How To Attract Your Ideal New Patient With Cyndi Blalock

Cyndi Blalock - Delivering Wow Podcast Ep 84

This week on the Delivering Wow podcast I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Cyndi Blalock. Dr. Blalock passionately believes in ‘finding your tribe’. By finding your ideal patients and team, you can create the practice of your dreams.

Cyndi Blalock - Delivering Wow Podcast

Dr. Blalock completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO and completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery training at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. During her training she completed an externship in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Truman Medical Center.

Dr. Blalock is an active member of the American Dental Association, as well as the Missouri Dental Association and Greater St. Louis Dental Society. She has spent time at the Missouri Capitol educating Missouri state representatives and senators about issues effecting the field of dentistry. She also writes a column that appears in The Arch magazine and is proud to provide dental care to the service men and women in the Army, Navy, and the Missouri National Guard.

On the podcast we discussed:

  • The journey that led her to where she is today
  • What ‘find your tribe’ means and why she follows that philosophy
  • Why you should define the kind of patients that you want to serve and then ensure that you focus on finding them
  • Having team members who are onboard with your philosophy
  • The process that Dr. Blalock and her team follow to define their tribe
  • What to do if you have patients that you would rather not have
  • How to find your ideal patient – from asking for referrals to using social media
  • How powerful Facebook advertising can be when trying to define and find your ideal patient
  • The culture of Dr. Blalock’s dental practice and importance of leading by example

Cyndi Blalock - Delivering Wow Podcast

You can find Cyndi on Facebook

If you haven’t done so already, please do make sure that you join the Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group

Here's a short video trailer of the podcast episode:

 

The Importance of Making Real Connections With Erin Doffoney RDH

The importance of making real connections

This week on the podcast, I interviewed Erin Doffoney – a rock star dental hygienist based out of Atlanta. We talked about how your dental team can make better connections with your patients and team members.

Erin’s passion is to bring skill, comfort and care through dental hygiene. Her goal is to focus on patients who’ve had compromising dental experiences. There have been situations where some patients have gone untreated for extended periods of times, which allows her to help patients find healthy perceptions of themselves and strengthen their confidence.

Erin Doffoney

Erin knows there is no single approach that is right for everyone. Her vast experience in the dental field since 1995 includes a range of modalities consisting of; Soft Tissue Management, Paradigm Shifts in Technology, Clinical Behavior as well as Clinical Verbiage and Techniques. As the founder of Techs For Teeth, Erin has become particularly sensitive with coaching individuals and helping them structure an ACTION analysis, Clinical Excellence Through Team Work, Perfecting Team Efficiency, Understanding Your “Why”, and Team Mission Statements that aid in patient and clinical proficiency.

Erin’s educational and professional background includes a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree from Clayton College & State University in Atlanta, GA. Dental Hygiene Board Certified & Licensed in Georgia and California, with Certification in Local Anesthesia, Nitrous Oxide and Curettage from Southwestern College in San Diego, CA, a proud member of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and a sponsor of AACD's Give Back A Smile program.

On the podcast we discussed:

  • The important role that leaders play and how this affects attrition of both team members and patients
  • Identifying the natural strengths of your team members and putting them in the right positions
  • The DISC personality assessment and how it can be used as a key to creating a high performing team
  • The process of turning your patients into raving fans of your dental practice
  • How to start your day to make your work environment drama-free and somewhere that other’s like to work
  • How to make better connections with patients through being relatable, approachable and human
  • Focusing on profit generating strategies

You can find out more about Erin, including her courses and consulting programs by visiting her website by clicking here..

Below is a short trailer of the podcast episode:

The Power Of Mindset In Growing Your Practice with Dr. Shakila Angadi

The Power Of Mindset In Growing Your Practice with Dr. Shakila Angadi Blog Image

In this week’s episode I interviewed Dr. Shakila Angadi.

Dr. Shakila Angadi is the owner of Palmer Smile Design in Easton, PA. As a mother, dentist and wife, she has strived to achieve balance in her personal and professional life for many years.

After practicing dentistry for over 10 years, Dr. Angadi realized that empathetic communication and self-awareness techniques were the key to expanding her practice exponentially.

Shakila Angadi Quote

After being coached by leaders in dentistry and emotional intelligence, she was determined to expand her professional expertise to combine the two. Bridging the gap between professionalism and emotional agility, she is working on many projects to help dentists (and women) communicate and react with emotional awareness to improve the quality of their lives.

We discussed:

  • Why hitting rock bottom was the best thing that could have happened to Shakila and the mindset shift that it takes to bounce back and up-level in almost all areas of life
  • How perfectionism and the fear of failure can stifle creativity and problem solving – and why this is very prevalent problem amongst dentists
  • The importance of having a mindset of admitting that you don’t know everything and seeking help where you need it
  • Why investing in yourself is so important and how Shakila invested in herself
  • How essential taking care of our minds and exercising our mental skills is in order to identify emotions and be open and aware of our surroundings
  • The changes that Shakila has made in her dental practice to foster an environment based on positivity, empathy, gratitude and fantastic communication
  • Social media strategies and how Shakila has used social media to grow her practice by attracting like-minded people in both her patients and team members

Shakila Angadi Quote

Shakila runs a Facebook Group called Emotional Intelligence for the (Modern) Mom – a group where like-minded moms (not exclusively dentists) share tools and tips for shifting mindset to improve their lives.

Here's a short video trailer of the podcast episode!

3 Ways to Turn Dental Patients Into Raving Fans

Patients have many options when choosing a dentist. With hundreds of thousands of dentists in practice already and thousands more graduating dental school every year, your ability to retain patients and earn their referrals to their friends and family is more important than ever.

Loyal patients who refer you to their friends and family not only make marketing your practice easier, they make it more profitable, because you don’t have to spend more advertising time and money to earn the right to serve those patients or their referrals, as you do to attract new patients with no prior connection to your practice.

Thus, your ability to turn your patients into raving fans can make the difference between constantly struggling and chasing new patients with advertising time and money to building a thriving practice with loyal patients who send you even more patients, allowing you to utilize advertising strategically from a position of strength.

Here are three ways to turn your patients into raving fans of your practice.

1. Provide an escape.

Your patients can get quality dental care anywhere. What they can’t get anywhere is an escape from the stresses and discomfort of dental visits. From the sounds of drills to uncomfortable waiting rooms, dental offices haven’t traditionally been a pleasant place to be. Even a simple thing like providing iPads and headphones to mask the sounds of our drills when doing services can make a difference.

2. Provide extra relaxation services.

Your patients live busy, stressful lives. With family commitments and work pressures becoming more demanding, many people go through life stressed or depressed and don’t have time or money to enjoy little personal luxuries. Do what you can to give them the relaxation they desperately want and need.

A few simple adjustments in your office to help your patients relax can make a big impact on your patients’ lives and earn their loyalty and referrals. Even simple things like having comfortable waiting-room furniture, soft, relaxing music; and warm fabrics and wall colors can create a spa-like experience for your patients. In our practice, we go one step further and provide hand-and-arm massages to ease our patients’ tension and relax their minds.

3. Control the smells in your office.

Industries like spas and luxury real estate are known for using scents to evoke emotions and feelings. By controlling the smells in your office, you can help make your patients feel relaxed or at home.

Cooking things like fresh baked cookies or popcorn give your patients a tasty snack after their visit, but they also make your office smell great. You could also use mildly scented lotions, soaps, or perfumes to control the smells in your office and create a spa-like smell that evokes a sense of luxury and relaxation.

Does your office help you turn your patients into raving fans?

Does your office help your patients escape from the stresses of dental care? Does it make them see your office as a place they can go to take a break from their stressful lives? What smells do your patients experience in your office? How does that make them feel?

If your office is full of the same uncomfortable furniture, expired dental magazines and brochures, and sterile colors and smells, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to transform your practice.

Creating a luxurious, spa-like experience for your patients by helping them escape, relax, and feel pampered can help turn casual patients into raving fans that can set growing your practice on auto-pilot.

For more ideas for turning patients into raving fans, sign up for a 14-day trial membership to Delivering Wow U and connect with me and over 2,000 other dentists in the Delivering WOW Facebook Dental Hangout on Facebook.

How to Create a Set of Core Values That Can Help Your Dental Practice Run Without You

Running a dental practice is a lot of work. From patient care to leading team members and managing cash flow, the work never ends.

There are only two ways to respond: You can either let your practice continue to push you around, or you can take control of your practice and put a structure in place to build a practice that can run without you.

An often-overlooked step to building a practice that can run without you is to create a set of core values for your practice. Your practice’s core values are the rules of the game. They define what your practice stands for and how you will build your practice.

Your core values are the rules of your company. They guide the decisions you make for your practice and ensure your team members are all on the same page. They bring clarity and consistency to your practice.

Take buying materials, for example. With a set of core values that includes using the highest-quality materials, you wouldn’t accept anything less than the best-quality materials you can afford. Without a set of core values, you might look at buying materials as an exercise in finding the lowest-priced acceptable options. One month you may buy the cheapest option; another month you may buy a higher-quality option.

That inconsistency permeates your practice. Your patients won’t know whether to expect high-quality or low-quality materials. That means they might be pleasantly surprised one visit and disappointed the next and will be far less likely to refer people to your practice. Internally, your team members won’t know how to order materials, so you’ll either have to do it yourself or accept inconsistency in material quality.

Having a clear set of core values makes sure everyone’s on the same page and moving together toward building the practice you envision for your future.

To create a set of core values that can help your dental practice run without you, follow these three steps.

1. Write down all the values you want for your practice.

The first step toward creating an effective set of core values is to write down every value you want your practice to operate with. If you’re looking to build a practice that caters to high-end clients, for example, your list might include utilizing the best materials, providing exceptional customer service, and providing VIP services to each client.

If you need help, get key team members involved. Share your practice’s vision with them. Get their feedback. Then brainstorm values that would ensure everyone operates in a way that leads your practice toward your vision. By including your team, you’ll not only get more input, but you’ll also build more team-member buy-in and ownership of the process.

Very early in the transformation of my practice into a Delivering WOW practice, I sat down with my team and asked, “What’s important to us? How do we want to be known in the community?”

I could have done it on my own, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as powerful as involving my team. Additionally, when your entire team is on board, you won’t have to do everything in your practice, because your team will have a clear set of rules within which to make decisions in your absence.

2. Refine your list to the core values that will lead you toward your vision.

Once you have a complete list, spend some time refining your list. To do so, spend some time considering whether each value you listed is a good fit for you and your practice.

Will they stand the test of time or need to be changed in a month, six months, or a year? The most effective core values will be principle-based and stand the test of time. If you’ll need to change it, refine it so it can stand the test of time or consider eliminating it.

Is each value consistent with the practice you want to build? Picture your future practice. Is having each of those values in place consistent with that? If not, cross it out.

My team and I spent time refining each of the values we listed, refining or eliminating our list until we found ten core values conducive to a Delivering WOW practice and could stand the test of time. When we were finished, each of us knew exactly what was expected of us. That allowed us to rely on each other with more confidence than before because we knew the other team members were making decisions within the same set of rules.

3. Show off your core values.

Your core values should not be a secret! Once you have a list of core values for your practice that matches your vision for your future, share them with your patients and the community.

Print and display them in a prominent spot in your office. Point them out to new patients during your office tour. Include a printout of them in recruiting materials so every new team member comes in knowing what’s expected of them. Everyone in your practice and the community should know what your practice stands for and your team will look to those core values with pride.

My entire team loves looking at our core values display. Every time we see it, we’re reminded of exactly what we stand for. Our final list of core values includes these ten principles:

  • Always show compassion. It’s important to truly understand our patients’ needs and meet them there. We want to treat our patients with kindness and understanding.
  • Ask the right questions. It’s important for us to be able to listen to understand. Understanding our patients’ fears, concerns, and points of resistance helps us to treat them properly and provide better solutions to their problems.
  • Deliver a WOW experience every time. Consistency is important.
  • Listen with two ears and one heart. The heart in business has to be compassion, love, and understanding.
  • Pursue growth and learning. We have weekly lunch-and-learn sessions to ensure we are always learning as a team. All of our team members also have Kindles to read books to help with their personal development.
  • Think big and have fun. We are innovative and think outside of the box. We have a relaxed working environment where we love going to work, and the patients feel it.
  • Build a positive team and family spirit. If we aren’t working together as a team, then we can’t serve our patients to the best of our ability.
  • Insist on the highest standards. We want the best for our patients regarding the quality of dentistry that we provide as well as the environment in which we provide it.
  • Build a stronger community. We will always make giving back to the community a part of our culture.
  • Be humble. As we grow, we want always to remain grateful for what we have and humble in how we carry ourselves.

It’s your turn.

Spend some time working through this three-step process for developing your own core values for your practice. When you’re done, take a picture of your core value display and share it on your social-media channels. Be sure to tag me, so I can celebrate with you! I am on Twitter: @deliveringwow

Why Building an Irresistible Culture is the Secret to Building a Successful Dental Practice

For years, we’ve been told that trying harder, working longer, and doing everything better than others is a surefire plan for success. While they likely had good intentions, they were spreading a myth.

In fact, that’s a surefire plan to burnout and shrinking profits over the long term. The reality is, building a unique culture for your practice will make you much more successful than trying harder, working longer, or obsessing with being the best at everything you do.

It can make you more money in less time, while at the same time turn patients into raving fans and team members into loyal and enthusiastic supporters.

Your patients care more about their experience at your practice than how hard you work or whether you’re 10% better than other dentists.

Your team members will be happier and more loyal when they are aligned with or can identify with your culture. They’ll feel an emotional connection with your business and won’t just show up for a paycheck.

You’ll make more money in less time because you’ll differentiate your practice from others. When you’re the only practice serving patients like you do, you can charge higher fees and work fewer hours. Your patients will leave happier because their experience will be a pleasant change from the norm. They won’t just be paying for the dental work you do.

Follow these two steps to take control of your culture and keep it top-of-mind as you build your dental practice.

1. Decide what will be unique about your practice.

Will yours be the practice that gives patients high-end experiences? Will yours be the practice with an on-time guarantee, so your patients schedule with confidence? Will yours be the practice that gives back to the community? You get to choose.

Culture can mean different things to different dental practices. If you’re not sure what culture you want for your practice, a great way to get ideas is to ask your patients. We did that in our practice to find out what they wanted, what mattered most to them, so we could focus on those things.

Our patients told us they wanted to be seen on time, have quality and consistency with their dental services, and to have a great experience in our office. When we learned that, we decided that our practice would become about providing VIP amenities to our patients while we respected their time and treated them like family.

2. Match your practice to the culture you desire.

In our practice, we do several things to reinforce the VIP and family-like culture we were looking to build.

For the VIP experience, we give iPads and headphones to patients to block out the sounds. We also give complimentary arm and hand massages to our patients before their visit. We enforce an on-time guarantee to let the patients know we respect their time and call them right away if we’re running late.

To create a more familial environment, we showcase pictures of us having fun with our patients, as well as participating in community activities. We invest in team development and praise our team members for their contributions to our practice and culture. We don’t just praise them behind closed doors, either. We openly acknowledge and praise them in front of patients and on social media, too, so everyone knows how great our team is.

These are just some of the things we do to reinforce our practice’s culture. What you do, and what you don’t do, will create your company culture. When building your culture, ask yourself what you could add or change to promote yours, too.

What culture will you build?

Your practice’s culture does far more than make sure your patients’ experience is pleasant. It will determine the story they tell their friends and family about your practice. It will determine what your practice will become known for. It will influence whether patients come back or whether new patients come in.

You can take control of the story your patients tell by taking control of the culture of your practice. By developing a world-class practice culture, you’ll be well on your way to building a practice that can run without you.

You’ll also greatly reduce your chances of burning out like the dentists who buy into the lie that you need to try harder, work longer, or be better at everything in order to succeed.

The Secret To Getting Your Patients to Say Yes with Wes Schaeffer

Today's episode features Wes Schaeffer, the Sales Whisperer. Having an extensive background in sales, Wes is a sales trainer and a sales motivational speaker where he goes around and helps organizations from beginning to end.

Wes is the author of the book The Definitive Guide to Infusionsoft: How Mortals Increase Traffic, Leads, Prospects, Sales, Testimonials, Online Orders & Referrals With the World’s Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Automation Software. Wes also has expertise in sales training & marketing and software implementation to help with automation.

Today, Wes shares with us what you should focus on as a dentist to get patients to not only accept treatment, but to enter your practice ready to start treatment.

We discuss what is sales…and no, it's not what you might be thinking!

Wes shares how to create a sales process to ask people the right questions to engage with them and show them the benefits of what you have to offer.

He says that you must first focus on creating a unique practice and work on creating great experiences for your patients so that they will have no choice but to choose your practice.

We also discuss exactly how to offer and fit in same day additional services, which increases your practice production and helps solve your patient's problems!

Links in the Episode:

The Sales Whisperer

The Delivering WOW Free Facebook Group

FBMastery Facebook Course

 

6 Steps to Create a Practice and Business That WOWs

Are you ready to get some MASSIVE results for 2016?  Perhaps it's time to start Delivering WOW.

So what is Delivering Wow….

Delivering Wow is a customer-focused approach that service businesses, including dental practices, can take to consistently provide a high level of service and quality. What makes Delivering Wow different from the typical activities of many dental practices is its emphasis on consistency and importance of our six core areas. Many dentists want to provide good service, but most fail to provide excellent service on a consistent basis. Not because the dentists are bad people, but because they do not have a systematized way of delivering that consistent experience day in and day out.

Delivering Wow fixes that. In fact, Delivering Wow transforms a ho-hum and struggling dental practice into an above-average practice that experiences massive growth. The reason this approach works is because it focuses on specific areas that affect the business’s relationship with its customers: Vision, Culture, Core Values, Team, Systems and Brand.

  1. Your vision as a dentist will affect the entire practice, as well as your future growth. If you do not have a vision, then anything can happen, because there is no strategic future you are looking forward to or planning. The vision is the big idea you have for your business, and ultimately, your life.
  2.  Culture is important because it is the story that you create for your practice.  It is what you want to be known for.  Every company has a culture, whether you create it, or it evolves. Being focused on your company culture helps ensure you are developing the environment to bring forth your vision
  3. Core values are important because they help you set the tone (culture) and they help you work toward the vision. If you are focused on the wrong core values, then you will produce a culture and environment opposite of or different from what you intend.
  4. It’s important to have the right team in place, because the team you hire consists of the people who will represent you and your practice to customers and the community. Having the wrong team members, or having team members in the wrong place can be detrimental to growth.
  5. Systems are essential for scaling your operation. If you are stuck and feeling as if you are having to do every single thing at your practice, then it’s because you do not have the proper systems in place. If you are providing inconsistent experiences to customers, this is also a weakness that has been revealed because of lack of the proper systems.
  6. And lastly, brand is the result of all of the earlier core areas working together. Your brand is what people say about you when you are not around — it is what they know of your business. If your brand is off, then you won’t attract the customers you desire. Creating a unique brand will separate you from the next dental practice in the mind of your customers.

If the only thing you believe you can compete on is price, then you don’t have much of a brand, and indeed, you will find yourself in a race to the bottom, as you work to grab customers’ attention by lowering your fees. In order to compete effectively, your brand must be about something besides being the low-cost provider, as there is always someone willing to go even lower. If your brand is about Delivering Wow, then you immediately set your business apart as being different. Being different is always better than being better.

Dr. Anissa Holmes, a Global leader in Social Media Marketing, and owner of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services, helps dentists and small business owners receive massive growth through developing their culture, systems and brand.

Dr. Holmes, through her podcast, The Delivering WOW Dental Podcast and her blog Delivering WOW, shares tips for designing a unique business culture to deliver a “Wow” experience every time, strategies to triple leads and new customers as well as strategies to build an amazing team.

 

Don’t Focus on the Competition, Focus on What Makes you Unique

While trying to grow a successful company, there are many things that you can focus on.  However, to get the greatest amount of success, you should focus on what matters most.  It doesn't matter if you own a restaurant, or are providing a service, like a dentist or accountant, you must focus on what makes you different.  

Let's face it, we have lots of choices of where to spend our money these days, and so do consumers.  The businesses that thrive all have one thing in common- something that makes them stand apart.  Amazon offers convenience which allows them to stand apart from other online retailers.  Zappos is known for their culture and amazing service.  Dominoes is known for delivering dinner to a hungry family in 30 minutes or less.  What makes your business unique?

The secret is to find out what matters most to your customers, and give it to them.  In my dental business I realized that people want to be seen on time.  So we put in systems and a guarantee to make that happen.  We also knew that most people are fearful when going to the dentist, so in addition to amenities such as gourmet tea and freshly baked plantain tarts, we offer headphones to take away the sound and complimentary arm and hand massages. We focused on being different.

Once you focus on being different, customers will notice and will be drawn to you because you are solving not only their needs but their wants.  The basic service that I provide is a dental service.  However, all dentists do cleanings and fillings.  It is the extra touches that have allowed my business to consistently receive 10 times the industry standard of new patients with a very tiny marketing budget.  Our marketing is our uniqueness and our culture.  
 

What is Your Company’s Culture?

Why have Core Values?  Every practice has an office culture, whether you have designed it, or it has evolved.  Do you focus on being compassionate?  Perhaps you value seeing every patient on time.  Other offices focus on community service.

These are the Core Values of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services

1.) Always Show Compassion
2.) Deliver a Wow Experience Every Time
3.) Ask the Right Questions
4.) Listen With Two Ears and One Heart
5.) Pursue Growth and Learning
6.) Think Big and Have Fun
7.) Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8.) Insist on the Highest Standards
9.) Build a Stronger Community
10.) Be Humble

What these mean to our company are that we must always be patient and meet our patients where they are.  We must not judge them.  We must ensure consistency, and ensure that our patient's experience with us is unlike any dental office that they have ever been to before.  We must ask lots of questions to get a full understanding of what exactly the patient wants so that we can better serve them.  We must listen and treat our patients as if they were in our own family.

Education is very important.  All of our team members have kindles for our book club and we have weekly lunch and learns.  Our office must be a fun environment where we look forward to coming together to exceed our patient's expectations.  We must offer consistency and quality in our dental work.  It must be beautiful, strong, and long lasting.  We absolutely must build stronger communities.  We currently give away proceeds from our new patient exams to a different charity every month, as well as have hosted free kids dental days.  Finally, and most importantly, we must be humble.

I challenge you to take the time with your team and come up with what's important to your practice, and most importantly, put it into ACTION!