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Going the extra mile

June 1, 2008
Anyone who has ever been in business has heard the phrase “going the extra mile.

By Louis Malcmacher, DDS

Anyone who has ever been in business has heard the phrase “going the extra mile.” What is the definition of the extra mile? The extra mile is an action or an expression that evokes a WOW in the mind of the customer. It is an unexpected deed that the customer has never received from anyone else. Most important from your company and from your sales team, it has to be an attitude and a mindset that permeates every single contact with your dental customer.

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Where does the extra mile come from? It comes from you! Extra-mile stories come from your ability to react, respond, and add anything additional, using your best skills in your customers&rquo; time of need. The underlying element in the extra mile is your prevailing attitude at the moment an extra-mile opportunity shows up. If you are in a bad mood, you&rquo;ll just think that you have just one more thing to do in a bad day. But, when the extra mile is your attitude, you will be mentally prepared to make extra-mile opportunities blossom.

Doing your best and having the right attitude is the only way the extra-mile process works. It works only because you make it work. It happens only because you make it happen. At all times, in your mind, when someone calls with a complaint, an emergency, or any kind of obstacle, your first thought should be “What is the real opportunity here?” You second immediate thought should be “How can I help make this an extra-mile moment?”

It really doesn&rquo;t take much to go the extra mile. There is actually an interesting motivational Web site that I once saw that was passed on to me by my good friend and dental sales motivator extraordinaire, Jeff Mazzarella, who is head of sales with Zila, Inc. This Web site listed some simple information that showed that the difference between good and great and going the extra mile is really incredibly small. The difference in the last 25 years of golf championships between winning and losing is usually only three strokes. The difference in time in the winners of the Daytona 500 in the last few years is less than 1.5 seconds, of which the winner takes home prize money of almost double that of second place. The difference between going the extra mile and not doing so is really very small, but that little push can make all the difference in the world to your business and to your dental customers.

There is one extra-mile story in you every single week. Your job is to recognize it, document it, learn from it, and get into the habit of being an extra-mile dental salesperson. Once you do this, people will begin to tell their extra-mile stories about you. This is how you build customer loyalty in the dental market, and once you get that, your dental customers may actually go the extra mile for you.

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Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a general and cosmetic dentist located in Bay Village, Ohio. He is also an evaluator for Clinical Research Associates as well as a consultant to the dental industry. Dr. Malcmacher is a well-known lecturer and author, know for his comprehensive and entertaining style. He speaks to thousands of dental professionals every year, so he has very unique insight into the dental market and how to interact with the dental customer. For the last 25 years, he has intensively trained sales teams and done marketing consulting with dental companies. Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or e-mail [email protected]. He offers a free e-mail newsletter for dental company representatives, which you can sign up for at his Web site (www.