Notes From A Financial Meeting
I was fortunate to be invited to a seminar given by Fritz Wood in King of Prussia, Pa. Wood, a certified public accountant and certified financial planner, gave an excellent presentation titled “Surviving and thriving in this economy.”
I thought I would share a few pearls heard at the meeting.
• Discounts are bad for your health. We all know that. Yet most of us offer them. One study showed that clinics that run a special (e.g. on dentals) with a 10 percent discount see only a 4 percent increase in scheduled appointments for the procedure du jour.
• Interestingly, clinics that dared to increase their fees by a whopping 10 percent only saw a 4 percent loss in traffic.
• As a reminder, your gross income is the result of your average client transaction multiplied by the number of transactions. If we accept this formula, then this means that there are only two ways to increase your gross: raise your average client transaction or boost your number of transactions. In other words, charge more or work more. Or both.
• Statistics show that existing clients account for more than 90 percent of gross income. Keeping them is vital.
• According to the AVMA, dentistry represents only an average of 3 percent of gross income. Yet we all know (or should know) that approximately 75 percent of our feline and canine patients have some degree of periodontal disease.
• A brilliant quote from Fritz Wood: “Receptionists should not be called receptionists, but Director of First and Last Impressions.”
• And another quote: “You cannot be better than your worst receptionist.”
• And a short story on the same subject. Wood visited a clinic at which gross income increased by 20 percent. Puzzled, he asked how on earth they were able to achieve such incredible results. The answer? “Oh, our head receptionist retired.”
• Still on the subject of receptionists, Fritz Wood commented that some practices are starting to truly consider their reception as a place to meet and greet clients, and not to receive phone calls. Phones should be in the back, somewhere far away from the reception area.
• If some of your clients are still hesitant to give heartworm preventive medications to their pet, maybe you could send them to YouTube, where they can search for “Davey's Gift from Dr. Garner” or click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOLzFsNOJ-4.
Your clients (and you!!!) might be ever so slightly surprised to witness the surgical removal of heartworms from a dog’s jugular vein. Please be patient. The video lasts about 7 minutes, but it keeps getting better! In the end, 86 heartworms were retrieved.
If you ever get a chance to attend a conference given by Fritz Wood, do yourself and your practice a favor: do whatever it takes to attend. At worst, you’ll be entertained for an hour. At best, it will actually make you think and might help you increase your financial IQ and your bottom line.