The Practice Management Conference

The experts of the day. From left to right: Simon Tucker, Jane Lelean, Pat Langley and Chris Barrow
The experts of the day. From left to right: Simon Tucker, Jane Lelean, Pat Langley and Chris Barrow

Practice Plan held a dedicated day to support and develop dental practice management teams. Charlotte Lloyd was there to report back.

Practice Plan welcomed delegates to join one of its Practice Management Conferences, to give them the opportunity to hear from four experts including Chris Barrow, Jane Lelean, Simon Tucker and Pat Langley. The event took place on the 17 September at the Crowne Plaza in Reading.

The animated full-day event provided the 53 eager delegates with lots of laughter, anecodotes and  knowledge from each of the speakers. The subjects covered were effective patient communication, marketing, the anatomy of a successful practice and the ins and outs of regulation.

The structure of the day included a number of networking sessions, giving delegates a great chance to share common issues as well as discuss solutions with each other.

The future of marketing your dental practice

The day of lectures kicked off with an energetic talk from Chris Barrow, founder of 7connections Ltd. Chris discussed the difference between advertising and marketing, highlighting that marketing takes place when you tell a story about how your product has changed someone’s life for the better. Advertising is product placement, he said.

Chris gave delegates a seven-step marketing process to use in their practice. The seven steps were: attract traffic, capture leads, nurture prospects, convert sales, deliver and satisfy, upsell customers and get referrals. He spoke through each stage in detail, giving delegates an insight into the world of marketing.

He then went on to emphasise the importance of having a good website. ‘Your website is the front door of the patient experience,’ Chris said. ‘The primary objective of getting people to your website is to obtain their email address with the permission to keep them informed. This is now more important than getting people into your practice.’

Chris ended his lecture with a quote from Dan Sullivan at The Strategic Coach in Toronto. The quote was: ‘All the money you ever need is in the pockets of people that you already know and the people they can introduce you to.’

The anatomy of a successful practice

After a short break, Jane Lelean, international business coach, trainer and speaker, took to the floor. Jane discussed the anatomy of a successful practice and provided the delegates with 10 simple steps to success.

The 10 steps were:

  1. Have a values based vision
  2. Time management
  3. Financial control
  4. Have a dream team
  5. Developing great customer service
  6. Money making marketing
  7. Patient centred sales
  8. Systems
  9. Leadership
  10. Work-life balance.

With each step, Jane concluded with a famous quote. One was from Steve Jobs who said: ‘Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.’

Regulation – what you need to know

DSCF0923After a delicious lunch, Pat Langley, chief executive at Apolline gave a lecture entitled: ‘Regulation – what you need to know.’ She started off by giving an overview of the CQC changes effective of 1 April. She then gave an understanding of what the GDC expects of your practice.

Pat presented the delegates with a series of points a practice must adhere to. They included:

  1. Involve the whole team
  2. Audit compliance
  3. Plans for addressing non-compliance
  4. Ensure all compliance tasks are scheduled
  5. Keep excellent patient records.

Pat expressed that the best way to prepare is to involve your whole team in compliance by delegating, having regular meetings, training and ensuring that everyone understands that compliance is a team responsibility. She ended her lecture with the quote: ‘Compliance is for life, not just for inspection.’

Effective patient communication

Simon Tucker, owner of Profitable Conversation, presented the final lecture of the day. Simon said that in giving patients a better experience, you will have increased treatment acceptance, better income, more profitability, less stress and a happy team.

He told delegates to create a phrase that fits their practice, for all of the team members to work by. He said that a patient experience should be personal, memorable and add value to their life.

Simon looked at the importance of selling. He said: ‘Selling is nothing other than a good conversation.’ And he highlighted that patients will pay more for a good experience that they feel has been created especially for them.

To find out more about future Practice Plan events, visit

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar