Your Business is Your Promise.
Remember that as you read this story –
A month ago we were celebrating the holidays with our extended family and cousins at our historic ranch east of Park City, UT in the beautiful Uintah mountains. We dam up a south fork of the Provo River annually to create a swimming hole where we gather, laugh, have a wonderful time in the sun.
Fun ensues until our son takes a headfirst spill over the dam, no hands to stop his fall, and lands 6 feet down on the other side in a pile of rocks on his face.
He appears from the other side, blood everywhere, lip split literally clean through and in half, front adult tooth hanging out. This is a problem.
Being that we are some 45 minutes from the nearest hospital we drive as fast as we can to the E.R.
Thus begins our story: A Tale of Two Promises.
We race to the E.R. Fill out paperwork as nurses and doctors gasp at the sight of our son.
This team was professional, attentive, and very helpful. They put us at ease. My son somehow hadn’t been crying, but when asked if anything was concerning him, in his 11-year old voice he said, “My biggest concern is that now I’ll never get married because I look this way.”
Saddest most innocent thing I’ve ever heard anyone say, oh my heck. Here’s a photo of he and I a few days before, he’s such a darling boy –
Doctors get him all cleaned up, stitch his lip miraculously with one stitch! And then turn to us and say since they don’t specialize in dentistry we would need to call our dentist to fix the tooth (that story comes next).
We are then handed the hospital bill, and of course, being self-employed, we have no insurance and only option is to pay cash.
$1,700 for this E.R. visit.
As we gasp at the amount the attending doctor proclaims, “What’s nice about working with our company is that you can visit any of our locations statewide and just tell them you had it stitched up at this location, and we have a policy in place that you can have the stitch removed at any other location!”
Well, for $1,700 I would think that wouldn’t be such a proudly stated announcement, rather an obvious result.
Fast forward 3 days later –
We arrive at the hospital of the same company nearest our home, an hour from the one we originally visited. My wife tells the front desk lady about what happened, what was promised at the other location. The response,
“Oh no, we don’t allow that. Anyone who walks through these doors has to fill out paperwork and be seen as if a new patient. I can’t imagine who told you we could remove the stitch but that isn’t our policy. You may have to just drive back to that location.”
Who broke the promise? The original doctor who potentially wasn’t telling the truth to settle our shock from the sticker price, or this new location not knowing the policy as promised?
My wife and son leave, shocked, drive an hour to the original location, stitch removed no questions asked.
And then today my wife spends over one hour on the phone upon our receiving an unexpected, unfounded, $1,000 bill from the hospital by our home which did no work. Hmmmmm? They are now “investigating” the bill.
And healthcare companies, hospitals and others in the field wonder why there’s a lack of trust from their client base.
It’s all because of broken promises.
Your Business is Your Promise. Remember that. On a personal level this affects us. We will now become the opposite of “Raving Fans” of this company, and that means lost business from our family to this company, as well as anyone we share this story with.
That is the effect of making a promise and breaking it.
Now, let’s rewind to the night in the original E.R. after our son’s lip is stitched up and are told only a dentist can fix this.
We called our dentist of 40 years, Dr. Mark Christensen, the one I talk about helping me discover my faces as you may have seen me talk about in my presentation of The Promise – here it is if you haven’t seen it:
As it’s after hours, and we later find out he’s out of the country, our call goes to voicemail…but then is forwarded to our dentist’s new business partner, a young dentist with a solid practice merging with our legendary dentist’s lifelong client base.
The young dentist answers!
He introduces himself, as we’ve never met, and after we tell him of our accident, he announces he is at an important function but to text him a photo of the tooth in order to determine what he needs to do or if it can wait until morning.
Dear Reader, here’s your WARNING. This picture is graphic and was taken while in the E.R. We sent the young dentist this photo of our poor son:
The dentist’s response was, “Oh my. I will meet you at my office as soon as you can be there.”
Reminder: Your Business is Your Promise.
As we left the E.R. and drove 45 minutes down the mountain to the Salt Lake Valley, we couldn’t believe this dentist we had never met would meet us late at night to help. And yet when we arrived there he was, in the parking lot.
Pleasant, kind, accommodating (understatement!), and helpful, he walked us into his office, through the side and back doors, right to the operating chair, where he put our son, and us, at ease as he talked through fixing this poor child’s tooth.
Suddenly a woman appeared, as the dentist apologized saying he couldn’t get an assistant to come in so late, and introduced us to his wife who would do whatever she could to help.
Think of it! We are now sitting near the midnight hour with a couple who has disrupted their lives to come in, open their office, welcome us into their “home”, and comfort us emotionally with their kindness, while fixing our son’s tooth!
After an X-Ray and confirmation he would be ok, we also learned another tooth had been fixed that we hadn’t noticed was chipped. We were then led to the bin of toys for our son to pick out a souvenir.
This extraordinary experience was so incredible, so fulfilling to me as the guy who talks about promises, that I asked them if I could take their picture. They obliged but wondered why – I told them they had just kept a promise to us and humanity in a story I would share for years to come.
He then said, “Well, this is the best part of becoming a dentist. Most people are afraid of the experience, of scheduling appointments to see the dentist! But to me, this is what I live for, this is the reason I do what I do, to actually help people in desperate need. The after-hour emergencies are the most fulfilling moments. We are grateful you called and grateful we could help.”
As my wife picked me up off the floor following his comment I teared up in gratitude.
Little did this dentist know that my wife and I had discussed a week prior that we may need to find a dentist closer to home, as our favorite lifelong dentist nears retirement.
Question for you: Do you think we’d go anywhere else having met this new guy?
We are Fans for Life. If his business ever dips I will campaign for him to everyone I know…yet it never will, because he makes and keeps promises to every single client.
If Your Business is Your Promise, how are you keeping The Promise to all of those you engage with?
To Dr. Buxton and his family, we were the most important people in their life at that moment.
That is The Promise at it’s highest level.
- If you want to send The Buxton’s a message of gratitude along with us, or if you’re in need of having a new favorite dentist, here is their email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration. Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys. He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite. jasonhewlett.com
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