Posts

End Of The Year Insurance Letter – Use It Or Lose It!

Hello all!! Lead Coach Betty Hayden here – welcome back to Coaches Corner! 

A question I am frequently asked is “Do you have a good end-of-the-year insurance letter?” After all, we don’t want our patients to leave insurance money “on the table” when they need treatment, and neither do they! 

 
Here is a good template for a letter you can send to your patients who have diagnosed but unscheduled treatment or are overdue for their preventive visit. Of course you should customize this to your office needs and culture.

Dear Theresa,

It’s that time of year again, when you are busy with school schedules, getting ready for cooler weather, and making upcoming holiday plans. During this hectic time, you may not be thinking about your available or unused dental insurance benefits.

Whether you have insurance benefits remaining or if you have funds set aside in a flexible spending account (FSA) or healthcare saving account (HSA), now is the time to schedule treatment so your co-payment amounts can be applied to this year’s deductions.

Make sure to use all available benefits to complete any outstanding treatment or for your all-important preventive dental hygiene appointment (“checkup and cleaning”). Almost all plans do not allow you to rollover unused dollars to the next benefit year, so it’s “Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em!”

Call us today to schedule your appointment. We find that the upcoming holiday season is always our “busy time” and we are certain it is a very busy time for you too.

Beat the end of year rush and get in early! Just give us a call at 410-761-6454 to schedule. Do it right now before you forget!

Please know we are here to assist you and answer any questions you may have regarding your dental treatment.

Yours partners for better dental health,

Dr. Rightley and the team at Pasadena Smiles

A few more tips:

Personalize  – When mailing out remaining maximum letters, be sure to customize for each patient according to their treatment plan. This will help to re-create the urgency and value for treatment.  For some patients, it will take some type of additional incentive to get them to act.

Mailing Tip –  Use a bright-colored envelope and neatly hand-write the name and address. Use a “live” stamp.

Phone Calls – About a week after you mail out your letters, go ahead and start calling them to see if they received the letter and to schedule their appointment.

Document – Be sure to document that a letter was mailed, phone calls were made and what type of response you received from each patient.

Important Reminder – Before sending out these letters and making calls to your patients be sure to review your upcoming appointment schedule… Where is your open chair time? Will pre-blocking some open time be helpful? Also, before scheduling last minute appointments that require lab work, be sure to communicate with your lab guy/gal that they can in fact, get these cases back to you in time.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Yours for Greater Success,
~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 atcoaches@madow.com. And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

We hate to sound like a broken record but….

Sometimes the best ways to instantly up your practice are the easiest things to do.

So……we hate to sound like a broken record, but…..

If you listen to our podcast, The Dental Practice Fixers, you know that at the end of each episode we do a “Secret Shopper Call.” And although these calls are spontaneous and unedited, some of them have been cut out. Why? Because we called a fully functioning dental practice during normal business hours, and no one answered the phone!

We would get a message that said, “We are currently at lunch.” Or…

“If you are hearing this message during normal office hours, we are busy treating patients and can’t get the phone right now.” Or….

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

And what’s the next sound? Click! A $10,000 (average) new patient down the drain.

So (for those of you old enough to know what a broken record is) we hate to sound like a broken record, but….

Answer.

The.

Phone.

Every single time it rings!

And how about the ability of the person answering the phone to get the patient off the phone and into the appointment book? That’s a topic for another day.

But if you want a taste of what that is all about (and some good tips), be sure to listen to The Dental Practice Fixers. We do a secret shopper call on every episode, and they need to be heard to be believed!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Cures For A Slow September: Treatment Tips and Management Gems

September can be a slow time for many practices. That’s why we have asked our lead coach, Betty Hayden, to come up with some ideas to make your September a great one!! But before we let Betty take it away, we want to let you know that she, along with Coach Kelly Lynch and us (The Madow Brothers!) will be in Baltimore, MD on Friday September 14, 2018 for our first ever Masterclass for Dentists!

This day will be an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to meet all of us and figure out some ways to grow their practice. And there is no charge at all except getting yourself to Baltimore. But there are two important things you need to know…

1) The Dentist’s Masterclass is for docs only. A doctor may bring a significant other or a key team member, but no team members may attend without the doc.

2) There will be lots of learning, brainstorming, practice troubleshooting, etc. But this course is intended only for those who are serious about working with us as their coaches. It’s not for “tire-kickers!” We would love to be right by your side on the road to practice growth, and this is your chance to see what that is all about.

We sent out an email about the Masterclass last week and it is already filling up quickly. If you missed it, would like to read it again, or would like to know more, just click here!

Okay – now on to Betty with her September tips. Thanks for reading!!

Rich and Dave

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
How does your schedule look for the month of September? For some offices, their schedules tend to fall apart in September. Whatever the case is in your office, I have some fun tips and ideas to help make September a fantastic month for you, your team, and your patients!

Unscheduled Treatment Plans – Reach out to all your patients with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Encourage them to schedule their appointment during the month of September.

Insurance Renewal Letters – Send out your “Use it or Lose it” reminder texts, emails, and letters. Pick up the phone and call your patients that have treatment planned and insurance maximums remaining that renew in January but haven’t scheduled appointments to start/complete treatment.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month – use this as an opportunity to educate your patients and the community about the importance of dental health care for Alzheimer’s patients in helping to keep them comfortable and healthy.

September is also the start of Football season – whether you’re a fan of football or not, celebrating football season with your office employees and patients is a great way to have more fun and exceed expectations.

  • Special Offers on Sport Mouthguards
  • Set up a photo booth area with fun football related props.
  • Post sports related dental health tips on your social media pages.
  • Cheer on your local football teams via your social media platforms.
  • Sponsor a local football team.
  • Have a raffle to win football game tickets or a football-themed gift basket to encourage Facebook likes, check-ins, referrals, and reviews on Google, Facebook, & Yelp.
  • Deliver football-themed snacks and gifts to local businesses and specialists.

Social Media Post Content Ideas for September:

1st: Random Acts of Kindness Day or Be Kind Day
9th: Grandparents Day
19th: Talk Like A Pirate Day
22nd: Bright Pink Lipstick Day
25th: National One-Hit Wonder Day
29th: World Heart Day

There you have it, some fun marketing ideas for the month of September. Please, be sure to stay in touch with me and keep me updated on any of the ideas that you use and/or if you have some thoughts on how to take these suggestions to the next level!

Sometimes despite your best efforts the schedule still falls apart. Don’t stress over it, instead use that downtime to do some training, team building and/or office cleaning/organizing.

Yours for Greater Success,
~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. And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Why Are Concerts Better Than Sporting Events?

What’s better – a concert or a sporting event? Tough question.

Here in Baltimore (home of The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success World Headquarters) we are lucky to have a plethora of both. There is a great music scene here with a huge variety of venues that attracts everyone from the largest acts in the world to our soon-to-breakout local favorites (Snail Mail anyone)?

And when it comes to sports we have The Orioles (even though they are having a really sucky year they are still “our O’s!”), The Ravens, University of Maryland basketball, Hopkins lacrosse and tons of great local events.

So why are concerts better than sports? Well, it’s a matter of opinion of course. And even though we like sports, we’re both music guys at heart. But here is a major difference. Sporting events always have a winner and a loser. Someone always goes home disappointed. At a concert, everyone leaves happy!

One of our mentors, the great (and totally nuts) Gary Halbert once said,

“There are some games in life where the only way to win is not to play.” So true. Yet it seems dentists insist on playing games where it is impossible to win!

What makes you think you can help that patient who has been through ten dentists in three years and they have all been “terrible?”

How is it possible to make a PPO work when their fee won’t cover your overhead?

Do you really think a team member who has been sabotaging your practice for five years is going to have a sudden turnaround?

Sometimes you just gotta say “no.” And remember, there are some games where the only way to win is not to play!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Sriracha Hot Sauce, The Grateful Dead, and your dental practice!!

Do you like Sriracha hot sauce? If so, you are like millions (and us!) who have made the green capped bottle with the rooster logo the most popular flavoring to come along in years.

But here’s the crazy thing. David Tran, a Vietnamese refugee who created the stuff, never trademarked the name Sriracha. So that means anyone can make a hot sauce and call it Sriracha. Yes – even you!! And when you go to Subway and get a Sriracha Chicken Melt, Tran doesn’t get a penny. Same with your Sriracha-infused potato chips from Frito-Lay, etc. etc…

In the 1970s hey-day of rock and roll, it seemed like a free-for-all. But one thing was strictly forbidden – taking a tape recorder into a concert and recording your favorite band as they played live. Nothing would get you kicked out more quickly. And people actually went to prison for illegally recording concerts and selling them on “bootleg” albums. (Did either of us ever buy bootleg records? No comment.) After all, the lost revenue to the artists and record labels would be substantial.

Except for the Grateful Dead. Not only did they allow taping and distribution of their music by fans, they encouraged it. They even had a “tapers section” at their concerts where people would bring elaborate setups into the shows to get the perfect audience recording.

Both The Grateful Dead and Sriracha went against all logic and advice, and both are enormous success stories. But what’s the bottom, bottom line? They put out fantastic product and knew how to cultivate the most loyal fan-base ever.

Many dental “experts” will have their prescribed recommendations for how to run a successful practice. You have to have the right “look” and use all the correct verbiage. You can’t say things like “recall” and “waiting room.” You have to do this and you can’t do that. We even know of a consulting company that says every single three surface amalgam needs to be crowned – no exceptions!!

But there is no cookie-cutter path to success. And you can’t be someone else. Of course, the universal rules apply to your practice just like they do to Sriracha and The Dead. Put out a fantastic product! Make people feel good! Bend the rules when necessary! Encourage people to spread the word! Love your consumers, fans, or patients and treat them right.

Now wouldn’t you like to experience the success of these two iconic organizations? Start with this question – how does my practice truly stand out from the rest?

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Kind Of A Stupid Dental Phrase

We’ve heard it recommended by many dental “practice management experts” and have witnessed it being uttered in offices across the country – but that doesn’t make it right!

It’s a phrase said by the scheduling coordinator and involves “block scheduling” – for example, having a scheduling strategy that places the most productive procedures in the morning. (Whether or not this is a good idea is a topic for another day.)

It has been suggested by many that when getting a patient to do a highly productive procedure early in the day the following verbiage is used:

“Let’s schedule this first thing in the morning
when the doctor is fresh!”

Hmmmm….so what happens if the patient can only make it in the afternoon? They get a stale doctor? The treatment will not be as good? There will be mold growing on their brand new crowns? This is a silly phrase that should immediately be dropped from the vernacular!
Sometimes we slip into habits with things we say or do. Maybe they made sense at one time, or we were just blindly following advice (as with the old “fresh doctor / stale doctor” thing). Or maybe we just never gave it too much thought.

But please remember – every single word you say to a patient is extremely important!! Don’t take it casually and don’t wing it!

A great topic for a team meeting is to “calibrate” your responses to the most frequently asked questions patients ask and come up with great answers that will be used by everyone.

It’s so easy to fall into bad habits. Try to make it your goal that everything you do and say in your practice will be for a reason (hopefully a good one!)

What are some things you are saying or doing that can be improved?

What are some every day procedures and protocols that can be changed to create a better experience for your patients? This is a great topic for your next team meeting!

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. 

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Coaches Corner – Dental Practice Lessons From Your Dog!

Even though we give lots of advice to practices with which we work, today we will be turning to a less likely source – your dog!

  1. Be loyal!

    Just like dogs, good team members and excellent patients are the ones who stick with you through thick and thin. It is essential to appreciate them!

    2. Be persistent!

    A dog will sit by the table with puppy-eyes and a “please feed me” look on their faces forever – or until you throw some tasty table scraps their way.  If there is something you want to achieve – make a plan and don’t give up!

    3. Trust your instincts!

    Dogs love just about everyone – but if they growl and bare their teeth to someone they are often correct. If you are interviewing for a new team member and something doesn’t strike you as quite right, you are probably correct. If a patient comes in with a plastic bag filled with ten dentures, you will most likely be the next victim.

    4. Give love love love!!

    Dogs know how to melt the heart of just about anyone with unconditional love. Remember – your crankiest patients are the ones who need the most loving, and they usually respond very favorably!

    5. Shit happens!

    And when it does, kick a pile of grass over it and move on!! Could this be the most valuable lesson of all???

    Oh, and by the way, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. If your practice is stagnating, or if you and the team need some education mixed with motivation and FUN, check out www.tbse.com right away!

And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute “practice tune-up” phone chat! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

Talk to you soon,

The Madow Brothers

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

The Important Trait That Most Successful Dentists Share!

What is the ONE trait that most successful dentists share? It’s not clinical abilities, but you knew that. And strangely, it may not even be excellent business skills, although you sure need that. So what is it?

Likability.

Let’s face it – if you are likable, people want to be around you. They want to listen to you. They trust you. And they want to tell their friends all about you. Fact is, being likable (and of course honest and ethical) can cover up a lot of ills. But as we all know, some people are just naturally more likable than others. However, even if you are not a natural, there certainly are some traits you can cultivate that likable people seem to have. Here are the top ten!!

1. They focus on people more than anything else.

When you are talking to a patient or team member, focus on them and truly listen. Don’t think about how you feel or what you are going to say. Listen with both ears!

2. They are authentic.

Why try to be someone else? Be the best version of yourself!

3. They enthusiastically love life.

When things go wrong they take it in stride and move on.

4. They are not big on small talk.

During conversations they make true emotional connections.

5. They treat everyone with respect.

Everyone!! They are just as nice to the janitor as they are to the biggest patient. (We always say you can tell how nice someone truly is by how they treat the waiter….)

6. They have integrity.

They don’t talk the talk, they walk the walk. And they don’t gossip or demean others.

7. They don’t constantly try to one-up others.

Ever know someone who always steers the conversation to their accomplishments, or always has a comeback to every story that tops it? Yeah – so do we. And we don’t like it!!

8. They smile.

Nothing is more important in dentistry!

9. They make an effort to look their best, but they don’t overdo it.

No one likes to hang out with a schlub. But the same goes for those who obsess over their appearance. Likable people get the balance right.

10. They respect the opinions of others.

You certainly can never agree with everything you hear. But likable people recognize the line between fact and opinion, while realizing everybody sees things differently.

To wrap it up, and to quote author Travis Bradbery, who is responsible for these concepts….

“They think about other people more than they think about themselves, and they make other people feel liked, respected, understood, and seen. Just remember: the more you focus on others, the more irresistible you’ll be.”

Now go be an excellent clinician, a great business person…..and be likable!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Feels Like The First Time

Have you ever seen a great speaker, teacher, or stand-up comedian?

One of their important skills is to make it seem like whatever they are saying is somewhat spontaneous and they are saying it for the first time.

A top-notch comedian makes a quip or a subtle facial expression and it seems like it’s just for you – but it is well rehearsed and they have done it hundreds of times. They may even be totally sick of that particular joke or motion but would never let the audience know that.

It’s the same thing when you are communicating with your patients. Sure – you’ve talked about the need for a crown, the benefits of flossing, or explained insurance coverage so many times you could do it in your sleep. But remember – for the best patient communication, it needs to feel like the first time!

We have seen too many dentists and team members explain things in a bored monotone, and then be surprised when the patient is not excited about moving forward with treatment.

This doesn’t mean you have to recite Hamlet’s Soliloquy every time a patient needs scaling and root planing. But it does mean you have to show the patient you care about them and believe in the treatment. And that means, to the patient, it needs to feel like the first time!!

Do this and your patients will perceive that they are getting truly personalized service and most importantly, they will feel like you care!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend

Coaches Corner – Quick and easy, down and dirty, but very important!

Okay – we’ve said this before, but unfortunately we need to say it again!

Why? Last week our Mom had a doctor’s appointment. She is happy with the treatment she has been receiving, but told us that she is seriously considering switching to a different doctor. The reason?

“He has no personality. It’s like he doesn’t care about me. At my last appointment he walked right by me in the hallway and didn’t even look at me or say hello.”

Patient lost.

One of the easiest and most important rules to follow in your practice is “The Madow Brothers’ Ten Foot Rule!”

Simply stated, when any member of the team, including the doctor, is within ten feet of any patient, they should look them right in the eye and give a warm greeting – using their name if possible.

That’s it! No excuses. This is mandatory! So let’s start right now!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

Forward this article to a friend