With the pandemic, there’s no denying times are different. We're all making big adjustments to be careful about Coronavirus—especially business professionals like dental practice owners. As we begin to reopen, we need to take control of our marketing efforts to make sure we get the right return on our investment over the long-term.
That means truly understanding our audience and then taking three simple steps to ensure your marketing fulfills your intended purpose. That's always the case. But it's even more important when marketing through turbulent times. Earlier, we talked about some of the mechanics of impactful marketing during a pandemic.
Today, we're going to talk about how to craft effective marketing content during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you'll see, it's as easy as three simple steps.
1. Take time to understand what your marketing campaign's ideal audience wants and needs.
Often, the dental services we promote vary. That means our audiences and messaging needs to vary as well. Now is no different. Take a moment to understand exactly who you want to reach with your marketing. Are you looking to reach emergency dental patients? Are you looking to reach current patients? Are you going to be talking to others in your community?
Once you know your audience, craft content that matches what they want to know. For the community, you might want to show your social responsibility as a dental practice and business. If you want to talk to current patients, you might want to craft content about safety and cleanliness. If you want to reach emergency patients, you might want to discuss virtual consultations, safety procedures, and readiness to serve.
2. Create content that directly addresses the ideal audience member's needs and desires.
Once you understand what your audience wants, create content that directly addresses it. For example, if you're creating an ad for emergency patients, you will get better results with a video describing safety measures than an image showing you wearing a mask. That's because the picture only implies you have safety measures in place. Your video will directly address all the safety measures you have in place.
This is another rule of thumb that matters regardless of the pandemic. When you’re creating any content for a marketing effort, make sure the content directly addresses what your audience wants and needs from a practice like yours.
3. Include a simple call to action.
Once you create the right content for the right people, add a simple call to action at the end to let your audience members know exactly what to do next. Is the next step to schedule a virtual consult? Tell them and include a link to schedule. Do you want them to call your office to make an appointment? Say so and include your phone number.
Make it as easy as possible for your audience members to take the ideal next step based on your marketing campaign and you will get much better results from your marketing.
Are you crafting impactful marketing content for your dental practice?
If you've struggled to achieve a high return on investment on your marketing, these three steps will help.
If you don't want to go at it alone, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in our Platinum Mastermind Gold Program, and are offering special value for you and your teams! If you have been wanting to dive into Facebook Marketing though our Facebook Bootcamp Program, now is also a great time to start preparing for when you reopen!
I’m super excited to be joined by Jay Glazer and Howie Friedman from the Crazy Dental Price Club on this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast to talk about how you can save a lot of money on dental supplies.
Crazy Dental Prices is a dental company and manufacturer authorized dealer. They specialize in finding and offering guaranteed cheapest pricing and the very best in class logistics.
Founded in 1985, Crazy Dentist Prices has decades of experience helping dentists save money on essential supplies. The company operates as a member only service, granting dentists access to crazy low prices on all of their favorite brand name products.
In this episode, we discuss:
What Crazy Dental Prices is known for and how they help dentists save money on supplies
How Crazy Dental Prices can help you plan for profits
How to make purchasing supplies less stressful and less time-consuming
How to know if you need help from an account manager
Why you should seriously consider shopping for dental supplies with Crazy Dental Prices
To find out more about Crazy Dental Prices, check out their website and sign up today to start benefiting from their incredible service.
If you want to save 10% off your order with Crazy Dental Prices, use code WOW10 at checkout.
When you checkout with your first order that’s over $1000, use the code WOWLIGHT and Crazy Dental Prices will send you a FREE curing light!
Our options are limitless, too. We can make physical adjustments to our practice to promote physical distancing, such as plexiglass barriers at the front desk. We can change policies and procedures. For example, you could only allow patients in our office and doing all intake and paperwork in the operatories. You could also check the temperatures of all team members and patients. Finally, we can invest in additional safety protocols.
Together, these adjustments help us create a safe environment for everyone who comes into contact with my practice.
Maintain consistent communication with your team members and patients.
While we know what we’re doing to ensure our practice is a safe place, our patients and team members might not know everything we’re doing, and why.
This is important because other doctors, team members, and patients are rightfully concerned about their physical safety these days. Thus, not only is it important for us to invest in safety measures, we should also communicate what we are doing to our team members and patients.
Put a new page on your website that shares everything you’re doing to keep your practice safe. Send your patients an email or text message directing them to that page.
And make sure your team members know what you’re doing, too, so they feel safe and comfortable coming to work.
Don’t let it be a one-and-done communication, either. Communicate regularly about what you’re doing so everyone knows you take their safety seriously.
Be a leader in your community.
I’m consistently asking myself how I can be a better leader in my community, not just in my practice. I challenge my Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind members to do the same, too.
So, how do we be leaders in the community? We start by creating a safe environment and staying in communication with our patients and team members. In addition, we do things such as investing in the best and latest technology and top systems and processes to keep everyone safe. We research PPE. We research air quality. And we research tools and technologies to help create safe spaces.
We then share that information readily in the community. We connect with other business owners in the community and share what we found out and are doing for our businesses. This helps them make better decisions for their businesses, too.
Are you preparing for a strong dental practice reopening?
As you prepare to reopen your practice, invest in safety, communicate with your team and patients, and continue your role as a leader in your community. That will help you come back strong as you reopen your dental practice.
Have you ever worried about what would happen to your dental practice if you were unable to work?
Jordan and Bryan Brenner wanted to create a safety net for dentists so that they would be protected in their time of need. So, they co-founded Dental Safety Net, a company that connects dentists to help support each other during difficult times.
Dental Safety Net is a network of dentists and practitioners who are willing to go above and beyond for their fellow doctors. Their mission is to provide peace of mind for dentists and their families in times of need. If you have to unexpectedly stop working for whatever reason, Dental Safety Net has your back. They make sure that your business is protected as well as you and your family’s financial well-being.
In this episode of Delivering WOW, I talk to Jordan and Bryan Brenner about their company and how they can help dentists when life takes an unexpected turn.
In this episode, we discuss:
How Bryan and Jordan launched Dental Safety Net
What Dental Safety Net is and how they can help give dentists peace of mind
The power of forming groups of dentists to support each other
What it’s like to be a member of Dental Safety Net
How Dental Safety Net has helped real dentists in difficult times
How to become a member of Dental Safety Net
To learn more about Dental Safety Net, you can visit their website or give them a call (206) 880-0513.
That means putting the right preparations in place to make your practice stronger than ever once things start coming back. Your practice can grow again. And it will grow again if you build growth into your recovery plan. One of the best ways to build growth into the day-to-day operations of your practice is to offer services that generate repeat visits and recurring revenue. Here are three ways you can promote recurring revenue in your practice.
Offer and regularly promote teeth whitening.
People aren’t always coming to our dental practice to receive treatment. They're not always coming in to improve their dental health. Often, they’re coming to make their smile shine brighter. And while many practices offer teeth whitening, many still do not. Of those that do, many leave a lot of opportunity on the table by not promoting it consistently. If you fall into either one of those categories, now might be the time to start offering or promoting your teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is easy to do. It's nice and quick and can create a great source of recurring revenue for your practice. It might be a low-ticket offer, but it can bring in a high volume of patients. And it can add additional revenue opportunities from existing patients who might have no idea how easy it can be to leave your office with a bright white smile.
Teeth whitening services can be very helpful in growing many parts of your practice, too. You could offer a deal for a first-whitening. Or you could offer it as a free add-on service for high-value procedures.
But teeth whitening is also just a great add-on service you and your team can offer all patients who come through the door. They will leave feeling better about themselves while you enjoy being able to grow your practice and earn recurring revenue from future whitening sessions.
Conduct oral cancer screenings.
Preventative care in dentistry takes many forms. Hygienists can find periodontal disease before it progresses. They can offer treatment methods to preserve a patient's gum health and subsequently preserve their heart health. Dentists can extract teeth in order to avoid crowding as well as the pain and dental issues that will result from the crowding.
All of those things can lead to health problems down the line, which helps patients in many ways. But we can also help patients while growing our practices and adding recurring revenue to our practices by conducting regular oral cancer screenings.
Offering oral cancer screenings won’t only help save lives, but it’ll help you create recurring revenue for your practice. Patients often readily agree to screenings and both you and your patients sleep easier knowing you're helping them catch issues early.
Dental membership programs give patients an alternative to insurance, which often gets in the way of dental care instead of helping patients get better dental care. Frequently, the complications of dental insurance causes many patients to pay more out-of-pocket than they should. Many times, patients choose to forego treatment they need for financial reasons.
With dental membership programs, you can offer patients more choice and freedom with their care while simultaneously generating regular monthly income for your practice. This will be especially important for patients who lose their insurance and need an alternative way to get the care they need.
What options have you implemented in your practice to unlock recurring revenue?
There are many ways to strengthen a dental practice. You can invest in leading your dental team well. You can invest in Facebook marketing for your dental practice. And you can build dental marketing funnels. The list goes on. But some of my favorite ways to strengthen a dental practice are the ones that simultaneously help patients improve their health while generating recurring revenue from your practice. These three strategies can help you do both of those things in your practice. What are you doing to unlock recurring revenue?
As dental professionals, we all want to provide the best care possible for our patients. But, it’s not just about your capability and skill as a dentist. Delivering ‘WOW’ to patients starts with the front office team and making sure patients have a great experience from the moment they schedule an appointment to the moment they leave the practice.
So, how can you make sure you’re delivering a WOW experience to each of your patients?
Joining me on this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast is Laura Hatch, the Chief Vision Officer at Front Office Rocks. Laura is committed to learning how to manage and empower team members. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers, a national and international speaker for dental authorities like AADOM, Patterson, and Mid-Atlantic Dental Society, and has been recognized as one of DPR’s Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2016.
She and her team at Front Office Rocks help dental practices train their teams in a way that makes sense for them. They focus on patient retention and carry out training online through videos and webinars, which means you can train your entire team whenever and wherever your staff learns best, desktop, phone, or tablet.
In this episode, we discuss:
Tips to improve training processes in your practice
Why you should always schedule a time for training
The importance of investing in training
Why investing in your team is the best investment you’ll ever make
The connection between the front and back office of your practice
Want to learn more about Front Office Rocks and their training? Visit their website and discover how they can help change the way you train your team!
When times are slow, understanding what to do to work on your business can be challenging. But when you find the right opportunities, you can create momentum to help you come back stronger than ever.
Three of the most important parts of our businesses we can strengthen during slow times are our practice vision, branding, and systems. Together, they define where we are going, the relationships we build to get us there, and the methods we will use to achieve our vision. Here’s how to improve each of those areas when times are tough.
1. Refine your vision.
If you don’t have a practice vision, it’s tough to make strategic decisions. That’s why it’s so important to have a practice vision. It guides you in making decisions that lead you closer to your vision. Slow times are prime opportunities to revisit and refine your vision.
Refining your vision can be as simple as asking yourself questions about where you want to go in your business or personal life. How many days do you want to work every week? What roles do you see as being most important in your practice? What do you want to be able to delegate to others? Would you rather focus on the business side of things and be a practice owner or would you like to have somebody else manage the business side of things so you can just do dentistry? What type of practice culture do you want? What do you want patients to feel when they walk in the door?
Write down your answers to these questions and start thinking about any changes you need to make to build a practice consistent with your vision.
2. Work on your branding.
What do you want patients and people in your community to say about your practice when you are not around? It doesn’t matter how nice your website is or how pretty your logo is, your brand is determined by your reputation among your patients and the community. If they think your practice is high quality and spa-like, that’s the brand you have. If they think your practice is behind the times, that’s the brand you have.
Take a look at how your practice is presenting itself to your patients and the community. What do you think those messages are causing people to say about your practice? Does it match what you want them to be saying? If so, great! Lean into that and think of ways to do even more when things pick up. If not, what do you need to change?
3. Improve your systems.
Your operations are a sum of the systems you have in place. Do your systems make your business run like a high-quality engine? Do your patients get a consistently WOW experience at your practice? Are your team members consistently performing? If consistency is a problem in your practice, better systems are your solutions.
What are you doing to work on your business right now?
While the pandemic might make things feel hectic right now, this slow time offers a great opportunity to work on our businesses even if we can’t work in them in the moment. Eventually, this time will pass and we’ll all be back in the swing of things. Taking time to work behind the scenes will make our practices stronger than ever once everything turns around.
Are you thinking about creating a dental membership program for your patients?
Dental membership programs can help dentists better-serve their patients. But, this type of dental membership can also help generate predictable recurring revenue for your practice and in this episode of Delivering WOW, you’ll find out how.
I’m joined by the founder and CEO of BoomCloud, Jordon Comstock. BoomCloud is a dental membership software company that enables dentists to reduce dependence on dental insurance by creating an in-house membership program for their practice. They make it easy for dental practices to administer membership programs that generate recurring revenue, attract uninsured patients, retain patients and help increase case acceptance.
In this episode, we discuss:
How BoomCloud helps dental practices build dental membership programs
How a dental membership program can help you to create and maintain an additional income stream for your practice
The benefits of building a dental membership program
Why patients want to sign-up for dental memberships
The problem with traditional dental insurance companies
How a dental membership can reduce your dependence on third-party insurance companies
How dental memberships help to increase patient loyalty and retention
A brief overview of monthly and yearly pricing plans
To find out more about creating Dental Membership Programs with help from BoomCloud, visit their website or email Jordon directly – firstname.lastname@example.org
Reopening a dental practice post COVID-19 is a welcome event. But while opening the doors is a welcome event, it's not as simple as opening the doors and getting back to normal.
We have new guidance to follow. We have new demands from our government, team members, and even patients. Expectations of our practices have never been greater. Our patients need to be confident that they are safe in our offices. Our team members need to as well. Thus, we must take very deliberate steps to ensure our practices are a safe, welcoming place for everyone.
We've been monitoring the best and latest information for you to help you successfully reopen your practice. Here are key steps to minimize health risks when reopening your practice post COVID-19.
Prepare Your Dental Practice for New Oversight and Regulations
Regulations and oversights used to move slowly. COVID-19 changed that. In a matter of days, we were told to cancel elective dental procedures. That forced many dental practices to close completely. Others were open only for emergency visits.
As we reopen, consider whether you want to perform emergency procedures or even virtual consultations should COVID-19 flare up again. Put a plan in place should regulations return over the summer months or even next fall or winter. Will you perform emergency procedures? Will you conduct virtual consults? If so, how? Who will handle those? Will you promote that your office is open for emergencies and virtual consultations? If so, have your messaging in place so you can get started quickly.
Similarly, connect with communities of practices, like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group. There, you can connect with other practices navigating the post-COVID-19 world. You can share resources and information to maintain flexibility and be in a better position to navigate any future disruptions.
Establish Additional Safety Procedures for Post-COVID-19 Heath Risks
For example, before dental care begins, the ADA recommends you address the following three issues.
1. Dentist and Dental Team Preparation
We must have procedures in place to ensure the safety of the staff. This includes ensuring all dental health care personnel have received their seasonal flu vaccine. Any team members experiencing influenza-like-illnesses should know to not report to work. Those who are of older age, have pre-existing, medically compromised conditions, or other high-risk qualities should take extra precautions.
Practices must also ensure team members self-monitor, check their temperatures, and remain alert to symptoms of COVID-19.
Other preparation suggestions include:
Being diligent in ordering personal protective equipment. These items may be in short supply from time to time.
Removing magazines, reading materials, toys, and other objects that may be touched by others and which are not easily disinfected.
Scheduling appointments apart enough to minimize contact among patients.
Preventing patients from bringing unnecessary companions to their appointments.
Together these preparations will minimize the spread of COVID-19 for everyone in the office. Communicate these procedures to all staff and patients so they can comply. They will also be comforted that you are taking these precautions.
2. Screening for COVID-19 Status and Triaging for Dental Treatment
While minimizing the spread is important, the ADA also recommends putting in place screening and Triaging procedures.
Specifically, the safest way to reopen is a phased approach, focusing only on emergency or urgent care.
While doing so, the ADA suggests making every effort to interview patients by telephone, text, or video before their visits. Utilize these COVID-19 interview and assessment guidelines from the CDC when interviewing patients. Review the ADA interim guidelines for how to handle patients with various symptoms. The ADA recommends that only asymptomatic patients, patients who have tested negative for COVID-19 infection, or recovered patients (after 3 days since the resolution of signs and symptoms) be seen in dental settings.
3. Take precautions upon patient arrival.
When a patient arrives, permit them to wait in their personal vehicle. Communicate this policy before the appointment.
Ensure team members keep adequate supplies to reduce the spread of germs, such as appropriate hand rum, tissues, and no-touch trash receptacles.
Take precautions during dental care.
The ADA recommends taking extra precautions during dental care, as well, including the following.
1. Adhere to both Standard and Transmission-based Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Standard precautions are the minimum infection prevention practices. This includes:
use of PPE
safe injection practices
sterile instruments and devices, and
clean and disinfected environmental surfaces.
In addition, implement transmission-based precautions, such as:
patient placement (e.g., isolation)
adequate room ventilation
respiratory protection (e.g., N-95 masks) for team members, or
postponement of nonemergency dental procedures.
The ADA also recommends replacing PPE frequently, with surgical masks being replaced between each patient. Wear face shields to protect yourself, especially during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids.
3. Address suspected unintentional exposure quickly and schedule appointments to minimize risk.
Follow CDC recommendations in the event of suspected unintentional exposure. This includes having instructions on hand regarding when and where to go for testing. Include information about how to justify the need for testing and how to contact the dental practice to report results. If a test is positive, the office needs to report the exposure to all team members or patients at risk.
Additionally, schedule appointments to minimize risk. For example, the ADA suggests aerosol-generating procedures should as the last appointment of the day.
Put post-dental care procedures in place to increase safety.
Put policies in place to ensure safety post-dental care. This includes both practice procedures in between patients as well as adjusting post-operative instructions for patients.
1. Enhance safety procedures in between patients.
While practices regularly engage in cleaning between patients, take extra care to reduce transmission risk. This includes cleaning or replacing PPE and disinfecting non-dedicated and non-disposable equipment.
2. Update post-operative instructions to patients.
Review the latest guidelines regarding appropriate post-operative treatment. For example, there is controversy regarding whether ibuprofen is appropriate to take in light of data suggesting it might harm patients with COVID-19. Thus, you might consider recommending other medications to manage pain in case a patient has COVID-19 but is asymptomatic.
Teach team members to protect themselves and their families after work.
The ADA suggests team members should change from scrubs to personal clothing before returning home. Upon arriving home, they should take off shoes, remove and wash clothing, separately from other household residents, and immediately shower.
These activities will help reduce the risk that a team member brings COVID-19 to their families.
How are you preparing to reopen your dental practice post-COVID-19?
While reopening your dental practice post-COVID-19 is exciting, it must be done with safety in mind. Not only will that protect you, your team members, and your patients but it will also help you make everyone feel safer in your office.
Running a dental practice is a team effort but, as dentists, sometimes it feels like we’re doing all the work. The reality is, that’s not the case. In fact, your practice wouldn’t be as amazing as it is without your team members contributing greatly. Your practice might not feel amazing right now. But with a few simple shifts, you can experience incredible growth and fulfillment.
While these challenges are important to overcome in any environment, now is an even better time to help get them done. The covid-19 crisis, and the resulting pause to our practices, gives us an unprecedented opportunity. During this pause, work on putting simple strategies in place to come back stronger and with an even more productive and motivated team.
Here are two daily challenges many practice owners express and how to solve them.
“My team member isn’t getting done what I want them to get done on a daily basis.”
With this one, sometimes the cure is a dose of hard truth. When this feeling comes up, are you sure the issue is with the team member? To find out, ask yourself, “What did I not do to make this person as good as they could possibly be in their position?”
Oftentimes, frustrations cause us to only focus on a team member's mistakes. That causes us to think about taking measures to replace them. When that happens we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember the value of that team member. They’ve surely done a lot of amazing things for your practice. If not, it's possible they need to be transitioned out to protect the rest of your team. But many team members just need better direction and management from us.
A great way to point your team member in a better direction, and ensure they get done what you want them to get done, is to create a task list. Reprioritize their responsibilities. When you do this, you might even realize that your current expectations are unrealistic. You might be asking them to do too many things. You might be asking them to do low-value tasks that cause high-value tasks to go undone. Or, you might ask them to do things that are too difficult for them to do.
Create a realistic, prioritized task list that has your team member focusing first on what you want them to get done every day. That way, they’ll get the high-value items complete first. They’ll also be much happier and motivated. They aren’t being given a daily list of duties that leaves them feeling unproductive and overwhelmed.
“My team members aren’t implementing my processes.”
When you strive to deliver a WOW experience to patients, you’re going to do unconventional things. You'll hand patients warm towels when they come in or offer them gourmet coffee. You might spend a whole lot of money to get all these processes put in place. And then you might get annoyed when you realize your team members aren’t giving the patients what you want them to give them.
If your team members aren’t implementing your processes, educate them as to why they need to put those processes in place. To use the example of handing out warm towels, explain that patients come back to your practice for the experience rather than the dentistry. Talk about how this motivates people to get dental care they need and improve their health. Your team will be more motivated knowing handing out towels helps people avoid big health issues in the future. All of your processes can be tied to a motivating positive outcome. Your team members will begin to see the importance of them.
Motivate them further by telling them that increased productivity will result in an increased bottom line, which will result in them getting bigger bonuses. Dangling the carrot of a big bonus is an incentive many dentists use when trying to get the best work from their team.
What issues are you having that we can help you with?
Are your team members regularly completing their tasks or following procedures? If not, ask yourself whether a shift in the way you lead them is the answer. And try these tweaks to the way you lead them. They might be just what you need to take your practice to new heights.
If you want more help with building a WOW practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.
Do you want to learn how to become the best leader for your dental team? If you’re nodding yes, you’re going to learn a lot from this episode of the podcast, where I’m joined by Dr. Ankur Gupta.
Dr. Ankur Gupta completed his General Practice Residency in 2005 and built his dental practice soon after. In the beginning, he thought his success and the success of his practice was inevitable. However, his plan went up in smoke as he watched his practice flounder and finances become unpredictable. In an attempt to turn things around, he tried personal and professional “experiments” in self-improvement.
Nowadays, Dr. Ankur Gupta enjoys excellent new patient numbers, case acceptance, a solution orientated dental team, and so much more. He even shares his knowledge and helps other dental professionals across the country implement practical step-by-step strategies to help them see the same success.
In this episode, we discuss:
What Dr. Ankur Gupta is known for
How to become a better leader
Why good leadership is important within your dental practice
The importance of showing your team appreciation
How to do an annual evaluation of your team members
Why every practice owner needs to create a “dream team” vision
During crises, people’s natural instinct is to stop marketing. While that’s a smart instinct, completely shutting down and going into hiding can cause even more damage to your practice than the crisis itself.
With the COVID-19 crisis, for example, a large percentage of the world is sheltered in their homes. Many practices are closed. Some are open only for emergencies. So, continuing your normal ad strategy of promoting high-value services like Invisalign or crowns is not money well spent.
But what about continuing to build relationships in your local community? What about being a source of joy, help, and inspiration for people stuck in their homes? Is that money well spent? Absolutely, if you do it right.
Right now, with so many businesses turning off their ads, it has resulted in more supply and less demand for Facebook ads. That means the costs for ads have come down significantly and we can make an incredible impact on our community while strengthening our practice with a very small ad budget. Here’s how.
Share community-building posts and start a fun challenge on your practice page.
During crises, we might not want to spend money promoting services we aren’t providing. But we do want to make sure we are still connecting with our communities, helping them get through being at home.
That means continuing to share videos from our homes. My team and I have made videos telling people we miss them and letting them know we can’t wait to see them when things settle down. Those videos help us stay in touch with patients and reach new ones with a caring message of positivity.
In addition, this is a great opportunity to connect with a fun at-home challenge, like a push-up or squat challenge that promotes healthy habits. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do push-ups or squats. Those are just details. Do something. Jump rope. Do jumping jacks. Do arm curls. Dance for thirty seconds. Anything that is fun and gets people moving will work.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not great at exercise. It’s fine.
Then, post your challenge video on your practice Facebook page with a caption that reads, something to the effect of “Let’s get moving. Post your videos to our page in the comments so we can exercise together while we’re all at home. Then tag a friend to challenge them to do the same”
Get your whole team in on it, positing videos in the comments to start building momentum. This will help your post start to go viral—and you know I’m all about getting videos to go viral.
People will love this type of post and feel closer to you because of it. You’re connecting with your community. You’re getting them moving. You’re getting them off their TVs, off their sofas, for a little bit and just moving and thinking about fitness.
Share your post on your personal page to continue building momentum.
After you post it on your practice page, share it on your personal page with all of your Facebook friends.
Not only does this spread a positive message but it also helps build your Facebook audience for future advertising. Anytime someone watches the video, Facebook will register anyone who watches the video as a three-second, 25%, or 50% video view.
That means you can create a Facebook target audience of anyone who watches the videos in the future.
Increase organic engagement.
Anytime you have someone engage with your post with a comment, like, or share, that is considered “engagement” from Facebook. So getting your team members involved and everyone sharing the post to close friends will naturally increase organic reach.
You can also ask some friends who you know to participate by posting videos to your practice page and personal post. Ask them to help you spread joy. Ask team members to do the same to help you build strength for your practice for when things settle down.
All of this organic engagement will tell Facebook that your video is something people enjoy. Facebook doesn’t watch our videos. But they calculate how many people engage with our posts. The more people engage, the more Facebook will promote our posts for free. That means, calling out friends in the comment to take the challenge and call out more friends will help.
If you’re a member of a Facebook group that allows sharing posts like this, share it there, too. For example, when I taught this marketing strategy in their posts in the group so the 15,000+ people could help create organic engagement for you.
Some groups won’t allow this, so be sure to follow group rules. But in these times, I want to help as much as possible so I invited people to share their video.
Boost to your local community.
So far, everything we have done has been organic. I’d highly encourage you to invest a few dollars boosting your post to your local community. If you already have your dental practice’s Facebook target audiences set, boost your post to them. If you have your Facebook super audience set, boost it to that audience. I suggest starting with just $25.
When you boost, you want to make sure you filter so your boost is only to your local community. If you have people from outside your community who like your page or on your personal feed, your organic reach and organic engagement will be from the world. But I only want you paying to reach people in your local community to get the best return on investment.
Your challenge is to start a challenge.
Anytime we have situations like what we have now, we focus more on planting seeds for the future. Facebook costs are low now. Grow your audience and help bring a positive message to your community.
Now is the time to show up and shine brightness in your community. When the market normalizes, we will be in a much better position to come back stronger with ads letting people know we are open.
If you don't want to go at it alone, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in our Platinum Mastermind Gold Program, and are offering 4 Weeks Free Training for you and your teams! If you have been wanting to dive into Facebook Marketing though our Facebook Bootcamp Program, now is also a great time to start preparing for when you reopen!
And be sure to join the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group to connect with, support, and get support from other dental professionals working hard to strengthen their practices, even in tough times.
On the Delivering WOW podcast this week I’m thrilled to be joined by Ryan Lee, a Financial Advisor and the Co-Founder of Cashflow Tactics, who in an interview recorded before the recent pandemic, reveals how dentists can grow their practice, escalate personal wealth and reach a level of financial freedom.
Cashflow Tactics empowers those seeking a life of financial independence with the tools and strategies necessary to grow wealth, build cash flow, and create financial freedom. Together, Ryan and I talk about why it’s so valuable and important to take a strategic approach towards gaining financial freedom. Ryan also shares some cashflow tactics to help maximize personal wealth while growing your dental practice at the same time.
Now is a time to focus on the future, for you and your business, and I truly hope you will find these strategies useful.
In this episode, we discuss:
What Ryan Lee is known for and how he helps practice owners and dentists stimulate cash flow
Why it’s so important to strive towards financial freedom
How to develop a strategic approach to help you increase your income
The difference between production, collection, and profit
Why you need to be intentional about increasing cash flow
How Ryan and his team at Cashflow Tactics empower people with money
Understanding that money is just a tool and you just need to learn how to use it
To find out more about how Cashflow Tactics can help you gain financial freedom using the Financial Freedom Formula, head over to: https://cashflowtactics.com/wow
Check out this short video trailer of the episode below:
Most dental professionals went into the business of dentistry to improve the lives of people who require dental care. So, naturally, we care about helping those in need. But we can use that same desire to make an impact on individuals, our communities, and the world.
These days, charitable initiatives can make more of an impact than ever. Coronavirus is putting everyone through so much stress, and some people could really use help—and hope—right now. It's not hard to get involved in something that will make a positive impact. You could do something as straightforward as sponsoring virtual events. Or even attending virtual events yourself—like hosting a contest to give dentistry to those who need it but struggle to afford it when it's safe to do so. You could even do things outside of dentistry, such as shopping for vulnerable people until it's safer to shop for themselves.
Many of the best and most successful practices regularly participate in charitable initiatives and other ways of giving back. Not only are these great for the world but they are also good for business. Here are just two of the benefits many practices see when they invest in doing good for the world.
Attract and Retain Ideal Team Members
Those who are passionate about what they do, and aren’t just going through the motions, are the team members you want to attract and retain. But it’s hard for some team members to be passionate about what they do when they don’t feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
An ideal team member is filled with ambition from head to toe. But this ambition often makes them want to make a bigger impact than what’s happening within the walls of a dental practice. So, offer charitable initiatives that can help team members make that impact. If you do, your ideal team members will hear about it and will be applying for a job at your practice in no time.
It’s appealing to potential team members when they are looking at your job listing. It’s also motivating for them once they start working at your practice. They can wake up every day with a smile on their face. They can get out of bed knowing they’re changing the lives of patients more than most dental professionals. They're not just helping them get the dental care they need, but they're working for a practice that's going above and beyond to give to the greater good. That’s sure to keep them around.
Getting everyone to have a smile on their face because they’re changing the world could make your team go from good to great. Some average team members might evolve into amazing team members from that extra motivation and morale. They'll work harder because they have a renewed passion for what they’re doing. Nothing makes a job more special to your team members when they know they’re there for a cause, not just a paycheck.
Attract and Retain Ideal Patients
Corporate practices typically offer cheaper services. But one of the biggest reasons patients choose your practice even if it's more expensive is that they align with your purpose and have a much better experience. When you have a brand that is known for giving, people are more willing to use your practice. And if they're deciding between two independent practices, the one that gives them the best experience and gives back to the world has a big advantage.
You can also attract patients through the specific initiatives you support. You can meet patients at events. People can see your practice listed as a sponsor. And current patients will be able to talk about your practice to their friends, family, and colleagues in a way other practices' patients cannot.
Moreover, patients who appreciate your charitable side are likely to be even more loyal because of the bond you form through your charitable efforts. They will know their dental visit is about more than just teeth; they’re joining a movement with you.
In today’s society, people are begging for meaning—they’re begging to be a part of something that matters. By having charitable initiatives in place, you enable your patients to be a part of something that matters just by getting treatment from you. That’s a connection that will make them raving fans of your practice and they’ll come back time and time again.
What charitable initiatives could you invest in?
Find something you’re passionate about and see what charitable initiatives you can get involved in. By doing so, you will create a tremendous win for everyone impacted by your generosity while improving your practice for your patients, team members, and you.
If you want help with growing your dental practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.
Did you know that the five love languages can help improve your relationships with your team and your patients?
Dr. Trent Redfearn is a dentist with a unique skillset. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He then attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2008. Since then, he has done extensive training in communication and teaches dental teams how to strengthen and improve their relationships using the five love languages. Dr. Trent Redfearn is also the Founder of Dentovation Academy of Dental Assisting.
The five love languages include words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Not everyone responds to these five love languages in the same way. Some people value gifts while others prefer to build relationships by spending quality time with someone they want to connect with. By understanding each of the five love languages further, you can use that knowledge to build both your personal and professional relationships – including the connections you build with patients in your dental practice.
In this episode, we discuss:
Why it’s important to show appreciation to your team and vice versa
How to improve your team’s communication skills with each other and patients
Understanding how the five love languages work when it comes to improving relationships
Why you should figure out what love language each team member responds to the most
How to resolve conflict using your knowledge on the five love languages
How to identify your blind spots and respond to people with a different love language than your own
If you would like to connect with Dr. Trent Redfearn and learn more about using the five love languages to help build deeper connections with team members and patients, you can reach out to him via his LinkedIn profile.
Check out this short video trailer of the episode where Dr. Trent Redfearn discusses how to improve your team’s communication skills:
One team member that directly impacts the growth of your practice is your hygienist. Hygiene is one of the most important factors in the profitability of your practice—30% of your revenue will come from hygiene. That’s why you need to do these things to set your hygienist up to reach peak productivity.
Make sure the hygiene schedule is productive.
Oftentimes, your scheduler will block out a whole hour for your hygienist to treat a patient. And, oftentimes, your hygienist will finish treating them before the hour is up. You don’t want there to be periods in between appointments. It's an unproductive day if they spend portions of it sitting around, bored, and twiddling their thumbs. It doesn't matter if they're only doing that for thirty minutes or ten minutes. That unoccupied time is going to add up to a lot of lost revenue.
So, make sure there are no gaps in time. Make sure your hygienist is getting as many patients in their chair as they can with the time allotted. Getting more patients in their chairs means better productivity. Better productivity means better profitability. Better productivity and better profitability mean better practice growth.
However, don’t overwork your hygienist. You don’t want them overwhelmed and laboring until they get so stressed they up and quit.
Train your hygienist to explain a patient’s needs to you before you evaluate them.
Train your hygienist to share a patient’s medical history with you and explain their needs immediately when you come in to check on them. That way, you aren’t coming in and poking around the patient’s mouth for a few minutes to determine what treatment they need. You can speed things up by having your hygienist explain the issue at hand so you can direct your time and focus toward it right away and save time.
Teach your hygienist the right communication skills.
It can get monotonous for your hygienist to constantly do the same thing every day. But there's a way to boost the treatment experience for both your hygienist and their patient. It's all about learning the right communication skills.
Teach your hygienist to use the right words when discussing treatment. Encourage them to converse with the patient in a natural way rather than speak dentalese. Show them how to make the patient feel like a VIP. This will lead to a connection between your hygienist and patient that will spice things up. It'll make the time more enjoyable for them both. That smooth relationship will result in increased case acceptance from patients and increased engagement from your hygienist.
Allocate a bigger budget for optimal dental-hygiene instruments.
You want integrity in your dental tools if you want to provide the care your patients deserve and make your job easier. Part of that is sharpening your instruments on a regular basis and keeping good care of them so they can last longer. But you can’t use your dental instruments until they’re rusty.
Put yourself in the shoes of the patient: would you want to be treated with dull, old instruments? Now put yourself in the shoes of your hygienist. Would you want to have to use dull, old instruments to treat a patient? It’s like giving someone a butter knife to cut a steak! It’s a great way to get carpal tunnel, that’s for sure. Make it easier for your hygienist to treat patients efficiently by giving them optimal dental-hygiene instruments.
Have everyone on your team use scorecards.
Every dentist has a vision they share with their team and, if they don’t, they should develop one. But if your team members aren’t measuring anything, how do you know where you’re going? That’s why every team member, especially your hygienist, needs to be using scorecards.
Is your hygienist helping your practice reach peak profitability?
If your hygienist isn’t doing these things, then money could be flying out your back door. You can make your practice a whole lot more productive just by making these simple adjustments.
If you want more help with getting practice to be as productive as it can be, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.
Kindness goes a long way. If your patient is having a bad day, and even if they’re not, you can get them to smile when they come in by just giving a simple compliment. Don’t be ingenuine about it, but if you like the color of their dress or the design on their t-shirt, let them know.
2. Ask them about their life.
Needless to say, your patients have a life too. They have families, hobbies, passions, and things that matter to them. Don’t only have small talk with them about the local sports team (unless they’re a coach, their son plays on it, or they brought it up). That doesn't mean you should pry too much and ask for details that make them uncomfortable. But they’ll feel special when they know you care about them. They'll feel complimented if you're interested in them beyond just getting them in your chair.
If you find out they just became a grandfather, ask them about their newborn grandchild the next time they come in. If they just got married, ask them about where they’re going for their honeymoon. Patients want to feel like more than a number—they want to feel like you value them as a person. They want to know that you remember them. They don't want to feel like you're just churning through appointments impersonally, trying to make money and nothing more.
3. Give them gifts.
You aren’t Santa Claus, but you can give your patients small gifts. These gifts will make them feel special and, meanwhile, market your brand. There are a million websites where you can buy things like stress balls, toothbrushes, reusable water bottles, and so on. Pick whatever items you want to put in a goodie bag. Then put your logo on them and give them to patients as gifts.
4. Offer custom scheduling.
Ask your patients how long they’d like their appointment to be. Not every dental appointment needs to take an hour. Oftentimes, a patient will come in for a cleaning and their treatment will be finished twenty minutes early. If you can schedule them for specific time increments—half an hour, 45 minutes, etc.—ask them what they prefer. Maybe they need to get somewhere and those few minutes will make a big difference in freeing up their schedule.
5. Accommodate them.
At Delivering WOW, we believe in giving patients a WOW experience by making them feel like they’re VIPs. We offer warm towels, iPads, gourmet coffee, and more.
If you do too, your front desk members shouldn’t just point out these accommodations and let the patients do what they want to do. They need to interact with them more than that. Tell them to go above and beyond when serving them. They should be grabbing waiting patients the cream they want with their coffee or whatever else they’d like.
6. Keep them comfortable during conversations.
When your patients are sitting in your chair and you’re treating them, lying down is the most comfortable way for them to sit. But if you’re talking to them, then you need to sit them up. Take your mask and glasses off and read their body language with eye contact.
A patient isn’t going to like lying down, unable to make eye contact or see your face, with your hands and metal hooks sticking in their mouth. That’s uncomfortable for them and they won’t feel like you care about what they have to say.
Are you making your patients feel special?
Even if you offer the best dentistry in the world, patients won’t become raving fans of your practice and refer you to their friends and family if they just feel like a customer rather than a VIP. That’s why you need to offer a WOW experience and interact with them the right way so they feel super special.
If you want more help with building a WOW practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.
Over the last twenty years, the internet has made things like scheduling appointments with dental practices easier than ever before. Patients don’t have to scan through their phonebook to find a dental practice. They don't have to sit on the phone with their insurance company to make sure the practice accepts their insurance. And they don't want to do any of that anymore.
That’s why I sat down with Tom Brown, Vice President of Sales at LocalMed. Tom and I talked about how LocalMed can make it so no patients ever face a complication with scheduling an appointment with your practice online.
Our conversation inspired me to share two simple tricks I’ve learned that make it simple and convenient for any patient to book an appointment with your dental practice. After all, when it’s easy to book an appointment, it’s easier for your practice to grow.
Send social media leads to a simple scheduling page.
Now that we’re in the 2020s, social media is something almost everyone uses. So, dentists need to make sure scheduling an appointment is quick and simple for patients who are finding them through social media.
At Delivering WOW, we’re all about using Facebook marketing, or really any form of internet marketing for dental practices, to grow your practice. Whether you prefer placing your ads on Facebook, Instagram, or any other site, making it easy for leads to schedule an appointment can increase your results significantly.
Many prospects from social media websites won’t take the time and effort needed to call your practice or navigate a complicated scheduling process. Make sure to direct social media leads to a webpage with a simple, prominent scheduling option.
Make scheduling a patient’s next appointment a habitual part of the post-appointment process.
If a patient leaves the office without scheduling their next appointment, it is unlikely that they will do so any time soon. Their life will take over and unscheduled treatment will sit for weeks, months, or longer. Or, maybe they won't want to spend the money. Or they might forget to schedule the appointment. It's critical to schedule the appointment before they leave. Even if your team member has told them they need to reschedule for more treatment, a patient might never schedule if they leave your office.
To combat this, have your team members be more proactive about scheduling after each appointment. They can do this by confidently in two simple steps. First, they should tell the patient how much time is needed for their next appointment. Second, they should ask what time of day or day of the week the patient prefers to come in. Those two steps lead the conversation to choosing the right time for an appointment. That way, you avoid discussing whether the patient will schedule the appointment at all.
Another benefit of scheduling in the office is you remove all complications from scheduling. Your team member does everything for the patient. All the patient needs to do is confirm the time works for them.
Are you making scheduling convenient for your patients?
If you want help with getting patients to schedule appointments with your practice, join theDelivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.
Building a WOW practice takes a lot of work. And if you try to do all the work yourself, you’ll never be able to do it all. Even worse, you’ll spend your days stressed and frustrated. Eventually, you’ll burn out, never reaching your full potential as a dentist or practice owner.
The only way to build a WOW practice that delivers amazing patient experiences while maximizing practice growth is to have rock star team members supporting you. You can provide top-quality clinical care, deliver spalike patient experiences, and have systems and processes to run an efficient practice. But if you don’t have team members you can trust, you will never reach your full potential.
But finding the best team members is something many practices struggle with. In the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group, dozens of practice owners and I talked about how we find amazing team members to support us. If you’re struggling to find the best talent to grow your team, here are some of the places fellow practice owners and I have used to find top talent.
The benefit of using sites that like is they are dedicated to matching job seekers with new jobs. But if you only post on online job search sites, you might be limiting the quantity and quality of applicants. Many times, the best team members are valued by their current employers. Thus, they might not be looking at job ads online and online job search sites should only be used as one part of a thorough search.
One of the best things social media has done is allow people to connect with others all over the world. And with Dental Facebook groups like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group, you could connect with thousands of dental professionals working hard to support each other. If the group allows, create a post letting people know about your opening. And if you’re not sure, just message the group admin and ask. Even if nobody in the group is a good fit, someone in their extended network might be.
Dental Events and Association Meetings
Conferences, trade shows, and association meetings can be great places to meet team members. Many people who attend events and meetings are there because they want to advance themselves in the dental industry. That’s a good sign that they are growth-minded and eager to learn and advance.
Referrals from Dental Sales Reps
Dental sales reps interact with dozens of dental practices. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you have an immediate need, let them know you’re looking for a rock star. Describe the ideal candidate. And ask them to gauge the interest of anyone they think would be a good fit, even if they are unsure whether the person is actively looking for a new opportunity.
Dental Networking, Group Coaching, and Mastermind Groups
By actively participating in those types of groups, you’ll get to meet and build relationships with a lot of practice owners and potential rock stars at once. And the next time you have a position to fill, ask your fellow members for referrals.
The reality is, rock star team members are all around us. And because we don’t always know when we’ll have a position to fill, it’s best practice to always be looking for top quality people.
As some members discussed, sometimes we need to think outside of the “dental box.” We can train people by teaching dental terminology and our systems and processes. But we can’t train people to have good personalities, be outgoing and friendly, or have a strong work ethic.
So, look everywhere and never stop looking. You may find your next rockstar waiting tables at your favorite lunch spot. Give her your card and just get to know her. And the next time you have a position to fill, reach out.
Are you ready to find and develop rock star team members?
Rock star team members are everywhere but they’re not always looking for jobs. That’s why it’s best to not wait until you have a position to fill to start looking. It’s much better to start building relationships with people you can reach out to when a need arises.
Also, no matter where you find your next team member, it’s critical that you continue to train and develop them. That’s the only way they’ll reach their full potential.
If you want help finding and training your team members, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.
In any dental practice, it’s really important for patients to accept your treatment plan. For your patients, getting the care they need will let them experience all the benefits of having a full, bright, healthy smile offers. For your practice, you will be able to grow, be more productive, and make bigger impacts on people’s lives.
A lot of the time, however, patients hesitate to accept treatment. One reason is that sometimes treatment is expensive. This is especially important for high-cost procedures like dental implants and crowns. But accepting treatment is also an emotional decision. Many people are anxious about even routine dentistry. More complex care is even scarier to those people.
In my Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, I sat down with Dr. Chris Bowman, who helps practices increase case acceptance, especially as it comes to helping patients overcome the emotional hesitations they often feel when treatment is presented to them. Here are three strategies to help.
Speak English, not “dentalese.”
Just because you learned all the jargon of dentistry in dental school doesn’t mean you speak that same jargon with patients. As Dr. Bowman describes it, don’t speak “dentalese” to patients if you want them to say yes to treatment.
Instead, explain dental issues to patients the same way the patient would explain it to their friend. Your patient wouldn’t tell their friend “I’m gonna have an MOD on number 13 and an MO on 15.” They’d say, “I’m going to have a crown and a couple of fillings.” Instead of saying, “You have five areas of decay,” say, “You have five cavities.”
Don’t confuse the patient or scare them by making them think their care is complex when it isn’t. Simplify things for them, and getting treatment will seem a lot easier to them.
Simplifying treatment by speaking English, not dentalese, will help patients understand their treatment and avoid putting them off by big words that sound intimidating. Things will almost always sound much more serious when you use technical jargon. This might cause your patient to feel overwhelmed, and they might find another practice in the hopes of getting a simpler treatment recommendation.
Often patients are scared, and that’s what’s keeping them from moving forward with treatment. You’ll only scare them more if you make a simple procedure like a root canal sound like a complex treatment.
Focus on the problems you will help them overcome instead of the solution.
If you ask your patient what they want their teeth to be like a few years from now, you’ll get an idea of what type of treatment they want. You can then analyze their teeth and see the problems that are preventing them from getting what they want.
Maybe they want to have straight teeth. If they’re missing a tooth, though, that could lead to crowding. That missing tooth would be a problem that is preventing them from getting the straight smile they want. You need to focus on that problem and tell them that they aren’t going in the direction of having a straight smile without treatment.
Let patients know how your treatment plan will redirect that in the right way. Don’t try to scare them, but let them know that if they don’t get treatment soon, things will get worse so it will be the simplest and easiest to take care of it now. This will motivate patients to accept treatment because they won’t want things to get worse.
Frame your treatment recommendations as a better alternative to what will happen if they don’t get treatment.
There are a couple of things we can do to help patients see the difference between what we’re recommending and where they’re heading. Most patients don’t see what Dr. Bowman calls the “other side of the problem.” The other side of the problem is what’s going to happen if they don’t do anything—in other words, the consequences of not getting treatment.
If the patient has mild to moderate periodontal disease, for example, we can suggest non-surgical gum treatment. When presenting it to them, however, we should explain that if they don’t treat their periodontal disease, they will eventually need to have surgery later. Non-surgical gum treatment will seem like a better alternative than surgical gum treatment to a patient, and they’ll be much more likely to move forward with treatment and avoid surgery.
Are your patients saying yes to your treatment plan?
If your patients aren’t accepting treatment, you will help fewer people and work too hard for too little money. These three strategies will help you get more patients to move forward with the treatment they need.
For more help getting patients to say yes to your treatment plan, join my Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, where you will get help from experts like Dr. Bowman on case acceptance plus work directly with other leading experts on everything you need to run a smoother, better, and more profitable practice. You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!
When is the last time you reviewed your core values? Core values define who you are, who you want to be, and what your company strives for.
Why Core Values Matter
Core values make running a dental practice much easier. They guide you in how you hire, fire, reward, and recognize team members. They also make tough decisions easier because they give you important context within which to make decisions. Additionally, when team members know about your core values, it guides them in many things, including these:
what they should be doing
how they should be conducting themselves
how to interact with other team members
how to interact with patients
If you have not written core values, take a few minutes to work through this exercise. If you already have core values written, take a few minutes to re-evaluate or update them to make sure you have the strongest set of core values guiding you and your team.
Brainstorming Possible Core Values
Start on a personal level. Think about yourself as a person. What are the ten or so principles you personally live by? It doesn’t matter what they are, just list things that are most important to you. For example:
How do you want people to perceive you?
How do you want people to think that you act?
How do you actually act?
What do you want people to say about you when you are not around?
Write down everything that comes to mind when thinking of those questions. If it helps, imagine you live in a perfect world in which you can design exactly who you are and how you act. Write down the characteristics you would choose.
Analyzing Your List of Core Values
Take your list of personal core values and think about them in the context of yourself, your team, and your practice. What core values do you want everyone to think about you, your team, and your practice? What values are non-negotiable in your practice? Edit your list with that in mind. Then ask yourself each of the following “yes or no” questions for each value listed. Write down your answers for each value.
Is the value absolutely necessary to our unique culture?
Would we want our organization to stand for this core value 100 years from now no matter what changes occur in the world?
Would we want our organization to hold this core value even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage?
Would we want our organization to hold this core value even if in some instances the environment penalized us for living this core value?
Do we believe those who do not hold this core value or those who breach it consistency simply do not belong in our organization?
Would we personally continue to hold this core value even if we were not rewarded for holding it?
Would we change jobs before giving up this core value?
If we awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire for the rest of our life, would we still hold true to this core value?
If we were to start a brand-new organization, would we build around this core value regardless of the industry?
Does this value represent the primary behaviors our organization wants to encourage and stand by?
Is this value one that we will continue under stress, duress, and in the face of all obstacles?
Finalizing Your List of Core Values
Narrow down your core values to the seven to ten most important values. Use your answers to the questions in the last section to guide you. For example, the more you answered yes for a value, the more important it is. Keep only the seven to ten values that are most important on your list. Those will be your revised core values that will lead yourself, your team, and your practice forward.
Communicating Your Core Values With Your Team
Make sure everyone on your team knows your core values. Post them in your office where people can see. Discuss them openly and regularly. Let everyone know why they are so important. Be sure to let them know everyone in the office is expected to act consistently with the core values. Let them know you will be evaluating decisions they make in accordance with the core values, even if the decision goes wrong. For example, let them know whether they acted in accordance with your core values will be something you consider when mistakes happen. When you position this in a positive light and follow through on that promise, you will encourage your team members, and everyone will benefit.
Give your dental practice a core values checkup today.
If you have not set or updated your core values in a while, take a few minutes to update them today. You will come away with a list of seven to ten principles that guide everything you do in your practice.
I’ve got a wonderful guest on the podcast who is also a key member of my inner circle, and that’s none other than Dr. Erin Issac. Dr. Erin Isaac is a Pediatric Dentist in Winning Smiles Pediatric Dental Care in Pittsburgh.
Winning Smiles Pediatric Dental Care is a welcoming, relaxing and fun space for children, helping to make the experience a lot less nerve-wracking. Their mission is to provide kids with high-quality dental education and treatment needed to grow into happy, healthy adults.
Dr. Erin attended the prestigious Ivy League, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, in Philadelphia. To further her knowledge of dentistry for kids, Dr. Erin continued her education with a rigorous residency program at the nationally ranked Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where she earned a certificate in pediatric dentistry.
Besides making kids smile, Dr. Erin enjoying playing sports, spending time with family and friends, cooking, photography, fashion modeling and empowering young girls to be whatever they want to be and traveling the globe.
On the podcast we discussed…
What inspired Erin to become a Pediatric Dentist
Empowering women and young people to go after the job they want
The importance of doing a job that you really love
How Erin chased her dream of being a model alongside her career in dentistry
Why you shouldn’t be afraid to share your story with others
The problem with comparing yourself to others
How sharing your story and being your ‘true self’ can actually help to bring more patients into your practice
Overcoming challenges and motivating yourself to keep moving forward
Understanding that it’s okay to reach out to people for help or support
The benefits of having a mentor, coach or being part of a supportive group
How to increase your team’s accountability and boost productivity
If you want to find out more about Erin’s practice, head to the Winning Smiles Paediatric Dental Care website or follow Erin on Instagram @dr_erin.
To watch a video trailer of the episode where Erin talks about how sharing her story helped to attract more patients to her practice, hit play below:
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 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..
While building a dental practice that helps you achieve personal and financial independence, it’s critical that you focus on controlling your costs, and not only focus on marketing and increasing your revenue.
Setting budgets and key cost metrics for expenses you incur on a regular basis helps protect your profits so you don’t end up losing money on services you perform. That helps you increase profits by eliminating services that aren’t profitable in the short or long term and using the time you’d normally spend performing those services to perform more profitable services.
Although your fixed costs like rent, mortgage, practice debt, and student loans are often locked in for a period of time, variable costs like dental supply costs can generally be reduced without sacrificing the quality of the services you provide.
One reason for that is because many dental offices don’t set budgets or metrics for their dental supplies. Without a budget or metric to measure the cost of supplies, dentists often order too little or too much supplies. This can cause you to run out of supplies needed and be forced to order a small quantity with rush delivery charges to serve patients. It can also cause supplies to sit too long and expire.
To avoid that, it’s critical that you set a budget for your dental supply costs as well as a system for ordering them. By controlling your costs and setting a budget for supply costs, you empower yourself to negotiate with your suppliers to lower the costs of supplies that would render the related service unprofitable.
Here are four steps to start controlling your supply costs today.
1. Assess how much you spend.
If you haven’t paid attention to your supply costs, you might be surprised at how high they are. Task a team member with determining how much your practice has spent on dental supplies for the past three months.
If this is your first time doing this, you may want to ask them to also determine how much your practice has spent in the past six months and one year to account for any bulk orders you may have made for supplies you’re still working through.
2. Compare your supply costs to your revenue for the same time period.
When your team member calculates how much you’ve been spending on dental supplies, compare it to your gross revenue for the same time period.
In my practice, we keep our dental costs between five percent and eight percent of our gross revenue. If your percentage is significantly above or below that, consider why that’s the case. If your percentage is much higher than eight percent, you could be ordering too much or too little of something, you might need to negotiate, you might need to find an alternative product or distributor, or you might need to reassess whether there’s a service that’s not profitable for you.
3. Commit to a percentage or amount and systematize you ordering.
When you have a goal and a reason for that goal, it’s much easier to change. For example, if your cost for supplies is fifteen percent, you may set a goal to get down to ten percent within two months and between five and eight percent within four months. That gives you motivation to look for ways to reduce those costs as well as a reason and the confidence to ask your team members to press your distributors or suppliers for lower prices or other ways they can help reduce your costs.
Once you know your targets, systematize your ordering so your team knows the budget for supplies and everyone works from one shared spreadsheet or inventory management system to ensure everyone’s on the same page. If you’re utilizing multiple distributors, you may want to document a process where your team member gets pricing from each distributor and then places an order based on those quotes. You should also make sure you're checking costs on a regular basis, because prices can fluctuate over time, and the source of the best price might not be the same place this year as it was last year.
Finally, if you’re using a software solution for reducing supply costs, such as Zen Supplies, make sure to train each of your teammates who will have access to the information. If you’ve never heard of Zen Supplies, listen to my interview with Tiger Safarov where he talks about their software solution.
Tiger also did a video demonstration of the software and gave an exclusive and significant recurring discount to their software for members of WOW U. In fact, the discount is even greater than the cost of a WOW U membership, so if you’d like to use their software to reduce your supply costs, be sure to sign up for WOW U first!
4. Evaluate and adjust.
As with any new process, it’s important that you evaluate your progress on a regular basis and adjust as needed.
That can help you improve your costs even more over time and reduce the time you and your team will need to spend on costs. Also, because the costs of specific supplies can vary over time and across suppliers, it’s important that you don’t just find the best option at the beginning and then order that way every time.
Do you know your dental supply costs? What is your range?
If you haven’t calculated your dental supply costs as a percentage of your gross revenue in a while (or ever), it’s time to start!
Whether you implement an internal system or utilize software like Zen Supplies, taking control of your costs can have an immediate positive impact on your personal and professional life!
Jayme Amos is a bestselling author, expert in building practices and founder of dentistry’s most popular website for opening dental offices.
Jayme Amos is the founder of www.HowToOpenADentalOffice.com where tens of thousands visit his site. His bestselling book, Practice Location is in its second edition and not only is he master at helping dentists with startups, I’m thrilled to call him my friend.
In this episode, we discuss:
-When is the right time to do a startup, and are startups for everyone
-The benefits of doing a startup practice versus a practice acquisition.
-If location really matters, and how to know where to start your practice
-The top things that dentists need to consider before beginning this process
-The top challenges dentists face that could cost them thousands in the future.
-Where dentists can go to get a good office design, and what’s the best way to find a contractor to do the buildout
-How dentists can fast track their success in the first year of their startups
Dentistry is a high-stress, high-risk profession. As a practicing dentist, I know how stressful our work can be.
Many of us got into this profession because we wanted to help people while earning a good living to support our families and fund a comfortable life.
When we entered dental school, we dreamed of brightening smiles, serving our communities, supporting our families, and enjoying a flexible lifestyle.
When we come out of dental school, however, most of us are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and if we build or buy a dental practice, we add hundreds of thousands of dollars more to our debt burden.
In addition to the typical heavy debt burdens, many dentists struggle to balance growing regulatory oversight, overbearing insurance plan regulations, and unhappy patients.
All of a sudden, we can find ourselves close to a million dollars in debt and needing to work long, demanding hours six or seven days a week serving those unhappy patients and navigating those burdensome insurance companies just to stay afloat.
Years later, we’re exhausted, stressed, and often angry.
The idea of helping people, earning a good living, supporting a family, and funding a comfortable, flexible lifestyle is a distant memory.
We work more than we ever wanted to, and by the time the debt burden is paid, there’s hardly any money left. Our dreams are shattered and we feel helpless. By that point, our business plan is to hope someday something will change or that things will get better decades down the road when the student loans and practice debt are gone.
At home, a day when we spend even one hour with our family is rare. We miss milestones, sporting events, celebrations, competitions, award ceremonies, and more. Even during that limited family time, we’re often exhausted and distracted by the stresses of our practice.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
I know. I used to struggle, too, until one day I had a wake-up call. After missing one too many family events, I realized I had sacrificed the most important thing in my life—my family—for my practice.
That pushed me to hire a business coach to help me build my practice to support the reasons I went to dental school in the first place. I decided I would no longer hope that things might get better years or decades later. I decided to take control of my future and make it certain, and sooner.
Over a few short years, I built the practice of my dreams and no longer worry about missing important family milestones or events—and you can, too.
After hiring my first coach, I developed a six-part system that helped me build the practice of my dreams by taking control of the direction of my practice while delivering WOW experiences to everyone who walks through the door.
Since transforming my practice, I’ve trained hundreds of other dentists on how to utilize the six-part system to transform their practices, reignite the passion they once felt for dentistry, and build the lives they dreamed of.
Life is too short to spend the best years of your life overworked, stressed, and separated from the things that matter most.
The first step to building a WOW practice is to develop a vision for your practice. This forces you to dream big again and design your ideal dental practice. With your vision in place, you choose your practice culture that everyone in your practice will need to adhere to. From there, you set the rules, or core values for your practice, recruit and develop a WOW practice team, and put systems in place for common tasks so you can delegate tasks to team members. Having systems in place is the only way to build a practice that can run without your needing to be there and do everything yourself to ensure consistency and top quality.
With those things in place, the final step is to build and promote an irresistible brand that attracts the patients you want to serve most and keep them coming back and referring friends and family to you.
You’re not alone.
One thing most struggling dentists have in common is they’re trying to do everything on their own. From dental care to practice management, they have little to no help or support.
The most successful dentists, on the other hand, are surrounded with support and encouragement them from family, friends, coaches, organizations, and peers working on similar transformations.
Because of the transformative experience I had after hiring my coach and developing the Delivering WOW practice-transformation formula, I developed Delivering WOW U, a membership community to get the help and support you need to grow your practice, including Delivering WOW trainings, expert sit-downs, member workshops, live training sessions, and an interactive community of dentists supporting each other while implementing the Delivering WOW system to their practice.
It’s your turn to Deliver WOW.
No matter what your practice looks like today, there’s no reason you can’t transform your practice and start living the life you dreamed of.
If you need guidance, support, encouragement, and accountability to help you take control of your practice, make more money, work less, and start realizing the dreams you had when you entered dental school, our community of like-minded dentists is waiting for you.
It also means looking outside of your practice to hire specialists and coaches. The benefits of engaging outside help include being able to get experienced, independent help without having to commit to a costly, expensive relationship. Engaging a specialist or coach on a part-time or project basis is much easier than committing to a full-time team member.
If you’re only getting help with projects and tasks, however, you’ll miss out on three key things every dentist needs to build a practice that can run without them.
These three things make you more productive, organized, and effective. They keep you focused when times are good. And they prop you up when times are tough. Collectively, they can help you turn a good practice into a thriving one.
Building a thriving dental practice requires consistent work in six areas. Without someone helping you stay accountable and pushing you forward, it's easy to try to cut corners, lose focus, or procrastinate.
Having someone in your corner who pushes you to keep moving forward, checks in with you to make sure you’re progressing, and isn’t afraid to call you out if you start to lose focus is critical to maintaining momentum.
Accountability is usually found through a trusted friend or colleague who agrees to be an accountability partner to you or through an independent business coach whom you hire to help guide you.
2. Organized and customized information.
Information is a commodity. It’s everywhere. Organized and customized information is extremely valuable, however.
You can learn anything you want through a simple Google search. I guarantee there’s a how-to guide, YouTube video, blog, article, or white paper on any topic you can think of.
So why is organized and customized information so valuable if free information is everywhere? So many reasons. Here are two very important ones. First, free information is usually very generic. You can find a how-to guide for anything, but it might not work for you. Relevant information helps you avoid the time-consuming and often costly task of weeding through irrelevant information or advice that doesn’t work for you.
Second, most people don’t even know what to search for. For example, you might know you want to learn how to run Facebook ads for your practice. If you just search for how to run a Facebook ad, you’ll find some information. But you might not find information about sophisticated techniques that can get you returns as high as 5000%. Having someone collect and organize customized information removes you from the equation and helps you get better results. In other words, it helps you spend less time and make more money.
Organized and customized information is often provided by experienced specialists or coaches, each of whom needs to be up to date on the latest information in their specialized field to get you the best information for you.
3. Unbiased advice.
You’ll never grow your practice to its full potential if you surround yourself with people who will agree with everything you say.
Whether it’s your team members, outside specialists, or a business coach, make sure everyone knows a vital part of their performance involves telling you the truth. Let them know that’s what you expect.
This is very difficult with internal team members because they rely on your practice for their full-time income and are often conflicted. Also, most people say they want people to tell them the truth, but don’t really want that, so team members are naturally hesitant. Over time, you can gain their trust, however. Also, they’re often too close to the details of the day-to-day operation to identify issues and solutions.
Unless and until you build a team of people who can see things objectively and aren’t afraid to tell you the truth about your practice (and yourself) to help you grow, you’ll need to rely on outside consultants or business coaches, who are removed from the day-to-day operations enough to look at your practice with fresh eyes. They’re hired to be independent eyes and voices. Make sure they know that.
The sky’s the limit with these three things.
Dentists who have accountability, organized and customized information, and unbiased advice are the most focused, have the best information available, and get advice they know isn’t tainted by someone else’s personal fears or desires. This gives them a big advantage when growing their practice.
From where do you get your accountability, information, and advice? How could you be more accountable and get better information and advice?
One of the most surprising realizations many dentists learn after going into private practice is how little of a practice’s success has to do with teeth.
Taking care of teeth is the skill every patient assumes you have. It’s the bare minimum expected of you. It’s not anything that sets your practice up for greatness. To achieve that, your dental practice needs to do three other things.
First, your practice needs to run smoothly and efficiently.
All successful dental practices are built on a strong operational foundation. Yes, this requires treating your practice like any other business by having systems, processes, and help in place.
A strong operational foundation helps your practice run efficiently and profitably while benefitting your patients, employees, practice, and you.
It helps your patients (and keeps them happy) because they receive the same great service every time they interact with your practice, no matter who’s helping them. It helps your employees (and keeps them loyal) because they’ll know exactly what’s expected of them and how to succeed in their job. It helps your practice (and keeps it profitable) because it ensures time and money are spent wisely, inefficiencies are reduced, and administrative activities are done right the first time. Finally, it helps you (and makes you more money in less time) because it frees you up to spend time building your practice to operate without you having to personally see more patients and to make more money.
Second, your practice needs to deliver WOW experiences to every patient.
In addition to strong operations, successful dental practices must develop strong relationships with their patients by delivering WOW experiences every time a patient interacts with your practice.
Patients walk through the door expecting quality treatment. Simply meeting that low expectation won’t make your practice stand out. By delivering a WOW experience on top of smooth operations and quality care, your practice will leap beyond your patients’ expectations.
Because of that, they’ll be much more likely to keep coming back, even if they have to drive a few minutes farther or even pay a little more for your practice compared to another practice. They’ll also rave about their experience to their friends and family, letting them know your practice is different.
Here are four simple ways to start delivering WOW experiences to your patients:
•Provide free gourmet coffee, teas, other drinks, and snacks;
•Let your patients use iPads or play video games with headphones to block out the sounds of the dental tools;
•Provide amenities that ease anxiety and help patients relax; and
•Implement an on-time guarantee that treats your patients’ time with as much respect as you’d expect for your own time.
We do each of those in our practice. In addition to providing the finest coffees, teas, and tarts for our patients, we let our patients use iPads during their visit, trained our employees to provide hand and arm massages to help our patients relax, and guarantee that our patients will be seated within fifteen minutes of their appointment time or their next exam is free.
Since implementing these WOW experiences for our patients, we’ve seen our patient satisfaction and loyalty skyrocket. Additionally, the demands on my personal time reduced because my services became only a small part of our patient experience.
The good news is the bar is pretty low when it comes to delivering better patient experiences at dental practices and you can exceed those low expectations by leaps and bounds pretty easily with a little creativity and a minimal investment.
Third, your practice needs streamlined marketing processes to consistently attract new patients.
If your systems, processes, and help are the operational foundation for growing your practice and delivering WOW experiences to your patients is the relational foundation for growing your practice, streamlined marketing processes that consistently attract new patients is the tactical foundation for growing your practice.
Attracting the right people using tactics that are predictable, repeatable, and profitable is the final ingredient to ensuring your practice will be successful in the long run. Although this used to be a time-consuming and expensive exercise, it’s now much simpler and cost effective thanks to social media.
In its most basic form, this requires building a social media following and posting content that shows potential patients why your practice is different and better than the others, such as by highlighting the WOW experiences your practice provides or the great things your employees and patients are doing in the community.
In addition to showing people your practice is different, posting different types of content like this gives you additional opportunities to post interesting content on a regular basis without coming across as over-promotional.
At my practice, we regularly highlight our staff, patients, community events, and news on our social media channels. We also tell stories about our patients, community involvement, and the WOW experiences we deliver. By doing this, we built a following of well over 50,000 people on Facebook alone. More importantly, however, we created a consistent flow of new and profitable patients.
Putting it all together
Although teeth matter, you can be the best dentist on the planet and your practice will struggle as long as your operations are inefficient, your patient experience is subpar, and your marketing efforts are ineffective. By streamlining operations, delivering WOW experiences, and implementing predictable and repeatable marketing processes, on the other hand, you can set your practice up to help you make much more money and much less time.
Debbie Seidel-Bittke is the founder of Dental Practice Solutions and helps the dental practice uncover their true potential without working any harder. She is also a top leader in consulting according to DENTISTRY TODAY.
Debbie is also a former clinical assistant professor for the dental hygiene program at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene program director at a college in Portland, Oregon.
Dental Practice Solutions takes a holistic approach to creating sustainable profits in a patient-centered environment, by improving systems, services and inefficiencies in the dental hygiene department.
Is this episode, we discuss
The one simple system you can implement today to be more profitable
The importance of relationship building and communication
Simple ways to increase the retention rate of the hygiene department
How to ensure that your patients keep coming back
Debbie also shares exactly what you can do when patients say they don't want treatment..
“2016 is the YEAR of Live Video, and the Year to get Active on Facebook!” Michael Stelzner- Social Media Marketing World 2016!
I have said this from early 2016, and it was stated very clearly at Social Media Marketing World, the largest Social Media Marketing Conference in the world. This is the year to get your practice on Facebook, as there are some massive advancements happening that can allow you to connect with your future patients in a powerful way.
Social media has become an effective way to attract quality new patients to your practice. The key to successful social media marketing is a combination of excellent content and a proven strategy. In this episode of the Delivering WOW Dental Podcast, Dr. Holmes is interviewed by Gary Takacs of the Thriving Dentist Show. In this interview Gary and Anissa discuss; Why social media is the new media, why dentists need to include social media in their marketing activities, the specific strategies dentists need to use to successfully attract new patients via social media and the new FaceBook rollouts and features that will impact the dental profession.
“Anissa is THE recognized expert in social media marketing and you will LOVE her passion for social media and helping fellow dentists master social media marketing!” – Gary Takacs