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A Mid-Winter Mix of Info

Scenario: A call comes in to your office and the person on the other end asks the question “How much is a cleaning?”

Now of course you have been doing some good marketing and it’s just starting to pay off. But you are busy and you are not able to monitor the calls that come in. You don’t even know about most of them.

What are the possibilities here?

  1. The correct fee for a cleaning is quoted.
  2. The call is terminated quickly because the caller is a “shopper.”
  3. The caller is asked if he or she has insurance and what type it is.
  4. The caller is told that we really can’t quote a fee because we don’t know what kind of a cleaning he or she will need.
  5. The caller is told that cleanings are not done on the first appointment.

Which one out of the above possibilities are you praying that your front desk person says? Well guess what? None of them are effective.

By the way, do you know exactly how this type of call is being handled? Probably not. But even if you were standing right there, would you even know what the most best answer is? They certainly did not teach you this in dental school.

Listen. We are six weeks into this year. Resolutions that you made on New Years day are quickly fading. Don’t you agree if there is one thing you should do this year, it would be to have your team properly trained to get callers from the phone into the appointment book easily and predictably?

Good news – you no longer have to pay thousands of dollars and then put your team through painful, agonizing, embarrassing, lengthy training videos. Yes, there is a much easier way now. Please do yourself and your team a favor and click HERE to find out more!

Next.  Our Social Media Marketing Summit in Baltimore last week was our best one yet by far! What a great group of people we had here! Everyone that was in attendance came away not only totally set up, but with a “blueprint” if you will, of EXACTLY what they need to do. If you have been living in a cave for the past year, Social Media Marketing is only getting stronger and it’s something every dentist needs to be doing for his or her practice if they want to survive the next ten years!

Our next course is in Chicago on March 19-20, and then in Phoenix on April 9-10. These are both filling up quicker than ever and if you are considering learning with us, you should sign up now! Click HERE for more info about this amazing course that dentists are calling “the best two days I have ever spent in dentistry!”

Onward. We just put the final touches on our February Dental Powerhouse DVD, and it should be in the mail within a few days to our Powerhouse members. This month’s program teaches you how to get more referrals than ever using some really cool original techniques. Not a Powerhouse member? It’s not too late to get in on this month’s program. Click HERE to see what you are missing.

Lastly, thanks so much for being a Madow friend! If you ever have a question for us, it is now easier than ever. Many people are turning to our Facebook page and asking us questions right there. It’s simple to do and you will always get a very quick response. Plus, our thousands of Facebook fans will get to learn as well as they look on. What a win-win Social Media is!

Have a great day today. If you are one of the many stranded in the mid-Atlantic region blizzards (as we are), please enjoy it and just make sure you kiss a loved one!

Until next time… your friends – The Madow Brothers!

Is Anybody Out There?

Here’s a little tip that will greatly increase your new patient numbers and help you to provide much better service to your existing ones.

Once again we are experiencing a tremendous blizzard in the Baltimore area which seems to be getting thicker by the minute. There is pretty much a white-out at The Madow Group world headquarters in Reisterstown, MD.

Despite the fact that the entire metro area is shut down, there will be people with dental emergencies today and an answered phone can easily equal a new patient. But what will that potential new patient hear when they call most offices? Most likely an answering machine.

Now of course most people do not expect dental offices to be open on a day like today. But did you know that up to forty percent of calls to dental offices go unanswered during normal business hours? Yes – it’s true, and in today’s consumer oriented, I-want-it-now society,  that is one hundred percent unacceptable!

Let’s face it – a patient of record does not really care if you are out to lunch, have Wednesdays off, or (yuck) are “busy helping other patients.” And even worse, those potential new patients that you have worked so hard for probably will never call back.

The fact is – your phones need to be answered when a patient calls. There should never be a time during the day when someone gets a robotic machine. So yes – this means having a team member in the office on your days off and during lunch. It will pay off by a huge multiple of whatever that person is being paid. Besides – there’s always something to do in the dental office!

Let’s take it a step further (and better!). It is so simple to get call forwarding put onto your office phone plan. It is also dirt cheap to buy a basic cell phone with an inexpensive calling plan. Do you have it yet? Concentrate. The name of the game is “Snaps.” That’s right – have a team member carry the cheapo cell phone (no calls to Malaysia please) and when someone calls your office (which is actually closed)  – they will have the phone answered live! This is incredible service!

Of course you can start whining and come up with ten reasons why you don’t want to do this, or you can say: “Our office goes the extra mile to get new patients and provide fantastic service to our current ones!” Which office are you?

Okay – time to look out the window and watch the snow fall! If you want more fantastic ways to use the telephone to it’s true potential, be sure to check out our brand new “Profitable Scheduling” program!

A Message For Your Dental Office From Bill Murray

Yes – today is Groundhog Day. Perhaps even more famous now than the day itself is the classic Harold Ramis movie starring Bill Murray. In one of his best roles ever, Murray plays Phil Connors, a sarcastic miserable ego-inflated weatherman for a local TV station who covers Groundhog Day every year.

A blizzard (which ironically Phil failed to predict) keeps him stuck in Punxsutawney an extra day, but that day turns into what seems like an eternity as Phil awakes every morning to find it is still February 2nd.  His negative lifestyle has forced him to live the same day over and over again. After a series of wild daily escapades, it is only when Phil cleans up his act and starts to love life again that he can escape the cycle.

So how about your practice? Are you experiencing a “Groundhog Day?” Are you practicing the same way year in and year out, complaining and whining but making no progress? Has playing it safe led you to a stagnant and unfulfilling practice?

When is the last time you:

  • Learned a new clinical technique and incorporated it into your practice with enthusiasm?
  • Redecorated your office, even with fresh paint, new carpet, different wall hangings – and just created a newer, happier mood?
  • Took the entire team to a high quality practice management course and got out of your comfort zone by truly changing the way you practice?
  • Pumped up your marketing strategies by using Social Media and other current techniques?
  • Joined up with a group of like-minded dentists to brainstorm, share ideas and grow everyone’s practices?
  • Increased your new patient flow by really learning how to handle every single phone call that comes into your office, including “shoppers” and difficult questions such as “Do you take my insurance?”
  • Blocked off a long weekend for the entire team to learn, bond and have a great time together with the ultimate goal of taking your practice to a higher level?
  • …or done ANYTHING to get out of a rut and stop practicing during “Groundhog Day?”

If any of these things ring true to you, make today the day you decide to finally take action! You can have a more successful practice, enjoy dentistry more, and actually, like Phil Connors did, have a much better life. The choice is yours. Make today the day you decide to do it!!

21 Phrases That Should Never Be Said to Someone Calling Your Dental Office!

Our extensive research shows that there are some really scary things taking place in your dental office. YES, YOURS!!! Unless you are in the extreme minority (perhaps 3%) of offices, what we are going to tell you is happening at your front desk.

Whatever you may have been doing to get new patients (space ads, social media, new resident mailings, 1-800-DENTIST, Yellow Pages, etc.), if you’re team is saying any of these twenty phrases when someone calls your office, you may be losing up to 90% of the potential new patients. Sad but true!

So let’s say someone calls your office and they are interested in coming in as a new patient. Typically many of these callers ask a “stupid” question, simply because they really don’t know what to ask. “How much is a cleaning” is a very common one.

If you do nothing more, please make sure none of the following 21 phrases are being said to a caller who asks how much it is for a cleaning.

“It depends what type of cleaning you need.”

“Do you have insurance?”

“It depends on your periodontal condition.”

“Do you have recent bitewings?”

“We don’t do cleanings on the first visit.”

“When is the last time you had a cleaning?”

“Hold please.”

“Are you a new patient?”

“We don’t quote fees over the phone.”

“If you have a lot of calculus, we need to scale by quadrants.”

“Who’s calling?”

“How did you find out about our office?”

“Do you have any pockets?”

“Our hygienist can’t see you for two months!”

“Sorry, we’re not open on Fridays.”

“We have to appoint you with the doctor before you can have a cleaning in OUR office.”

“I’m sorry, we’re on vacation that week.”

“We don’t accept patients with THAT insurance.”

“We’re going to have to schedule you for an exam, pan and bitewings.”

“You’re going to have to fill out this form first.”

“You have reached the office of…” (answering machine)

We suggest you get together with your team and have a meeting to determine if any of these phrases are being said to your callers. If they are, they are potential roadblocks to getting new patients into your practice. Please take some time to figure out how you can avoid having ANY of these phrases said to callers!

Maybe there are some other phrases that we did not list here. If you have any, we would love to hear them, so please email them to us! We will compile them for a future article and hopefully we can help even more offices be more efficient!

If you would like to have your entire team trained easily, quickly and effortlessly to be total professionals on the phone as well as get practically every caller into your appointment book, you may want to check out our “Profitable Dental Scheduling.” With “PDS” your team will be trained and ready in two hours. It’s that simple!

Plus, with “Profitable Dental Scheduling,” you no longer have to spend an arm and a leg to be the best that you can be, and you will not be harassed to join more expensive programs! You can have confidence that a Madow product will get the job done for you the first time and the right way!!!! Click HERE for more information on “Profitable Dental Scheduling!”

SCARY STUFF GOING ON IN YOUR OFFICE!

There is something very scary going on in most dental offices across the country – probably yours. Learning what it is and taking the proper steps to correct it could be one of the biggest things you ever do to help your practice grow. What is it? Please read on.

But first – want to have some fun? Pull out the Yellow Pages – oh wait a minute – no one uses the Yellow Pages anymore! Go to your computer and Google “Dentist” and the name of any city or town. Find a listing that you like and then go to the telephone and give them a call, asking one of the following questions:

 –         How much do you charge for a cleaning?
 –         Do you take dental insurance?
 –         Where are you located?
 –         Do you do cleanings and crowns?
 –         Are you accepting new patients?
 –         I just moved here from out of town and my previous dentist told me I need some gum treatment, six crowns and a root canal. I would like to pay in cash. Is that alright?

After they answer the question, just say “okay – thanks for the information.” What will happen? Over 90% of the time they will not put you on the schedule! How do we know?

Since 1995 we have been doing “secret shopper” calls at our live events and as a service to offices that we work with. And it is amazing how most team members simply have not been properly trained in converting a caller into an actual patient. The scary part is that your office could be losing nine out of ten potential new patients because of this!

Think about all of the questions on that list. What they are really asking is “May I become a new patient in your practice?” And ninety percent of the time the answer is “NO!”

Think this is happening in your office? Do you want to know? You should. After all, you need to know if you are losing potential new patients! Well, we would love to help you find out with a

FREE SECRET SHOPPER CALL!!

That’s right – our expert team will secret shop your office and record the call. We’ll give you a grade from zero to one hundred with an explanation of what went wrong (or right!) and some fantastic suggestions to help you increase your telephone skills. We will also include a detailed report to let you know exactly what you need to do in order to be scheduling many more new patients in 2010!

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this call is not to poke fun or belittle anyone – it is to help your team and your practice become a new patient scheduling machine!

Just go ahead and submit the following contact information and pretty soon you’ll be “secret shopped” – the first step on the way to significantly increasing your new patient flow! After all, potential new patients are calling offices all across the country and being turned down. Don’t let it happen in your office!

Please note – this request must come from the doctor or practice owner! By filling out and submitting this electronic form, you are giving The Madow Group permission to place a “secret shopper” call to your practice, record the call, and send a detailed report back to your office. Are you ready? Then just click this link:

I Want A Free Secret Shopper Call!

Remember, as a service to you this call is free! By taking this step, you will be on your way to scheduling more new patients than ever before! There is nothing to lose – and hundreds of new patients to gain!

I Want A Free Secret Shopper Call!

The Easiest Way To Lose New Dental Patients!

According to a recent study, over 30% of telephone calls to dental offices never actually get answered. Of course we didn’t believe this – so what did we do? Called a bunch of dental offices!

Believe it or not, our anecdotal research showed that it was indeed true. Amazingly, most offices did not have phone coverage during their day off (typically Wednesday, Friday, or both) and just about every single one had an answering machine on during the absolute best time for new patient calls – lunch! Even more amazing – it was not uncommon to get a message such as “We are busy treating patients right now and cannot answer the phone…..” YIKES! Why not just scream to a potential new patient – “We are too busy for you!”

Think about it – if you are closed one day per week with no phone coverage and put the answering machine on during lunch, you are automatically losing 30% of your calls. Many of those are potential new patients who will never call back!

Now think of how much it would cost you in staffing to have the phones answered during these times. With a new patient being worth anywhere from $3600 to $10,000 (depending on whose statistics you like) – can you really afford NOT to have the phones answered?? Having constant telephone coverage is a guaranteed way to increase new patient numbers AND existing patient satisfaction.

For more tips on scheduling LOTS more new patients, click here to find out about our great new program, Profitable Scheduling, or call us at 1-888-88-MADOW.