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Cures For A Slow September: Treatment Tips and Management Gems

September can be a slow time for many practices. That’s why we have asked our lead coach, Betty Hayden, to come up with some ideas to make your September a great one!! But before we let Betty take it away, we want to let you know that she, along with Coach Kelly Lynch and us (The Madow Brothers!) will be in Baltimore, MD on Friday September 14, 2018 for our first ever Masterclass for Dentists!

This day will be an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to meet all of us and figure out some ways to grow their practice. And there is no charge at all except getting yourself to Baltimore. But there are two important things you need to know…

1) The Dentist’s Masterclass is for docs only. A doctor may bring a significant other or a key team member, but no team members may attend without the doc.

2) There will be lots of learning, brainstorming, practice troubleshooting, etc. But this course is intended only for those who are serious about working with us as their coaches. It’s not for “tire-kickers!” We would love to be right by your side on the road to practice growth, and this is your chance to see what that is all about.

We sent out an email about the Masterclass last week and it is already filling up quickly. If you missed it, would like to read it again, or would like to know more, just click here!

Okay – now on to Betty with her September tips. Thanks for reading!!

Rich and Dave

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
How does your schedule look for the month of September? For some offices, their schedules tend to fall apart in September. Whatever the case is in your office, I have some fun tips and ideas to help make September a fantastic month for you, your team, and your patients!

Unscheduled Treatment Plans – Reach out to all your patients with incomplete treatment plans or that are past-due in hygiene. Encourage them to schedule their appointment during the month of September.

Insurance Renewal Letters – Send out your “Use it or Lose it” reminder texts, emails, and letters. Pick up the phone and call your patients that have treatment planned and insurance maximums remaining that renew in January but haven’t scheduled appointments to start/complete treatment.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month – use this as an opportunity to educate your patients and the community about the importance of dental health care for Alzheimer’s patients in helping to keep them comfortable and healthy.

September is also the start of Football season – whether you’re a fan of football or not, celebrating football season with your office employees and patients is a great way to have more fun and exceed expectations.

  • Special Offers on Sport Mouthguards
  • Set up a photo booth area with fun football related props.
  • Post sports related dental health tips on your social media pages.
  • Cheer on your local football teams via your social media platforms.
  • Sponsor a local football team.
  • Have a raffle to win football game tickets or a football-themed gift basket to encourage Facebook likes, check-ins, referrals, and reviews on Google, Facebook, & Yelp.
  • Deliver football-themed snacks and gifts to local businesses and specialists.

Social Media Post Content Ideas for September:

1st: Random Acts of Kindness Day or Be Kind Day
9th: Grandparents Day
19th: Talk Like A Pirate Day
22nd: Bright Pink Lipstick Day
25th: National One-Hit Wonder Day
29th: World Heart Day

There you have it, some fun marketing ideas for the month of September. Please, be sure to stay in touch with me and keep me updated on any of the ideas that you use and/or if you have some thoughts on how to take these suggestions to the next level!

Sometimes despite your best efforts the schedule still falls apart. Don’t stress over it, instead use that downtime to do some training, team building and/or office cleaning/organizing.

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.

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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.

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Coaches Corner – Dental Practice Lessons From Your Dog!

Even though we give lots of advice to practices with which we work, today we will be turning to a less likely source – your dog!

  1. Be loyal!

    Just like dogs, good team members and excellent patients are the ones who stick with you through thick and thin. It is essential to appreciate them!

    2. Be persistent!

    A dog will sit by the table with puppy-eyes and a “please feed me” look on their faces forever – or until you throw some tasty table scraps their way.  If there is something you want to achieve – make a plan and don’t give up!

    3. Trust your instincts!

    Dogs love just about everyone – but if they growl and bare their teeth to someone they are often correct. If you are interviewing for a new team member and something doesn’t strike you as quite right, you are probably correct. If a patient comes in with a plastic bag filled with ten dentures, you will most likely be the next victim.

    4. Give love love love!!

    Dogs know how to melt the heart of just about anyone with unconditional love. Remember – your crankiest patients are the ones who need the most loving, and they usually respond very favorably!

    5. Shit happens!

    And when it does, kick a pile of grass over it and move on!! Could this be the most valuable lesson of all???

    Oh, and by the way, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. If your practice is stagnating, or if you and the team need some education mixed with motivation and FUN, check out www.tbse.com right away!

And remember, we would like to offer you a complimentary 30-minute “practice tune-up” phone chat! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

Talk to you soon,

The Madow Brothers

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Coaches Corner – Quick and easy, down and dirty, but very important!

Okay – we’ve said this before, but unfortunately we need to say it again!

Why? Last week our Mom had a doctor’s appointment. She is happy with the treatment she has been receiving, but told us that she is seriously considering switching to a different doctor. The reason?

“He has no personality. It’s like he doesn’t care about me. At my last appointment he walked right by me in the hallway and didn’t even look at me or say hello.”

Patient lost.

One of the easiest and most important rules to follow in your practice is “The Madow Brothers’ Ten Foot Rule!”

Simply stated, when any member of the team, including the doctor, is within ten feet of any patient, they should look them right in the eye and give a warm greeting – using their name if possible.

That’s it! No excuses. This is mandatory! So let’s start right now!

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 – Secrets For A Happy Team!

Dear Friend,

No doubt about it – the best practices have the best teams.

As much as we like to think that no one is irreplaceable, including us, the fact is that when a great team member leaves for greener pastures, browner pastures, or Louis Pasteurs, it is a blow to the office, sometimes unnerving to the patients, and just an all around pain in the butt to get a new person hired and up to speed. Of course, there are other team members whose resignation can only be responded to with a humongous sigh of relief! The point is – we want our great team members to work hard, love their jobs, contribute to the success of the practice, and stay! But do we really know how to make that happen?

Recently, the Gallup people finished off two huge multi-year studies to find out what employees really want from their workplaces, and what the best business owners do to retain them. They came up with twelve statements that are directly related to job satisfaction and longevity. 

1) “I know what is expected of me at work.”

According to Marcus Buckingham (of the Gallup Organization, not the great band form Chicago that scored in the 60s with “Kind Of A Drag” and many more), primary analyst for the study, 

“Telling employees every step to take in order to do their jobs basically says ‘check your mind at the door.’ “

He suggests a better route is to tell team members what is expected of them, and what the ultimate goals are, and then allowing them their own route to solving a problem.

Now granted, sometimes this can be dangerous. But usually, it gives people much more satisfaction and follow-through when they are responsible for solutions.

For example, let’s say that you are having trouble with collections. What works better? Telling your front desk sergeant exactly what to do, or asking them to come up with some strategies to use to alleviate this problem? Many times they will have more insight into the problem anyway. Now of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t dictate the course of action. But even that will work better with employee input. And take them seriously. 

2) “I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.”

Now this doesn’t mean you need to go to the Chicago Mid-Winter meeting and drop two hundred grand on the exhibit floor. But it also means that if you are working with equipment that was state of the art when Donovan was cranking out the hits, you are holding your staff (and yourself) way back. Plus, everything needs to be kept in the best repair and condition. Asking a team member to accommodate their technique due to faulty equipment is not only unfair, it is asking for trouble!!

Training is important too. It doesn’t help very much if you have the most modern equipment if no one knows how to use it!!

3) “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day!”

Stifling people is not a way to make them productive. A truly great leader will recognize the talents of others, and utilize them to their greatest potential. This may involve encouraging others to get out of their “comfort zone” (yikes – didn’t we promise to never use that phrase??) and discovering just how good they can be.

4) “In the past seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.”

There is absolutely nothing better and nicer than complimenting a staff member on a job well done, especially in front of a patient. This can even be for the simplest of things. And there is nothing wrong with repetitiveness!!

“Karen, that temporary looks fantastic!”

“Kim, you really handled that phone call well!”

“Kathy, Mrs. Weezer’s gums look excellent – great job!”

“Kris – why does everyone in this office have a name that starts with a K?”

We’ve been teaching this for years, and are glad that the Gallups agree!!

5) “My boss seems to care about me as a person!”

Now this doesn’t mean that you have to get involved in every soap opera that your assistant has, but it is important to care and get involved with the well being of everyone in your office. The growth and success of your staff is of utmost importance to happiness and a healthy office. It doesn’t hurt to provide a caring ear or even a shoulder to cry on from time to time. 

6) “There is someone at work who encourages my development.”

Buckingham stated that the typical management of the past tended to point out a person’s weaknesses instead of strengths. Well that just doesn’t cut it these days! It is better to point somebody in a path that matches their own skills. 

We once had a front desk assistant who did a great job, and was extremely well liked by everyone. But it seemed her forte was not answering the phone, scheduling appointments, and other things of that nature, but actually “touching” people with her warmth. It was actually very difficult for her to say “no” to a patient when they wanted a particular appointment time, whether that time was available or not!

So, after some great training, she was “shifted” to dental assistant, a position where her warmth and natural skill of making every patient relaxed and comfortable was utilized to the max. 

Everyone needs to be encouraged to use their natural skills to the best of their potential. And best of all, if you encourage learning and growing, people amazingly seem to develop more “natural” skills!! 

7) “At work, my opinions seem to count.”

This one is very self-explanatory, but rarely practiced. We are so close to the fire sometimes that we can’t feel the heat. Other’s opinions should always be welcomed. And remember, some ideas may not be feasible, but you should always encourage opinions and be VERY thankful that your team cares!!

8) “The mission / purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important”

Mr. Buckingham states, “When people feel they are an integral part of a larger whole, they are more likely to stay committed to that organization.” In dentistry, this is almost too easy. We do great things for people every day. Make sure that your entire staff shares in these successes. Take them to the top continuing education programs where they can meet other like-minded offices. And get everyone involved in charitable cases or philanthropic work of some kind. What we do is extremely important. All too often that fact gets lost in the mundaneality of work and the stresses of running a business. Don’t let it!! By the way, “mundaneality” is a made-up word. Did you like it?

9) “My fellow team members are committed to doing quality work.”

Obvious. No underminers or slackers are welcome!!

10) “I have a best friend at work.”

Like it or not, close friendships in the office are quite important. It keeps people happy and self-assured to have a good friend at work, and helps staff members deal with change. This is, of course, different than cliques, sororities with blackballing privileges, and scary queen bees.

11) “In the last six months, someone has talked to me about my progress.”

Many successful dentists do regular one-on-one meetings with their staff. According to Gallup, it sounds like a good idea!!

12) “This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow!”

This is a great one, because it benefits both employee and employer. How can your practice grow without staff growth? How can your staff be happy doing the exact same things they were doing two years ago? It just doesn’t work that way. Stagnation leads to boredom, which leads to poor performance or walking. Get your team involved. Take their suggestions seriously. Explore opportunities in continuing education (HINT: TBSE is the best way to do this!) And be one big happy dental family!!

 
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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Coaches Corner – You Deserve A Raise Today!

You work hard. You do great things for people. You change lives and sometimes even save them. You deal with all kinds of b.s. from insurance companies, cranky patients, and more. You deserve a raise!

The simplest way to do it? Raise your fees! Most practices have not raised their fees in over 18 months – many even longer! So do it, and do it now!

“Boy – that crown was a real bargain!” SAID NO PATIENT EVER!!

Your patients think your fees are high anyway, so what the heck? Charge what you are worth.

But how about those pesky PPOs? Can you raise those fees too? YES you can!!

Believe it or not, PPO fees can be negotiated (hopefully up!!) But don’t even try to do it yourself – leave it to the professionals. There are some great companies out there that know exactly how to do this, and do it successfully day in and day out.

Our favorite is Apex Reimbursement Specialists. Why? Three reasons.

1. They are the best at PPO fee negotiation. They really know their stuff, and will get you the best fee raise.
2. Unlike the other companies, you don’t pay an up-front fee at all; you just pay them a percentage of the “raise” when the new reimbursements start coming in.
3. See number two. You have nothing to lose!!

Give them a call at 410-710-6005. Or visit www.apexreimbursement.com. Don’t wait – do it now. After all, you deserve a raise TODAY!!

Let us know how it goes!!

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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