By Adrian Swinscoe, Director, RARE Business

Ever Heard of Dr. Paddi Lund and His Referral Only Business?

It was about five years ago that I learned about Dr. Paddi Lund and his Australian dental practice. He’s built a By Invitation Only business that thrives despite the fact that he locked his door to walk-in customers, ditched all of his marketing and even took his phone number out of all known directories.

The business is hugely successful. Here are some of his results:

- Paddi only works around 20 hours per week but earns more than 3 times more than the majority of his professional peers.

- He has virtually no staff turnover and he has a queue of customers waiting to buy from him.

- He has phenomenal customer retention.

- He loves coming to work.

All of these results have come from focusing on one element of his business and it isn’t what you might think. It’s...

Business Happiness, to be precise!

At the heart of his success, Dr. Lund came up with a Courtesy System and eight Performance Standards, which he explains in detail in his book, Building the Happiness Centred Business.

The Courtesy System is a simple set of rules that they use to create a happier working environment and:

- Get rid of destructive stress

- Create a team with longevity

- Put customer retention (the right customers) at the heart of the business

- Eliminate internal politics and negative talk

- Greater efficiency and profitability

The Courtesy System can appear simple but its power is in its simplicity.

Driving the Courtesy System are Dr Lund’s Communication Performance Standards. These are another set of rules that define how team members speak to each other and customers. They are:

1. Speak very politely using a person’s name — ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ as a minimum.

2. When you talk about a person who is not present, speak as if they are listening to your conversation. Use the person’s name in each sentence in which you refer to them.

3. If you have a problem with someone, talk about the problem only with them and in private.

4. Apologise and make restitution if someone is upset by your actions.

5. Greet and farewell everyone by name, with eye contact and a touch.

6. Blame a system not a person (and fix the system!)

7. Tell the truth!

8. Use positive conversation.

Just think if every business operated these rules.

The trick that Dr. Lund figured out is that its fine having great ideas but he created business systems to support his Courtesy System and make it easy for his team to implement them smoothly and consistently, day in and day out.

If Dr. Lund was your dentist, would this make you think differently about going to the dentist?

Do you know of a business that is completely referral based?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

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