fellow dentists?
In order to get a healthy dose of collaboration moving forward in your practice, I encourage you to focus on a few things:
1. Identify your target
What kind of patients do you want to be caring for in your practice? What kind of dentistry do you want to be providing? What particular procedures do you want to do more of – and what do you want to do less? This, in a nutshell, is what we at Jameson encourage clients to think through when creating their practice vision and thinking through their ideal practice. Once you have truly identified the answers to these questions, you will be able to identify valuable referring relationships.
2. Make the first move
If you have identified the specialists, etc., you would like to work more closely with, you have to make the effort to reach out to them and connect. Waiting for someone to come to you could cause some serious disappointment and a long wait. Make the phone call, meet for coffee, stop by their business or practice and introduce yourself, reconnect with those that you may already know, join a study club, or join your local Chamber of Commerce. Make yourself present and available for the conversation. Then ask the questions that will get the process moving.
3. Hold up your end of the deal
A great referring relationship is reciprocal. It is important that you are asking people you respect to join in collaborations. Chris Martin and Bono share a respect for each other’s work – Bono wouldn’t ask just anyone for their input on a song he and the rest of the band are creating! The same goes for you. Because once you enter this relationship, you need to be referring to them just as much as they are referring to you. That’s only fair. Ask yourself: would I be comfortable going to them personally? If the answer is yes, this will work.
4. Think outside the box
Reach out to businesses that may not be on your initial radar. Interested in more aesthetic dentistry? How can you collaborate with that lovely boutique down the street? Interested in doing less of one procedure and more of another? What about that dentist in your study club that you have so much in common with? What would collaboration with that practice look like? This is where dentistry meets entrepreneurship.
Find your peers in your area that you respect and reach out to them. Build your business through tried and true grassroots and relationship building efforts. If you are all truly in your profession to help those that you serve as best as you can, this will be energizing and will lend itself to long-time career satisfaction. Pick up the phone and make a call. Let’s see where your practice can go from there.