The Sweet Sound of Our Own Name

Dale Carnegie once said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”

As you consider how to make stronger connections with those creatures of emotion—the patients who occupy your dental chairs—start by remembering their names.  There is nothing sweeter than the sound of our own name—another saying by Dale Carnegie.

When patients enter your dental practice, are they greeted by name?  One of the consistent compliments that people give to patient-centered practices is they are always greeted like a neighbor.  A friendly greeting at the start goes a long way to making patients feel comfortable.

Does your clinical team refer to patients by name?  If you want patients to pay attention to periodontal measurements, for example, start by using the patient’s name.  “John, I want you to listen for any measurement higher than a three.”  The simple use of a name grabs the patient’s attention.

Finally, when you enter the operatory for your exam, do you “know” who is in the chair?  One of the most successful dentists I’ve ever helped outlined his key to success as follows: “Before I see a patient, I take about thirty seconds to look at their chart.  Not the clinical notes.  I pay attention to personal details we track—promotions, weddings, births, vacations, etc.  And I come into the operatory knowing that patient.”

How well do you know your patients?  Taking a genuine interest in them is one of the best practice building strategies you can employ.  And a great first step is to always know your patient’s name.

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