The most common desire of all dentists is obtaining more new patients. Tons and tons of them. Docs think that this is the magic fix – you get more new patients and you are automatically successful. Is this true? In today’s episode The Dental Practice Fixers tackle this issue. They dive really deep into it. The answer may not be what you think. Tune in to find out what Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow have to say about this. Then of course we do the call of the week. We call an office asking a fairly simple question – How much is a cleaning? Most offices totally mess up this straightforward question. What’s your bet? Do they get it right today or not? You need to listen to this one. If you have a question that you would like answered on our podcast, please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get yours answered!
I Need New Patients!
Dr. Richard Madow: This is one of the questions we get about practice building problems more than anything else. And it just happens to be the question for episode 16, season two of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast. I'm your cohost, Dr. Richard Madow. Dr. David Madow: I am Dr. David Madow. How are you guys doing? Dr. Richard Madow: How's everybody? Thanks so much for being with us today. We really appreciate you. Dr. David Madow: And thanks so much for being a follower, listener, whatever you want to call it, fan of the Dental Practice Fixers whenever you're listening Dr. Richard Madow: Friend or the devil. Whether you're listening on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, right from our website, or maybe you're even watching us on YouTube. Pass the word. Give us a good rating, do what you can to help out the podcast. It's really good for everyone and for the whole dental community, so we appreciate you. Thanks. Dr. David Madow: Let's get right into it today. Today's question is really not even a question. It's a statement. Dr. Richard Madow: A statement? Dr. David Madow: It's a statement from Scott in Illinois and his statement is four words. Just, 'I need new patients'. I think he wants the Dental Practice Fixers to help him. I need new patients. Dr. Richard Madow: We're going to do, right? Dr. David Madow: We, that's like probably the most common like, I wouldn't say its complaints, but the most common desire of a dentist. They say, you know why? Because they think that if, if I get more new patients, everything in my practice would be fantastic, all great. Dr. Richard Madow: I just want a big bus that says new patients on the side, they pull up to my office and they all get out and their teeth are just dangling everywhere. They've got insurance, that's going to be my dream. It will solve everything. You know what, we try to keep these somewhat brief. I think we could probably do a five-hour podcasts on this, but we're not going to do it. Dr. David Madow: I got time. Dr. Richard Madow: I know, I know. Dr. David Madow: We're going to keep this brief. We're going to answer the question for sure. Dr. Richard Madow: I think there were a bunch of different things we can say about this. Dr. David Madow: Oh definitely. Dr. Richard Madow: One is that people think they need new patients, but it's not always the answer. An example would be, I have practice and I need new patients and we look more deeply into the practice. Maybe one of our coaches, maybe they're a coaching client, one of our coaches goes out there and sees that they've got tons of diagnosed treatment just sitting in the charts of patients they already have. And the problem is they could get all the new patients in the world, but they're having trouble getting the patients to say yes, I want this treatment you recommended. So, their overhead is really high. They've got a revolving door of patients who aren't getting any treatment done. And they think more new patients is the answer when clearly, it's not. Dr. David Madow: Exactly. And another example would be, yeah, I suppose they want patients they’re not that busy. But we go in there and we find out that every time the phone rings, the person or the people at the front desk totally mess up the call. They're not really good at scheduling, getting people in for appointments so they can get all the calls, they get called all day long, every single day, every week, every month. But the person, the front desk is not turning those calls into appointments. So that's a tremendous problem. We see that more often than not. Dr. Richard Madow: Well, we certainly demonstrate that just about every week on the Dental Practice Fixers; our typical mystery shopper call is some kind of new patient calling with a question, one version or another of saying, I've selected your practice. I want to become a patient in your practice. And there was, you know, a typical question, whether it's how much do you charge for cleaning or can you tell me where you're located or do you do crowns here? You know, you've been listening for a while and they cannot get the new patient off the phone and into the appointment book. So that's certainly a problem. Dr. David Madow: So sometimes, okay. Yeah, I think you're right. We can make this five hours if we wanted to go, but we’re not going to. Suffice it to say there are a lot of things that need to be in place and working really well in your practice before you even should say, I need more new patients because these basic things should be working really well, but let's assume they are. Dr. Richard Madow: I just want to settle for one second and say kind of in agreeance to that is we help practices get new patients. As a matter of fact, we have a whole Total New Patient Program that people are using successfully, but unless your office's in order, we would never recommend to spend money on marketing or referral programs or whatever it is to get new patients because you'll just have a repeat of the same issue. Dr. David Madow: Exactly. To make it, we should do this. Let's talk about some of the things that docs should not do when looking for more patients. In other words, too many docs that we know, that we've seen, that we've worked with. Those who typically, there'll be walking around a dental meeting and of course there will be that big exhibit hall. They'll go from exhibit to exhibit and everybody there, you know, if they're not doing something clinical, everybody there is saying, I can get you more new patients, here's how we do it, without a real plan, without really thinking this thing through. They just sign up for these different programs all and there. It's a mess. They're basically what we used to say, like they're just throwing spaghetti at the wall, hopefully something will stick. Well, that is the worst thing possible. You need a plan. You can't just start saying, I want new patients. Let's take a little here, a little there. It just doesn't work. It's going to mess you up. We promise that. Dr. Richard Madow: Well, I think typically, you know, a dentist necessarily walking through a big meeting or maybe even TBSE and we'll come across a booth and some person that will say, I'm going to get you on the front page of Google. That's first of all, it's one of those promises that you gotta get your radar up a little bit. When somebody promises to get you on the front page of Google every time. Dr. David Madow: we want to say, easier said than done, I think. I say, well, Dr. Richard Madow: What if they were on the front page of Google? So much more to it. Then when somebody clicks on that listing, where does it go? Where does it take you, to a landing page, to a website? What's on that landing page? What's on the website? Is there a good call to action? Is the person at the other end of the phone capable of scheduling these patients? As we've talked about, there's so many steps that go into it, Dr. David Madow: Are you able to track? are you following up with print, postcards, mail, whatever? There are so many components of this, it's unbelievable. On the other side of the coin, I feel that we're getting all over the place here, Dr. David Madow: But that's what we do. Dr. Richard Madow: That's what the Fixers do. Dr. David Madow: We do as what we do. Dr. Richard Madow: There are practices who really are good practices and have a lot of things in order, but they are completely invisible. They're doing nothing to get new patients and just hoping, hoping, hoping that the old method of word of mouth will work for them and that can be a mistake as well. So, this very complicated. Dr. David Madow: What did our little friend, Dr. Mitchell Josephs say about word of mouth? Dr. Richard Madow: It make W O M. Wooooom. Dr. David Madow: It's like an air conditioner running in the background. It's slow. Wooooom Dr. Richard Madow: It's mixed up noise. Dr. David Madow: It's all word of mouth. I think word of mouth is great and the more patients we get through word of mouth, but it cannot be the only way you get patients. There's no way. So, what's the best, this wasn't even a question, but what's the best way to kind of finalize this? I need more new patients. Number one, I guess. Make sure, make sure everything in your practice is working. And from what we've seen, I will go on record and say chances are it's not because how many times have we or our coaches gone into a practice that supposedly everything is great, everything is fantastic, we just need more new patients and we see some… Dr. Richard Madow: Everything's not fantastic. Dr. David Madow: It's not. Dr. Richard Madow: So, I think maybe, I don't know if we're ready to conclude the topic or not, but I think a conclusion could be before you even think about any program to get new patients, make sure everything is in order in your house, so to speak. And that means that you are treating patients really, really well. That patient feels like this is their dental home and it's warm and there's trust and they know that when they go in there, they're going to meet a team that calls them by name and runs on time and is kind and makes sure they're comfortable and calls at night to see how they're doing. All these things need to be in place before you even start thinking about new patient strategies because if they're not, they just simply won't work. And how's your treatment plan acceptance rate and do you have a soft tissue management program like we talked about on the last episode, all of these things need to be taken care of first. Dr. David Madow: Yeah, there are a lot of things, but let's say, but once they're taken care of and once you need new patients, which maybe we'll do a shameless plug for our Total New Patient Program. Dr. Richard Madow: Why not? Dr. David Madow: It's our Total New Patient Program. You know why? Dr. Richard Madow: TNPP. Dr. David Madow: You know why? Because we have been, and this wasn't planned, but we've been helping dentists get new patients for well over 30 years. Actually, before we became the Madow Brothers. Well, wait, we've been Madow Brothers for life. Dr. Richard Madow: You we're not a Madow brother like 1955 to a mid-1957. Dr. David Madow: Yeah. There was no Madow Brothers, just Madow. Dr. Richard Madow: And then Marshall was born. Dr. David Madow: And that's a whole, you can do five hours on that. Dr. Richard Madow: Then we became the Madow Brothers, not this Madow Brothers nonetheless. Dr. David Madow: But before we actually started the Madow Brothers, Creative Management Resources with our collection forms and the newsletter. I think before that, a couple of years before that we started helping dentists get new patients into the practice, so we've been using Dr. Richard Madow: Using the same things we did in our practices. So, we know it works. Dr. David Madow: I'd say it's safe to say we've been doing this new patient thing longer than anybody in dentistry for 30 plus years, well over 30 years, we're close to 35 years now. We know what we're doing and we now have and we're always changing. We're always updating and we have this thing called Total New Patient Program or Total New Patient Plan. It's TNPP. Total New Patient Program, I think it stands for. Anyway, it doesn't matter what it stands for. The bottom line is it's going to get more new patients. You know why? Because we do many different things. It's not just one thing. We have not only an online presence but follow up with postcards. We have tracking numbers. We do so many things for you. Facebook, targeted Facebook ads. We target all ads. We know what we're doing, we've done this a long time, we're up to date and if you need more new patients and you've got everything else in place in your practice, you might want to look into the Total New Patient Program. Best way is just go to Madow.com. Dr. Richard Madow: There's something else came to mind, talking about that and you were talking about going to the big convention in Chicago, TBSE whatever. There are a lot of dentists also, we hate to see dentists spend money irresponsibly or where they don't get a good return on their investment. And so many times I want to come into the clinical end of things, dentists think. Dr. David Madow: I know exactly where you're going with this. Dr. Richard Madow: They're going to buy some clinical gadget that's going to change everything. We actually had somebody a couple years ago, we really liked this guy, a great guy. And he called us because he was thinking about using us for coaching. And the call kind of elevated us, and I remember we're on the phone with him several times and he was deciding between utilizing us for coaching or buying some piece of equipment. Neither of us had ever heard of it, we started calling it the pain machine. It was like someone has some kind of facial pain, TMJ Syndrome, whatever, you just hold this machine up to their face and it magically cures the pain which does not work. That's a topic for another day. Dr. David Madow: Back up for a second. We've got to say that his practice was not what I would call a successful practice. It was in disarray. He was in his early sixties I believe, he had basically no retirement, no money saved, very, very, very bad financial shape and he was sold a bill of goods. This company told him that if he just does this thing, he's going to be like the pain guy in his area. Dr. Richard Madow: They convinced him to buy all of this equipment went down to Florida, told us in Florida and took the courses. Patients will be camped out and he would like, he'd get there in the morning, have to like shuffle his way through the patients in sleeping bags with bandages on their heads. Dr. David Maddow: Next, next, next. Dr. Richard Maddow: exactly when he opens the door. And he decided to go with that instead of getting some coaching. Dr. David Madow: Hadn't worked out. Dr. Richard Madow: Well we actually followed up and he was hesitant to admit that, I hate to say we were right, but he was hesitant to admit that this was not the solution to those problems. Not just a dusty piece of equipment Dr. David Madow: He's paying on it. He's paying by the month for like the next 60 months, he's got to pay on this thing. It was very expensive and it hasn't helped his practice one bit. Dr. Richard Madow: So, a lot of times people ask us like, is a CEREC a piece of equipment I should buy? We're not anti-CEREC in principle, it's a really cool thing to be able to make crowns if you know, if you're clinically talented to be able to make crowns for your patients the same day as you prep, that's cool. But will the whatever $100,000 you spend bring more patients in your practice, well that's a different story all together. Dr. David Madow: And unless you've got a $100,000 to $150,000 in cash lying around that you can just spend taking out a note and going into debt for this. And then you find the thing doesn't work as well. Look, let me tell you something. It's possible. It just possibly might not work out as well as the company says it's going to. And then you're paying on this thing forever for a $100,000, $150,000 piece of equipment that really hasn't worked. It turns into a mess. Dr. Richard Madow: We're not telling you this piece of equipment or technology will do this, this, and this. Well that's, you know, that's great. What it'll do clinically, how it will help your patients make them feel better, smile better, get their appointments more efficiently, whatever, that stuff might be true. But when they say, and this will grow your practice like crazy. Well- Dr. David Madow: I'd be cautious. So, when they break it down it's like a five year note or whatever it is. Something like five-year note, ten-year note, whatever it might be. And they say the payment’s only $1,800 a month. So, doctor, all you need to do is one case per month and it takes care of this. That's bullshit because it's not as easy as it sounds and that's for every single month for the next 60 months plus. Dr. Richard Madow: Use the pain machine three times per month and- Dr. David Madow: Please don't succumb to that kind of stuff. Please don't. Call us Dr. Richard Madow: Talk to us first, you know, call us, send us an email. We'll be glad to help you with that even though you probably already know what our opinion is. Dr. David Madow: Dr. Scott, I hope that helps. We answered it, we went into a lot of detail, maybe gave you some things you didn't even want to hear about, but we hope that helps you, so we do the call. Dr. Richard Madow: Let's do the call, I just want to talk about real, real quickly cause it's coming up before you know it, that's TBSE in Las Vegas, The Best Seminar Ever for dentists and team members. You've probably heard about it on several podcasts. I won't go into that much detail except to say if you are looking for an incredible continuing education experience and a really fun time and some fantastic practice growth information, you got to come to The Best Seminar Ever. So just go to TBSE.com, tuition is still low, still seats left, but it will sell out and the prices will go up. So, sign up now for TBSE. Dr. David Madow: And we'll be there, right? Dr. Richard Madow: I sure hope so. Barring any unforeseen circumstances. Dr. David Madow: Before we do the call, real quick well, since we're trying to really help your practice, we've got just a couple of things real quickly we'll run by you. Number one is if you're taking credit card payments in your practice for treatment, there is a way to save a lot of money, maybe a little bit, a little to a lot of money every single month very easily by pretty much, pretty much a push of a button. It's called Fattmerchant. We love them, we believe in them, we use them here at the Madow Center for Dental Practice Success. Dr. Richard Madow: We save money here. Dr. David Madow: So again, if you could save $20 a month or $5,000 a month, not promising either of those, but somewhere in the middle. What can you do, it's very simple, we've got a special site set up for you. It's simply bit.ly/fattmad. The reason you should go to that site in particular is because when you do, they will give you, since you're a friend of the Madows and you listened to our podcast or watched our podcast, they're going to give you a free terminal, right? Dr. Richard Madow: Yup. Dr. David Madow: Ordinarily you have to pay for this, but they give it to you free. So, it's a no-lose situation. It's so simple and it's a way you can bring in some extra money or save some extra money in your practice every single month. Go to bit.ly/fattmad. If you're watching the video on YouTube, it's right there, make sure to click it right there, guys. And also, since you're watching us, we are the Dental Practice Fixers, if you really want to take your practice, things to the next level, attend one of our Masterclasses. Come out, hang out with me, with Rich, with our coaches and our Madow Center for Dental Practice Success in Baltimore. It's a full day of really great learning. We'll share with you how we can help increase your practice, increase your revenue, increase your happiness. Go to masterclass.madow.com and again if you're watching us, it's right there. There'll be that link. Masterclass is very small and every single one of them has sold out. Dr. Richard Madow: So, we've met some fantastic people and it's great when we hear somebody, a few months later, from somebody a few months later saying, that Masterclass I attended was a true turning point for me. Dr. David Madow: Changed my life. Dr. Richard Madow: My practice is doing better, I'm happier, I'm making more money, I have a cohesive team. That's the kind of stuff that really makes us happy after doing this for over 30 years. So, we’d love to have you be one of those people contacting us a few months from now saying it was a day that really helped turn things around. See you at the Masterclass. And what about the call? Let's do the call. Dr. David Madow: Who do you want to call? Let's do it right now. Caller: Good morning. Thank you for calling, [inaudible] Kayla speaking. who do I have the pleasure speaking with? Dr. David Madow: Hi Kayla, this is Michael calling. I've been looking for a new dentist for a little while and I don't know the exact question I should be asking, so I guess I should just ask how much is a cleaning? Caller: Okay. May I ask when's the last time you had a cleaning? Dr. David Madow: It's been about a year or so. Caller: Okay. And when was the last time you were seen by a dentist? Dr. David Madow: About the same. Caller: About a year ago? Dr. David Madow: Yeah. Caller: Okay. Well we could definitely help you out. May I ask how you heard about us? Dr. David Madow: Just an internet search. Caller: Okay. Well we can definitely help you out here in the office. I will let you know in order for the doctor to let you know what type of cleaning you would need; doctor needs to do a full exam of your mouth. Also do some x-rays that so that we'll know what type of cleaning you would need, diagnose you properly. But I will let you know that cleanings are going to range from a more basic cleaning of about a hundred dollars to a more deeper cleaning, which is a couple hundred. Dr. David Madow: Okay. Okay. And that sounds pretty reasonable, that answered the question there. Good. Caller: When will you like to come in? Dr. David Madow: I wasn't sure. I'll just kind of still trying to figure my life out basically, my dental life I should say. Caller: - Figuring out your life though. Dr. David Madow: My dental life, you know. Caller: Okay. Well, do you have a good telephone number where I could follow up with you? Dr. David Madow: Sure. I do. Sure. Okay. I'm from out of town, so it's 801-484-4297. Caller: Okay, we'll definitely follow up with you. Definitely want to make sure you're still having your dental treatment done. Okay? Dr. David Madow: That sounds great. Tell me your name one more time. I want to just write that down. Caller: My name is Kayla. Dr. David Madow: That's what I thought, Kayla. Thank you so much, Kayla. I really appreciate it. Caller: No problem. Enjoy the rest of your day. Dr. David Madow: Thank you. Goodbye. Caller: Thanks, bye, bye. Dr. Richard Madow: Wow, Kayla. Dr. David Madow: Kayla, what do you think? Dr. Richard Madow: I'm going to say we might have like our first non-failure in a long time. Dr. David Madow: To be fair because we want to make sure our listeners and viewers know that we do a call and if it's, most of them that are not good, but if it's a good one we don't censor, we don't delete that. Dr. Richard Madow: We'll give Kayla some credit. She did a lot of things I like. No, this is not exactly how we recommend to answer the phone, but I like how she said, who do I have the pleasure of speaking with? They're friendly, personal. I thought that was a good line. She said a lot that I liked, when she kept saying, I can definitely help you out. It was good, very reassuring. I can definitely help you out. Dr. David Madow: One thing that, again, it's probably not exactly how we teach, but she did it, she did it okay. She pretty much didn't really, she gave him a fee for a cleaning, but she said, it sounds like they’re an office where you have to have an exam first. In other words, you can't come in just for a cleaning and exam. You've got to have the exam before they even tell you what kind of cleaning. A lot of people, including us, will probably say that might not be the best way to do it because if somebody wants to come in for a cleaning, let them come in for a cleaning and then of course let them become your patient and you can diagnose them at that point. But that is a hurdle for some people not being able to have a cleaning on the first visit. Dr. Richard Madow: I think maybe a patient has asked for a fee right off the bat like that. Maybe with that she felt more comfortable saying, well, let's get you an exam first and we can give you the exact fee. Maybe if you say, I just want to have a cleaning, she would have [00:21:07]. Dr. David Madow: Very possible. Dr. Richard Madow: I like how also we always recommend 2 good choices just like we'd love to see you as a patient in our practice. We can see you tomorrow at 2:00 PM or Thursday at 11:00 AM, which is best for you? She didn't do that, but she has a cool version of it. She said, well, when are you looking to come in? I like that because whenever you said, she could've said, perfect, I'll see you then. Dr. David Madow: It's also good because it's, you just even with just saying that, she's better than 98 to 99% of the offices in the country that we call because usually we don't get to that point. Usually they don't say, when would you like to come in and can I schedule you an appointment? They just say, okay, thank you, bye. So, and then she asked for my name, she wanted to make sure she got my name and my phone number. She made it clear that she's going to call me bac she's very concerned about my dental care. Dr. Richard Madow: So, whoever actually has that number's going to get a call from Kayla. Dr. David Madow: Don't call that number. I think she did a good job. Dr. Richard Madow: I totally agree. Dr. David Madow: I do. Dr. Richard Madow: If we have to grade her, what are you going to give her? Dr. David Madow: Oh, I'm going to have, well, I'll tell you, I'm going to have to give her an A. Dr. Richard Madow: I'm going to give her an A as well. Dr. David Madow: Because there's nothing that she did wrong, I mean, okay. We might not agree on the philosophy of the cleaning on the first visit, but she did a great job and I'm going to give her the A for sure. Dr. Richard Madow: Kayla, you got an A, possibly the first A in the history of the Dental Practice Fixers. Congratulations. Hey, thanks everybody for listening or watching. This was episode 15 or 16, Dr. David Madow: Episode 16. Dr. Richard Madow: I never get that right. Dr. David Madow: It's okay, it's all right, it's all good as they say. Dr. Richard Madow: Episode Sweet 16 of the Dental Practice Fixers Podcast, season two. I'm Dr. Richard Madow. Dr. David Madow: Dr. David Madow, we'll see you next time.