Slightly disappointed

Yes – we are slightly disappointed. In your office? Maybe. But it’s okay – it’s not too late.

You see, a few weeks ago we set out to call a bunch of practices that have attended“TBSE – The Best Seminar Ever” recently to get their opinions on some things. But the project was pretty much a flop. Why?

Fewer than half of the offices we called even answered their phones! And this was during normal business hours. Instead we received voice mail messages like:

“If you are hearing this message during regular office hours, we are currently serving other patients.”


“We are currently at lunch.”


Sorry to tell you – this is simply not acceptable. The phone is where 99% of your new patients make their first contact with your office. Way too many people tell us they need more new patients, but more often than not, that is not their real problem. If your phone isn’t answered EVERY time it rings during normal business hours (and yes – that means during lunch and during your day off) you are losing new patients you never even knew existed.

How do you make this happen? That’s a lesson for another day. And honestly – you are smart enough to figure it out!! But for now, listen to our friends from Sugar Ray, and answer the phone!!


Is there trouble brewing at your office in the form of patients not accepting their treatment? This may be the reason.

One hundred years ago, Schlitz Beer (remember Schlitz??) became the number one selling beer in the country by running a radical marketing campaign. Their ad detailed how Schlitz beer was actually made. Since no one reading the ad previously knew how beer was made, they assumed this was some kind of proprietary process – and Schlitz’s sales quickly rose to the top! It became known as “The beer that made Milwaukee famous!” (Or was it “the beer that made Mel Famey walk us?”)

Fast forward to 2017. Do beer ads describe the brewing process in detail? No way. They show attractive twenty-somethings at the beach. They show beautiful crispy-clear snow-covered mountains. They show majestic horses. The goal is to get a feeling attached to their brand, so when you pick up a six-pack of Budweiser you are transported from your dull, ordinary life to a place you would rather be. We all know it isn’t true, but with annual US beer sales topping $100 billion, it seems to be working!

So what’s the point? Your patient doesn’t want to hear about how the crown is made, how the implant surgery is done, and what their composite resin is made of. They want to know how it will look, how it will function, and how it will make them feel!

Get excited about how your dentistry will transform your patient! And if you can get them equally excited, go pop open a beer!

Say this, not that…


“We would love to see you as a patient in our practice! Would tomorrow at 3:00 PM or Tuesday at 11:00 AM be better for you?”


“Would you like to make an appointment?”


“I know what the problem is and I can help you.”


“This tooth needs a crown.”


“Would you mind if I place you on a brief hold? I’ll be right back and able to give you my full attention.”


“Dental office – hold please….”


“We have some fantastic financial options to help make the cost of treatment more comfortable.”


“Sorry – it’s not covered by insurance.”


“Hello Mrs. Costello, I’m Dr. Luther. What may I help you with today?


“Open wide please…..”


“Thank you for calling Hill Valley Family Dentistry, this is Lorraine – I can help you!”


(Voice mail answers) “If you’re hearing this message during normal practice hours, we are busy treating other patients…”


“When you return for your next cleaning and examination in three months, we want to pay close attention to that area on the lower right to make sure the inflammation is under control.”


“You’re due for a check-up in six months.”


“If you were a member of my own family, that is the treatment I would recommend.”


“If you can’t afford a crown we can always do a large filling.”





This word is now officially banned from your office

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

What do these books, and hundreds of others have in common?

True, they are all classics. And yes, you may have been forced to read them.

But believe it or not, all of these great novels have been banned at one time or another.

As you may know, we are not big fans of censorship, or even strict rules and policies – especially when it comes to your dental practice.

However, there is one word that we would like you to ban completely from your office, both in the written and verbal form. That word?


A short time ago we were observing in someone’s office and heard this phrase:

“We don’t have anything for you next week, but don’t worry – we ALWAYS get cancellations!”

Yikes! Why would anyone even insinuate to a patient that a cancellation is okay?

When you make confirmation calls, do you give the option to cancel? We hope not. As a matter of fact, why even use the word “confirmation?” That still gives the patient a little bit of an out.

Here’s our suggested verbiage for what was formerly known as the confirmation call:

“Hello, Mrs. Jones? This is Emily from Dr. Sumner’s office. We’re looking forward to seeing you this Friday at 11:00 AM.”

That’s it. Nothing about if you need to change it, if you have any questions, etc.. Short, simple, sweet and positive is the way to go.

And that goes for signs in the reception area and text on your website and cards that say something like:

“If you need to cancel, kindly give 48 hours notice.”

What does that mean? It means that if you cancel 48 hours and one minute before your appointment, that is fine. But it’s not fine!! Do you really want to give a patient permission to do that?

So try it. It works! Get the word “cancellation” the heck out of your vocabulary!!

Winner or Whiner? Take the test.

Winner or Whiner? Take this quick quiz to find out!

Complains about the team – they don’t work well together, they don’t have an “ownership mentality,” they complain and bitch, yadda, yadda, yadda….


Hires the most exceptional team around, gets them the proper training, and pays them well. Bad apples are not tolerated.


Is bored by dentistry but can’t quit due to their lifestyle expenses.


Loves what they do. Takes the best courses to stay focused and motivated. Learns new procedures and throws them into the mix.


Won’t spend money to build the practice.


Invests in the best education, coaching, team, equipment, etc…


Complains about all of the competition.


Makes friends with other dentists and master-minds to share ideas that will help them all.


Pines for the “old days” when advertising was taboo and tacky.


Takes advantage of the best and most cost-effective ways to professionally market the practice.


Tolerates the patients as a necessary evil.


Loves their patients and looks forward to improving their health.


Offers patients in-house “payment plans” and then gets all upset when they don’t pay. This includes “half at the prep and half at the insert…”


Seeks out the best financial options possible for their patients and leaves collecting to the professionals such as Care Credit.


Refers out everything and then complains about the “rich specialists.”


Learns how to do more procedures in their office and also has a great relationship with their local specialists. Gets jazzed up by doing interesting services such as sleep apnea treatment, short-term ortho, and more.


Comes to the office in a bad mood and expects others to tiptoe around them and read their minds.


Even though life isn’t perfect, they are always pleasant, enthusiastic, and willing to help others. Leaves the attitude at the door.


Micro-manages everything and everybody and trusts no one except themselves to get the job done correctly.


Trusts the team and encourages them to grow. Knows that mistakes are part of the learning process.


Leads by fear, intimidation and implied threat.


Leads by example.

So how did you do?

TIPS Series # 3

Some of our favorite tips come from people who have spoken at TBSE. That’s why once each month we have been bringing you “TBSE Tips!” The third in this series comes from Laney Kay. Laney is absolutely the best educator we have ever met in the field of OSHA, HIPAA, and all of those other annoying acronyms. She is also incredibly hilarious.
Laney’s tips are pretty simple to implement (especially # 4) – and they will save you lots of time and trouble in the long run! So take it away, Laney Kay!
1. When it comes to regulatory compliance, documentation will save your butt.  Whenever you train your team, whenever you change the way you do things, whenever you encounter a problem, write it in your notebook.  Documentation proves that you are taking regular, positive steps to stay in compliance and maintain your programs.

2. Don’t let regulations drive you crazy.  Establish a program, set up a schedule to maintain it regularly and then stop worrying about it.  The best way to avoid problems is always to treat your patients well and do your best work.

3. Neither OSHA nor HIPAA requires you to use a certain product or endorses any specific program.  If anyone tells you that, they’re trying to sell you something!

4. Always wear underwear with a skirt.  (That’s just good advice in life.)

Thanks so much Laney! We know thousands of people just did a skirt check.

Are you a dental shark or a dental guppy?

Are you a dental shark or a dental guppy?

Do you rule the dental world or do you get swallowed up by the competition?

Everyone seems to love the TV show Shark Tank. And why not? It’s fun to watch people pitch their businesses to the sharks – a panel of wealthy investors who can turn from welcoming to brutally critical at the drop of a BeardHead Beanie Hat. We even had one of the sharks, Daymond John, at TBSE a few years ago and he was a huge hit!!

So here are seven Shark Tank lessons from the most famous shark of them all, Mark Cuban. They certainly apply to your dental practice!! (Some will be paraphrased for dentistry!)

1. Learn to sell. You are always selling – to your patients, your fellow team members, and your community. But don’t sell a product – solve a problem.

2. “Everyone has the will to win – but the winners are those who prepare.” You can dream of having a great dental practice all day long, but what are you actually doing to achieve it?

3. Your patients can tell you what is broken and how to fix it. But you have to listen to them. Listen!!

4. One thing we can all control is effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you’re doing. It will give you an advantage because most people don’t do this. This is not just clinical expertise, it’s people skills and running the practice.

5. “The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the love of your life, the right job or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed – you only have to be right once.”

6. Get an advisory network. No one has all the answers or ideas.

What do you think? We think is great advice that will work for anyone at any practice! One thing is for sure – learning from successful people (like “The Sharks”) is much better than asking that floundering schmo at the local study club what he thinks!! It’s time to swim with the dental sharks!

* * * * * * * * * * *

You seem like the type of person this blog post is for.

Here is some really cool information for you that will help when discussing treatment needs with your patients!

Last week we sent an interesting story about treatment plan acceptance based on a story from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s excellent book “Pre-Suasion.” The response was so great that this week we will go back to that book again with another cool story and lesson!

Have you ever been at a mall and been approached by someone with a clipboard, asking for “just a few minutes of your time to give your opinions for some market research?” Even when the pot is sweetened with a free gift or cash, the percentage of people who comply is very low.

A study was done to see if there was a simple way to boost response. (A study about a study – how meta…)

In the control portion (just asking people to help with the survey) 29% said yes. But then the same steps were taken with one difference. Before asking people to take the survey, this question was asked:

“Do you consider yourself to be a helpful person?”

Following brief reflection, nearly every person said “yes.” (We all consider ourselves to be helpful!!) Then, once the public affirmation was made, the researchers asked for help with their survey. This time 77.3% of the people volunteered to help!!

We are not fans of the old car salesman technique of presenting a humongous treatment plan and then asking, “Is this the kind of dentistry you want?” That strategy just smells a bit funny.

But there is certainly nothing wrong with asking pre-emptive questions to have your patient affirm what they want.

If you are about to discuss periodontal disease, why not “pre-suade” the discussion with something like “You want to keep your teeth for the rest of your life, right?”

When a patient presents with a shattered molar, before explaining the core and crown, why not say – “Good news – we can repair this tooth and make it solid and strong again. Does that sound good to you?”

Getting someone to publicly affirm their belief can be a great way to lead to a commitment towards dental health. And you do want your patients to have excellent dental health, right?

The Madow Mastermind Experience

Do you mastermind?

We do, and it has seriously changed our lives.

We will explain in a moment. But first, a common question.

Q: What is a mastermind?

A: A mastermind is a group consisting of two or more people who offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support. It is believed that a mastermind is WAY more powerful than the actual sum of the brainpower present.

We have both personally participated in mastermind events over the years. And we can honestly say that we would not be where we are today had we not masterminded with other creative and helpful people. One mastermind in particular changed our lives. Wait until you hear this story (below)!

But first, a few quick reasons why masterminds work incredibly well.

  1. You receive input and feedback from successful people on how to solve some of your most pressing problems. A mastermind forces you to act quickly on things because the participants develop a roadmap for you. Many of them have experienced what you are going through and share their solutions.
  2. You are held accountable. A mastermind group is like your own personal board of advisors. The relationships formed in the mastermind setting often continue way beyond the time the group is together. We are still in touch with many people we have masterminded with over the years. And we continue to help each other.
  3. You are introduced to ideas, tools, strategies, books, apps, concepts, and people that can mean the difference between success and failure. Actually one idea that we learned in a mastermind became the impetus for something we began over twenty years ago. More on this below.
  4. You get the satisfaction of helping others reach their goals as well. Masterminds work two ways. As great as it is to receive help from others, it feels equally as good to help another member reach a goal that they may be struggling with.

Q: So tell us about the mastermind that changed your lives!

A: Sure. It was in Las Vegas many years ago. We were at a really cool marketing conference with about a thousand people in attendance. It was fun and upbeat and everyone was super excited to take ideas back home and put them into action.

The second night of the conference there was an optional session that would allow the attendees to mastermind with some of the actual speakers and experts. We’ll never forget, the cost was $3500 to get in and it was limited to a small number of people. An obscene amount of money but we realized this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity!

We didn’t have a lot of money back then so we attempted to talk the organizer into letting both of us attend (since we were partners) for the same $3500. At first he was not bending, but eventually we sweet-talked him enough for him to give in and say “sure, just don’t tell anyone else!”

So we did it. We maxed out our business credit card to register, but what the heck. We took the chance. It took place in the back corner of one of the large smoky bars at Bally’s Hotel and Casino. As we were in the “hot seat” (a part of the mastermind where you talk about what you want to achieve and why you are struggling), we told everyone about our little dental newsletter business. We wanted to grow but we were not sure how. One of the participants looked at us and asked if we did seminars or conferences. Our answer was “We have never done one.” He then walked over to both of us, looked us straight in the eye and said in a very authoritative voice,

“Why don’t you do a two day conference just like this one, but make it for dentistry?”

Over the next fifteen minutes we received some incredible ideas from the experts and attendees on how to make our conference totally different than anything else out there. Sometime it just takes looking at things through a different lens to find the solution.

And the rest is history. We created what would ultimately turn out to be one of the most successful privately owned dental conferences ever! TBSE!

All from a mastermind.

Had we not spent that $3500 and hung out in that smoky bar, who knows where we would be now.

We were also part of a dental mastermind that met on a regular basis. It was made clear at these meetings that the attitude was “anything goes” and “what is mentioned here stays here.” And both of us can honestly say that the one thing that catapulted our practices to success was meeting and sharing with like-minded, smart and creative people.

Actually, the concept of the “master mind alliance” is not new. It was introduced by Napoleon Hill in his book from the 1920s, The Law of Success, and expanded upon in his 1930s bestseller, Think And Grow Rich.

Hill wrote about the mastermind group principle as:

The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].

Interesting? Yes.

Powerful? Yes.

And if it sounds intriguing, just wait!

For the first time EVER, we have decided to share with our dental community a very intimate (that’s the best kind) mastermind event. Up until now, we have only masterminded with our long term coaching clients. But we are ready to change a few more lives, the same way that our lives were changed in that smoky bar at Bally’s so many years ago – and do it with our dental colleagues.

“The Madow Mastermind Experience” will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, March 24, 2017. We want this to be intimate and interactive, so we have chosen a venue that will hold just twelve people. If you are struggling with ANYTHING in your practice (or your life!), you should seriously consider making the trip to Baltimore in March. There is no question we are going to change lives!

And it will NOT be in a smoky bar… we promise!

What will a full day of masterminding with The Madow Brothers be worth? Well, inarguably it would be worth at least the $3500 we paid at Bally’s many years ago. And adjusted for inflation, that would be at least double now.

But we have decided to keep the cost low, so we have set it at $1000 for the entire day. We still talk about that evening in Vegas and wonder what would have happened had we not taken the chance for that $3500. We are so glad we did it.

You will not find this mastermind on our website. There is no brochure or mailing for it. We are doing it “under the radar.” It’s down and dirty and it will be life changing.

So what do you see yourself doing? What are your hurdles? Your struggles?

Need some help with something? It could be anything at all.

Well now is YOUR chance. Come mastermind with us in Baltimore. It will be intimate. It will be incredible. It could be intense, but in the end, we will be changing lives for sure. Are you in? We hope so.

Signup by clicking HERE!

Or – you can just stay home and keep doing the same old same old. The choice is yours.


Dr. Rich and Dr. Dave

The Madow Brothers

P.S. We cannot reveal this yet, but there will be something very special at the end of The Madow Mastermind Experience that you will absolutely NOT want to miss. So plan to stay into the evening. Details after you register.

P.P.S. This could be your only chance EVER to mastermind directly with The Madows. Twelve will get to do it. Don’t pass it up.

P.P.P.S. CLICK HERE to sign up!


TBSE Tips # 2

2017 is going to be a great one, and we are here with you all the way to make sure it happens!

Let’s start the year with our next series of “TBSE Tips” – simple strategies from one of last year’s TBSE speakers that are sure to get things off to a good start.

For the start of the year it makes sense to hear from personal change specialist Linda Edgecombe. Linda had the room rocking at TBSE and gave everyone memorable strategies to move their practices and lives in a positive direction.
1.  The first step in “Breaking Busy” is to write down all the roles you currently play in your life.  Acknowledge each one and ask yourself if this role energizes you or drains you. Choose one role you will drop for the next month and one role you will drop off your plate completely.  You are creating opportunities to open a space and clear your mind.

2.  The number one tip to re-energize, re-engage and build your own resilience is MOVE YOUR BUTT. That’s right, get more oxygen flowing through your blood system more often. Walk, bike, hike, run, garden, take the stairs… it doesn’t matter.  Make movement a part of your everyday routine. Ten minutes here, 20 minutes there, 3 minutes NOW!

3. Sell your shares in the “Deferred Life Plan.”  *THERE*  does not exist!  If you are waiting for “There” to happen before you celebrate, you will never open that champagne.  All we have are benchmarks, and we need to get better at celebrating them. Big and small, that’s all there is. If you are coveting a special bottle of this, or something special for that…  Celebrate now.

Thanks so much Linda!! Let’s get the new year off to a great start!!