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Some Marketing Ideas For February

Hey everyone – Betty Hayden here!

With the goal of helping you have an amazing and productive February, I’m sharing some Marketing and Practice Management tips & ideas that you can use during the month.

These ideas will also help to exceed your current & potential patients expectations and make for a more fun February at the office.

Hygiene Continuing Care Reminders –

Include a Special Message with your Continuing Care Reminders – a message that is educational and will help to create urgency to schedule for any of your patients that are past due.

Reminders for Adults –  February is Heart Health Month (healthy teeth lead to a healthy heart).

Tip: If you’re not currently taking your patients’ blood pressure at their appointments… make it a goal to start during the month of February.

For $24.00 you can get a wrist blood pressure cuff on Amazon. That’s so cheap you can have one in every room, or even use them as giveaways!!

Many people see their dentist more regularly than a physician and could get an early warning about high blood pressure when getting their teeth cleaned or having other dental treatment done.

Reminders for Children – February is Children’s Dental Health Month. (Reminders can be that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease or how sealants protect the teeth from cavities.)

Tip: Offer free school field trips to the dentist or visit local schools or your public library for a dental-health presentation. If you do school visits or field trips to your office, make sure every kid (and adult!) gets a “Goodie Bag” with your office name and contact info on it.

Content Ideas for your Blog and Social Media Pages:

Heart Health Month:

  • Video Demonstrating Proper Flossing Techniques
  • Heart Healthy Foods
  • Heart Disease Facts
  • Why Regular Dental Visits are Important

Children’s Dental Health Month:

  • Healthy Lunch/Snack ideas
  • What to do in a Dental Emergency?
  • Ortho care while at school
  • Dental Health (importance of, regular check-ups, sealants, mouthguards, fluoride & braces)
  • Tooth Eruption Chart
  • Daily Tooth brushing Check-list

Even MORE Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement:

Toothache Day: 9th
The Great American Spit Out: 22nd  / Through With The Chew: 18-24th
National Tooth Fairy Day: 28th

Those are just a few  tips & ideas for the Month of February. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a Happy & Productive February!
~Betty

Betty Hayden is the lead coach at The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental profession. Her expertise is in effective telephone answering techniques, profitable scheduling, marketing campaigns, communication, social media, new patient acquisition, practice growth, and much more. She is called “The Idea Woman” because she grows practices!  

If you have a question for this column, please write to us at coaches@madow.com. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only, please.

HELP! My dental ship is sinking…

Dear Madow Brothers Coaches,

Things are so bad in my practice I don’t even know where to begin. I am producing close to a million dollars a year and collecting around $750K. This is considered really good for my mid-sized Midwestern town. But I am earning practically nothing. My hygienist and my associate are both earning more take-home than me.

Our new patient flow has collapsed, and we are losing patients to two new practices that have opened nearby. It gets worse.

My lab just cut me off because I owe them over $50,000. I owe money on two credit cards, and am still paying off a practice construction loan (when I can). Sometimes I feel like I am the captain of the Titanic and my staff is the orchestra, just blindly playing as the ship sinks. Can you help?

Dr. Jay
Somewhere in Ohio

 
Dr. Jay-

Wow – you sure have a lot of things going on there. So first of all, let’s make this clear. There are no coaches or consultants in dentistry who can wave a magic wand and fix your practice. Not us, not Roger, not Cathy, not Lois, not Mayer, and certainly not those people who call you every day, belittle you, and scare the shit out of you until you sign up. But the good news is, based on our years of experience, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it can be found. 

There is an old saying – “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.” And while we are certainly not recommending or condoning eating elephants, this will be the way you need to approach things. That said, here are a few questions and starting points for you.

When you say that you produce close to a million and collect 750K, does that mean you are writing off a ton of PPO stuff? That is not necessarily bad, but the fact is, if you agreed to a PPO fee schedule you never actually produced at full fee. So that figure is a fantasy. If you are not talking about write-offs, you have a seriously bad collection problem that is adding considerably to your overhead.

If your associate is out-earning you, what is the point? Not every practice needs associates.

Why are you being beaten by those new practices? Our guess is that you are doing little about this, trying to depend on your reputation and word-of-mouth, Hint: It’s 2018. 

We can guess (and we are right) that you do not have an effective system to reconnect with your patients who have not been in for a while, do not have a hygiene appointment scheduled, or have diagnosed but untreated dental needs. And remember, any old system is not necessarily an effective one. 

Has an outside expert (such as an accountant who specializes in dental practices) reviewed your expenses and debt issues? It is pretty safe to say you are missing a lot here.  

Just a guess here (again based on experience) that if we called your practice posing as a new patient your front desk team would not make the appointment. We cannot even tell you how many times we have heard “Oh – my front desk person is fantastic!” only to call and be connected with Clueless Claire. 

And here is where it gets a little deeper. We have found that when we work with someone with a practice similar to yours (and we have done that lots of times) the problems are not just with the dental office. We always start with a pretty intense interview process, and nine times out of ten when someone has a similar situation there are factors that go WAY beyond new patients, collections, etc.

Yes – that means that there are some screwed-up things going on in their lives that are negatively affecting their practice. (Not to brag here, but we are the only dental coaches that go deep like that!) Of course that is not always the case, and we are glad to work with “just the practice.” But again, experience shows that outside factors typically contribute to this kind of stuff.

Bottom line – you need some help! This is not a situation you can fix yourself. Keep doing what you are doing and it is just a matter of time before there is a padlock on your door and a “For Rent” sign in the window. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!!
 
Coach Rich
Coach Dave

 

Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at coaches@madow.com. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

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Coaches Corner Mailbag – Our readers write!!

At “The Corner,” we welcome your questions, and we welcome your opinions too! Today’s column features some interesting reader comments.
 
Re: What does “CDA” really stand for?
 
Madow Bros.,

I find myself in a similar situation.
 
One of my DA ruffles feathers, stirs up the group. The reason I have not fired her is out of fear. Fear because the one thing she is good at is showing up. She will always fill in for someone or do double duty. She is loyal in that way. From time to time she just ruffles my feathers. 
 
Name and city withheld
 
Rich and Dave,

“The Gospel According To Michael” states that if you have a gallon of water and you put in one drop of poison then you have a gallon of POISON !  Get rid of her!
 
Dr. Michael O’Brien
Auburn, AL
 
My best advice – hire slowly and fire quickly. If every single day you are contemplating whether or not someone belongs in your practice, they probably don’t.
 
Dr. Darren Ho
The Great North Woods
 
Re: The Letter
 
Hey guys-
 
The best thing I did last year (based on your advice) was to raise my fees significantly. It automatically brought in more money with no extra effort. And guess how many patients complained? ZERO!
 
Of course it didn’t do anything for the PPO patients, but maybe it will change my profile and I’ll eventually get more. In the meantime (based on your suggestion as well) I am considering contacting Apex to have my PPO fee schedule negotiated. Can’t hurt, right?
 
Thanks for everything,

Dr. Simon Bernstein

Editor’s note: Visit www.apexreimbursement.com to learn more about negotiating your PPO fees. They are the best!
 
Coaches,
 
About ten years ago I made the mistake of sending out a letter to my patient base informing them of a fee raise. A few people called immediately to schedule treatment before the raise took effect, so I thought it was a good idea.  Then I got some angry calls, and a few patients actually left the practice. One came in to the office, letter in hand, and told my OM that I was a “greedy, rich dentist!” (Oh – if they only knew the truth!!)
 
I’m doing it again for 2018, but this time no way am I sending a letter!!
 
Dr. Don Lay
Overland Park, KS
 
Re: Quickies In The Office?
 
Madow Brothers,
 
I see that in this letter “Quickies” meant some quick tips for the office, but my first thought was a different subject. Maybe this is not a term you know, but to me the term “quickie” refers to a sexual liaison. I just would like to advise you that with everything going on in the news these days you need to be careful about the terminology you use or you risk offending someone and possibly incurring legal issues.
 
Respectfully,
 
Dr. J. Singleton
Hanover, PA
 
Re: Should we take the team to a strip show?
 
Great advice guys. We don’t do any out-of-the-office activities unless the entire team is “all in.” This also means staying away from situations where someone may feel uncomfortable but they are afraid to speak up. Inclusiveness is key. If you want a “team” and not a “staff” they need to be treated respectfully.
 
Dr. V. Estes
Denver, CO

Dear “Coaches”

This is ridiculous. Why would anyone hold an office party at a male strip show? On the other hand, if everyone wants to go, is this really a problem? So many other things to worry about….

Anita Auerhan
Mississauga, Ontario

So there you have it! We welcome YOUR questions and comments too!!

Coach Rich
Coach Dave

Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at coaches@madow.com. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

How Can I Lower My Overhead?

Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America. Here is today’s question.

Hey Coaches!

My practice is doing pretty well, but I always sweat it out when payroll comes around, or there is a large bill of some type. How can I cut my overhead and get a little breathing room?

Dr. James
Enid, Oklahoma

Dr. James-

First of all, is that your first name or your last name?? We are not sure what to call you here.

Lowering your overhead is a great goal, but without knowing more about your practice it is difficult to give you truly effective pointers. When we do this for our coaching clients we have a fairly intense interview process and get really specific. But….. here are ten things that you can do, many of them starting tomorrow, that will surely help!

  1. Get on your collections! Make a list of everyone that owes you money for one reason or another and call them!! If you need to leave a voicemail, be somewhat vague. (In other words, instead of saying “I’m calling about the money you owe, you damn deadbeat!” say “We have a quick question for you that is very important…”) Get a credit card number from them right on the telephone! For those who don’t pay, send them a # 207 form!
  2.  Raise your fees! Do it now!! Don’t overthink it – just do it. And get paid more from your PPOs too! If you haven’t negotiated your PPO fee schedule, get in touch with Apex Reimbursement immediately!
  3. Offer fluoride to all adults. It’s not a huge money maker but it sure helps with cash flow.
  4. Offer sealants to all adults and kids. Both of these (fluoride and sealants) will bring in a little cash AND improve the health of your patients.
  5. Renegotiate your credit card fees. Establish a great relationship with your bank and let them know that you want to pay less for credit card processing. You may just be amazed!
  6. Renegotiate your lease.  Even if your lease is not up, with commercial real estate still down a bit, you can totally re-do your terms if you sign on for a few more years. This can immediately put cash in your pocket.
  7. Pay less for your lab bill!! Are you using our favorite lab, Maverick Dental Laboratories? They have extremely reasonable pricing and high quality. Plus – they will give you three free crowns – BruxZir, emax, or PFM –  just for trying them out! At the very least you’ll save a few hundred bucks, and probably more!
  8. Always get paid up front – don’t be a bank!! Never do in-house payment plans; you will get burned. That’s what Care Credit is for. Get the money in the bank and don’t look back.
  9. One bad apple DOES spoil the whole bunch!! A team members who saps everyone’s energy and positivity is costing you a TON! If you are in this situation, you know what we are talking about.
  10. Have a long talk with your accountant about the upcoming year. Now is the time! Are there deductions you should be taking? Things you can legally charge to the business that you aren’t? A good CPA can help immensely!

So there you have it – ten quick and easy ways to shave your overhead. While none of these are “home runs,” do five or more and we promise results!

Coach Rich
Coach Dave

 
Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at coaches@madow.com. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

The Letter

Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America.

Today’s question comes from Dr. Alan Chilton of Memphis, TN

Dear Coaches,

I haven’t raised my fees in over three years and realize this is long overdue. But I don’t want to scare my patients and chase them away. Do you have suggestions for a letter I can send them that explains everything?

Thanks for you help.

Alan Chilton, D.D.S.
Memphis, TN

Alan-

First of all, congratulations on the decision to raise your fees. It is one of the easiest ways to increase your revenue overnight, and three years is way too long to wait.

Here is our suggestion for a letter to send to your patients. Don’t do it. Did you hear that?

DON’T DO IT!

As far as we know, there is no legal or ethical reason to do this. And should you choose to notify everyone, it will cause more harm than good. When is the last time you got a notification from the grocery store that the price of a jar of mayonnaise is on the rise? An oil change at your car dealership? Has your physician announced that the fee for a colonoscopy is going up? (“Going up, my ass!!” “Yes, that is correct, sir.”)

Look. Your patients think your fees are too high anyway. When is the last time you presented a fee and the patient thanked you for providing such a bargain? It just doesn’t happen.

So please – give your fees (and yourself) a hefty raise. After three years you deserve it. After all, the price of everything else has gone up. No announcement is necessary. It is totally fine, and hardly anyone will notice.

Or, you could do this…..

Coach Rich
Coach Dave

 
Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at coaches@madow.com. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

 

Quickies In The Office?

Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America.

Today we will be sharing some “quickies” from our Coaches Corner mailbox.

Q: How do you get Google to remove fake reviews?  I have tried contacting them but have gotten nowhere whatsoever. There are three fake reviews on my google review page, two stating I am young and inexperienced. I am 62 and have been practicing dentistry since 1979!

None of them are my patients. The thing I did do is to respond to the reviews, stating they are false and that they are not patients of mine, but it would be good if Google can remove them to keep my 5 star rating intact.

Thanks,
Ira Biderman DDS
Howard Beach, NY

A: Ira,

We just checked your reviews. You handled the responses to the poor ones very well, and your many five-star reviews speak for themselves. The thing you don’t want to do (and what you have avoided) is to get into a “pissing contest” with an unhappy or fake patient.

Our advice – getting Google to drop the fake or poor reviews is nearly impossible (the old freedom of the press thing!!), so stop driving yourself nuts. Your reviews are fantastic – just keep getting more good ones. If we were looking for a dentist and saw those reviews we would go to you in a second!! Remember, the more positive reviews you get, the more buried the fake ones are.

Q: Hi guys, my name is Fredric Siegel, a Promail user for 20+ years.  When a patient does not have the funds and doesn’t qualify for Care Credit, I would offer a ” lay-away” type arrangement.  Patients make payments till almost paid, then do the treatment.  This way it’s done and paid, a win win situation.

Best wishes,
Dr. Fred Siegel
New Rochelle, NY

A: Thanks for a great tip Fred. And we are pleased as punch that Promail is helping you get new patients! Check out our New Patient Postcards as well. And please give our regards to Rob and Laura!!

Q: Great rebranding of “The Madow Brothers” to “The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success.” What made you want to make that change?

Michelle Lynn,
Boca Raton, FL

A: Hello Michelle – and thanks for noticing.

Maybe it came from our reluctance to “toot our own horns…” but we realized that of all the people we have the honor of reaching through our e-letters, live seminars, articles, blogs, etc. – many do not really know what we do!! So it just made sense to utilize a name that says it all, and we feel The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success does just that.

After all, we LOVE coaching individual dental practices – but many folks didn’t even know we do that!! We produce in-office training programs, have new patient marketing programs, and more – and they are all designed with one thing in mind – the success of YOUR dental practice!

So it’s not just a name – we are proud to be “The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success!”

Coach Rich
Coach Dave

Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at coaches@madow.com. We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

It’s Tonight!

The Brothers are in California and Michigan this week – all set to deliver incredible information to doctors and team members alike! Just about every single person that leaves a Madow “Love Dentistry” seminar says it was the best day they have ever spent in dentistry! Hopefully you will be seeing us this week or perhaps another time in 2012 when we pull into your town!

And this evening our very own Steve Vargo takes the ‘mic’ to present “The Best Webinar EVER” to tons of you all across North America! Our webinars have become the biggest hit in dentistry simply because it’s so easy to learn how to become the “go-to” office in your area from the comfort of your home or office.

So… are you ready to learn this evening? We certainly hope so! Join us on our FREE webinar and you’ll be on your way to your best year ever simply by applying a few secrets we are going to teach you!

PLUS, there will be a chance to win an incredible prize – so you really should tune in! We’ll fill you in on everything during the webinar! 2012 is YOUR year!!! It’s the year everything is finally going to come together perfectly! It’s going to be great!

The details…
Webinar: BRAND NEW  EDITION of “The Best Webinar EVER”
Date: Tonight, Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 9PM Eastern Time
?Free registration: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/611620857

Many of you know that all of our webinars fill up quickly. We HIGHLY recommend that you register now. Also, when you log in this evening, we highly suggest doing so at least TEN MINUTES early as it is possible that latecomers may be shut out even if you are registered. Every time we put on a webinar, there are people who are not able to log in due to the fact that we reach capacity. And we do not record these. So again, PLEASE register now and log in way early!!!

Register NOW at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/611620857
Call us today if you have any questions. Our number is 1-888-88-MADOW.

Collect Money Today

We have just crafted a new form and it has the potential to bring a lot of money into your office starting today. One of the biggest problems we have is actually collecting money from patients that for some reason or another have a balance that resulted from their insurance company paying much less than anticipated!

We now have a brand new free form available on our website that will hopefully mitigate this problem. It is our Credit Card Authorization Form and it can be found by clicking HERE!

Go ahead – download and modify this form for your own office and then make sure you get all patients to authorize you to keep a credit card on file. Make sure they sign the form and you are good to go. Whenever there is a balance due, all you have to do is bill it to the credit card on file! It’s that easy!

WHAM!!! Your collections just went up!!!

Important: For those difficult to collect overdue accounts, try our Madow #207 collection form. This has been used for over twenty years and has helped dentists collect a total of well over one million dollars!!! Why? Because it works! If you have overdue accounts, order a supply of these forms immediately to have on hand. You will see your office become MUCH more profitable.

One more thought for the day to increase your income! If you have not yet joined THE M CLUB, what are you waiting for? You have vowed to be more profitable this year, right? So why haven’t you taken the step to purchase all of your dental supplies at the best prices? Please click that BIG BLACK BOX at the top of the page or click HERE if you don’t want to scroll back up. Either way, let’s get this done and check it off on your list. By the way, it is TOTALLY FREE to be a member of THE M CLUB! Just do it!

Resolution # 1 – Collect What You Are Owed

The plumber doesn’t work for free, and neither does the grocer. No one wants to work for free. So why should you?

Patients who owe you money are ripping you off plain and simple. You work hard – it’s time to collect what you are owed!

Our famous CMR # 207 “Statement Of Delinquency” form was developed over twenty-five years ago and continues to work well today? Why?

When you see the form, you will know. The wording is serious, and the two part “NCR” type paper shows the deadbeat patient that you mean business.

For some patients, phone calls, “friendly reminders” and a computer print-out just doesn’t cut it. Over 30,000 dentists and other professionals have collected over FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS with this little “magic form.”

Will it work for you? YES! If these forms don’t pay for themselves after you send them out, just send them back for a full refund.

So how about it? Do you want to be paid for your hard work or let a few undeserving people rip you off?

To order, just call 1-888-88-MADOW or click here. For the full effect, don’t forget the matching envelopes!

Talk to you soon – and Happy New Year!

A Great Way to Collect Your Money Before the Year is Over!

If your dental practice is like many others, chances are you have quite a bit of outstanding money owed to you. It’s a simple fact, many patients are finding it very difficult to pay the dentist on time when they have so many other bills to pay. Although these are some of the toughest financial times we have seen, you are still running a business, which means you have your own expenses that must be paid in order to keep the business going.

To complicate things a little more, now that we are getting into the holiday season, you do not want to see your patients spending the money that they owe you on holiday gifts. That would definitely be a very dangerous situation!

Most accountants and practice management experts would tell you that as a debt ages, it becomes virtually worthless. If that is the case, wouldn’t it make sense to collect 90% of all of the money that is owed to you right now, as opposed to taking a chance at never seeing it again and having to write it off?

Here is an idea for you. Compose a letter to your patients that have overdue money on the books letting them know you would like to extend them a courtesy due to the tough economic times that we are all experiencing. Go on to tell them that they may deduct 10% from their entire bill if they pay everything in full before November 30.

Let’s face it, your patients do not want to owe you money. And if given an incentive such as this, many of them will want to settle up (before they hit the malls!). This could mean a lot of money coming into your practice this month!

One lesson we would like you to take with you for the future is that starting now, you should no longer act as a bank! Please let the professionals, such as CareCredit take care of your patient financing. Do not do it yourself or you may get into a situation that is very tough to get out of! No more in office “payment plans!”

One more thing… if you have any patients that have become nearly impossible to collect from, you may want to consider a form that has been working particularly well in this economy. Click HERE for more info on this.