Paddi Lund is a dentist in Australia.
He had a successful practice, but he was miserable.
He was working ungodly hours.
Some of his patients were unpleasant to work with. They complained about his fees. They didn’t show up on time for their appointments, messing up his schedule so he was late for appointments for the rest of the day.
He decided something had to change or he could be driven to suicide. (The suicide rate for dentists is high. Who likes to go to the dentist?)
Paddi decided to make new rules of engagement for his dental practice.
He said “goodbye” to the patients he didn’t enjoy working with and referred them to a competitor dentist (who was delighted to have the additional business.)
He told the remaining patients that they could only continue if they showed up on time and paid their bills promptly. If they were unhappy with his work, they should tell him why and, if it wasn’t a matter they could resolve, he expected them to leave as patients. If they were happy with his work, they were expected to refer at least two people like themselves to become Paddi’s patients.
Paddi also destroyed the reception desk and the “waiting room”, because patients would only come on time for their appointments, so there would be no waiting. He set up salons to meet with patients for breakfast, lunch and tea (afternoon snack). (How many times have you met with your dentist for a fine meal as part of your dental appointment?)
He ditched traditional dental chairs and invested in a beautiful cappuccino machine.
He devoted his time not scheduled to meeting with patients to learning how to make his dental work pain-free and a more pleasant experience for his patients.
His dental practice has an unlisted telephone number.
Oh … and he LOCKED THE FRONT DOOR! A patient must ring the doorbell and have an appointment to be admitted into the office. Anyone who doesn’t is referred to another nearby dentist.
He reduced his working hours and raised his fees.
Now Paddi calls his practice a “dental restaurant.”
His practice grows strictly by referral. Being a patient is like being a member of an exclusive club.
Don’t you think Paddi Lund was extraordinarily courageous to re-imagine and re-invest his dental practice to a totally new model?
If you’re unhappy with your business and feel like it’s consuming your life, are there some lessons you can follow from Paddi Lund?