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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.

 

Are You Part Of The Forty Percent?

Our good friend Fred Joyal, co-founder of 1-800-DENTIST and one of the marketing geniuses behind Patient Activator, recently told us that amazingly forty percent of telephone calls placed to dental practices during normal business hours go unanswered.

Being the skeptics that we are, we immediately got on the phone and started randomly calling practices. Well “Guess” what? He was right!

During normal business hours either no one answered or we got an answering machine. The typical messages?

“If you are hearing this message during normal hours it means that we are busy treating other patients blah, blah, blah…..”

Let’s run that one through the patient translator and see what it says. Okay – here it is:

“Gee, this practice is way too busy to see me; guess I’ll call someone else!”

Here’s another common one:

“We are currently at lunch and will return at 1:30 PM.”

Different message, same patient reaction.

How many times have we heard the old adage that our dental practice is a business? And what business would not have their phones answered during normal business hours, particularly during the lunch hour when working people have time to make personal calls? It just doesn’t make sense.

So whether it means forwarding the office line to a cell phone if everyone vacates the office during lunch, paying someone to “babysit” the office on a day that you are closed, or hiring an extra team member if you seem to constantly be short-handed, do whatever it takes to make sure the phone is answered!

This one tip should increase both your new patients numbers and your production significantly, and will be worth every penny it takes to pay for the extra team coverage times ten! Oh – that is unless whoever is answering the phone is not properly trained in how to do so. But that’s a topic for a different day!

And, since we are on this subject, we need to give you a huge apology. Even though we try extremely hard to practice what we preach, every once in a while we have a slip up at The Madow Brothers office as well – as in yesterday!

Our special pre-announcement of the brand new “Love Dentistry In A Box” caused quite a stir, and there were times during the day when people got busy signals or put on hold for longer than we ever care to do. If you were caught in that situation, you have our sincere apology.

The good news is – the announcement we put up yesterday must have been a good one, because we were seriously slammed all day! The even better news is, if you didn’t get through or maybe even missed the announcement, it’s not too late! Check it out again by clicking here.

Or, if you don’t want to read the very cool announcement and just want to skip right to the information on “Love Dentistry In A Box,” well then just click here!

And then give us a call at 1-888-88-MADOW. We promise to answer the phone right away today and not put you on hold!!

A great phone tip for the holidays!

The holidays are getting close! Here is a great phone tip that we actually teach all year long, but is especially helpful in the next couple of weeks when you’re planning on taking some time away from the office.

Instead of using your answering machine, voicemail or answering service when your office is closed, try this and you will make it much more convenient for new patients as well as patients of record to get in touch with you and get on the schedule.
When you close the office, forward the office phone to ring to a dedicated cell phone. Give the cell phone to a trusted team member who is enthusiastic about building the practice. When the phone rings during the off hours, no matter where she is, ask her to answer the phone exactly as if she were sitting in the office. Remember our article from last week? In our office, we answer the phone
 
“Thank you for calling The Madow Group, this is ____________ speaking, I CAN HELP YOU.”

When the caller asks a question, your team member will do her best to simply answer the question. It is helpful if she has remote access to the appointment book. This should be easily accomplished in a paperless office. If at all possible, make the caller an appointment if this is appropriate. And if for some reason, the answer must wait until office hours, it is very easy for your team member to say “I’m sorry Mrs. Jones, I am not at the office right now so it is difficult for me to answer your question. But I will be back at my desk on Monday, so how about if I call you Monday at 9:00AM? OK, and your phone number is ______________ ? Great I will speak with you then!”

Simple, huh? You would not believe how many offices report back to us how this technique has helped build their practices since calls NEVER go unanswered. Try it… you’ll love it. And feel free to work out a fair arrangement with the team member who takes the phone home. Many offices do it differently, but one example would be to pay her a flat amount for any new patient she is able to schedule. Or pay per call taken. Just figure out what is fair for your office. It needs to be a win-win-win!

And speaking of the phone, here is one more important point. No matter how high tech we are, the telephone is still the main artery into your dental practice. It is crucial that every single person on your team possess good phone skills to get patients from the phone into the appointment book. There are all kinds of expensive systems and institutes out there that claim to teach this. Our “Profitable Scheduling” system is the best because of its very quick learning curve and its affordability. And right now if you order Profitable Scheduling through the end of the year we are giving you a very special price. Regularly it is $597 (a great deal) but order now and we’ll give it away for $397.

Please take advantage of this now because as soon as the clock strikes midnight, it’s going back up to regular price. Order now so that you do not forget. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION! Your team will love you for it. And so will your accountant! You can write it off for this year!!!

Again, go to https://www.madow.com/profitable-dental-scheduling.html for more information or to order Profitable Scheduling! Call us with any questions. Our lines are always open!

What are these pictures worth?

We are down in sunny Boca Raton, FL getting ready to do our “Love Dentistry” seminar in front of a totally packed house today. Yesterday we were in Orlando and what a great group that was. Incredible energy in the room! Welcome to all of our new friends here today!

We just posted tons of pics from TBSE 2011 on our website and wow are they incredible! Feel free to check them out at http://www.tbse.com/tbse-photos/.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true, these must be worth millions! If you were at TBSE 2011, see if you can find your and your team! If you were not there, please check them and you will see why they call it The Best Seminar EVER!

Either way, we know for sure we will see you on November 9-10, 2012 in Vegas, right?

Have a great weekend!

The World’s Most Amazing Dentist

When we were kids, our Mom took us to Dr. Isaac Koppel – a man who could be described as “The World’s Most Amazing Dentist.”
 
The multi-talented Dr. Koppel had no team members at all, and he could answer the phone, collect money from a patient, drill on a tooth and smoke a cigarette – often all at the same time. His amazing multi-tasking abilities surely kept overhead down, but even as kids we knew this was no way to run a dental office. Even so, some of his forty-plus year old amalgams are still in place!
 
Everyone these days knows that it takes a true team to have a successful practice. But sometimes, as opposed to Dr. Koppel’s office, it may not be clear exactly what everyone does. Sure – we know that the members of the business team deal with financial matters, appointments and other stuff like that. We certainly know that the hygienists provide periodontal therapy and that the assistants help the doctor with patient treatment. Most offices probably have a protocol for cleaning and setting up rooms, ordering supplies and many of the other tasks that go with the day to day running of the practice.
 
But one thing that we strongly believe is that EVERY team member is responsible for helping to bring new patients into the practice. Here are a few tips to make sure this is being done:
 
1) Every single team member needs to have personalized business cards. But it is not enough to have them – they must be given out at every opportunity!
 
2) All team members must know how to ask for referrals from existing patients. Many times it is actually more effective if team members do this instead of the doctor. Be on the lookout for opportunities such as a patient mentioning their spouse, children, co-workers, etc..
 
3) Let everyone know that you are a proud member of a dental team. All of the people you transact with on a regular basis – school parents, business owners such as dry cleaners, co-workers of your spouse, etc. need to know that you are a member of a fantastic dental office. Make sure that your e-mail signature says so as well!!
 
4) Telephone, telephone, telephone!! Every single team member needs to be properly trained in correct telephone skills. If this is not the case, your practice is losing hundreds of new patients each year!! We strongly suggest that you check out our “Profitable Scheduling” training program. Compared to other programs it is inexpensive, fast, and we believe it is the best one out there – guaranteed!! If anything will pay for itself many times over it is getting more potential patients off the phone and into the appointment book!
 
Even though good old Dr. Koppel may have been the world’s most amazing dentist, he most likely did not have the world’s most amazing practice. It takes an entire team to have a truly amazing practice, and that includes having a great flow of new patients. So remember – don’t ever say “That’s not my job!!!” Take the steps listed here and watch your practice grow!

Is Anybody Out There?

Here’s a little tip that will greatly increase your new patient numbers and help you to provide much better service to your existing ones.

Once again we are experiencing a tremendous blizzard in the Baltimore area which seems to be getting thicker by the minute. There is pretty much a white-out at The Madow Group world headquarters in Reisterstown, MD.

Despite the fact that the entire metro area is shut down, there will be people with dental emergencies today and an answered phone can easily equal a new patient. But what will that potential new patient hear when they call most offices? Most likely an answering machine.

Now of course most people do not expect dental offices to be open on a day like today. But did you know that up to forty percent of calls to dental offices go unanswered during normal business hours? Yes – it’s true, and in today’s consumer oriented, I-want-it-now society,  that is one hundred percent unacceptable!

Let’s face it – a patient of record does not really care if you are out to lunch, have Wednesdays off, or (yuck) are “busy helping other patients.” And even worse, those potential new patients that you have worked so hard for probably will never call back.

The fact is – your phones need to be answered when a patient calls. There should never be a time during the day when someone gets a robotic machine. So yes – this means having a team member in the office on your days off and during lunch. It will pay off by a huge multiple of whatever that person is being paid. Besides – there’s always something to do in the dental office!

Let’s take it a step further (and better!). It is so simple to get call forwarding put onto your office phone plan. It is also dirt cheap to buy a basic cell phone with an inexpensive calling plan. Do you have it yet? Concentrate. The name of the game is “Snaps.” That’s right – have a team member carry the cheapo cell phone (no calls to Malaysia please) and when someone calls your office (which is actually closed)  – they will have the phone answered live! This is incredible service!

Of course you can start whining and come up with ten reasons why you don’t want to do this, or you can say: “Our office goes the extra mile to get new patients and provide fantastic service to our current ones!” Which office are you?

Okay – time to look out the window and watch the snow fall! If you want more fantastic ways to use the telephone to it’s true potential, be sure to check out our brand new “Profitable Scheduling” program!

SCARY STUFF GOING ON IN YOUR OFFICE!

There is something very scary going on in most dental offices across the country – probably yours. Learning what it is and taking the proper steps to correct it could be one of the biggest things you ever do to help your practice grow. What is it? Please read on.

But first – want to have some fun? Pull out the Yellow Pages – oh wait a minute – no one uses the Yellow Pages anymore! Go to your computer and Google “Dentist” and the name of any city or town. Find a listing that you like and then go to the telephone and give them a call, asking one of the following questions:

 –         How much do you charge for a cleaning?
 –         Do you take dental insurance?
 –         Where are you located?
 –         Do you do cleanings and crowns?
 –         Are you accepting new patients?
 –         I just moved here from out of town and my previous dentist told me I need some gum treatment, six crowns and a root canal. I would like to pay in cash. Is that alright?

After they answer the question, just say “okay – thanks for the information.” What will happen? Over 90% of the time they will not put you on the schedule! How do we know?

Since 1995 we have been doing “secret shopper” calls at our live events and as a service to offices that we work with. And it is amazing how most team members simply have not been properly trained in converting a caller into an actual patient. The scary part is that your office could be losing nine out of ten potential new patients because of this!

Think about all of the questions on that list. What they are really asking is “May I become a new patient in your practice?” And ninety percent of the time the answer is “NO!”

Think this is happening in your office? Do you want to know? You should. After all, you need to know if you are losing potential new patients! Well, we would love to help you find out with a

FREE SECRET SHOPPER CALL!!

That’s right – our expert team will secret shop your office and record the call. We’ll give you a grade from zero to one hundred with an explanation of what went wrong (or right!) and some fantastic suggestions to help you increase your telephone skills. We will also include a detailed report to let you know exactly what you need to do in order to be scheduling many more new patients in 2010!

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this call is not to poke fun or belittle anyone – it is to help your team and your practice become a new patient scheduling machine!

Just go ahead and submit the following contact information and pretty soon you’ll be “secret shopped” – the first step on the way to significantly increasing your new patient flow! After all, potential new patients are calling offices all across the country and being turned down. Don’t let it happen in your office!

Please note – this request must come from the doctor or practice owner! By filling out and submitting this electronic form, you are giving The Madow Group permission to place a “secret shopper” call to your practice, record the call, and send a detailed report back to your office. Are you ready? Then just click this link:

I Want A Free Secret Shopper Call!

Remember, as a service to you this call is free! By taking this step, you will be on your way to scheduling more new patients than ever before! There is nothing to lose – and hundreds of new patients to gain!

I Want A Free Secret Shopper Call!