When appropriate, one of the exercises I do with my teams has jokingly become known as “Butts in Seats”. This phrase began during my work with an organization that owns and purchases dental practices; however, these ideas fit for anyone with multiple “customers” or “clients”. For this group and many others, there are plateaus and stairsteps in growth – a common pattern in rapidly developing organizations that are proactively building infrastructure and capacity for the future, although it may feel like a stretch for today. The key to this kind of success is how well you’re able to predict just what that future will look like. If you become adept at this skill, it can empower your team with regards to how and when they’ll need to invest in both human capital and physical infrastructure.
Often, the key engine in this growth formula is getting the right volume of people to consistently buy your product or service. The stronger, more consistent, and more predicable this is, the easier it is to be proactive in building for the future. In other words, success can come down to simply making sure you’re getting enough “butts in seats”.
The way I like to start this exercise is by listing out (on a whiteboard) the various things that factor into attracting, closing, scheduling, and getting “butts in seats”. These may include:
- Touchpoints with existing clients
- Setting the next appointment before the client leaves
- Cold calls
- Scheduling out appointments
- Add-on sales
- Trade shows
…and on and on and on.
These factors will likely be unique to your industry – and when you dig deep, they may even be unique to your organization.
We begin by listing out everything we can think of that will have an impact then we discuss and debate each one. It never ceases to amaze me that through this process, we typically find three to seven specific items that can have a huge impact. We want to focus on these first.
Once we’ve narrowed down the specific impact items, we then discuss and debate each one, one at a time. To help with this process, we ask questions like “What impacts this number?”, “Who impacts this number?”, “What can we do differently or better?”. Almost universally, this debate will bring to light a broken process, accountability, or training issue. In my opinion, this is true gold. Once we identify what’s missing, we can then figure out how to fix it, track it, and ensure someone is accountable for it.
As a specific example, my dental group client identified that one of the key factors in keeping the calendar full came at the conclusion of an appointment. They realized that if someone was scheduled for a future appointment, they were more likely to make it; it was much more difficult to get someone back on the calendar after they had left the office.
The problem here was the team lacked clear training, tracking, accountability, or a process to ensure that at the conclusion of a visit, a patient was scheduled for their next few sessions. When this was addressed, the practices saw, at some locations, a 10%+ jump in full calendars and bottom-line dollars.
I know it may seem simplistic, but I’ve seen repeated success from using this method. This process can work for almost any business. Simply list out the major factors, debate to identify the necessary steps, and build a plan to address them. Remember, less is more. Start with the easiest, low-hanging fruit then drive to put more “butts in seats”.
Is your company interested in learning how to get more “butts in seats?” Do you need help with developing a solid plan for this endeavor? Look no further! Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation. We’re always here to help.