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Say this, not that…

SAY THIS

“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?”

NOT THAT

“Would you like to make an appointment?”

SAY THIS

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

NOT THAT

“This tooth needs a crown.”

SAY THIS

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

NOT THAT

“Dental office – hold please….”

SAY THIS

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

NOT THAT

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

SAY THIS

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

NOT THAT

“Open wide please…..”

SAY THIS

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

NOT THAT

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

SAY THIS

“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.”

NOT THAT

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

SAY THIS

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

NOT THAT

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

SAY THIS

“Yes!”

NOT THAT

“No…..”

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?

Tips

Everyone loves some good and simple tips to help their practice and their life, right? That’s why we asked some of our TBSE 2016 speakers to share some of their favorite ones with you! We will be presenting them from time to time throughout the year.

For the first stop in this series, we will visit Dr. Ric Zambito. “Dr. Z” was a surprise guest speaker at TBSE 2016, and even though he wasn’t on the stage for a long time, his incredible message really resonated with everyone there! Ric is a general dentist who has one of the most successful, productive and happy practices we have ever seen. His figures easily put him in the top one percent nationally, and he does it all in the small and depressed town of Wheeling, West Virginia!

One of the best things about Ric is his leadership abilities and the way he deals with his team. These four tips from Dr. Z will give you some insight into how he accomplishes this – and how you can too!!
                                                                                           

1. Leadership is the process of getting everyone to the place they are supposed to be.  It is the opposite of controlling people.  No one can be a leader unless they are trusted and possess the number one characteristic that staff and patients want – integrity.

2.  The only way a team member will know what you expect is consistency.  You must constantly be teaching your staff, and be sure to compliment them when they achieve the success you expect.  Complimenting may be important, but so is helping your staff grow.  Making them aware and accountable when they have fallen short is equally important.  This will lead to improvement of your team.

3.  Why would anyone want to settle for being an average dental office? That is the best of the worst and the worst of the best.  Dreamers and achievers will never stop at this level.  It is always the doctor’s opportunity to help team members become the best they can be.

4.  Have you noticed that your dental office takes on your personality?  By speaking to just one employee, you should be able to decipher the tone of the entire office.  If you have a positive doctor, it will permeate throughout the office to the rest of the staff.

Want to hear more from Dr. Z and get his tips delivered to your inbox on a regular basis, including some fantastic ways to handle 14 scary situations that are probably happening in your dental practice right now?

Just visit www.integritydentalpracticemanagement.com.

Are you just a pair-of-hands?

Henry Ford was a genius with automobiles. But with people, he had his limitations.

More specifically with the “worker-person.”

On one occasion he asked, “Why is it that I always get the whole person, when what I really want is a pair of hands?” 

You, friend…and dental professional are more than “a pair of hands.” Though there are days, chairside, bent over mouths, preventing, restoring, treating, diagnosing, treatment planning…that you feel like a “pair of hands,” right?

Years have gone by, and the Industrial Revolution mindset still rears its head. It gives you the idea that you’re a “production unit.”

It’s easy to see how your team can feel that way too. And if you’re not careful, that is how you can communicate to your patients (“production” instead of people).

Good news: you’re whole-y valuable! Chin up there, Sport!

Let’s talk value. Because that’s what you bring to every patient who trusts you enough to allow you to diagnose, let you treat, and part with their hard-earned resources to stay healthy (and remember…bottom line…it’s about health!).

Three L’s of Value (and Why You’re More than a Pair of Hands)

1)     Listen between the lines
Your patients are saying more than you’re possibly hearing. Value-based care listens between the lines where you’ll hear their deeper motivation for treatment.

For example…Remember it’s not about porcelain veneers – it’s about your patient’s confidence to smile in front of a crowd as they deliver a presentation. Or it’s not about orthodontic treatment –

it’s really about attending their 25th high school reunion next summer looking better than they did when they graduated.

 

2)     Leverage features into benefits
It’s Marketing 101. Features appeal to logic. But benefits connect emotionally.

That’s why no one cares (really) about your state-of-the-art thingamajig you invested in. Stop talking up the technology and instead talk up the benefits it delivers.

Do a feature-benefit assessment of every technology, procedure, product, or service you provide. Then present around the benefits.

 

3)     Look beyond today
Your ultimate professional responsibility is wellness. Patient priority one: prevention.

But won’t that diminish returns?

Hmmm…good question, but…

Maybe (with a long term perspective) you’ll begin to feel more “whole” and less like a “pair of hands.”

Just a thought…and a value-able one at that!

Is your practice being skewered? Don’t let it…..

It is amazing how the small actions of one person can totally undermine an otherwise fantastic practice or business. Don’t believe it? Check this out.

Our hometown of Baltimore is constantly receiving accolades as one of the best restaurant cities in North America. Why should you care? Because of this.

Recently a brand new Peruvian restaurant called Inka Grill Fusion was reviewed in The Baltimore Sunpapers. (Despite the downfall of newspapers, they still have a lot of clout when it comes to making or breaking a restaurant as their reviews are not only read in the paper but sought out online.)

It seems the setting was beautiful and the food was great. Yet the restaurant received a lousy review. Why? Because the reviewers felt their waiter did a horrible job. In line with Peruvian cuisine, they “skewered” him! (You can read the review here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/bs-lt-inka-grill-fusion-review-20160922-story.html

This is really sad, and maybe a little bit unfair. After a sizable investment, lots of planning, an incredibly creative chef, and doing so many things right, they were ultimately judged by the poor behavior of one person.

You can be sure that after this review came out, this server got a tremendous ass-whooping if not a firing. And here is how this relates to your practice.

No matter how great your office may be, oftentimes you are judged by one person who doesn’t care to give every single patient a memorable experience every time they visit or are on the phone. It can be anyone in the practice – a hygienist, a dental assistant, a business team member, and perhaps more frequently than we like to admit…the doctor!

You can be doing 99 out of 100 things right and all of it can be undermined by a single person doing a single act. The beautiful crown you are about to cement is forgotten if a patient doesn’t feel completely appreciated. The gentle touch you provide is not as valued if you ran twenty minutes late. The beautiful office is undermined if the patient doesn’t get their questions answered in plain English. And on and on and on and on…..

So take a lesson from Inka Grill Fusion. Hopefully they will clean up their act and survive the bad opening review; then again they may not. Don’t let the same thing happen to you and your dental practice!!

The “greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread”

Thank Otto Frederick Rohwedder. For what, you ask?

He invented sliced bread.

His idea in 1912 introduced a machine that would take a loaf of bread and slice it.  How practical, right?

We hate to burn-your-toast but the invention was a failure.

As Seth Godin confirms, (It was) “…a good product with lousy marketing (that) had very little chance of success.”

Fast forward 20 years…

A new brand known as Wonder began marketing…ready…?

Sliced bread!

And the innovation (from 20 years earlier) caught on.

“It was the packaging and the advertising (“builds strong bodies twelve ways”) that worked, not the sheer convenience and innovation of pre-slicing bread.”

Think about that…

The next time you talk to a patient about teeth whitening, for example. Is it about brighter, whiter teeth in the convenience of a one-stop appointment…or…renewed confidence for a job interview, a wedding, or a school reunion?

We could talk about how you promote other treatment and procedures. But we think you get the picture (hopefully).

To your patients the “greatest thing since sliced bread” might be a tad bit deeper than the obvious features and surface benefits you most often talk about.

Think about it

Picture this. You are presenting a treatment plan to a patient. Everything is going great. You think you have it wrapped up. But then they pull out the dreaded excuse…

“Let me think about it.”
You know from past experience that whenever you hear this objection there is a 99% chance this patient will turn into a ghost, not to be heard from in ever again.

Up until now you have tried all of the crappy comebacks that the two-bit consultants have taught you over the years but you know in your heart they just don’t work.

Today we are going to give you a new response to “Let me think about it” that should take care of this problem once and for all. It has proven to be very effective in our testing.

Can you guess what the best response to  “I need to think about it” may be?

Here is our suggestion:  DO NOTHING!

That is correct. When a patient tells you that they need to think about it, you know damn well it’s simply a stall tactic. There is something else on their mind but they are not saying what that is. Maybe it’s financial. Perhaps they are worried about the actual procedure. Pain. We are not sure.  If you just let them go and tell them it’s ok to think about it, you will not hear from them in 99% of the cases.

So try this. When they tell you they need to think about it, don’t say a word. That’s right… just keep quiet. You can look at them or look down a little bit. Or a combination of the two. Your body language must convey that you are concerned. But remember…

Do not say anything!

So what will happen next?

After a short time, your patient will feel very uncomfortable with the dead silence. Human nature is such that we want to fill in silence with words. So he or she will begin talking.

Once he begins talking, he will normally make his objection very clear and oftentimes come up with a solution without you even getting involved.

For example after a period of silence he may say “I don’t have the money at the moment but I am getting a fairly nice inheritance in October so would it be okay to wait until then?”

Bingo! You win.

Your response is “Sure Mr. Jones, why don’t we have Madge set you up right now for mid October?” Then have Madge give Mr. Jones two good options on dates and times and you are all set. You have treatment scheduled that in the past never would have happened.

Understand this. The silence at least gets them talking. Then it’s up to you to take the objection that comes up and turn it around and come up with a solution.

Will this work 100% of the time? Of course not. But we do guarantee it will increase your acceptance MUCH MORE than what you have been doing up until now.

Did you like this tip? Our goal is to make you more profitable! Please stay tuned for more answers to some of the most common objections in dentistry! We want you to be incredibly successful, and knowing the best responses will be a tremendous help to you and your practice! Stay in touch!

Does Nancy work in your practice?

Does Nancy work in your practice? If not, she should.

So just who is Nancy?

She is that unusual person who always manages to do everything right. She puts her own feelings aside for the benefit of the patient and team. Her judgment is impeccable. Her attitude is incredible. She has not once brought a personal problem to the office. She has constantly sacrificed for the good of the patient. She manages to keep her eye on the bottom line and has great financial responsibility.

Nancy works at the front desk. She is a dentist, a dental assistant, and a dental hygienist. She even can be the janitor, because we all know Nancy would never glance into a treatment room, see a cotton roll on the floor and walk by without picking it back up. She would never inconvenience a patient by not replacing a toilet paper roll that has two sheets left. And she certainly would never send an impression to the lab if she didn’t think a fantastic restoration could be made from it.

Everyone loves Nancy, but she’s so cool about it she doesn’t even realize how perfect she is. She’s not judgmental or vindictive – she’s just Nancy! And of course – she doesn’t exist.

Here ‘s the thing. We all make hundreds of choices every single day in the dental office. Some are huge decisions and some don’t seem to be of much consequence. But many times we have the tendency to take the easy way out or settle for less than we should. Nancy would never do that.

The crazy thing is, we always know what the right thing to do is. We always know what the best solution is. We can always give a little extra effort to be better. But many times we don’t.

So the next time you’re not sure what to do, or you are tempted to cut a corner, remember – Nancy wouldn’t do it that way, and you shouldn’t either!


“We’re Nancy!”