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How Can I Lower My Overhead?

Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America. Here is today’s question.

Hey Coaches!

My practice is doing pretty well, but I always sweat it out when payroll comes around, or there is a large bill of some type. How can I cut my overhead and get a little breathing room?

Dr. James
Enid, Oklahoma

Dr. James-

First of all, is that your first name or your last name?? We are not sure what to call you here.

Lowering your overhead is a great goal, but without knowing more about your practice it is difficult to give you truly effective pointers. When we do this for our coaching clients we have a fairly intense interview process and get really specific. But….. here are ten things that you can do, many of them starting tomorrow, that will surely help!

  1. Get on your collections! Make a list of everyone that owes you money for one reason or another and call them!! If you need to leave a voicemail, be somewhat vague. (In other words, instead of saying “I’m calling about the money you owe, you damn deadbeat!” say “We have a quick question for you that is very important…”) Get a credit card number from them right on the telephone! For those who don’t pay, send them a # 207 form!
  2.  Raise your fees! Do it now!! Don’t overthink it – just do it. And get paid more from your PPOs too! If you haven’t negotiated your PPO fee schedule, get in touch with Apex Reimbursement immediately!
  3. Offer fluoride to all adults. It’s not a huge money maker but it sure helps with cash flow.
  4. Offer sealants to all adults and kids. Both of these (fluoride and sealants) will bring in a little cash AND improve the health of your patients.
  5. Renegotiate your credit card fees. Establish a great relationship with your bank and let them know that you want to pay less for credit card processing. You may just be amazed!
  6. Renegotiate your lease.  Even if your lease is not up, with commercial real estate still down a bit, you can totally re-do your terms if you sign on for a few more years. This can immediately put cash in your pocket.
  7. Pay less for your lab bill!! Are you using our favorite lab, Maverick Dental Laboratories? They have extremely reasonable pricing and high quality. Plus – they will give you three free crowns – BruxZir, emax, or PFM –  just for trying them out! At the very least you’ll save a few hundred bucks, and probably more!
  8. Always get paid up front – don’t be a bank!! Never do in-house payment plans; you will get burned. That’s what Care Credit is for. Get the money in the bank and don’t look back.
  9. One bad apple DOES spoil the whole bunch!! A team members who saps everyone’s energy and positivity is costing you a TON! If you are in this situation, you know what we are talking about.
  10. Have a long talk with your accountant about the upcoming year. Now is the time! Are there deductions you should be taking? Things you can legally charge to the business that you aren’t? A good CPA can help immensely!

So there you have it – ten quick and easy ways to shave your overhead. While none of these are “home runs,” do five or more and we promise results!

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.

What do we do With THESE Patients?

Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America.

Today’s question comes from the beautiful Midwest!

Q: What do we do when someone wants to get treatment but doesn’t have the funds and doesn’t qualify for CareCredit? We are losing a lot of production because of this.

Thanks for your advice.

Jenna Feldski, Office Manager
Overland Park, KS

A: Hello Jenna, and thanks for your great question. There are two important things you need to consider here.

  1. Outside financing companies like CareCredit, while pretty liberal in their qualification process, are doing the work for you. They are the professionals and the experts. If they don’t approve someone, they are telling you this:

BE CAREFUL – THERE IS AN EXCELLENT CHANCE THIS PERSON WILL SCREW YOU OVER!

So beware. Any kind of “payment plan” you make with this patient is likely to wind up as an unpaid collection headache and eventually a writeoff.

2. While we always recommend being ethical, law-abiding, etc.. remember that you are not obligated to treat every person who steps into your office. Pain, bleeding, swelling, infection  – those are different stories altogether. But someone who needs routine dental treatment, (and that could include crowns to repair rotting amalgams, perio disease that is smelly and gross, missing teeth, poor function, etc…) are not under our ethical obligation.Sure – it is great to treat everyone we can. But they gotta pay! And if an outside financing company is telling you don’t treat them – don’t do it!!

Now does that mean we should stop doing “in-house payment plans” for old Mrs. Goldfinch who has been coming here since Eisenhower was president and has never missed a fifty dollar monthly payment? Of course not. But those are rare exceptions.

Does that make you feel like you are not being generous and charitable? It shouldn’t. Remember, doing charity dentistry is YOUR choice! Don’t let a patient screw you over and then tell yourself it is charity. That is not the way it works!

Charity dentistry is a beautiful thing, but it needs to be decided upon ahead of time!

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.

 

 

 

Check engine!

One of us was driving down the road recently when we noticed the little “check engine” light had suddenly illuminated on the dashboard.

Don’t you just hate that?

Do you know what it means when that light goes on?

Neither did we.

A call to the dealership did not seem to help much either. There must have been a new employee answering the phone. Because it wasn’t an extremely difficult question that we asked.

The convo went something like this:

Brother: Hello, this is one of The Madow Brothers calling. I noticed that my check engine light just came on. I have a really busy schedule and I am not sure what to do. Do you have any idea what it means? Is it safe to drive my car?

Car person: No way to tell. It could mean that something just needs to be looked at or it could mean that something is really f*cked up. Can you bring it in? (Yes, he really used the ‘F’ word)

Brother: I don’t know when I can get it in. I am leaving in the morning to speak to a group of dentists. I won’t be back until Sunday. What do you think is going to happen?

Car person: Like I said, no way to tell. You got to bring your car over here.

Let’s talk about this one. First of all, it sure doesn’t sound like that the person who answered the phone was a graduate of the esteemed “Appointment College.” He was of no help. Now we’re not car experts or anything, but don’t you think he could have mentioned that we could drop the car off and use the night time drop box? All car places have them!

But more importantly, there was absolutely no warning leading up to the “check engine” light illuminating. Wouldn’t it be really cool if there was a light or a warning system that let us know we were getting close to a “check engine emergency?”

But there was nothing.  No warning. It just happened.

Then we started thinking. (Because our minds always wander!)

There is no “check engine” light in dental practices either. No warning light.

Nothing!

What does this mean? It means that things could be getting really messed up and you have no idea. You get no warning when the “engine” of your practice is overheating!   Well, maybe your warning is that you can no longer pay bills or meet payroll. But it’s too late at that point, right?

But believe it or not, you do have something that is similar to a check engine light in your practice. It’s called a profit and loss statement. And if you have a good accountant, you should receive a detailed one every quarter.

Do you ever look at it? Our guess is you have taken a quick glance every now and then.

Our advice for the day is to totally understand your profit and loss statement. There is actually a TON of useful information there that will let you know how your practice is doing. Once you understand what all the geeky accounting stuff means, you are very likely to avert a disaster from ever occurring.

So get together with your accountant. Don’t do it now… wait until tax season is over. He or she is crazy busy right now. But sometime after April 18 (yes, we get three free days this year), set up a meeting and ask your CPA to explain everything. You will actually be amazed at what information can be gleaned from this quarterly report!

Remember – there is no “check engine” light that illuminates when things start getting whacked out in your practice. Maybe one day but no one has invented that yet.

So in the meantime perhaps the profit and loss statement is the next best thing. Take advantage of this piece of equipment! It really could save your practice and perhaps your life!

A True Manic Monday!

It’s M CLUB Manic Monday!

Read on to find out how this will help YOUR bottom line!

Dear Madow Friend,

Welcome to The M CLUB’s very first “Manic Monday!” This is going to be one of the craziest days ever! But one of the best that you have ever experienced for buying dental supplies and saving money!

Why is this “M CLUB Manic Monday?”

Because it’s the day when Henry, Patty and Ben no longer shine! Hey… all of the donuts and bagels in the world ain’t going to give any of them an advantage when it comes down to where you, a hard working dentist should be purchasing your dental supplies.

That’s right… this is the biggest scam and it’s been going on for decades! Your current dental supply rep visits your office, brings your team bagels and donuts, sometimes pretends to be dishing out great “practice management advice,” occasionally tinkers with your equipment to get it working better and then ultimately…

rips the living sh*t out of you
when it comes to selling you your dental supplies!

Why do you think they are smiling every single time they leave your office? Because they are headed to the bank to make a BIG, FAT deposit!

We are changing the way this game is played! On M CLUB Manic Monday, hard working dentists will all band together and not allow this practice to happen any more!

How do we do it? For starters, we all need to go to THE M CLUB Facebook Page and “Like” it! This will immediately link us together with like minded dentists who are sick and tired of getting ripped off on dental supplies. This is where we all meet up, and oh yeah… look out for some great deals as well as cool practice building videos from us (The Madow Brothers)!

By the way… do you have any idea how much you spend on dental supplies every year? Well if you are just “average,” that number is probably about $35,000 – $40,000 a year. And for many of you reading this right now, that number is likely MUCH HIGHER!

So on “Manic M CLUB Monday” we are going to begin by saving you thousands of dollars. This is money that is going to go right into YOUR POCKET!!! Can you say “new car for yourself?” Can you say “vacation with the family?” Can you say “finally pay off all credit cards?”

Listen: We MUST get together and dispell the old myth that the donut toting supply rep is “saving us money!” He or she is NOT!!!

Want absolute proof? Call us at THE M CLUB today (1-855-THE-M-CLUB) and we will be able to prove it! By sending us your last few dental supply invoices, we can show you very quickly how much money you will save simply by being a member of The M CLUB! And in this economy, every penny counts!

M CLUB Manic Monday tip: if you “feel sorry” for your current supply sales rep and are afraid that you will hurt his or her feelings or you REALLY love the bagels and donuts, here is a tip for you. Call The M CLUB and tell us you want to start slow. We can tell you what some special offers are today and you can begin in “stealth mode.” And don’t worry, we will keep it just between us!

M CLUB Manic Monday fact: joining The M CLUB has always been free and always will be free! Not only will you get the most aggressive pricing in dentistry, you will earn “Darby Rewards” for ordering your dental supplies! These could include flat screen TVs, iPads, and the list goes on and on. The M CLUB actually gave away 100 iPads at TBSE to docs that realized that they wanted to be in this great group of forward thinking offices!

Why are dentists all across the country doing the “happy dance” today?

Because it is M CLUB Manic Monday!

We have finally figured out a simple (no-brainer) way to save money! Because “buying dental supplies is serious business!”

OK, so what should you do right now? That’s easy! We ask that you take just two simple steps on M CLUB Manic Monday!

1. Click the “Like” button to take you to The M CLUB Facebook page. Once there, make sure you click “Like” and hang out with us often!

2. Call 1-855-THE-M-CLUB and let us know that you are sick and tired of being ripped off. Feel free to ask for your free analysis to see how much you can save over the course of the year. Remember, it is FREE!!! There is never ANY obligation. We have set this up for YOU! Wouldn’t you like to know?

You are not alone anymore! We want to save dentists hundreds of thousands of dollars TODAY! Join The M CLUB today because it is truly the only way to “shine!”

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!!

Be One Of The First!

As you know from our seminars, daily e-blasts, webinars, Powerhouse, audio learning programs, and the many other things we do around here……

We LOVE teaching dentists and team members how to succeed beyond their wildest dreams and have fun while doing it!

And since you are on our daily e-mail list, we want to give you first crack at something that can truly change your practice forever!

No one else knows about it yet. As a matter of fact, it is technically in a “pre-release” stage right now. But we want you to get the jump on things – and have the ability to put some incredible practice building ideas in high gear before anyone else gets the chance!

After all, this is the kind of information you may not want your dental “neighbor” down the street to ever see!

Whether you are a doctor looking for a better practice and more income, or a team member who wants to do a better job, enjoy your work more, AND share in the new-found success of the practice, both in the financial rewards and more job satisfaction,  you gotta check this out.

And when you see what it is all about, you will see that we also make a somewhat outrageous guarantee that few people would ever attempt!

What is it? Just click here to find out!!

If you’re still curious but haven’t clicked yet, here are a few hints!

– It comes in a big box
– It gets delivered right to your door
– Here are some of the things contained in this “big box”—–

  • One simple thing to add to every patient exam (it will take 30 seconds or less) that can add more than $100,000 in treatment this year!
  • How to banish no-shows and cancellations once and for all!
  • Five million people per month go to Google when looking for a new dentist. Here’s how to get them to find your practice!
  • How to finally achieve 100% treatment planning success every single time! Imagine what would happen if you could perform all of the treatment your patients need!
  • Ready to grow? Here are ten simple lessons from the world’s greatest marketing company. You can use all of these in your practice for free!
  • Stop “educating” your patients – simply tell them this and they will beg you for treatment!
  • One of the coolest dental products we have ever seen – it will help grow your practice too.
  • Who makes the most money in dentistry (by far!) and why! It’s time to join in.
  • The number one key success factor in operating a profitable dental practice. It’s not what you think!! Don’t ignore this one.
  • Three simple things that can TRIPLE the value of every patient in your practice!
  • What a famous company did to increase their sales by 27% in one year and how you can do the same. It’s simple, costs no money, and anyone can do it!
  • Why a beautiful website may be doing nothing for your practice – and a butt ugly one may be bringing in new patients like crazy!
  • ONE SIMPLE THING that can quadruple the amount of new patients coming into your practice!
  • Actual phone calls made to dental practices – did we call yours?
  • Spend five seconds doing this and watch your no-shows vanish!
  • How to make sure that instead of throwing your business card away a prospective patient will keep it FOREVER!
  •  A treasured secret from a Japanese businessman that your colleagues do not know! It’s a real practice builder!
  • Turn the tables! Here’s a way to get specialists to send patients to YOU! It’s simple and it works!
  • A true “marketing machine” that will get everyone in your community to want to come to your practice. The great thing is – you already own it. Now learn what to do with it!
  • A simple thing to ask every patient in your practice to get them to refer others like crazy!
  • How to successfully present a $20,000 treatment plan in ninety seconds or less EVERY TIME!

 

  • Why tracking your new patients isn’t good enough. Track this statistic and get ready to see your new patient numbers explode!
  • What the “Four Most Dangerous Words” in dentistry are and how to avoid having them ever said about you!
  • What to do when a patient says “I chipped a tooth” but they really need TONS of treatment! No need to scare them away.
  • Do patients ever call your practice during off hours to cancel their appointment on the answering machine? Here’s how to banish the “Coward Call” forever!
  • Forget the old way of newspapers, Yellow Pages and word of mouth – here’s how to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more to grow your practice more quickly than ever. You can do this even if you are computer illiterate!
  • How to get the best practice building information delivered to you every single day for FREE!
  • The simple five second trick to see of your dental website is any good. Why have a website if it is not bringing you tons of new patients?
  • The number one most crucial thing that potential new patients search for when looking for a new dentist. If you don’t know this, you simply will not be found!
  • Seven “Magic Words” that will increase your practice by ten percent or more! Anyone can do it.
  • The hidden truth about laser dentistry that “they” don’t want you to know!
  • How to easily become the “go-to” dentist in your community!
  • Six amazing ways to “Slice and Dice” your overhead! Why work hard and not keep as much as you deserve?
  • The world’s second largest search engine (behind Google) is begging for dentists! Here’s how to get on there before your competition!
  • Ten “Incredible Practice Builders.” They are all easy, simple, inexpensive, fun, and will grow your practice like CRAZY!
  • High Tech Dentistry – what are the “must-haves” and the “must-nots?!”
  • Something everyone in the practice needs to carry with them at all times. It fits in a pocket or purse and will have new patients knocking at your door!
  • Want to know if your website is working well? Here’s how to get a free “report card” just for you!
  • How to easily lower the lease payments on your building even if your contract is not up!
  • Worried about your reputation? Here’s how to make sure good things are being said about you on the internet!
  • Most dental offices refuse to “open the door” to new patients and don’t even know it. Learn what a clothing store owner taught us so that your new patient door will ALWAYS be open!
  • How to truly “Super-Charge” your perio department. Knowing this can double your hygiene income!
  • Tired of re-makes and long adjustments? Here are simple secrets for getting the best work out of your dental lab!
  • The best, most powerful, practice building email service. Best of all, it’s FREE!

 

  • The true secrets to giving a painless injection EVERY SINGLE TIME. Talk about a practice builder – wow!!
  • Running late is killing your practice. Here is a simple tip so that you will never run late again!!
  • Something every dental practice has been doing forever that is incredibly counter-productive. (Yes – you too!!) Make this simple change and watch your patients thank you, your team become happier, and your profits rise!
  • What happens when a prospective new patient calls your practice after hours? Do they get an answering machine or service? Here’s an easy way to get them on your appointment book!
  • A simple way to “Mastermind” and share ideas with the best dental practices across the country!
  • How to get “shoppers” and other crazy callers off the phone and into your office!
  • How to claim your place on internet “local business” listings. You need to do this before your competition!
  • Six simple, effective “almost free” ways to get and keep new patients!
  • Why the high-pressure case presentation does not work – and what to do instead.
  • How to make sure your patients can actually afford the treatment they need and NEVER owe you money!
  • Why “pay half at the prep and half at the insert” is a recipe for disaster and what to do instead! Your patients will thank you!
  • Why you should never ask a patient “Would you like to schedule an appointment?” and what to say instead.
  • The proper way to present outside financing. This one “Magic Phrase” can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into your practice!
  • How to have an “Invisible Sign” that works twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to throw new patients right into your chairs!
  • One thing that needs to be in every single patient’s chart. They will love you for this and never leave your practice!
  • How to provide excellent patient care when you are on vacation!
  • The new patient appointment is the number one “no-show.” Here are three things to do so that never happens again!!
  • Put this in your reception area and get your entire community talking about your practice.  This one is totally off-the-wall and it works!
  • A really great way to get your patients fighting over who can refer more people to your practice!

Could This Be Why They Had Their Best January Ever?

We received an email yesterday from Jean Henslee, who is the wife and office administrator of Dr. Robert Henslee. Their practice is in Universal City, TX which is outside of San Antonio. Jean said it is OK to share her email so we would like to do so right here.
Original email from Jean:

Dear Dave and Rich,
Well, things are working!  We had highest ever production for our office in January (almost $160,000) and 56 new patients (highest since march of 2010).  Granted, we raised fees and it was a long work month, but we were up by $45,000 over December production.  YAY!
Just wanted to spread the good news to y’all.  Thanks for your help getting us kick-started!
Thanks,
Jean Henslee

Our response:  Jean – THAT IS FANTASTIC!!! Let’s keep this going! This is REALLY impressive! Would it be ok if we shared your message with others?
Jean’s response: Absolutely!

Then another message came from Jean: By the way, that is the highest ever, EVER, not just the highest January we have ever had J  Very encouraging during the “slow” month of January.
We wanted to share this email exchange for a couple of reasons.

First, we are so excited when our Madow friends have huge success.

Secondly, we wanted to share just one of MANY of the huge coaching successes that we have had. You see, Dr. Henslee already had a very successful practice by anyone’s standards. But they really believed they could do better. So they called us. We came in for a full day and pretty much gave them so many ideas that the VERY NEXT MONTH they had their best year in the history of their practice. And in a “down” economy yet!

We are going to be having a phone call with The Henslees a few weeks from now that no doubt is going to crank them up even a few more notches. Do you think they are loving this success? We think so! Congratulations to The Henslees for having had us in their office and then for following through so well with what we taught them!

We are very busy traveling around the country visiting offices. Quite frankly, we love it when we help with your success. To those of you that have us on your schedule now, like we mentioned when we spoke on the phone, this is going to be the best day you will ever spend in dentistry! Practically guaranteed! We can’t wait to see both you and your team.

So how about you? Are you ready? We would love to come to YOUR practice and get you some great results! Results that you have only dreamed of but never knew exaclty how to achieve.

Call us. We would love to get you on our schedule. Our number is 1-888-88-MADOW.

But please be warned, if you are thinking about inviting us to your office, you must be business savvy enough to realize this is an investment. We don’t take several days out of our schedule to come to spend a FULL day with you, put our blood and sweat into making you more successful for free or for a steal. That just doesn’t work well! Yes, we do charge for this service. And it is a decent amount of money.  But it’s worth MUCH more to you and your practice! So if you simply look at the amount we charge as an expense with no return, then we are most likely not on the same page. Don’t take that the wrong way. There are some so-called coaches that talk a big game, come real cheap and would love to “help” you. And that’s fine with us. We are REALLY busy and we don’t need to beg! But a few helpful words…
you normally get what you pay for!
OK, let’s say this a little differently! This may make more sense. If you are interested in growing your practice and you get to the point where you ask us how much we charge, and when you hear the answer you start stuttering and stammering and gasping and sweating and making up crazy excuses and then you say you’ll have to “think about it,” then you probably should not waste our time or yours.

But for those of you that are still reading this and are curious and willing to make an up front investment to strive for the results The Henslees and so many others are realizing, then we should probably talk.

Just between us, we think the Henslees will double in a few years. We’re going to make that happen! We should say THEY ARE going to make it happen… we’re just going to see them through.

Shall we visit you?  Shall we do it?  Are you and your team ready? Are you brave? Do you want to be doing better than you currently are? If so, call us today. We are here for you.