Simple Referral Tip

After over twenty-five years of teaching, we have learned quite a bit. And one thing that we have definitely learned is that most people will not take action, even on a good thing.

It’s pretty safe to say that if we wrote:

“Fax us your address and we will send you a crisp new twenty dollar bill” most people would not do it.

The odds get even worse with something like asking a patient to refer someone to your practice. No matter how many courses you take with some great script that is supposed to do the magic, the reality is most patients simply will not do it.

One of the problems is that when it comes time to ask for the referral, the doctor or team member makes it about them and not the patient.

Picture the typical scenario. A patient is happy with the new crowns you just cemented. They are glowing and say:

“Oh Doctor Pickles – I just love my new teeth!”

Boom! You know that’s the best time to ask for a referral. But why doesn’t it work? Because we say something like:

“That’s great Lucinda. If you have any friends or family who could benefit from the same type of dentistry, we would be glad to see them here at Pickles Dental Care.”

Okay – Lucinda knows that at this point it’s all about trying to increase your practice.

When asking for a referral – it’s crucial to work with human nature. Make it about the patient. Engage in a little conversation first before jumping on the referral question. Let’s do an example.

“Oh Doctor Pickles – I just love my new teeth!”

“Lucinda – thanks for saying that. It really made my day! But actually, you made it easy. It’s a pleasure treating you here.”

“Oh – thanks!”

“As you can imagine – in the dental field we hear all kinds of crazy stories, so it’s our goal here to make every single patient as comfortable as possible.”

“Yeah – I know what you mean. My Mom went to the dentist and they started drilling before she was even numb!”

“Oh – so sorry to hear that Lucinda. We would be glad to make room for her in our practice and would be sure to treat her extra gently. Debbie will even give you a few cards.”

See the difference? We engaged Lucinda in a valuable conversation before jumping to the referral issue. It was about her (and subsequently her Mom) – not about the practice.

And most importantly, the conversation was tailored to lead to the referral of a specific person. This is SO much more powerful than asking for a referral of generic “friends and family.”

So yes – asking for referrals can work, especially if you put a little bit of extra oomph into it, make it about the patient not the practice, and try to hone in on a specific referral.

The point is, don’t get discouraged. It’s normal for people to not take action on anything! Just keep the gentle reminders coming and don’t be too pushy, whether it is asking for referrals, treatment recommendations that have not been completed, or anything else. The goal is not always instant gratification, but the fact that when the patient is ready to refer or have their treatment completed, you are the beneficiary of the action.

Trust us – it works!!

The Dreaded Question. Here’s Your Answer.

It’s a phrase you should have at the ready – an answer to a frequently asked question that many of us dread –

“What do you do?”

I’m a dental assistant.
I’m a dentist.
I’m a dental hygienist.
I’m a dental practice administrator.

Accurate – yes. Will it turn the asker into a new patient? Not likely.

So let’s do a simple exercise.

What is the name of your practice? (Don’t worry – the questions will get tougher.)

Dr. Leonard Cohen’s office.
Majestic Hills Dentistry.
The Smile Shack.
Drs. Johnston and Simmons.

Now (a little tougher) what is a one or two word phrase that describes your practice? Here are some examples:

Family oriented.
Cosmetically advanced.
Large group.

Next come up with a slightly longer phrase that tells the story of your practice philosophy.

Treating patients comfortably is our number one goal.
We believe in high-tech dentistry in a patient-friendly environment.
We make high quality dentistry affordable.

Take a few minutes to come up with one – it’s not easy!

Okay – you’re almost ready. Next time someone asks you “what do you do?” – fill in the blanks like this…

I’m a answer one at answer two. We’re an answer three practice and answer four!

Using some of the above examples, here is how it would sound.

Dreaded question: “What do you do?”

Your amazing response:

“I’m a dental practice administrator at Majestic Hills Dentistry. We are a cosmetically advanced practice and we make high quality dentistry affordable!”

If it fits the situation, add your location as well.

“I’m a dental assistant at Dr. Leonard Cohen’s office in Montreal. We’re a center-city practice and treating patients comfortably is our number one goal!”

So what’s your answer to the dreaded question? Take a few minutes now or at a team meeting and develop a great one. Feel free to send us your response.

Why Patients Leave

Mrs. Johnson is a relatively new patient in your practice when a lingual cusp on a lower molar snaps off, necessitating a crown. She trusts your practice, so she goes ahead and schedules the crown even though her best friend Gloria tells her that another dentist in town has a crown fee that is two hundred dollars lower.

The appointment for the prep and temp goes well, but at the insert visit the crown has a slight open margin. The decision is made to do a new impression and reappoint. The patient comments how difficult this is with her schedule, but has no choice but to make the appointment.

The second try goes well and she leaves with a beautiful new crown, but Mrs. Johnson has some moderate (yet typical) post-op discomfort. She didn’t realize at the time that a little pain after any dental procedure is not unusual.

No one hears from Mrs. Johnson until four months later, when a confirmation call is made for her upcoming hygiene appointment, at which point she says:

“Oh – I won’t be coming back in anymore. My new office will be calling for my x-rays.”

So what went wrong?

Were your crown fees too high? Was she disappointed in the clinical abilites of the office because the first crown didn’t fit well? Was it that the second impression and insert was too much of an inconvenience? How about the post-op pain?

According to international consulting giant Bain & Company, “A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related.”

So while this patient probably wasn’t too happy about several things, if a few simple service-related procedures were done correctly, they probably would have stayed.

The doctor didn’t call the night of the crown prep to check on the patient. They didn’t properly explain that while it was possible to cement the first crown, to get it really perfect would mean a new impression (while apologizing for the inconvenience.)

And a patient-centric office would overplay the fact that there would be post-op pain. That way, discomfort is expected and no discomfort makes you a hero!

So before we let you go for today, let’s just repeat the lesson of the day:

“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related.”

This Won’t Make You Look Good…

Negativity is rarely a good thing. Yet there is a situation when many people slip into it at the dental office.

Imagine that someone is presenting with sensitivity on a crown they had done by a dentist in another town just a year ago. Your exam shows that the thing fits like boots on a rooster and there is already some recurrent decay.

Or a new patient comes in for an exam and you have to talk to them about their poor periodontal condition – but unfortunately they had an exam six months ago from a dentist who didn’t even own a perio probe and told them “everything looks fine!”

Our knee-jerk defense mechanism is to tell them the crown was not done correctly or their former dentist couldn’t tell periodontal disease from an ingrown toenail. But don’t do it!! There is a good chance they loved their previous dentist, and besides – you weren’t there when the crown was done or the perio exam performed.

Trashing another dentist is like negative campaigning – it makes everyone look bad.

A great line to use is:

“I can’t tell you what the situation was when that crown was placed (or that examination performed) – I can only tell you exactly what I see today.”

Repeat if necessary. Broken record. Ad nauseum. Whatever it takes to get the message through. Just don’t slip into negativity. And then turn things around with the killer statement:

“The good news is, I know what the problem is and I can take care of it!”

It works, and you look like the hero!


Dentistry Is An Up And Down Business!

Something familiar to many in the business world is the “Elevator Speech.” Experts say that you should be able to give an enticing and accurate description of your business in the time it takes an elevator to get from top to bottom (or vice versa), thus maximizing your time with a captive audience. The reason is that many times we have opportunities to tell someone about what we do but only have a few seconds to do it. In this instance, you absolutely have to be prepared. So when you meet someone and they ask what you do for a living, just saying “I’m a dentist” or “I’m a dental assistant” will most likely not get them to run towards your office. But if you have a ten second or less elevator speech prepared and memorized, you may just pick up a few new patients along the way.
The elevator speech is similar to branding – it is essential to point out what is unique and exciting about your practice – and what makes you better than the competition. And of course even though it is memorized it should sound off the cuff. So please take a few minutes and think about your elevator speech. Be sure to include information that sets your practice apart from the pack and will pique someone’s interest. Then memorize it and repeat it until it sounds natural. Now imagine this scenario.
You are at the bank setting up a checking account with the bank vice president. When they ask you what you do for a living, instead of just saying “I’m a dentist,” you can now say: “I’m a dentist in Oak Brook – we’ve been there for fifteen years! We’re really careful about making sure our patients are extremely comfortable during their treatment. We do veneers, whitening and keep up to date on all types of cosmetic treatment – and we see regular families as well.” Or how about if you are in line at the grocery store and start chatting with the person behind you. When they ask what you do, instead of saying “I’m a dental assistant,” you can say: “I’m a dental assistant with Smiles On Main Street in Kansas City. It’s a great place – we use all of the latest technology like digital x-rays and lasers, but still have an old fashioned atmosphere that makes our patients comfortable.” Which will lead more towards a chance to hand out your card and turn a stranger into a new patient? And while these elevator speeches may seem a bit stiff in print, with a little practice yours will sound totally natural. Even though dentistry has its ups and downs, this is one simple thing you can do to take your practice to the top!

Overpriced And Crowded

People always complain that their coffee is overpriced; yet Starbucks is constantly packed!

Sure – it starts with an excellent product, but their success is mainly about the high level of service they provide.

Do they really need to write your name on the cup and call it out when it is ready? No way! They could easily just yell out “Tall Decaf Americano!!” It may even be more accurate!

But at Starbucks they know how to personalize the experience.

Do you ever see a sign at Starbucks that says “Restrooms are for customers only?” Never. They know how to make everyone feel welcome.

Do you always get a smile and a friendly greeting from the barista and cashier? It’s pretty darn consistent.

So to the folks at Starbucks, it’s never “just a cup of coffee” – it’s an experience.

Remember, a crown prep or an exam and prophy may be “just a cup of coffee” to us, but to our patients it is a big deal. They may be nervous, anxious, or fearful. And it’s up to us to make a HUGE deal of their comfort and understanding – and to give them an extremely pleasant experience.


After all, wouldn’t you like to be like Starbucks – overpriced and crowded??

This page to go away in two weeks.

This page to go away in two weeks.
Please take advantage of this special.

Dear Friend,

Time certainly has a way of flying by! Relatively speaking, TBSE 2012 is just around the corner! “The Best Seminar Ever” will take place November 9-10, 2012 in Las Vegas and the speaker lineup will be a non-stop flow of the best information and motivation ever seen at a dental seminar. The Madow Brothers (that’s us) will be supplying the legendary brand of entertainment and information that you have come to expect – that which no one else on the planet can duplicate!

And to make it even more unbelievable, for 2012…

We Are Back On The Las Vegas Strip! 

That’s right – by popular demand TBSE 2012 will be held again at the beautiful Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino!! As you may know, this is where TBSE 2011 was held and is one of the top Las Vegas mega-resorts that truly has it all!

Star worthy accommodations. Incredible dining. Everything from celebrity chefs to P.F. Chang! The Miracle Mile Shops, one of the top shopping destinations in Las Vegas, is right on premises! And of course there is the top-notch entertainment and gaming that only a Vegas Mega-Resort can provide! And perhaps best of all, since it’s right in the middle of the world famous Las Vegas strip, you’ve got…

Location, Location, Location!! 

There is no question that TBSE will educate and motivate your team like never before. If you’ve been, you already know that there is nothing else out there like it. And if you have never attended, it’s just impossible to describe! There is a reason that it gets voted dentistry’s best seminar every year! We are already on track to making the 18th annual TBSE the best one yet!

You probably know that the regular tuition to come to TBSE is $697 for doctors. People say it’s worth much more than that! Every year it sells out and there is oftentimes a waiting list to get in. This past year was no different. Many offices attempted to sign up too late and unfortunately were turned down.

FINAL CHANCE: We are extending our winter special due to a malfunction in our online ordering system last month! Here is the deal – register before midnight March 31, 2012 and your tuition will be only $397 for docs and $197 for team members! This will be the only way to lock you and your entire team in at an unbelievable price!

For only $397 per doctor (and $197 per team member) you get two full days of TBSE and everything else that goes along with it!
(Regular price: $697 Docs / $397 Team)

And here’s more good news — we were again able to negotiate an unprecedented $139 a night room rate for you at Planet Hollywood! WOW!

You definitely need to take advantage of this special offer now. You MUST register before midnight, March 31, 2012 to get this special preannouncement price. When this promotion is over, these unbelievable low tuitions will never be available again. So “use it or lose it!”

TBSE 2012 will be two days of the best learning and team building, a vacation, and a way to meet new dental friends and hear success story after success story. And it’s worth sixteen CE credits to boot! We want to see you in Vegas in November! You would be missing an unbelievable opportunity if you missed this one!

Will you be there? At this special tuition,
you now have no excuse to miss it!

Please keep this in mind. You’re surely planning to do some type of continuing education this year. TBSE 2012 will be your sure bet! Even if you are uncertain, or were not necessarily planning anything yet, this will be the most important dental event of the year — you and your team need to be there with the best practices in North America!

Please take a few minutes right now to figure out how many from your office will attend TBSE 2012. At these prices, you should certainly bring the entire team! Once you do, go online to and register there. To get your special pricing online, please use coupon code “TBSE4.” You will receive a confirmation from us shortly thereafter. We will also keep in close touch so you will be the first to find out all of the details as they are announced!

Start planning now for TBSE 2012 — the dental experience that will last a lifetime! Guaranteed!

See you in November!


Richard H. Madow, D.D.S. David M. Madow, D.D.S.

P.S. You should not hesitate on this offer. You will not have another chance to come to TBSE 2012 at this price. Call us at 1-888-88-MADOW (1-410-526-4780 international) today! You may also register online at Remember the coupon code online is TBSE4.

Final thought – Hopefully the special pricing (before midnight, March 31, 2012) and the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino location will make it more appealing than EVER for you and your team to be at TBSE 2012! So while you are thinking about it, please call toll-free in the US at 1-888-88-MADOW, or on our international number at 1-410-526-4780, or go to However you do it, we will see you in November! It’s going to be TOTALLY AWESOME!!! Remember, at midnight on March 31, the special tuition will go away!


We Actually Heard This!

We actually heard this being said by a team member recently while doing an in-office consult, and you will not believe it!!

But first, a brief commercial. Actually it’s not technically a commercial because we are giving you something of very high value for free, so let’s call it an announcement. Then we will tell you about something amazing that we recently heard.

Tonight (Wednesday night) at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, we will be presenting the latest chapter in our amazing FREE webinar series!

Here are the details on what promises to be an exciting and rewarding evening for your practice:

WHAT?  A Madow Brothers Webinar! “Use Web 3.0 to Turn Your Practice into a Multi-Million Dollar Business!”
WHEN?  Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 9PM Eastern Time WHERE?  In the comfort of your home, car or office (it’s a webinar!).
WHO?  This webinar is great for both dentists and team members!
HOW?  Click HERE to register! It only takes a minute!

We’re looking forward to seeing you there and helping you create the practice of your dreams! Now let’s move on.

So – a short time ago we were in a dental practice doing an in-office consult. Unlike most of the “consultants” who do this type of thing, instead of coming in with a boiler-plate “one-size-fits-some” strategy, we actually spend the entire morning observing the practice at work on a typical day which helps us develop a completely customized plan.

So we are hanging out around the reception area watching and listening. And this is what we hear from the team member on the phone with a patient.

“Can you give me your credit card number please? Okay, let me repeat that to make sure I have it correct. The number is 4384-7166-6877-0131? Is that right?

And the three digit security code on the back? 078? Is that correct? 078?”

At this point she was screaming as loudly as Garrett Morris on SNL doing the news close-captioned for the hard-of-hearing. Anyone in that reception area could have gone right onto the web and ordered up a couple of diamond bracelets!

And even though this was a longshot, it was pretty shocking to actually witness this much of a privacy violation, and a dangerous one at that!

What was next – having her call out into the full reception room – “Mr. Toothless – we are ready for your denture adjustment?”

The point is – unless you are totally sure you are in a 100% private area, you need to cool it on saying anything the patient may not want to be heard by others. This includes medical information, financial information, employment or insurance info, or anything else of a personal nature. It may seem obvious, but we see and hear stuff like this all the time.

The good news is that we were able to help this practice with this minor problem and many major ones as well. They are now on track to their best year ever by far!

So please learn the take home lesson from this one!

And if you want us to come into your practice, observe how you operate, and give you a truly customized plan – just for you – give us a call at 1-888-88-MADOW. It will be like nothing you have ever experienced, and may just be the thing to take your practice to that next level where it belongs!

SPECIAL!! – If you are in the Maryland / DC / Virginia area, you will save a ton on travel costs when you bring us in – so call NOW!! 1-888-88-MADOW