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My Recession Confession

MY RECESSION CONFESSION

Recession, depression, oppression, regression, transgression, succession, obsession, decompression, bull session, rap session or jam session? I have no clue what we are going through. And let me tell you … neither do the “experts”!

Let’s face it; there is nothing any of us can do about this economy – at least on the macroeconomic side. And by the macroeconomic side I am referring to real estate markets, stock markets, interest rates, tax laws, etc.

But the good news is that we do have some control over the microeconomic side – our personal finances. Financial strategies that I have figured out by necessity have literally changed my life and given me a better outlook on everything, no matter how long this crazy economic climate continues.

Has anything good come out of the crazy times we are experiencing? I actually think so. Let me share a few things I have learned over the past few months and have incorporated into my life. I find that they are making a very big difference. I am fairly certain they will help you as well. OK, here we go…

It is more important than ever to have a total grasp of your finances.

If you were like me, you used to go out shopping, see something you wanted, and simply purchase it. The credit card bill came in at the end of the month and you paid it. No big deal, right?

And I bet if I asked you what your average monthly cash flow is for business and personal, you would give me a blank stare. I mean, there is probably no way you could tell me accurately how much you have coming in (after taxes) each month and how much goes out. Most people only guess (inaccurately).

In the past, buying on a whim and ignorance concerning monthly cash flow probably didn’t matter too much. The money was there, we spent it – no problem. But as Bob Dylan once said, “The times they are a’changin’.” The financial climate in this country now demands our attention. This recession (depression? – whatever it is) affects all of us. Ignorance of our financial situation is a luxury we can no longer afford.

I found this cool little Web site online that will totally change this and give you a perfect snapshot of your finances at any time of the day you wish. It is called Mint and the Web site is www.mint.com.

When you go there, you will have to input some personal and financial information, but they use the same security that financial institutions use so I have no problem giving them what they need. At any time, you can go to Mint and see exactly how much you have in any of your accounts, how much you have charged, if you are over budget in any category, etc.

Once you start using Mint, it will be clear as day where your money is going. And with a few little tweaks, you will be able to cut out the money wasters and ultimately have a balanced budget!

I have been using Mint for only a couple of months now, and it has more than paid for itself already. Oh, wait a second, Mint is totally free! Check it out.

Please do not stop your marketing!

Unfortunately, I hear this one all the time from dentists: “Things are a little tight as far as my cash flow these days, so I have decided to cut back on my marketing.” If you are even remotely thinking this, please be warned that making this mistake could prove to be very serious.

Think about it for a second. There is a very good chance that your bottom line is down 20% or so in this economy right now. That seems to be the national average. Maybe you are doing a little better or a little worse. But if this is true, then you absolutely need new patients, not necessarily to grow your practice, but to at least get your numbers up to where they should be. So you need to continue your marketing or you will slip even farther behind.

Now, of course, I am not recommending that you continue marketing that is not working. I would not recommend that in ANY economy, let alone a down economy. Make sure you are doing things that have been proven to work, especially in tough economic times. There are tons of things that work now.

In our one-day “Love Dentistry” seminars, Rich and I talk about many good marketing strategies that are working now for our subscribers all across the country. And the good news is that many of these are free or “almost free.” If you have not been to one of our seminars or you are not sure where you should start, please call our office at 1-800-258-0060 and one of our friendly team members will be very happy to give you some ideas! But please, no matter what you do, don’t close up your pipeline to the community.

It is crucial to save money on the things that you are able to save on!

So we have established the fact that halting or postponing your marketing because of the economy is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that you could make. Having said that, there are many areas you SHOULD be saving on. As I said in my December 2008 article, I have found it to be true that many vendors are willing to negotiate on price because their numbers are down so much.

The most important expense that you can start saving on immediately is for your dental supplies. This one is such a no-brainer; I am surprised that 100% of you are not doing this.

It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that your dental supplies comprise a significant portion of your expenses. If you are like the average dental practice, you are most likely buying the equivalent value of a luxury car or SUV each year in dental supplies! If it were possible, wouldn’t it make sense to minimize this expense while purchasing the exact same dental supplies?

Well, this is very possible. As you know, many years ago, Rich and I teamed up with David Fry and Bryan Lindsay to create the Richards Report Buying Group. Since its inception, our goal has been to bring our members their dental supplies at the absolute lowest cost possible. The way we are able to do this is the same way that large companies are able to purchase goods at much better prices than the average consumer – by buying in large quantities.

Let me ask you a question: If you wanted to purchase some hamburger buns, do you think you’d be able to do so at the same price that McDonald’s purchases their buns? Or if you needed a flat screen TV, could you get the same price that Marriott Hotels gets? Of course the answer would be no to the above. These companies buy so many hamburger buns and TVs that they get to purchase these at probably half of what you or I would pay.

Well, the same applies to your dental supplies although not on as grand of a scale, of course. You see, over the last thirteen years, we have brought so many dentists into our buying group that we are able to negotiate what we believe is the best deal on dental supplies in the profession.

Some of the highlights of the Richards Report Buying Group are:

• Free membership ALWAYS! Some other groups lure you in with “free membership,” only to find out that it was a teaser and in order to stay in, you must pay to play! We have never charged for membership, and we never will.
• Affiliation with the best dental supply company! As you probably know, we have been affiliated with Darby Dental for quite some time now. Darby has a reputation for a great catalog of items at fantastic prices.
• Discount from already low prices! Richards Report Buying Group members take 12% off of the regular already low prices in Darby’s catalog. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this???
• Fastest shipping to-your-door!
• Dedicated phone number for our members! When you place an order, you call our incredibly dedicated staff at the Buying Group. They will treat you like part of our family! The phone number is 1-866-309-9472.
• Easy signup! Call 1-866-309-9472 immediately and get signed up in a matter of seconds. Then, as soon as you are ready to place your first order, you may call, fax or go online! It is so simple.

I cannot stress enough how important it is right now to join a buying group. In the past, if you wanted to overpay for your supplies, maybe it was easier to make up for it with increased revenues. Today, you need to save every single way you can. This is a MUST!!!!

Thanks for being a reader of The Madow Brothers Monthly. We are the “Love Dentistry Guys”! We have been teaching dentists and their teams how to “Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Get Rich” for just about twenty years now. Over the next few months you will be seeing more about how to “Love Dentistry!” And please watch out for the unveiling of our brand new Web site, www.lovedentistry.com. Others who have promised to help you have come and gone while The Madow Brothers are making more dentists successful every day! Remember, you are not alone anymore!!!

A very smart dentist!

For 29 years, Dr. Mayer Levitt had an incredibly lucrative practice in Providence, Rhode Island, where he transformed a small, two-room office into a mammoth-sized, twelve-treatment-room blockbuster with an incredible staff of 24 hardworking individuals who loved their jobs and showered him with tremendous respect.

During the last seven years of his practice, Mayer began to consult with a few select dentists in Rhode Island who wanted to know how the “Levitt Magic” worked. Realizing the financial potential of these consultations, he accepted a deal from his partners to buy out his share of the practice and walked away from clinical dentistry with an absurdly large check offering total financial freedom and now pours all energy into making his consulting business the most successful of its kind in the industry. It’s very typical of Mayer’s clients to increase their bottom line by over one hundred thousand dollars within as little as twelve months!

The key to Dr. Levitt’s success is HAVING FUN! As a clinical dentist, Mayer Levitt enjoyed the work more than just about any other dentist he knew, and he made more money than most of them as well. This is a man who, at a relatively young age, could’ve walked away from dentistry and devoted his time exclusively to his family, his forty-foot racing sailboat, his golf game, and studying jazz piano, but Mayer truly loves helping other dentists grow their practices. The satisfaction he gets from helping friends and colleagues transform their dental practices into financial giants is unbeatable.

What has made Mayer (and his clients) so successful is that, unlike some of the national consulting programs, there is no “one-size-fits-all” cookie cutter approach. His uniquely personal touch makes all the difference. He really takes the time to learn the nuances of each practice – the strengths, the weaknesses, where stagnation has set in – and then develops strategies and techniques designed to help those practices thrive. He uses the same methods that made his own practice so successful and individualizes them for each practice, including detailed formulas and worksheets designed to illustrate projected “growth” on a month-to-month basis. Through scheduled monthly office visits and follow-up phone calls, Mayer tracks each practice as they move onward and upward toward financial heights never before imagined. Truly, this isn’t hyperbole. This is fact. The bond he creates with these offices is totally amazing! They look forward to Mayer’s visits and continually thank him for the job he has done in creating success.

Over the past twelve years, Mayer has worked with more than 440 dental practices and, through word of mouth, his consulting business continues to boom. Currently he works with 34 practices of which 32 have reported significant profit increases over the last year. When you consider the horrific state of the economy, that success rate is indeed impressive! Even with all of this achievement, Dr. Levitt remains relatively unknown outside of New England. You see, Mayer never really wanted to be a big name consultant, nor was he interested in spending nights in deserted airports and lonely hotel rooms. Maybe you don’t either but yet still have an interest in passing on your own knowledge to other dentists seeking ways to grow their practices.

If this is something that sounds interesting to you, a desire to help other dentists and have lots of fun doing so, then talking with Dr. Levitt may be the perfect answer. There really is nothing like getting a big “thank you” from dentists after helping them improve their practices and, in many cases, the quality of their lives. Many who choose to consult do so as a lucrative way to transition out of their clinical careers, just as Mayer did.

Mayer is totally convinced that his “boutique” regional consulting business can be duplicated anywhere in the country. And so are we. He has begun working with select dentists in various regions who wish to transition into this fun and hugely profitable second career. As a matter of fact, Mayer has already proven his business model with a dentist from Texas (name withheld for obvious reasons).

Mayer’s plan called for the dentist (let’s call him Dr. Texas) to come up to Rhode Island and totally immerse himself in Mayer’s consulting business. Dr. Texas spent an entire week with Mayer visiting clients and listening to phone calls. In between, Mayer mentored Dr. Texas on all of the ins and outs of how to successfully run a dental consulting business. At the end of the week, Dr. Texas had the knowledge as well as the materials to take home and start his own consulting business. No question about it – Mayer has developed the most comprehensive set of manuals and systems designed to help dentists increase the success of their practices!

Even upon Dr. Texas’ return to the Lone Star state, Mayer continues to make himself available for unlimited e-mail and phone support. He also taught Dr. Texas how to locate dentists most likely to become his clients. He’s helped him every step of the way and now Dr. Texas has gone full bore with his own dental consulting business and has an impressive list of dental practice clients of his own!

After Mayer successfully trained Dr. Texas, word spread quickly and two more dentists (one from Georgia and one from Nevada) completed Dr. Levitt’s program. Right now, with Mayer’s full hands-on support, each is in the process of setting up consulting businesses in their respective regions. No doubt these will be two more impressive success stories! A dentist in New Jersey will be starting Mayer’s program shortly and two more dentists have contacted him to start training as well. We’re convinced smart dental practices in these states will be better for it.

His business is growing rapidly, and since he only works with one dentist per region, this is an opportunity you want to consider taking advantage of right now. Mayer is currently looking for a dentist who may be toward the end of his or her clinical career and is ready to try something new, incredibly rewarding, and a lot of fun.

But before you go selling your handpieces and articulators on eBay, there are a few things you should know.

Between his consulting business, his golf, and his family, Dr. Levitt is a very busy guy. If you are interested in this idea, he would love to speak with you. But quite honestly, Mayer would prefer not messing around with individuals who aren’t completely committed to the exploration of this new path. He’s got jazz piano lessons and a forty-foot sail boat, for crying out loud! This is a real business opportunity, so unless you are truly interested in becoming a consultant who helps dental offices thrive, please don’t pursue this.

Also, Mayer is going to be extremely selective regarding who gets this information. As you can imagine, his reputation is at stake. If you presently have or have had a very successful dental practice and you want to do something outside of clinical dentistry, you are probably someone who should speak with Mayer. If you have floundered around and just never really achieved much success in dentistry, this is probably not for you!

If you get to speak to Mayer and everything “feels right” between the two of you, he will invite you to Providence, Rhode Island, where you can observe him in action as he works with his own dental practice clients. By visiting with Mayer, you and he should certainly be able to determine whether or not this is for you. Once you see this man (and the overwhelmingly gracious response from his clients), you’ll understand why he’s the best at what he does.

If you’re interested in taking the next step, please feel free to give either Dr. Richard Madow or Dr. David Madow a call at 1-800-258-0060 and they’ll be happy to fill you in a little more. They’ll also set up a phone call between you and Mayer. If you prefer, you can reach Mayer directly by either calling him at 401-421-3615 or just send an e-mail to jodena@cox.net.

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to make a very nice living in dentistry but not necessarily as a wet fingered dentist, this could truly be your golden opportunity!

Become the Expert Dentist with a Press Release!

Here is a great idea that you should try as soon as possible in your dental practice.

Have you ever watched the Today Show or any of those other morning network shows? Let’s say they are doing a segment about depression. Typically, what they will do is have an expert on the show who can talk to the viewers about some aspect of depression. Perhaps the expert will talk about the “Five Warning Signs of Depression,” or maybe will reveal some “Safe Natural Cures for Depression.”

Is that “expert” who is being interviewed by Matt Lauer necessarily the smartest or the most qualified person to talk about depression? Most likely NOT!!! There are probably hundreds of people in the country who know more than this expert. So how did this particular person wind up on the Today Show and the others did not? Again, it comes down to simply knowing how to get the proper publicity!

Have you ever turned on the local TV and seen one of your colleagues being interviewed about dental implants? Or have you opened up your local newspaper and noticed a full-page article on whitening and the dentist down the street was the one they quoted? They made him look like he was the damn authority, didn’t they? How did you feel? I bet you were a little pissed off that they didn’t come to YOU for this information, right? You probably even know more than the schmohawk that they interviewed! Well, the only reason that you did not get the publicity is that you didn’t know how! Again, it’s that simple.

Dr. Mitchell Josephs has figured out how to get all of the free publicity that he wants down in Palm Beach, Florida. You’d better believe if the press in South Florida wants to do a story about snoring, gum disease, removable grills, or what to do in case of a dental emergency, they are going to contact Dr. Mitchell Josephs! Again … it’s not that he is necessarily the best dentist in Palm Beach (although I know he is pretty damn good), it’s just that he knows what to do to be known as the “expert” in his area!

How about you? Are you ready to become the local expert? I hope so, because you would not believe how many patients you will have knocking on your door once you are perceived as the expert. It’s insane. Think about it. Everyone wants to go to the “best dentist in town.” Are you the best? It doesn’t matter! The only important thing is that you are perceived as the best!

You may be thinking … “What can I do to become the local expert in ______________ (fill in your city here)?” Well, there are multiple things you will need to do. But the good news is that many of these are totally free! But I don’t want to get you scared so we will start slowly with just one very important thing. It is called a press release. It’s simple but powerful. A press release is generally a short (one page) piece of information that would be of interest to the public. If you want to become known in your area, you need to first write a press release and try to get it published in your local paper. I will now take you through it step by step.

First of all, you need to decide what you will write in your press release. Let me make this easy for you. It should be on a topic that not only the public would be interested in, but something that you have an interest in as well. For instance, if you have no interest in doing dental implants, do not write a press release about them (unless you want to have tons of potential implant patients knocking at your door)!

OK, let’s pick a simple topic for illustration purposes. We’re going to write about the effectiveness of over-the-counter whitening systems. How many times do your patients ask you if the tooth whitening kits at the local Target store are any good? I bet all the time. People want to know this stuff.

So you’ve got your topic. Now you need to think of a title. The title has to catch the editor’s attention. How about if our title is something like … “Do Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening Systems Really Whiten Teeth?” That’s fairly catchy, isn’t it?
Now, I know you would like to sit back and have me do all the work for you but, sorry to say, it’s time for you to get your creative juices going. Here’s what I want you to do. Write a one-page “story” that will teach the readers exactly what they need to know. Tell them that the over-the-counter systems are very weak and could work fairly well in limited situations. Discuss why the concentrations of the “bleach” have to be weak. Maybe suggest which people would be best suited to trying over-the-counter whitening. Then tell who it’s not good for!

Make the story interesting and write in lay terms. No dental jargon! Write it in the third person, occasionally using your name. For example, you might say, “According to Dr. Jerry Katchke of Cliff Street Dental Associates in Columbus, many people get frustrated with these over-the-counter whitening systems because even if they work, the results do not last as long as most in-office products.” Be sure to talk about the whitening kiosks that are springing up in malls across the country too!

A few tips. Please do not make the story a blatant sales pitch for your office. If you do, it will not get printed! Make it pure information. Limit it to one typed page. At the top left, type the words “For immediate release.” This lets the publisher know that they are free to print this right away. At the top right, type your contact information. It can be your name, e-mail address, and phone number, or that of a team member. Either is OK.

Your headline should appear in Bold Letters! Then comes your story on over-the-counter whitening. At the very end of the story, type three pound signs like …
# # #

This tells the publisher there is no further copy.

Before you bring your press release to the publisher, be sure to have a proofreader check for typos, inconsistencies, grammatical errors, and to make sure that it is understandable to a nondental person. A poorly written article is worse than no article at all.

So now you have the ammunition as well as the knowledge to write your very first press release. Go ahead and give it a try. Again, please pick a topic that you like and that readers will be interested in! In the above example, your office will most likely receive calls from people who are interested in whitening and are seeking more information.

Next time I will help you pick which publication to send your press release to as well as give you some tips on how to actually send it and how to follow up once you do. But in the meantime, get writing!

One more thing before I close. I want to stress how powerful getting a press release published can be for your office. Because once you get one published, that is only the beginning to becoming the “expert dentist” in your area. I really hope you follow through with this step.

The Madow Brothers love teaching dentists! For more information on how to “Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Get Rich” check out www.madow.com.