Welcome to our brand new column, Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America.
Today’s question comes from a doc in Atlanta.
Hey guys, would you be willing to share the most common mistake or problem that you have observed from the offices you have worked with over the years?
Dr. Mike H., Atlanta, GA.
Dear Dr. Mike,
Great question. There are so many things we have observed over the years, but one thing stands out in our minds for sure. The most common problem we see even today is offices that are overly concerned with how many new patients they are receiving. Everyone wants more new patients. But most docs think that more new patients are the panacea – the answer to all of their problems.
So we get into a conversation and we ask why they want more new patients. It always comes down to wanting to earn more money. Then we ask questions. How is your cash flow? What do you mean you can’t pay your bills? Why aren’t your current patients making appointments for their recommended treatment? Why did you just go into more debt to purchase that new piece of equipment? A salesman told you it would increase your production? Do you really think it’s going to help you? Why do so many patients owe you money? You have an associate doctor who is making more money than you? Can you explain why? Do you even need an associate? What is your overhead? You don’t know? Well let us share this – it’s about 90%. Why aren’t you treating any periodontal disease in your hygiene department? Is it that your hygienist doesn’t own a perio probe? Or is it that she has no time to use it or discuss perio with your patients? Do you think your front desk person is actually getting patients to make appointments? Doesn’t look like it. She needs help badly. Have you looked through your file cabinet lately? No you haven’t. It’s FILLED with patients that need to come in. Do you know how to get them in? You are taking a course to treat headaches and you can’t even treatment plan a crown? REALLY? Do you honestly believe that dropping all insurance is the answer? Your problem is NOT new patients!
Dr. Mike – Sorry about the rant. But you asked. We see this situation almost every day.
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, please write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to ask a confidential question, please CLICK HERE to schedule a free call.
“We would love to see you as a patient in our practice! Would tomorrow at 3:00 PM or Tuesday at 11:00 AM be better for you?”
“Would you like to make an appointment?”
“I know what the problem is and I can help you.”
“This tooth needs a crown.”
“Would you mind if I place you on a brief hold? I’ll be right back and able to give you my full attention.”
“Dental office – hold please….”
“We have some fantastic financial options to help make the cost of treatment more comfortable.”
“Sorry – it’s not covered by insurance.”
“Hello Mrs. Costello, I’m Dr. Luther. What may I help you with today?
“Open wide please…..”
“Thank you for calling Hill Valley Family Dentistry, this is Lorraine – I can help you!”
(Voice mail answers) “If you’re hearing this message during normal practice hours, we are busy treating other patients…”
“When you return for your next cleaning and examination in three months, we want to pay close attention to that area on the lower right to make sure the inflammation is under control.”
“You’re due for a check-up in six months.”
“If you were a member of my own family, that is the treatment I would recommend.”
“If you can’t afford a crown we can always do a large filling.”
Picture this. You are presenting a treatment plan to a patient. Everything is going great. You think you have it wrapped up. But then they pull out the dreaded excuse…
Up until now you have tried all of the crappy comebacks that the two-bit consultants have taught you over the years but you know in your heart they just don’t work.
Today we are going to give you a new response to “Let me think about it” that should take care of this problem once and for all. It has proven to be very effective in our testing.
Can you guess what the best response to “I need to think about it” may be?
Here is our suggestion: DO NOTHING!
That is correct. When a patient tells you that they need to think about it, you know damn well it’s simply a stall tactic. There is something else on their mind but they are not saying what that is. Maybe it’s financial. Perhaps they are worried about the actual procedure. Pain. We are not sure. If you just let them go and tell them it’s ok to think about it, you will not hear from them in 99% of the cases.
So try this. When they tell you they need to think about it, don’t say a word. That’s right… just keep quiet. You can look at them or look down a little bit. Or a combination of the two. Your body language must convey that you are concerned. But remember…
Do not say anything!
So what will happen next?
After a short time, your patient will feel very uncomfortable with the dead silence. Human nature is such that we want to fill in silence with words. So he or she will begin talking.
Once he begins talking, he will normally make his objection very clear and oftentimes come up with a solution without you even getting involved.
For example after a period of silence he may say “I don’t have the money at the moment but I am getting a fairly nice inheritance in October so would it be okay to wait until then?”
Bingo! You win.
Your response is “Sure Mr. Jones, why don’t we have Madge set you up right now for mid October?” Then have Madge give Mr. Jones two good options on dates and times and you are all set. You have treatment scheduled that in the past never would have happened.
Understand this. The silence at least gets them talking. Then it’s up to you to take the objection that comes up and turn it around and come up with a solution.
Will this work 100% of the time? Of course not. But we do guarantee it will increase your acceptance MUCH MORE than what you have been doing up until now.
Did you like this tip? Our goal is to make you more profitable! Please stay tuned for more answers to some of the most common objections in dentistry! We want you to be incredibly successful, and knowing the best responses will be a tremendous help to you and your practice! Stay in touch!
It’s a constant problem in dental practices – a patient calls at 10:00 AM to cancel their 2:30 PM appointment. What do you do?? Can the appointment be saved?
What you DON’T want to do is get into a fight with the patient or start asking them a million questions about why they can’t keep the appointment. They will most likely get defensive and nobody wins.
So what do you do? Here is an amazing trick that is simple to do and actually saves around fifty percent of your last minute cancellations!! When the ubiquitous Mrs. Jones calls to cancel, simply say:
“Mrs. Jones, please allow me to put you on a brief hold while I retrieve your patient record.”
This is pretty much the ONLY time we recommend putting a patient on hold. Keep them there for around two minutes while you look at their record and have a brief conversation with the doctor or hygienist if necessary.
They are now listening to your great on-hold message, getting a little squirmy, and feeling kinda guilty. Then come back and say…
“Mrs. Jones, thanks for your patience. It looks like we have you scheduled for a thirty minute appointment to do a tooth-colored filling restoration on the lower right. Dr. Sardonicus is CONCERNED that if you don’t get this taken care of as soon as possible, the decay can grow and cause an even bigger problem which will need more extensive treatment. Is there any way possible you can keep this appointment?”
Do the same for hygiene, but say something like…
“Your hygienist Becky is CONCERNED about the area of inflammation and infection on the upper left.”
Amazingly, using this technique saves around fifty percent of those pesky last minute cancellations. That is good for your patient, good for your schedule, and money in the bank!!
A frequently asked question / observation we often get at our seminars:
“You guys are up here stressing customer service, treating every patient like they are the most important person in your practice, never putting anyone on hold, listening patiently, etc…
Unfortunately you have NO IDEA what it is like to be in the front desk hot seat. What are we supposed to do when we have a patient on the phone and the other line keeps ringing? What if there is a patient waiting at the front desk to talk to us? Doesn’t a live person deserve priority? It’s not easy to juggle five things at once you know….”
If your office is frequently in this situation – congratulations! You are busy! People want to come to your practice! Way to go – you must be doing something right!!
But if the front desk is constantly slammed, you are losing new patients left and right. Possibly center too.
Doctor – it may be time to crowbar your wallet open and invite another talented team member in. And the good news is – that team member will pay for themselves many times over!
Think about what a great front desk team member would earn. Then think about what a lost new patient costs your practice. (By some estimates it $10,000+!) This is what’s called a no-brainer!!
Staff up, offer the best customer service possible, and watch your practice grow!!
The holidays are getting close! Here is a great phone tip that we actually teach all year long, but is especially helpful in the next couple of weeks when you’re planning on taking some time away from the office.
Instead of using your answering machine, voicemail or answering service when your office is closed, try this and you will make it much more convenient for new patients as well as patients of record to get in touch with you and get on the schedule.
When you close the office, forward the office phone to ring to a dedicated cell phone. Give the cell phone to a trusted team member who is enthusiastic about building the practice. When the phone rings during the off hours, no matter where she is, ask her to answer the phone exactly as if she were sitting in the office. Remember our article from last week? In our office, we answer the phone
“Thank you for calling The Madow Group, this is ____________ speaking, I CAN HELP YOU.”
When the caller asks a question, your team member will do her best to simply answer the question. It is helpful if she has remote access to the appointment book. This should be easily accomplished in a paperless office. If at all possible, make the caller an appointment if this is appropriate. And if for some reason, the answer must wait until office hours, it is very easy for your team member to say “I’m sorry Mrs. Jones, I am not at the office right now so it is difficult for me to answer your question. But I will be back at my desk on Monday, so how about if I call you Monday at 9:00AM? OK, and your phone number is ______________ ? Great I will speak with you then!”
Simple, huh? You would not believe how many offices report back to us how this technique has helped build their practices since calls NEVER go unanswered. Try it… you’ll love it. And feel free to work out a fair arrangement with the team member who takes the phone home. Many offices do it differently, but one example would be to pay her a flat amount for any new patient she is able to schedule. Or pay per call taken. Just figure out what is fair for your office. It needs to be a win-win-win!
And speaking of the phone, here is one more important point. No matter how high tech we are, the telephone is still the main artery into your dental practice. It is crucial that every single person on your team possess good phone skills to get patients from the phone into the appointment book. There are all kinds of expensive systems and institutes out there that claim to teach this. Our “Profitable Scheduling” system is the best because of its very quick learning curve and its affordability. And right now if you order Profitable Scheduling through the end of the year we are giving you a very special price. Regularly it is $597 (a great deal) but order now and we’ll give it away for $397.
Please take advantage of this now because as soon as the clock strikes midnight, it’s going back up to regular price. Order now so that you do not forget. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION! Your team will love you for it. And so will your accountant! You can write it off for this year!!!
Again, go to https://www.madow.com/profitable-dental-scheduling.html for more information or to order Profitable Scheduling! Call us with any questions. Our lines are always open!
When we were kids, our Mom took us to Dr. Isaac Koppel – a man who could be described as “The World’s Most Amazing Dentist.”
The multi-talented Dr. Koppel had no team members at all, and he could answer the phone, collect money from a patient, drill on a tooth and smoke a cigarette – often all at the same time. His amazing multi-tasking abilities surely kept overhead down, but even as kids we knew this was no way to run a dental office. Even so, some of his forty-plus year old amalgams are still in place!
Everyone these days knows that it takes a true team to have a successful practice. But sometimes, as opposed to Dr. Koppel’s office, it may not be clear exactly what everyone does. Sure – we know that the members of the business team deal with financial matters, appointments and other stuff like that. We certainly know that the hygienists provide periodontal therapy and that the assistants help the doctor with patient treatment. Most offices probably have a protocol for cleaning and setting up rooms, ordering supplies and many of the other tasks that go with the day to day running of the practice.
But one thing that we strongly believe is that EVERY team member is responsible for helping to bring new patients into the practice. Here are a few tips to make sure this is being done:
1) Every single team member needs to have personalized business cards. But it is not enough to have them – they must be given out at every opportunity!
2) All team members must know how to ask for referrals from existing patients. Many times it is actually more effective if team members do this instead of the doctor. Be on the lookout for opportunities such as a patient mentioning their spouse, children, co-workers, etc..
3) Let everyone know that you are a proud member of a dental team. All of the people you transact with on a regular basis – school parents, business owners such as dry cleaners, co-workers of your spouse, etc. need to know that you are a member of a fantastic dental office. Make sure that your e-mail signature says so as well!!
4) Telephone, telephone, telephone!! Every single team member needs to be properly trained in correct telephone skills. If this is not the case, your practice is losing hundreds of new patients each year!! We strongly suggest that you check out our “Profitable Scheduling” training program. Compared to other programs it is inexpensive, fast, and we believe it is the best one out there – guaranteed!! If anything will pay for itself many times over it is getting more potential patients off the phone and into the appointment book!
Even though good old Dr. Koppel may have been the world’s most amazing dentist, he most likely did not have the world’s most amazing practice. It takes an entire team to have a truly amazing practice, and that includes having a great flow of new patients. So remember – don’t ever say “That’s not my job!!!” Take the steps listed here and watch your practice grow!
What would you think if you took your spouse or your significant other to a beautiful romantic dinner and halfway through the meal, she (he) started texting a friend?
How about if you were taking a piano lesson and while you were playing a beautiful piece that you had been working on so diligently, you look up only to see your teacher texting?
You are going through a rough divorce and you catch your lawyer texting under the table during the trial.
You are speaking to a patient about necessary treatment. You think you are getting your message across and all of a sudden your patient gets on their smartphone and begins texting.
Well guess what?
once they start texting, they are gone
and there is very little chance of a recovery!
How do you avoid this “texting” from happening in your practice? How do you keep your patients engaged?
It’s called communication and people skills! Please listen: you can be the best damn dentist in your area (skillwise) but if you and your team do not understand how to communicate with your patients, then your practice could be in big trouble.
Rule #1. Speak to your patients regularly!
Rule #2. When you or anyone on your team are speaking to a patient – smile, look them in the eye, do not speak over their level and act like they are the ONLY person that matters. Because it’s true. They ARE the only person that matters at that particular point in time. If you just follow these simple rules, you will make out fine in over 99% of the cases. Break the rules and see what happens. They will “start texting.” And then you lost them.
If there is any way we can help you with YOUR communication skills, please let us know. Two things you may want to find out more about are how to communicate better on the telephone (our Profitable Scheduling) and how to communicate better through Social Media. We can help you with either or both! Give us a call today. We’re here and our phones are on! And we will NOT be texting while we are talking to you! You are the ONLY thing that matters to us. Try us! 😉
Two dentists practice a block apart from one another in the same town. The first dentist has an incredibly modern office loaded with every expensive gadget and gizmo he can find. In the last twelve months he has spent over thirty thousand dollars attending high-end seminars to learn about various cutting edge clinical techniques and is considered to be a fantastic dentist by his peers.
The second dentist is a great dentist also, but she doesn’t have a flashy office or the absolute latest equipment. However, she has discovered an easy way to triple her new patient numbers just by changing around a few simple things. Who do you think has the more successful practice?
If you guessed the second dentist, you are right!
A recent study has shown that over 83% of a dentist’s production comes from patients who have been in the practice one year or less. The obvious lesson? It is extremely difficult to have a booming practice without high quality new patients – lots of them!
Of course there are all kinds of programs out there promising you more new patients. Most of them involve some kind of expensive marketing campaign or crazy referral schemes – and none of them really work.
But here’s the amazing thing. You can predictably double or triple your new patient numbers without doing any of that stuff. You see – there is an excellent chance that new patients are actually banging on your door begging to be seen and you are not letting them in! The problem? Your team doesn’t have the proper training to get every single potential new patient that calls on the telephone to actually appoint.
When a caller to your office asks “How much is a cleaning?,” does your team know the proper response that will convert that caller into a satisfied new patient? How about the dreaded question “Do you take my insurance?” This is one of the most mishandled calls in dentistry! It’s even worse if the potential patient has an HMO that you don’t take. But there is a way to get them into your practice! And what about a simple question such as “What are your hours?” You wouldn’t believe how that one can be botched!
The thing is, potential patients are calling your office every day. But most of them are not making it into your chair. And worse, you never even hear about them. Or if you do, perhaps it’s in the form of “Oh that was just a shopper.” (There is actually a very simple way to turn “shoppers” into patients!)
The good news is – now you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars or invest six months of your time to get the entire office up to speed in scheduling more new patients than ever.
Introducing “Profitable Scheduling” by The Madow Brothers!
Who are The Madow Brothers? We are actual dentists just like you who speak from the experience of being in the trenches. For over twenty years we have been helping our colleagues achieve success and have the track record to go along with it.
Our brand new Profitable Scheduling program is already helping over 500 dentists across the country schedule more new patients than ever before!
What is Profitable Scheduling? It’s the absolute BEST training system on the market to get your dental front desk team to be the true experts. To get them to convert every “caller” into a patient!
It’s simple, inexpensive and quick. It’s two CDs and a workbook. That’s it. No long-term programs are needed. You don’t have to mortgage your house to afford it. Your team will be trained and up to speed in two quick hours!
“Our new patient numbers tripled within the first month and are continually getting better and better!”
Dr. Mark Herman, Delray Beach, FL
“I have a fantastic team and thought they were doing everything right. Wow – was this an eye opener! No more ‘shoppers’ and questions – just more new patients than we ever thought possible!!”
Dr. Glynn Rattner, Houston, TX
“Profitable Scheduling” is perhaps the BEST thing you could for your practice!
And listen to this. There is no-risk to give it a try. Use the “Profitable Scheduling” program for one full year and if you are not thrilled with your new patient numbers, feel free to send it back for a 100% no questions asked refund.
But it gets even better! Much better!
Because we really want to see you succeed, when you purchase
“Profitable Scheduling” at our discounted professional price, we will send you a $724 practice building success library ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! Now that seems like a no-brainer if we ever saw one!
So what’s in this library? Some brand new exclusive stuff that is hot off the presses!
Bonus # 1 – DVD: “Don’t Just Reduce Your Overhead – Slice And Dice It!!” (Value $147)
We all work way too hard to have the overhead monster come in and steal our hard-earned money! This incredible DVD will show you ways to slash your overhead that you have never thought of! Things like:
Bonus # 2 – DVD: “Powerhouse Referrals!” (Value $147)
We all know that the best patients are those who are referred by others in our practice. But none of us want to seem desperate or like we are begging our patients! This brand new DVD reveals some incredible techniques for getting referrals by the score! You’ll learn things like:
Bonus # 3 – Audio CD: “100 % Treatment Plan Acceptance Starting Tomorrow!” ($99 value)
What good are all of those brand new patients if they are not accepting the fantastic treatment you are recommending? This CD will show you, from start to finish, how to get all of your patients to follow through on your treatment suggestions! This program alone can put hundreds of thousands of dollars into your pocket. You’ll learn things like:
Bonus # 4 – Audio CD: “Social Media – Jump In Or Get Left Behind!” ($99 value)
Whether you are already involved in Social Media, have been wondering what all the fuss is about, or have no idea what it is, this incredibly informative program is a must listen if you want to put your office on the forefront of dentistry! Here is a small sampling of what is on this CD:
Remember- all of this is included when you try out “Profitable Scheduling!”
Bonus # 5 – Audio CD: “Secrets Of The Eight Million Dollar Practice” by Dr. Vincent Monticciolo ($79 value)
Dr. Monticciolo is the sole owner of a dental practice in Florida which consistently produces over eight million dollars per year! With just two associates they see over 300 new patients per month in a low stress environment. Hear the secrets of one of the country’s highest producing dentists as he explains the systems he developed to create this amazing practice! You will learn:
Bonus # 6 – Audio CD: “Tap Into Hygiene Profits” by Rachel Wall, RDH ($79 value)
Rachel Wall is an incredibly talented hygienist who now coaches practices all over the country. She has proven that the hygiene department is an overlooked source of untapped production and shows that any practice can seriously increase their hygiene numbers by making a few simple changes. In this program you will learn:
Bonus # 7 – Book: “Multi-Million Dollar Dental Practice” by Dr. Mike Kessner ($49 value)
Dr. Mike Kessner has been practicing dentistry in the Houston, Texas area for over 25 years. His story reads like a typical dentist – moderate success, burnout, self-doubt, etc.. He tried the blue collar practice, the “high-end” practice, studied with the clinical and management gurus – but nothing seemed to work. After much frustration, he sold his practice and worked as an associate.
Then, something unbelievable happened that would change his life forever. How unbelievable? It has been featured on Oprah and a made-for-TV movie! That catalyst got Mike so fired up that in a five year period he created a multi-million dollar practice!
In this fantastic book, Mike outlines the philosophies which helped him to build a truly recession-proof mega-successful practice in an area which is flooded with dentists. He is now NETTING well over one million dollars per year! Think you can’t earn that kind of income in dentistry? Well think again!! This amazing book, one of the best we have come across in years, will be the start of your new dream practice and life!
SPECIAL BONUS # 8 – Book: “Everything Is Marketing” by Fred Joyal ($25.00 retail; priceless value!)
No doubt about it – Fred Joyal, co-founder and CEO of 1-800-DENTIST, is one of the most brilliant marketing minds in dentistry and is responsible for helping thousands of practices grow. His landmark book, Everything Is Marketing, is one of our favorite dental books of all time. In this book you will find topics like:
The tips in this amazing book are practical, easy to put into action, and will cause explosive practice growth!
This is stuff that you just won’t find anywhere else, and you can now have it for…
So what do you think? Are you ready to train your team in just two hours to handle every single difficult call that comes into the office and the not-so-difficult ones also? Are you prepared to see how these new skills will double or even triple the amount of new patients coming into your practice?
Now you can open the door to more new patients without doing any more marketing! Plus, even if you decide to return this amazing program (which you won’t!) the fantastic practice library is your to keep!
Best of all,
We are offering “Profitable Dental Scheduling” at a very low price!
“Profitable Dental Scheduling” Regular Price – $597
Plus – order now and you will get this amazing $724 practice-building library absolutely free!!
And remember – if Profitable Scheduling does not increase your new patient numbers like crazy within the first year, you may return it for a complete refund and keep all the bonuses!
To order this practice-changing program, please CLICK HERE or simply call 1-888-88-MADOW today! If the link does not work quickly, simply go to www.madow.com and click “Profitable Scheduling” at the top.
To your success,
Dr. Richard Madow and Dr. David Madow
P.S. We only have a limited number of these bonus items and don’t want you to miss out! Call 1-888-88-MADOW,or go online today.
P.P.S. – Think about this. You could pay some “fancy pants” consultant $30,000 to improve your practice, and if you get no results that money is lost and gone forever! But when you purchase “Profitable Dental Scheduling,” if you don’t double your new patient numbers in one year, we will gladly give you a 100% refund. And you keep every bonus item we sent you! You can’t lose!