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Editorial: Work Smart, Not Hard

Price, Deborah AuD

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000422323.65826.28

Dr. Price is an audiologist at Hearing Professional Center in Dallas, TX.

Figure. Deb

Figure. Deb

I have witnessed an amazing transformation in a group of elite practices over the past year. We used to think the secret to success was finding marketing's “silver bullet,” discovering a marketing piece that would bring hundreds of patients to the practice every month. We used to think that a hearing healthcare provider would need to perform 40 hearing aid evaluations a month to achieve $1 million in annual revenue. What we have learned, however, is that the silver bullet is operating at our highest level of effectiveness with patients. The question is, are you working smarter or harder?

One audiologist may see an average of 38 hearing aid candidates per month, with 50 percent of those patients choosing to move forward. Another audiologist may see an average of 21 hearing aid candidates per month, with 85 percent of those patients choosing to move forward. So which one is working harder? Both are able to achieve $1 million in annual revenue, but one has to work almost twice as hard to achieve the same results. Effectiveness is the key to working smarter.

We have 22 hearing healthcare providers within our membership who achieve $1 million in revenue or more annually, with half of them receiving an AuD degree over the past four years. One audiologist achieves $2 million in revenue and provides the highest level of patient care. This is possible because we are developing our leadership skills to build deep, rich, and inspired teams, and we built a duplicable best practice centered on service and the patient experience. We also have an elite group of private practices that provide continual peer-to-peer comparison to see what is truly possible. It is this set of systems and tools that allows us to achieve an incredibly high level of effectiveness with our patients.

I understand the fear and uncertainty that audiology doctoral graduates experience when choosing a professional direction because of large student loan debt. It is understandable that they might shy away from private practice and choose a different path, but now they can take a professional pathway that will remove the fear and uncertainty and allow them to attain a level of professional success by learning how to achieve the highest level of effectiveness.

More people are turning 65 every day, spawning the largest demographic movement we will ever see in our lifetime. This has corporate consolidation on the rise again, and others such as BestBuy and Wal-Mart entering the marketplace. Our opportunity as private practice owners is to learn the process of working smarter, not harder. This is the key to survive and thrive as independents and help our future audiology doctoral students have an even brighter future in this wonderful profession.

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