The pain…

When I first encountered the horror of the dentists’ chair – many years ago – I managed to delay the pulling of teeth by scooting around the surgery in total panic. The stressed tooth-puller eventually relented and agreed to bring his bag of tricks to our home. I have vague memories of being laid out on the dining table.

Yesterday, very much older but not that much wiser, I was not impressed by a conversation with my present dentist who was trying to get me to consent to the removal of a wisdom tooth. You guessed right; I deferred my decision, frantically weighing up the recurring toothache with the discomfort of the pulling process. Needless to say there is not an option this time to activate the home dining table scenario. My wife would not be impressed.

I have settled instead for an appointment later this week with a competitor whose website reveals a much friendlier looking bunch and I have fingers crossed that their “second opinion” will come up with a less daunting solution.

I am not holding my breath…

Why am I sharing this with you?

When we see clients with an acute business or tax problem it is worth considering that they are in pain, every bit as discomforting as toothache.

And, very often, it will take months of effort to remove the source of their anxiety, not five minutes in the dentist’s chair.

Which is why we need to let clients presenting in this way, know that we can appreciate how they must be feeling, and that if a “financial tooth” needs to be removed we should explain the process and likely results taking their feelings into account.

Sometimes, there is no road ahead but a painful one. The best we can do – apart from offer a solution, a treatment – is to offer our support as well as our advice.

Watch this space

I will not leave you in suspense. I will blog the outcome of the wisdom tooth saga.

I am informed by my present dentist that wisdom teeth place a minor role in the chomping process, so no loss there. What I dread, is that my somewhat older attempts to scoot around the surgery, will only delay the inevitable. A lesson I should have learned many years ago.

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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