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Seven Beliefs That Are Making You Unhappy!

1. Work comes before pleasure.

Not true! Work should be pleasurable. We actually love our work. It feels like it’s our hobby! If you do not absolutely love what you do every day, we need to chat!!!

 

2. Salad will make me skinny (and that will make me happy).

Not true on many levels. Salad alone will not make you skinny. Or happy. We have actually seen many salads that are over 1000 calories! Over the years we have found that an eating program must be designed right and it is a lifestyle.

The old adage “everything in moderation” simply does not necessarily hold up any more.  If you want to be healthy, you need to be fueling your body with only the foods that will make you healthy! Yeah, it’s basically that simple!

One more thing. There are plenty of people out there that are “skinny on the outside and fat on the inside.” Skinny does not necessarily equal health.

Seriously! 

3. I need to know everything before I can call myself knowledgeable.

Not us! We normally dive in head first. If we waited until we knew everything before we started a project or a business or anything, you would not be reading this right now. Our team makes fun of us because we come up with ideas and are excited to get going so quickly (oftentimes before we tell them)! 

4. Asking questions will make me look stupid.

Many people feel like this. But the truth is, asking thoughtful questions will make you stand out as someone who cares and is curious. 

5. Asking others for help will annoy them and make me look weak.

In reality, most people like helping others, and asking for help only means we’re comfortable with who we are. Do you need help with anything? Just ask. Neither of us bite last time we checked!!! 

6. Unless I work out every day, my body will start to look frumpy.

No. Your body looks and feels its best when you’re in touch with what it needs: activity and rest. 

7. If everyone agrees with me and likes me, I’m doing it right.

No. Don’t try to please everyone. Why not? Because it’s impossible and there is no reason to.

 

Listen. We LOVE to teach. We love to help. It seems to be our calling. But when we do, we gotta tell you what we believe is best for you. It’s by no means “our way or the highway.” We still love you if you don’t do what we say! And we certainly understand that every single one of our messages do not resonate with everyone. But we still need to get our stuff out there! This holds true in business, friendships, relationships… everything. Although you need to be the best possible person you can be, don’t sweat it if everyone doesn’t agree with you!!!

Stop Cancellations On The Spot!

 

It’s a constant problem in dental practices – a patient calls at 10:00 AM to cancel their 2:30 PM appointment. What do you do?? Can the appointment be saved?

 

What you DON’T want to do is get into a fight with the patient or start asking them a million questions about why they can’t keep the appointment. They will most likely get defensive and nobody wins.

 

So what do you do? Here is an amazing trick that is simple to do and actually saves around fifty percent of your last minute cancellations!! When the ubiquitous Mrs. Jones calls to cancel, simply say:

 

“Mrs. Jones, please allow me to put you on a brief hold while I retrieve your patient record.”

 

This is pretty much the ONLY time we recommend putting a patient on hold. Keep them there for around two minutes while you look at their record and have a brief conversation with the doctor or hygienist if necessary.

 

They are now listening to your great on-hold message, getting a little squirmy, and feeling kinda guilty. Then come back and say…

 

“Mrs. Jones, thanks for your patience. It looks like we have you scheduled for a thirty minute appointment to do a tooth-colored filling restoration on the lower right. Dr. Sardonicus is CONCERNED that if you don’t get this taken care of as soon as possible, the decay can grow and cause an even bigger problem which will need more extensive treatment. Is there any way possible you can keep this appointment?”

 

Do the same for hygiene, but say something like…

 

“Your hygienist Becky is CONCERNED about the area of inflammation and infection on the upper left.”

 

Amazingly, using this technique saves around fifty percent of those pesky last minute cancellations. That is good for your patient, good for your schedule, and money in the bank!!

This Dental Practice Is Transforming Lives

A short time ago we received a Facebook message from Becky Kaiser with Discount Dental Services in Denver. Hearing a message like this makes it all worthwhile. We felt we had to share this with you! Please enjoy.
Dear Madow Brothers,
 
I wanted to tell you a little something about the new office Dr. Nack started last April. I love the concept and want to know what you think.
 
Dr. Nack had a ‘very’ successful practice in Parker, CO for many many years. I was his office manager. My daughter his EDDA. In 2010, Dr. Nack retired as the ripe old age of 53. I retired as well, but was much older! He and I remained friends. After a few years of missing our ‘calling’ we decided to open a low cost dental office. Dentistry had been good to us, now it was our time to pay it forward!!
 
The challenge we faced was how could we do this with little cash to start a dental office? Dr. Nack spread the word. Soon, he found other offices willing to donate things to him, including chairs, a Pano, x-ray machine, sterilization machines, etc. He was able to find a low cost office across the hall from a doctor who feels the same about medical as we do about dental.
 
BUT, Dr. Nack wondered, how do you pay a staff when you are 95% Medicaid? He brainstormed and prayed on it. Eventually it happened. EVERY person working in our office is paid a small percentage from collections! Not production, which isn’t much! We are NOT employees, we are ALL independent contractors, working at the office because this is where we WANT to be. It definitely is not for the small pay check! We come in and work our own days and hours. No one has a set schedule, except Dr. Nack, who is there from 9:00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
You would think he wouldn’t have many “independent contractors” willing to do this, working for cents on the dollar, rather than a salary! I thought the same thing at first. When the word got around, we had more people than I ever dreamed who wanted to come and be part of “our team.” Dr. Nack makes it SO fun and rewarding, that people just WANT to be there.
 
I am proud of what Dr. Nack has done. I have seen him take former drug addicts with “meth mouth” who always had a constant reminder of their past every time they smiled, and has given them a new smile and a whole new outlook on life and their future. These people come in with broken spirits. Dr. Nack helps to convert them into functioning, happy, and productive individuals.
 
I just wanted to let you know that in these times of greed that there are still many great dentists who genuinely care. It’s so much fun to watch people transform their lives in just the little bit we do for them. I wanted to share our story with you, because you both were part of Dr. Nack’s inspiration. Please use this as an open invitation to come visit our beautiful office anytime you are in Denver. Thank you so much.
 
Becky~ from: Discount Dental Services in Denver, CO…(we were formally Soft Touch Dental in Parker, Colo.)
Becky – thanks SO MUCH for sharing such an inspirational story. It sounds like you, Dr. Nack, and the rest of your great team have the knack (sorry but we couldn’t resist) for opening your hearts and giving back to your community in a big way. Stories like this make us feel so good. Keep up the good work. We hope to see you guys again at TBSE later this year. We would also love to feature this story in our TBSE program.

Doctor, we are slammed at the front desk!!

A frequently asked question / observation we often get at our seminars:

“You guys are up here stressing customer service, treating every patient like they are the most important person in your practice, never putting anyone on hold, listening patiently, etc…

Unfortunately you have NO IDEA what it is like to be in the front desk hot seat. What are we supposed to do when we have a patient on the phone and the other line keeps ringing? What if there is a patient waiting at the front desk to talk to us? Doesn’t a live person deserve priority? It’s not easy to juggle five things at once you know….”

If your office is frequently in this situation – congratulations! You are busy! People want to come to your practice! Way to go – you must be doing something right!!

But if the front desk is constantly slammed, you are losing new patients left and right. Possibly center too.

Doctor – it may be time to crowbar your wallet open and invite another talented team member in. And the good news is – that team member will pay for themselves many times over!

Think about what a great front desk team member would earn. Then think about what a lost new patient costs your practice. (By some estimates it $10,000+!) This is what’s called a no-brainer!!

Staff up, offer the best customer service possible, and watch your practice grow!!

Don’t Do This!

A short time ago we discussed how using “away messages” or “out of office messages” in your emails can actually irritate people that are trying to communicate with you.

We gave a typical example of an away message that you have likely encountered… here it is:

“I am out of the office until next Thursday with little to no access to my email. If this is an emergency, please call 1-410-DNT-CARE and hopefully someone else can help you.”

Pretty cold, eh? (Sorry about the “eh,” we were just in Canada)

So listen to this.

The other day, while traveling to speak at the PDC (Pacific Dental Conference), one of us sent an email to a team member who was traveling with us.

We received an automated away message from her.  For a second, we were taken aback. Why would our team member have the audacity to use an away message, especially after The Madow Brothers (her bosses) took an entire e-letter to discuss how pathetic most of them are!

But as we read, we noticed that her away message was actually spectacular!  She listened!

We are going to share it with you below. Notice how she threw in a little plug for TBSE 2015! Thanks to Hope Miller of Team Madow for coming up with one of the best away messages we have ever seen!

 

While I am away at a Madow Brothers seminar in Vancouver, Canada, Linda (a fantastic member of Team Madow), is handling my calls and emails. Why don’t you give her a shout at linda@madow.com or 410-526-4780? She is there and ready to help you.

Or if this can wait, I will get back to you as soon as I return. Just let me know.

One more thing. Did you know that TBSE 2015 is filling up quickly? This will be the best one yet – guaranteed! We are back in Vegas. We have a special on TBSE.com that is going away real soon. Go ahead and get signed up. 

Sorry we missed each other today!

The Dreaded Question. Here’s Your Answer.

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

“What do you do?”

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

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

So let’s do a simple exercise.

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

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

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

High-tech.
Family oriented.
Cosmetically advanced.
Center-city.
Friendly.
Modern.
Large group.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dreaded question: “What do you do?”

Your amazing response:

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

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

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

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

We don’t. We can’t. We won’t. Sorry.

We don’t. We can’t. We won’t. Sorry.

Okay – time for another very quick restaurant story. It’s one that can have some serious implications for your practice!

At checkout in a local Baltimore lunch spot:

“Would you like anything to drink?”

“Yes – coffee please.”

“We don’t serve coffee here – but a lot of people ask for that.”

Okay – just for effect let’s repeat that line again.

“We don’t serve coffee here – but a lot of people ask for that.”

If there ever was a “duh” moment – this is it! Buy a commercial coffee maker for a few hundred bucks, or even easier, call a coffee service and tell them to set it up today!!

When our practices were young we both had a “policy” – no cleanings on the first visit. Yes – we knew that clinically that was the best decision. After all, how can you properly appoint a patient with the hygienist without an examination?

But after losing hundreds of new patients due to this policy, we both loosened up a bit and realized the number one customer service lesson in history –

Give the people what they want!

What do you hear yourself saying on a regular basis?

We don’t have Saturday hours.

We don’t take that insurance.

We don’t do cleanings on the first visit.

We don’t have a financial solution for you (so you can’t afford treatment).

We can’t get you in today or tomorrow.

We don’t do even simple orthodontics here.

We don’t do cleanings on the first visit.

We don’t.

We can’t.

We won’t.

Want your practice to grow?

Do. Can. Will.

 

A Quick Little Tip Taken A Step Further!

We all know that we should keep little notes in our patient’s charts about personal items. That way, when they return for a visit we can say stuff like:

 

“So how was your trip to Mexico?” or 

“How is that ballroom dance class working out?” or

 

“So is that no-good son of yours out of jail yet?”

 

This old chestnut has been around forever for good reason – it works!!

 

So let’s take it a step further.

 

We constantly stress how important it is to be known as “THE” dental practice of your community. And part of that is doing all of your business near your practice (banking, dry cleaning, dining, etc..) So when you do this, take the same kind of notes!

 

Example:

 

There is a small Indian take-out place near your office, and a few times a month you find yourself bringing home a delicious order of Bhindi Masala and Tandoori Chicken Tikka. Every time you go for pickup, the same guy (probably the owner) gives you your bag and rings you up.

 

Next time you go, introduce yourself as Dr. Smith or Jenny from Dr. Smith’s office – the dental practice down the street, and ask the guy his name. Store it in your phone in the same place you keep the restaurant’s phone number.

 

Then the next time you call Curry In A Hurry, say:

 

“Hello  – Param? This is Dr. Smith! I’d like to order……”

 

Then when you go for pickup, greet him by name as well. You may even have a note to ask about a recent trip, baby’s birth, or anything else relevant.

 

It’s amazing how few people do this, and how much people appreciate it. It’s a simple human touch that can go very far.

 

How far? You may gain an entire family in your practice just by being super friendly and taking a few extra seconds to show you care. Or at the very least, you may hear the magic words which one of us heard recently:

 

“Dr. Madow – I put some pappadam in with your order – no charge!!”

 

Do it at the cleaners, the bank, the gas station – everywhere you can. And before long this little simple effort will make you “THE” dentist of your community!!

Great Lesson in Five Seconds!

Sometimes a great lesson can take only five seconds to say and absorb. This one comes from Robert Schneider, the singer, guitarist and producer of the band Apples In Stereo. Though they have never had platinum sales or arena-level sellouts, they continue to put out great Beatles / Beach Boys influenced music which is so happy in its sound it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and make you dance!

In a recent interview, after a bunch of overly complex questions, Rob just smiled and said,

“The most important thing to me is being kind

and trying to do something awesome.”

Wow – that really sums it up, doesn’t it? If you’re not sure how to approach something, whether it is with a patient, fellow team member, family member, friend, or total stranger – always remember to be kind and do something awesome. How can you go wrong???

So go ahead. Be kind. Do something awesome. Do it today – and every day!!! The best part is, you will surely be rewarded for it.