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Why Steve Jobs Was Jealous of Dentists


“Congratulations on your new iPhone—here’s your receipt. Now let’s make an appointment to see you again in six months.” As good as Apple is at creating a bond with their customers, not even they could get away with that.

I often remind dentists that their competition is not other dentists, it’s iPhones—and game systems and plasma TVs and vacations. And as challenging as it is to make a patient value dental work over a new iPad, you have one advantage that companies like Apple, with all their powerful marketing reach, would love to have: a universally accepted protocol for developing individual client relationships.

Think about it: When a customer leaves a showroom without buying a car, that salesperson will probably never see them again. But every single person who walks out of your facility should have an appointment in hand for a return visit. And every visit is another opportunity to build the relationship, to deliver your message, to demonstrate your value and the value of ideal dentistry, one-on-one in a private session.

Most businesses would kill for that kind of opportunity—and in fact the bigger ones spend millions trying to gather intelligence on their clients’ habits and motivations (something you do naturally in conversation) and millions more trying to compel them to return regularly (something you do as a matter of routine).

This is why it’s so important to reinforce value behaviors for appointing and paying at each visit. This is why you must continually present all the treatment that your patients need, every time you see them. The nature of your profession has given you this unique advantage when it comes to developing trust and creating value over time. But like all advantages in life, it’s really only an advantage if you use it.


Steve Jobs 1955-2011

OCTOBER 5, 2011

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

I consider Steve Jobs to be among history’s greatest figures, like Abraham Lincoln and Genghis Khan. Unlike these heroes, however, Steve Jobs marks the new era that we are currently living in. He brought people together with his visionary hardware and software and has changed all of us forever.


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