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Paddi Pages E-Zine - Issue #9

Walking in the Door - Your First Impressions...

Dear Reader,

The first thing you notice as you walk in the door of Paddi’s practice is the dramatic café bar and espresso machine.

In fact ‘notice’ would be an understatement.

The shiny copper plated cappuccino machine with the big gold dome and eagle on top rather hits you square between the eyes it’s so prominent. But not only that, you’ve probably never seen so large a collection of teas and coffees as the one on the shelves just behind the café bar. And then you see the half dozen or so sets of fine bone Royal Doulton china tea services displayed on silver trays with silver service.

As you are escorted past the café bar, you observe a glass oven where you can actually see muffins being baked fresh right there on the counter. The delicious fresh baked smell is a welcome change to the typical dental smell you expected.

At the first door on your left Merilyn turns and says, “Here, come in and make yourself at home. This is your Personal Lounge.” And sure enough, there on the door at eye level is an attractive nameplate with your name printed on the inserted card.

(If it were your second visit, your photograph would be there, too! But that's a story for later...)

Needless to say, even though your referring friend very likely told you all about their dentist who has a cappuccino machine, Royal Doulton china, serves Dental Buns before treatment, and shows you to your very own Personal Lounge, their stories just didn’t do it justice. Seeing it all in real life makes an impression.

And of course, how you experience all of that (and much more to come) is perfectly choreographed by Paddi to make just such an impact. And that’s because Paddi understands the importance of what he likes to call the Critical Non-Essentials.

This of course brings us to another one of Paddi’s Key Frustrations.

------------ Key Frustration #3: Lack of credibility ------------

No matter how hard he tried, Paddi just couldn’t seem to convince the majority of his patients to accept the treatment he knew to be the best for the situation. Their lack of faith in his professional expertise inhibited buying decisions, and Paddi had to work hard to get anyone to accept the kind of dentistry that was up to par with his relatively high level of technical training.

Imagine that. You train for 8 years to earn your qualifications, no one wants what you worked so hard to master. How disheartening!

As frustrating as it was, Paddi discovered that a cup of tea served well made his customers much more amenable than ever did his professional diplomas and certificates hanging on the wall. As Paddi began to explore the impact of these seemingly ‘little things’ on his customers buying decisions, he learned a bizarre and unexpected fact:

Customer judge your technical quality and expertise (which in most instances
they don’t really understand) on how well you perform in areas of your business
that they do understand, like how clean your offices are, how you serve
refreshments, and other little things that give evidence of your care and
attention to detail.

It’s as if customers are thinking, “If Paddi has time to take so much care of these seemingly inconsequential little things, then he must be good at what he does.” (ie the dentistry!)

This rather sensible, yet strangely illogical, conclusion was a huge step for Paddi. Yet once he figured out the power of the Critical Non-Essentials (CNe’s for short, pronounced “see nees”) everything in his business change.


The Absolutely Critical Non-Essentials – Now released in paperback and on-line Digital E-Book!
To read about the Critical Non-Essentials in detail (including Paddi’s Super CNe’s that make great stories to tell and the compounding effect of Synergy CNe’s) visit


Thanks to the Critical Non-Essentials, before long customers were not only visiting the practice ready to buy (because of the Welcome Book), they were also coming to trust Paddi very quickly. As Paddi is a professional (and his expert opinion of customers oral health determined the future path and amount of dental work to be done) building strong bonds of trust with customers was pretty important.

In fact, lack of trust is considered one of the biggest obstacles in making buying decisions. The levels of trust it previously took Paddi months to build were established in moments, all thanks to the CNe’s.

This is a very important topic, trust. In the next issue of the Paddi Pages we’ll discuss a few more of Paddi’s rather distinct trust building strategies.

Until then, consider this thought:

In your business, what are the little things your customers observe from which they draw conclusions about the quality of your core product or service? (Because unfair or not, like it or not, it’s happening!)

And following on from that, as if your business were a stage, how could you ‘set the stage’ in a few of these little things so that your customers were struck with a favourable impression of your attention to detail in these seemingly less important areas?

See you next issue for more of Paddi's trust building insights,

Kind regards,


Fletcher Potanin
Managing Director
Solutions Press Business Publishing

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