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End Of The Year Insurance Letter – Use It Or Lose It!

Hello all!! Lead Coach Betty Hayden here – welcome back to Coaches Corner! 

A question I am frequently asked is “Do you have a good end-of-the-year insurance letter?” After all, we don’t want our patients to leave insurance money “on the table” when they need treatment, and neither do they! 

 
Here is a good template for a letter you can send to your patients who have diagnosed but unscheduled treatment or are overdue for their preventive visit. Of course you should customize this to your office needs and culture.

Dear Theresa,

It’s that time of year again, when you are busy with school schedules, getting ready for cooler weather, and making upcoming holiday plans. During this hectic time, you may not be thinking about your available or unused dental insurance benefits.

Whether you have insurance benefits remaining or if you have funds set aside in a flexible spending account (FSA) or healthcare saving account (HSA), now is the time to schedule treatment so your co-payment amounts can be applied to this year’s deductions.

Make sure to use all available benefits to complete any outstanding treatment or for your all-important preventive dental hygiene appointment (“checkup and cleaning”). Almost all plans do not allow you to rollover unused dollars to the next benefit year, so it’s “Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em!”

Call us today to schedule your appointment. We find that the upcoming holiday season is always our “busy time” and we are certain it is a very busy time for you too.

Beat the end of year rush and get in early! Just give us a call at 410-761-6454 to schedule. Do it right now before you forget!

Please know we are here to assist you and answer any questions you may have regarding your dental treatment.

Yours partners for better dental health,

Dr. Rightley and the team at Pasadena Smiles

A few more tips:

Personalize  – When mailing out remaining maximum letters, be sure to customize for each patient according to their treatment plan. This will help to re-create the urgency and value for treatment.  For some patients, it will take some type of additional incentive to get them to act.

Mailing Tip –  Use a bright-colored envelope and neatly hand-write the name and address. Use a “live” stamp.

Phone Calls – About a week after you mail out your letters, go ahead and start calling them to see if they received the letter and to schedule their appointment.

Document – Be sure to document that a letter was mailed, phone calls were made and what type of response you received from each patient.

Important Reminder – Before sending out these letters and making calls to your patients be sure to review your upcoming appointment schedule… Where is your open chair time? Will pre-blocking some open time be helpful? Also, before scheduling last minute appointments that require lab work, be sure to communicate with your lab guy/gal that they can in fact, get these cases back to you in time.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

Betty Hayden is the lead coach at The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental profession. Her expertise is in effective telephone answering techniques, profitable scheduling, marketing campaigns, communication, social media, new patient acquisition, practice growth, and much more. She is called “The Idea Woman” because she grows practices!  

If you have a question for this column, please write to us atcoaches@madow.com. And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

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We hate to sound like a broken record but….

Sometimes the best ways to instantly up your practice are the easiest things to do.

So……we hate to sound like a broken record, but…..

If you listen to our podcast, The Dental Practice Fixers, you know that at the end of each episode we do a “Secret Shopper Call.” And although these calls are spontaneous and unedited, some of them have been cut out. Why? Because we called a fully functioning dental practice during normal business hours, and no one answered the phone!

We would get a message that said, “We are currently at lunch.” Or…

“If you are hearing this message during normal office hours, we are busy treating patients and can’t get the phone right now.” Or….

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

And what’s the next sound? Click! A $10,000 (average) new patient down the drain.

So (for those of you old enough to know what a broken record is) we hate to sound like a broken record, but….

Answer.

The.

Phone.

Every single time it rings!

And how about the ability of the person answering the phone to get the patient off the phone and into the appointment book? That’s a topic for another day.

But if you want a taste of what that is all about (and some good tips), be sure to listen to The Dental Practice Fixers. We do a secret shopper call on every episode, and they need to be heard to be believed!

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.

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Why Are Concerts Better Than Sporting Events?

What’s better – a concert or a sporting event? Tough question.

Here in Baltimore (home of The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success World Headquarters) we are lucky to have a plethora of both. There is a great music scene here with a huge variety of venues that attracts everyone from the largest acts in the world to our soon-to-breakout local favorites (Snail Mail anyone)?

And when it comes to sports we have The Orioles (even though they are having a really sucky year they are still “our O’s!”), The Ravens, University of Maryland basketball, Hopkins lacrosse and tons of great local events.

So why are concerts better than sports? Well, it’s a matter of opinion of course. And even though we like sports, we’re both music guys at heart. But here is a major difference. Sporting events always have a winner and a loser. Someone always goes home disappointed. At a concert, everyone leaves happy!

One of our mentors, the great (and totally nuts) Gary Halbert once said,

“There are some games in life where the only way to win is not to play.” So true. Yet it seems dentists insist on playing games where it is impossible to win!

What makes you think you can help that patient who has been through ten dentists in three years and they have all been “terrible?”

How is it possible to make a PPO work when their fee won’t cover your overhead?

Do you really think a team member who has been sabotaging your practice for five years is going to have a sudden turnaround?

Sometimes you just gotta say “no.” And remember, there are some games where the only way to win is not to play!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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The Important Trait That Most Successful Dentists Share!

What is the ONE trait that most successful dentists share? It’s not clinical abilities, but you knew that. And strangely, it may not even be excellent business skills, although you sure need that. So what is it?

Likability.

Let’s face it – if you are likable, people want to be around you. They want to listen to you. They trust you. And they want to tell their friends all about you. Fact is, being likable (and of course honest and ethical) can cover up a lot of ills. But as we all know, some people are just naturally more likable than others. However, even if you are not a natural, there certainly are some traits you can cultivate that likable people seem to have. Here are the top ten!!

1. They focus on people more than anything else.

When you are talking to a patient or team member, focus on them and truly listen. Don’t think about how you feel or what you are going to say. Listen with both ears!

2. They are authentic.

Why try to be someone else? Be the best version of yourself!

3. They enthusiastically love life.

When things go wrong they take it in stride and move on.

4. They are not big on small talk.

During conversations they make true emotional connections.

5. They treat everyone with respect.

Everyone!! They are just as nice to the janitor as they are to the biggest patient. (We always say you can tell how nice someone truly is by how they treat the waiter….)

6. They have integrity.

They don’t talk the talk, they walk the walk. And they don’t gossip or demean others.

7. They don’t constantly try to one-up others.

Ever know someone who always steers the conversation to their accomplishments, or always has a comeback to every story that tops it? Yeah – so do we. And we don’t like it!!

8. They smile.

Nothing is more important in dentistry!

9. They make an effort to look their best, but they don’t overdo it.

No one likes to hang out with a schlub. But the same goes for those who obsess over their appearance. Likable people get the balance right.

10. They respect the opinions of others.

You certainly can never agree with everything you hear. But likable people recognize the line between fact and opinion, while realizing everybody sees things differently.

To wrap it up, and to quote author Travis Bradbery, who is responsible for these concepts….

“They think about other people more than they think about themselves, and they make other people feel liked, respected, understood, and seen. Just remember: the more you focus on others, the more irresistible you’ll be.”

Now go be an excellent clinician, a great business person…..and be likable!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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June Marketing and Management Tips from Betty!

We often hear that things slow down in June. Here are some tips to keep your patients engaged during the summer months.

Marketing Tips & Ideas:

Theme: “Cruise On In For Better Dental Health.” With summer vacations on everyone’s minds, let’s join right in!

Service/Product Feature: Sealants, Mouthguards, Oral Cancer Screenings, Cleanings, and Exams.

Gift Basket Drawing Ideas: 
Car Care Kit. (Bucket filled with car care supplies.)
Summer vacation “Emergency Dental Kit” (including, of course, your emergency contact information! )

Hygiene Continuing Care Reminder: Summertime is a great time of year and it can also be a busy time of year. We encourage you to remember to take the time to squeeze in your regular dental visit before the summer months fly by. Regular dental visits are so important to your overall health.

Gift Certificates: Remember to offer gift certificates for purchase. They make an excellent graduation gift!

Educational Opportunity: National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month & National Headache Awareness Week: June 3rd – 9th – If it’s not your patient in the chair that suffers from migraines or headaches, it’s someone that they know. Great opportunity to share with them information about how you can help bring them or a friend some relief.

Blog Topic Ideas:

June is…

National Smile Month

National Candy Month

National Dairy Month

National Headache Awareness Week: 3-9th

Men’s Health Week: 11-17th

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement:

National Thank God It’s Monday Day: 4th

Corn on the Cob Day: 11th

National Cotton Candy Day: 11th

Eat Your Vegetables Day: 17th

First Day of Summer: 21st

International Body Piercing Day: 28th

 

Practice Management Reminders and Ideas:

Incomplete Treatment Reports:

Some insurance companies renew their maximum on June 1st. Pull a report of any patients due in hygiene or with incomplete treatment that have a June renewal date. Make calls and send letter/text/email that their maximum renewed and encourage them to schedule an appointment.

Recess At Work Day: 21st  

Get outside for a few minutes with your team for some fresh air. If you can’t all get outside, open the windows and turn up the radio.  How about a sweet treat to enjoy during “recess”? (ex: ice cream, frozen drink, etc.)

So how has your year been so far? June marks the halfway point in 2018. If things aren’t going exactly to your expectations or you are not reaching your goals, let’s chat! We know how to get you there!

With a free, no-pressure thirty-minute call we can learn about your practice, your goals, your struggles, and get the ball rolling towards your success!!

It won’t hurt a bit – we promise!! Just click here and we will take care of the rest!

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

Betty Hayden is the lead coach at The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental profession. Her expertise is in effective telephone answering techniques, profitable scheduling, marketing campaigns, communication, social media, new patient acquisition, practice growth, and much more. She is called “The Idea Woman” because she grows practices!

If you have a question for this column, please write to us at coaches@madow.com. And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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Feels Like The First Time

Have you ever seen a great speaker, teacher, or stand-up comedian?

One of their important skills is to make it seem like whatever they are saying is somewhat spontaneous and they are saying it for the first time.

A top-notch comedian makes a quip or a subtle facial expression and it seems like it’s just for you – but it is well rehearsed and they have done it hundreds of times. They may even be totally sick of that particular joke or motion but would never let the audience know that.

It’s the same thing when you are communicating with your patients. Sure – you’ve talked about the need for a crown, the benefits of flossing, or explained insurance coverage so many times you could do it in your sleep. But remember – for the best patient communication, it needs to feel like the first time!

We have seen too many dentists and team members explain things in a bored monotone, and then be surprised when the patient is not excited about moving forward with treatment.

This doesn’t mean you have to recite Hamlet’s Soliloquy every time a patient needs scaling and root planing. But it does mean you have to show the patient you care about them and believe in the treatment. And that means, to the patient, it needs to feel like the first time!!

Do this and your patients will perceive that they are getting truly personalized service and most importantly, they will feel like you care!

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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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Coaches Corner – R U their? Your needed. Too times.

Dear Friend and Subscriber,

With e-mail, texting and instant messaging being the preferred form of communication for the young generation (actually for every generation!), a new crop of abbreviations have popped up, and getting things grammatically correct seems to have taken a back seat to speed.

Unfortunately, we have seen some very sloppy office-to-patient communications, and have been victimized by them ourselves. 

That doesn’t mean you should spell-check your dental assistant when she is texting her boyfriend in the middle of a crown prep (gloves off please) – but it does mean that the new lack-of-rules does not apply to patient communication.
 
Anything sent to a patient, whether written, e-mail, text, or scribbled on a paper airplane, should contain proper spelling, grammar and structure.
 
If the writer doesn’t know the difference between “there,” “their” and “they’re,” they probably should not be providing written communication to patients. It just looks unprofessional. (Too-two-to, and you’re-your seem to be common offenders as well.) Please make sure that anyone in the office who provides written communications to patients (and that includes texting) can write on an acceptable level. 

They’re is a good lesson or too in this addition of Coaches Corner, and their are many others to; all two be found online. U should check out a few article’s.

And if you think that last paragraph was fine, you are hereby banned from writing in any form.

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. 

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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Coaches Corner – Tips For A Great May!

Hello Friends,

With a little planning and a lot of enthusiasm it is very possible for you to have the best May ever in your practice.  Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Dental Tips and Ideas for May 

Theme: Family Fun

May is Family Wellness Month & National Family Month.

Goal: Bring in new patients, increase production & exceed patient’s expectations.

Focus: Hygiene Preventive Services & Mouthguards (Consider special pricing on mouthguards).

Contest/Raffle – Family Fun & Wellness Gift Basket (Tote/Cooler) – Fill with lawn games, BBQ supplies, sunscreen, citronella candles, toothbrushes, paper products, chalk, etc.

Patients earn entries with Facebook likes, check-ins, reviews, Google reviews and for referring new patients.

Educational Opportunity:

Root Canal Awareness Week: 6-12 / Root Canal Appreciation Day: 11th

Can you believe there is actually a day and a week dedicated to root canal awareness? Strange as it is, let’s use it as an opportunity for patient education. We can teach how to prevent needing a root canal, what happens during root canal treatment, and why. Emphasize that root canals can be very comfortable procedures!

Social Media Post Ideas to Improve Engagement: 

Receptionists Day: 9th

Root Canal Awareness Day: 11th

National Piercing Day: 16th

Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day: 24th

World No-Tobacco Day: 31st

Practice Management Reminders:

Insurance Renewal – Many insurance companies renew their maximum on June 1st. Pull a report of any patients due in hygiene or with incomplete treatment that have benefits remaining and renew in June.  Starting now, make “Use it or Lose It” calls, mail reminders and share on social media.

Continuing Care Reminders – Summertime is a great time of year and it can also be a busy time of year. We encourage you to remember to take the time to squeeze in your regular dental visit before the summer months fly by. Regular dental visits are so important to your overall health.

Gift Certificates – Gift certificates for teeth whitening make great gifts!

Have a great May!

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

Betty Hayden is the lead coach at The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental profession. Her expertise is in effective telephone answering techniques, profitable scheduling, marketing campaigns, communication, social media, new patient acquisition, practice growth, and much more. She is called “The Idea Woman” because she grows practices!

If you have a question for this column, please write to us at coaches@madow.com. And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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Management and Marketing Tips For April

Today’s column comes from Betty Hayden, the lead coach at The Madow Center for Dental Practice Success!

Hi everyone! Today let’s talk about some easy-to-implement tips tied in to the month of April.

When I share practice management and marketing ideas with you each month, my goal is to help you exceed your current and potential patients’ expectations. Just as important, if not most important is to consistently exceed your employees’ expectations. Why? Because an employee that feels appreciated will always deliver more than is expected.

Here are a few tips ideas to help you get your second quarter off to a great start!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month & Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week: 1st -8th   – This is an excellent opportunity for you to raise oral cancer awareness and the need for early detection in order to save lives. Consider offering complimentary oral cancer screenings during the month of April or on a designated day. Be sure to promote your event on your social media platforms, in-office, and to the local TV & Print News Media Outlets.

National Pet Month –  People love to talk and brag about their pets. Use this week to ask your friends/patients on your social media sites to post pictures of their pets. Post pictures of your team members pets. Turn it into a contest: the pet with the most likes wins a special treat.

Give-away: Hand out dog treats packaged with your office information. Even if a patient doesn’t have a dog surely they know someone who does…great way to get your office name out there!

Stress Awareness Month ~ Stress can impact your dental health. Share tips on how to de-stress and protect your smile. Or, for some, going to the dentist can be a stressful experience. Share ways that your office helps to make dental visits comfortable and stress-free.

National Dental Hygienist Week (Canada): 11-17  – This one is for our Canadian friends – celebrate your hard-working hygienists all week long, eh?

Cleaning For A Reason Week: 18-24 – Send out email & text reminders to your patients that are due/past-due for their hygiene visit. Time for their Spring Cleaning! The “reason”? For their health’s sake – or, consider donating a portion of the production to a local charity.

Administrative Professionals Week: 22-28 –  Your administrative professionals are the first and last impression people receive from your office. Show your love and appreciation for all that they do to keep the office running smooth each day.

National Fun at Work Day: 5 – Have a silly & fun theme for this day. (For example, crazy hair, silly socks, decades day, etc.)

So there you have it, some fun & educational ways to help your patients and potential patients smile and exceed their expectations during the month of April.

Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty

Betty Hayden is the lead coach at The Madow Center For Dental Practice Success. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental profession. Her expertise is in effective telephone answering techniques, profitable scheduling, marketing campaigns, communication, social media, new patient acquisition, practice growth, and much more. She is called “The Idea Woman” because she grows practices!

If you have a question for this column, please write to us at coaches@madow.com. And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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So Did He Throw A Party For The Hygienist?

 

A few weeks ago we published a question from Dr. Mitchell Josephs. Just in case you forgot, here is the question:

Dear Madow Brothers,

After 21 fantastic years in the practice, my hygienist Susie is retiring. She has treated several generations of patients here and everyone loves her.

Should I send an email blast out to our existing patients (coming from her) telling everyone of her retirement, or just inform patients the day before their recall appointments that Susie retired, Ms. Schtupalot will be seeing you today!?”

On one hand I don’t want my patients to claim I did “not inform them”, but on the other hand I don’t want to give them an opportunity to start calling around to find someone else “closer to home” for their cleanings.

Thanks for your advice,

Dr. Mitchell Josephs
Palm Beach, FL
 
So – we asked for suggestions from readers of Coaches Corner, and they came in like crazy! They ranged from doing absolutely nothing to holding a big retirement party for the hygienists and inviting the entire community. So what did Dr. Josephs do? Here it is.

All my patients who thought that my previous hygienist, Susie, of 22 years was the greatest thing since sliced Mandel loaf, now think my new hygienist Rita is the “best they ever had.”

While I was slaving over my drill for 22 years, Susie was not keeping up with perio charting, x-rays and diagnosing and treating perio disease. She would chit chat for 45 min, and clean teeth for 15 min. Poor leadership on my part! I was too busy worrying about my end of the practice and keeping my chair filled. I ignored hygiene.

The new RDH is on average producing 50% more revenue than the previous one.

From your consensus of your DDS’s way to handle the transition, I went with: “Do nothing, other than when confirming their hygiene appointment on the phone, just tell them ‘Susie retired and you will love her successor Rita.’ ” Some people suggested I “should have a retirement party for Susie, inviting my patients and introducing her to the new gal.”  My feeling on this suggestion? Screw dat!

Cheers!

Dr. Mitchell Josephs
 
Just in case you are wondering, Dr. J has an extremely successful practice in South Florida. But as we have experienced with just about every one of our coaching clients, even great practices could use some improvement, and it usually takes someone from the outside (that’s us!) to do the diagnosis. Wanna chat about it? Just let us know!
 
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.

To sign up for our mailing list CLICK HERE

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