The Dreaded Question. Here’s Your Answer.

It’s a phrase you should have at the ready – an answer to a frequently asked question that many of us dread –

“What do you do?”

I’m a dental assistant.
I’m a dentist.
I’m a dental hygienist.
I’m a dental practice administrator.

Accurate – yes. Will it turn the asker into a new patient? Not likely.

So let’s do a simple exercise.

What is the name of your practice? (Don’t worry – the questions will get tougher.)

Dr. Leonard Cohen’s office.
Majestic Hills Dentistry.
The Smile Shack.
Drs. Johnston and Simmons.

Now (a little tougher) what is a one or two word phrase that describes your practice? Here are some examples:

Family oriented.
Cosmetically advanced.
Large group.

Next come up with a slightly longer phrase that tells the story of your practice philosophy.

Treating patients comfortably is our number one goal.
We believe in high-tech dentistry in a patient-friendly environment.
We make high quality dentistry affordable.

Take a few minutes to come up with one – it’s not easy!

Okay – you’re almost ready. Next time someone asks you “what do you do?” – fill in the blanks like this…

I’m a answer one at answer two. We’re an answer three practice and answer four!

Using some of the above examples, here is how it would sound.

Dreaded question: “What do you do?”

Your amazing response:

“I’m a dental practice administrator at Majestic Hills Dentistry. We are a cosmetically advanced practice and we make high quality dentistry affordable!”

If it fits the situation, add your location as well.

“I’m a dental assistant at Dr. Leonard Cohen’s office in Montreal. We’re a center-city practice and treating patients comfortably is our number one goal!”

So what’s your answer to the dreaded question? Take a few minutes now or at a team meeting and develop a great one. Feel free to send us your response.

Dentistry Is An Up And Down Business!

Something familiar to many in the business world is the “Elevator Speech.” Experts say that you should be able to give an enticing and accurate description of your business in the time it takes an elevator to get from top to bottom (or vice versa), thus maximizing your time with a captive audience. The reason is that many times we have opportunities to tell someone about what we do but only have a few seconds to do it. In this instance, you absolutely have to be prepared. So when you meet someone and they ask what you do for a living, just saying “I’m a dentist” or “I’m a dental assistant” will most likely not get them to run towards your office. But if you have a ten second or less elevator speech prepared and memorized, you may just pick up a few new patients along the way.
The elevator speech is similar to branding – it is essential to point out what is unique and exciting about your practice – and what makes you better than the competition. And of course even though it is memorized it should sound off the cuff. So please take a few minutes and think about your elevator speech. Be sure to include information that sets your practice apart from the pack and will pique someone’s interest. Then memorize it and repeat it until it sounds natural. Now imagine this scenario.
You are at the bank setting up a checking account with the bank vice president. When they ask you what you do for a living, instead of just saying “I’m a dentist,” you can now say: “I’m a dentist in Oak Brook – we’ve been there for fifteen years! We’re really careful about making sure our patients are extremely comfortable during their treatment. We do veneers, whitening and keep up to date on all types of cosmetic treatment – and we see regular families as well.” Or how about if you are in line at the grocery store and start chatting with the person behind you. When they ask what you do, instead of saying “I’m a dental assistant,” you can say: “I’m a dental assistant with Smiles On Main Street in Kansas City. It’s a great place – we use all of the latest technology like digital x-rays and lasers, but still have an old fashioned atmosphere that makes our patients comfortable.” Which will lead more towards a chance to hand out your card and turn a stranger into a new patient? And while these elevator speeches may seem a bit stiff in print, with a little practice yours will sound totally natural. Even though dentistry has its ups and downs, this is one simple thing you can do to take your practice to the top!

Get More Patients Through Public Speaking


According to most studies, public speaking is people’s number one fear, putting it ahead of death. That means at a typical funeral, most people would be less comfortable giving the eulogy than being in the casket.  Yet, we believe that public speaking is a great way to build your practice and become known as “THE” dental practice in your community.  Local groups are always looking for speakers. Health symposiums, senior expos, elementary schools…the list goes on and on. You can even put on your own “free dinner” seminars for the community. The great thing is, dental talks usually have such great Q & A sessions that you don’t even need that much material. So develop an interesting fifteen minute talk on the topic of your choice (implants, smile makeovers, the risks and benefits of retraction cord, etc.), and get a few gigs! Start small, and if you are unsure how to go about this, join a local Toastmaster’s group. They will give you some great tips on how to make it happen.  But when you start doing this – PLEASE don’t make the number one mistake of inexperienced speakers!!! What is that mistake? Starting your speech with something like:  “I’m not a professional speaker…..”  Or  “I’ve never spoken in public before…”  Or “I’m really nervous…”  You may think it disarms the crowd and prepares them for the worst. And maybe in some way it does. But what it really does is make them think they are about to hear a total amateur, or that they wasted their evening when they could have been doing something else.  Don’t do it!!  Think of it this way. You have tickets to see one of your favorite musical groups, and the opening act is someone you have never heard of. Will your impression be more favorable if they come out acting like a total pro, or if they say “I really don’t know how to plug in my guitar?”  We know you may be nervous, but be a professional – please don’t make the number one speaker mistake!


Practice This

You have most likely heard the answer to the age old question “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”


Yes, the answer is as simple as that!

How about your dental office? Do you strive to be the very best? What do you “practice?”

The Madow Brothers say that your practice success comes from 10% clinical and 90% communication. Now don’t get down on us… of course you need to have the very best clinical skills possible. It’s crucial.

But no matter how good your clinical skills are, your practice will not survive without proper communication with your patients and prospective patients. True.

Here is what we would like you to commit to. Make a list of the ten most common questions your callers and patients are asking you. Go ahead, write them down. Now over the next couple of months, get the entire office to come up with the best possible answers to these questions. Practice saying them. Everyone must participate. Do it until everyone can answer these questions perfectly. Practice until the answers are burned into your brains! Not until you do this will you be on the right track.

Then we just may see you at Carnegie Hall!

By the way, feel free to email us your very own list of “difficult questions.” We would love to see what you come up with. Will the first one be “How much is a cleaning?”

Does Your Branding Still Reflect Your Practice?

Does your branding reflect your practice?

The New Year is often a time for out with the old and in with the new – a time for change. What about your practice brand? Does it still reflect your practice as a whole?

Times change. If your brand does not reflect who you are and what your practice represents, you may be sabotaging any marketing efforts you attempt. For example, if you don’t like to treat children why would you have a smiling dinosaur with a giant toothbrush as your brand? Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the message you want to get across to potential new patients. What is your vision? Are you getting that across when you market your practice?

Big mistake.

Many dentists don’t think about their brand in all aspects of the practice. We hire a web designer to design our website, an interior designer to decorate our office, and someone completely different to print our marketing materials. Did you have any of them working around your brand or consulting with one another? Usually these things are done at different times and then you end up with inconsistencies which can be confusing to the patient. If they found you on your website and was attracted to what they saw, but the office interior gave a completely different vibe, that patient may become disappointed, disillusioned and perhaps not return for future appointments. You must have consistency.


We recommend you spend some time reflecting on how you want your practice to be perceived as a whole, then write everything down. This could be the big difference you have been envisioning but not achieving. When done correctly, marketing your brand can help bring your practice to the next level!

Consistent branding is the key to successful marketing in your dental practice. Perhaps 2012 is the time to make an overall change in your branding. Are you ready for big results? It’s time that you are the dentist in your area that everyone is talking about!

Call us today and “we can help you” go in the right direction! 1-888-88-MADOW