By Dr. Tom “The Gems Guy” Orent
SOMETHING MY EX-WIFE SAID ABOUT SHAWN 25 YEARS AGO
I’ll never forget Shawn (not his real name). True story. Shawn is one of the most successful dentists I know … and Shawn graduated number 150 out of 150 in my Tufts Dental School Class. He was the nicest guy, but he just didn’t have academic smarts to make the grades. Before you assume that perhaps he was gifted clinically, he was not. In fact, the poor guy just didn’t have any hand eye coordination. Oh, did I mention (I’m not making this up!) he confided in me that he was color blind, too? During orientation at Tufts Dental, Jay Stinson, our Dean of Students, told us we were on our way to being “Doctors.” “Forget the dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself competition you suffered during your undergrad pre-med days,” he said. “You made it to dental school, and, if you have the desire to graduate, we’ll do everything in our power to make sure that happens.” On the one hand, that was incredibly reassuring. I wasn’t the brightest in the class. I had pretty average grades coming out of undergrad. Eventually, though, I buckled down (in dental school) and graduated in the top 20% of my 150 “Doctor” class. Although he was addressing us all, in retrospect, Dean Stinson was really speaking to Shawn … DEAN STINSON ASSURED US WE’D ALL GRADUATE
If you’ve been on planet Gems for any length of time, you’re likely aware that my former wife and I have a great relationship. But I’ll never forget a comment she made some 25 years ago as I was entering the vortex of my “Perfect Storm” years — $1 million in debt, soon to be divorced, and being embezzled by my office manager! "How was Shawn, number 150 of 150 in our class, able to grow a booming practice from day one … while I for the better part of my first 15 years in practice, struggled just to make my minimum mortgage payments?" “Tom,” she began, “I don’t get it. We have unpaid bills stacked high on the kitchen table, can barely make the mortgage payment each month, and have criminally high- interest credit card debt that seems to grow unchecked like a malignant tumor. Yet Shawn, who had to repeat more classes than anyone in Tufts’ history and couldn’t prep a decent crown to save his life, paid off his home two years ago and just bought a second home right on the water on Cape Cod!”
#150 of 150 in his class!
The sad thing was I agreed with her. I was delivering the highest possible quality dental care and service to my patients, yet I was failing to properly provide for my family. Even though it was 25 years ago, I remember that sick-to-my-stomach feeling of anxiety and concern for our future as if it were yesterday. How was Shawn, number 150 of 150 in our graduating class, able to grow a booming successful dental practice practically from day one out of school … while I, for the better part of my first 15 years in practice, struggled just to make my monthly school loan and minimum mortgage payments?
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DIDN’T PATIENTS REALIZE I WAS THE BETTER DENTIST?
during treatment. And, one more thing. Shawn was fast! He didn’t spend time fussing over the little things (like complete caries removal, margins, or fit!). Bottom line, Shawn’s patients adored him. Returned to him. Referred friends, family, and co-workers to him.
"You and I measure the quality of our care based upon very different metrics from those of our patients."
If you’re in the top 1% of General Dentists netting (that’s NET PROFIT after expenses, before taxes) more than $500,000.00 per year from your dental practice(s), you can skip to the next article. If you’re not yet there, but would like to grow your practice and make (much) more money, read on. The epiphany I experienced with respect to Shawn’s success versus my struggle was one of the most important business lessons I’ve learned. Adopt this paradigm shift and you may experience a level of personal income growth you’ve never thought possible.
GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH
No, I’m not for a moment suggesting we should deliver substandard care, leave caries, lack concern about margins, fit, etc. To this day I’m proud of my obsessive-compulsive nature when it came to delivering the highest level of quality care possible. I had microscopes that dropped down from the ceiling (same as you’ll find in every Endodontist's office) which I used to ensure my preps were perfect and my crown and bridge margins were amazing. The fact is, with all the steps I took to ensure optimal quality, I was only able to produce at an average (if not slightly slower than average) speed. Guess what patients want? A dentist they like, who is kind, gentle, truly interested in them … doesn’t hurt them, and gets them in and out of the chair as fast as possible! Wait! Don’t patients want quality care? Yes, of course. But you and I measure the quality of our care based upon very different metrics from those of our patients. If it didn’t hurt them, didn’t take very long, the bite is comfortable, and it doesn’t fall out … it must be good quality! One of my mentors in business, Dan Kennedy, has a saying: “Good enough is good enough!” Although I’d never suggest any of us perform and deliver less-than-excellent dentistry, I’ll tell you from personal experience that we often spend far too long obsessing over preps, margins, etc. to the point where we may actually be reducing the quality of our clinical results. How many times can we go over that margin before we prep the tooth down to a nub? Overheat the tooth? Draw perilously close to the pulp, etc.?
the point where you are optimizing quality at a far higher speed.
More patients will stay, pay, and refer droves of family and friends to your practice. You’ll not only be far busier but your hourly productivity will also go through the roof! Hourly productivity is one of the seldom examined KPIs that has a direct and dramatic effect on your income. The average General Dentist produces between $300 and $400 per hour. If you were to measure and continually track your hourly production over time, you could easily improve it. Yes, we’ll be adding Doctors’ hourly production to the Gems Dashboard in the near future! Many years ago, I learned of a Dentist, David, who very early in his career developed debilitating wrist pain (in his dominant, right hand). Surgeons told him there was little they could do for him, and, if he didn’t cease practicing dentistry, he would soon lose most of the function in his hand and wrist. Rather than give up, David traveled to Japan to study Japanese theories of ergonomics. How did Japanese factory workers perform the same repetitive tasks, at a high level of quality and speed, and rarely suffer repetitive motion injuries? He brought what he learned in Japan back to his practice in the United States and totally changed his manner of practicing dentistry. He has been practicing ever since and, nearly 30 years later, is injury free. Furthermore, Dr. David Ahearn, to my knowledge, may be the world’s most highly productive General Dentist at $1,650 per hour! EPILOGUE – WORLD’S MOST PRODUCTIVE GENERAL DENTIST
"Sadly, the quality of your margins and level of technical excellence ... simply aren’t in the top 10 reasons your patients choose, stay, pay, and refer to your practice!"
The scary truth is that, with only very few exceptions (like world-class Dentists whose patients are Dentists flying from across the country and even overseas for treatment), the quality of your margins and level of technical excellence in prepping and placing a distal occlusal inlay on tooth #2 simply aren’t in the top 10 reasons your patients choose, stay, pay, and refer to your practice! So, why did patients like Shawn so much? It’s really quite simple. Because they really liked Shawn! He had a wonderful personality and was the kind of guy you’d instantly like from the moment you met him. Shawn was caring, empathetic, and spoke from the heart. He was as honest as the day is long and was always fascinated to learn about his patients, their kids, their grandchildren, their work … conversations were always about “YOU.” What else? Well, Shawn was very gentle. He was way better at giving anesthetic than prepping a tooth. Patients never felt his injections, and rarely (if ever) experienced pain
MORAL OF THE STORY
Be more like Shawn. Not his clinical skills … but everything else! No pain, super compassionate, truly interested in your patients … run on-time … get them in and out of the chair faster. Find a happy medium for your clinical technique to
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When I first heard how much he produces, I assumed that either he’s doing mostly high- end cosmetic or implant cases, his fees are through the roof, or he’s cutting way too many clinical corners. Turns out it’s none of the above. David is your typical “bread and butter” General Dentist. His fees are average, and his quality is, well, amazing! Yes, I had to see this for myself. So, I ventured to his
practice and spent a day with David watching over-the-shoulder. I can attest to the fact that he cuts no corners, looks about as laid back and effortless as anyone you’ve ever seen … performs wonderful dentistry and his patients adore him.
in Boston. If you’ve not yet registered, call 1-888-880-GEMS (4367) or go to
InsidersCircle.com and click on the 2019 FALL RETREAT banner at the top left corner of the home page. See you for dinner at my home as we kick off the event!
Dr. David Ahearn is one of our keynote speakers this fall at the Gems Family Retreat
Dr. Gene Dalla Lana, Canada Dr. Carlo Biasucci, Canada Dr. Jaroslaw Kokolus, Canada
Dr. Lyle Yee, CA Dr. Hsiao Chen, CT Dr. Gordon Kent, NY Dr. Richard Short, MA Dr. Neeraj Jain, FL Dr. Leatha Wood, MI
Dr. Kristi Craig, CO Dr. John Burgess, TN Dr. Brad Parker, OR Dr. Steve Drescher, GA
Dr. Vijitha Sanam, MA Dr. Behzad Nazari, TX Dr. Mike McKinney, KY
GEMS INSIDERS’ CIRCLE™ QUARTERLY Q&A WEBINARS: Four times each year, I’m available in the evening for up to 90 minutes to answer your questions about any topics of your choice regarding dental practice management. GG12 AND INSIDERS’ CIRCLE™MEMBERS’ FALL RETREAT: Doctors and team members often tell us they have never experienced anything like our retreats in all their years attending dental continuing education. Experience it for yourself and form a lifelong bond with other GG12 and GIC family members. If you’re ready to experience a transformative time for your practice and your life, head on over to InsidersCircle.com and click on the retreat banner in the top left corner. Register now!
For the latest up-to-date information about what’s happening on Planet Gems, go to InsidersCircle.com and click on “Calendar” (menu bar, top left of homepage). If you have questions, please contact your Personal Gems Concierge or call 1-888-880-GEMS (4367). 90-MINUTE GG12 TEAM TRAINING WEBINARS: GG12 Dental Practice Transformation members please block out this monthly program on your calendar. These occur just once each month, but they could easily be the most important 90 minutes you and your entire team will invest.
August 7: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EDT — GG12 Office Hours
August 19: 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT — GG12 and GIC Quarterly 90-Minute Q&A
GG12 OFFICE HOURS: Twice each month, my office door is open for your visits. This is an opportunity for GG12 Doctors and Team Members to reach me directly with questions about dental practice management.
August 21: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT — GG12 90-Minute Monthly Team Training Webinar
August 23: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT — GG12 Office Hours
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By Tom Rich, MBA, GG12 Senior Practice Analyst
Prior to a Gems Family Member’s acceptance into the GG12 Dental Practice Transformation Coaching Program, we conduct an interview and full practice analysis. During the practice analysis, it’s common to see a dentist with roughly the same number of active adult patients as they have adult prophies (For example, one of the recent GG12 applicants had 1,373 active patients and had conducted 1,422 adult prophies over the past 12 months). Unfortunately, I see this in the majority of practices I evaluate. "The more hygiene your practice does, the more dentistry you will do, and the better care your patients will receive, which leads to more production and profit." From a health standpoint, every adult needs to be seen — at the very least — twice a year. From a simple “numbers” perspective, that means, in the example above with 1,373 active adult patients, there should be no fewer than 2,746 adult prophies. But, more often than not, it’s nowhere near the “ideal” of twice per patient (never mind the 29 classifications of patients who MUST be on 3-month recall). In the example above, the Doctor explained the reason for his low prophy count was that “hygiene capacity was limited.” It’s important to note, his practice was only open 3.5 days per week, which means there were 3.5 days where his office was sitting empty, and that’s assuming he only kept his 9-to-5 schedule (capacity dramatically increases as you expand your hours of operation, e.g. open early, close late, etc.). Because of his flawed perception of limited capacity, he felt he shouldn’t push his team to get patients to come back more frequently. That decision was negatively impacting his patients, his practice, and his bottom line, which begs the question, “Why do we allow this to happen?” • It’s easier to let the patient dictate the frequency and level of care. • It’s easier to not reach out to the patient. • It’s easier to let all the “automated processes” try to do the heavy lifting to get patients back. • It’s easier to sit back and hope that patients care enough about their oral hygiene and health to make frequent visits a priority. The answer is:
Here’s a real shocker: People don’t like going to the Dentist.
Your patients will actively seek out excuses or other “more pleasant” alternatives (praying for an IRS audit, begging to be condemned to die in a third-world prison, engaging in public speaking, going used car shopping — even when they don’t need to) … anything to get out of visiting the Dentist.
In other words, because visiting the Dentist is not a priority for, or even actively avoided by, your patients, helping them get into your office needs
to be a priority for you. That’s where follow-up needs to become your No. 1 priority … and it all starts with hygiene. The more hygiene your practice does, the more dentistry you will do, and the better care your patients will receive, which leads to more production and profit. This is where it becomes perfectly clear that the “easy” way won’t work.
Is it more work to call your patients who should be coming in? Yes.
• Is it more work to increase the frequency of human contact and follow-up? Of course.
Is it worth the extra effort? You better believe it.
Isn’t it time to stop letting opportunity go down the drain? You will only ever be as busy as you are willing to be.
"Because of his flawed perception of limited capacity, he felt he shouldn’t push his team to get patients to come back more frequently."
To discover how much potential you’re letting rot on the vine, call your Gems Concierge to schedule your own one-on-one RoadMap to Success practice analysis. For more information and resources on how to improve your hygiene recall, visit InsidersCircle.com SITE MAP GOLDMINE UNDERGROUND TEAM TRAINING TOOLKIT EPISODE 009 “How to Double Hygiene Recall.”
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SPOILER ALERT: This is a sensitive subject. If you are a team member reading this article, we realize you have as much reason to want to prevent embezzlement in your practice as the Doctor/owner. Even one bad egg could ruin it for everyone! No dental practice is immune to embezzlement. Mindy Salzman, a certified fraud examiner with nearly three decades of accounting experience, explains that most dentists assume "It could never happen to me," and yet 3 out of 5 dental practices are hit with embezzlement! Unfortunately, many practices don’t notice the problem until it’s too late! The Dentist is wondering why he can’t pay his bills. Some declare bankruptcy long before discovering that a team member had been skimming money from the practice. What causes a team member to steal from their employer? Are people just inherently greedy or bad? Can you really trust anyone with your practice? The truth is there are many great team members in the dental profession, but, as Mindy explains to Gems family members … you can never be too vigilant.
Embezzlement can happen to anyone, and anyone can embezzle. You are entitled to the profits your practice produces. You’ve invested and worked long and hard to afford that lifestyle about which your team member may be jealous.
Watch for any combination of even just a few of these 16 red flags.
• AN INCREASE IN ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: This is where cash payments become a large issue. Cash is already notoriously hard to track. There’s no digital copy, and the only real “paper trail” is the physical cash being handed off. Team members can take advantage of this by recording the cash payment as occurring, charging an expense account, and keeping the money for themselves. An increase in the money you are owed could be a sign that a team member is keeping the money for themselves. • INCREASE IN PATIENT ADJUSTMENTS OR WRITE-OFFS: Let’s say a patient pays $1,000 for treatment. A team member embezzling from your practice can put $800 in the practice’s bank account and pocket the extra $200 by marking the patient as having paid for the treatment in your practice’s tracking system. Now, the patient has a zero balance, and you’re none the wiser. Why? Because according to your books, you were paid for that $1,000 treatment even if your bank account only shows an added $800. Why compare when the amount you’re owed equates to zero? And it’s not easy to track hundreds of dollars. Monitoring the number of adjustments or write-offs that are made each week or month can give you insight into whether this might be happening. I was the victim of embezzlement by a long-term team member who used this method to steal money from my practice. I took action to prevent this from happening again by recording my estimate of the cost of treatment I performed on each patient immediately after meeting with the patient. That evening, I would compare my numbers with the recorded totals in the end-of-day report. The action took seconds, and I caught any inconsistencies immediately.
"MORE = Motive, Opportunity, and Rationalization equals Embezzlement."
SEARCHING FOR MORE
Mindy describes embezzlement with the acronym, MORE: Motive, Opportunity, and Rationalization equals Embezzlement. Any employee can find motive and opportunity to embezzle from your practice, especially if you give it to them on a silver platter. If a team member has motive to steal money (they are severely in credit card debt), and they are given opportunities to skim money off your books (they are the only employee who handles cash transactions), then they can easily rationalize stealing from your practice. Giving your employees more responsibility and managerial positions gives them more exposure to your profits … and the totals stolen from you will jump, too! Heck, you roll into work every day in your brand-new Lexus and take your family on tropical vacations every winter. Employees figure you can afford to lose a few dollars and cents.
• INCREASE IN REFUNDS: Refunds are part of the business world, but, when these start becoming more prevalent, you have a
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• TAKING WORK HOME: Company records and documents should NEVER leave your practice. If an employee feels the need to take these documents home with them … or you discover they are doing so on their own terms … then you need to ask yourself what their motivation might be. Chances are they are altering and falsifying records to cover up their scheme. • COWORKER COMPLAINTS: AGAIN, never stop listening to your employees. They hear whispers in the break room. They see what their coworkers do behind the front desk or in the parking lot. They confide in each other. Use that to your advantage and take every complaint to heart. • CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH PATIENTS: If your business team members are particularly sweet on some patients over others, consider their relationship outside of the office. Employees have been known to give their friends discounts by skimming off the money the friend pays for their own bank accounts. • BORROWING OR ASKING FOR ADVANCES: This could be a clear-cut sign that an employee is desperate and might do something they rationally know is wrong. • CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH VENDORS: Just as your team members can make friends with patients, your team members can become close with the vendors they see day in and day out. Numerous embezzlement circles have been busted involving vendor and dental practice team members teaming up against the Dentist. • EMPLOYEES WHO RESIST AUTOMATED ACCOUNTING … OR CHANGE IN GENERAL: A disruption in the system is the ultimate alarm bell for a thief. When you implement cameras to monitor your front desk or a system that will streamline your billing and payment process, the resistance could be coming from a place of real threat to your business. People will always be wary of change, but those who are embezzling will be adamantly opposed to it. • BLAMING TECHNOLOGY: Lastly, if you have a team member who blames a computer glitch or software error for a billing or accounting issue, you may have a team member who is covering up their thievery. Technology issues happen to everyone, and mistakes can be made. But making note of these can help you determine a pattern. Take care not to fall into an embezzlement trap, but don’t drive yourself to the point of paranoia over each employee’s off-handed remark or action. Educating yourself on the realities of dental office embezzlement and implementing safety nets will help you be prepared to catch embezzlement before it runs you into bankruptcy. If you have reason to suspect that you may be the victim of embezzlement and would like me to introduce you to Mindy Salzman, email me at Tom@1000Gems.com.
problem. A team member can write themselves a refund check using a fictitious name, cash the check themselves, and your books will only reflect a refund. After seeing dozens of patients every day, are you really going to remember if Bob Smith was your patient or not? Thieving employees are banking on that. • HIGH PRESSURE COLLECTION TACTICS: Listen to your patients and employees. They are on the front lines every day, and they see and hear things you can’t. If patients are complaining about office managers or front desk team members who are harassing them over payment, this could be because you have an employee who is working hard to cover up their stolen money. • DECREASE IN COLLECTIONS: Now, the opposite for collections can be a red flag, too. This is often when Dentists realize they are the victims of embezzlement. When they can’t pay their vendors or their property bills, Dentists dig into their books and discover they are not being fully paid for all the treatments they perform. Further digging will often reveal that team members are pocketing the cash. • DECLINE IN JOB PERFORMANCE: Think of it this way … When an employee is focused on covering their butt from embezzling money, how much real work for your practice can they do? REMEMBER ... listen to the complaints your employees have about other employees. If your once-competent office manager is now slacking and making mistakes, could their mind be preoccupied with stealing from you, or is there another issue? It’s worth digging into. • PERSONALITY CHANGES: This falls right in line with a decline in job performance. If your once happy-go-lucky Hygienist is now moody, rude, and irritable, there could be a deeper reason for this change. Maybe she is working through a big personal dilemma, but there’s a chance she’s also hiding a big secret from you. • FROM RAGS TO RICHES … FAST: One of the most obvious signs of theft and embezzlement is a sudden lifestyle change. If your business manager once struggled to pay the bills but is suddenly going on a Caribbean cruise and sporting diamond earrings, consider the source of their newfound wealth. Again, as Mindy points out, a big motivating factor for those who embezzle is a belief they deserve a lavish lifestyle. • OVERPROTECTIVE OF DUTIES: Be wary of the employee who never takes a vacation, won’t let anyone do their tasks, and works beyond lunch. Some team members are just hard workers. Others don’t want people to find out about their embezzling operation, and, by keeping their job duties close to the vest, no one will find out. In fact, Mindy points out that it’s often when these employees inevitably go on vacation and a temp fills in that embezzlement is discovered.
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Do you offer DIAGNOdent (or one of six other hi-tech cavity finders)? Make sure every prospective patient knows how valuable this is for their dental health!
Do you offer locally made snacks in your break room? Let the people know!
• Are you using digital radiography, which gives off about 90% less radiation than traditional (old-fashioned) X-rays? Tell the world! HINT: Just because a high percentage of your colleagues also offer digital radiography does not mean their patients (or your prospects) know about it! What makes you unique shouldn’t be a perk that only long-time patients know about. It should be part of your image and brand; it’s something everyone who searches for you on Google or calls for inquires knows about. But there’s one caveat … Everything you claim to be unique about your practice MUST be true. Don’t embellish the facts. Get in the habit of running your marketing and advertising by your lawyer to ensure you’re staying within legal bounds. If you want to add something to your practice to make it unique, all it takes is a little thinking outside the box, team training, and dedication. If you’re still not sure what constitutes unique, VIP Five-Star Treatment, it’s time to brainstorm. During your weekly 90-minute team meeting, ask your team to list qualities that set your practice apart. Weed out the weak ones and focus on spreading the word about the points that make your practice better. NOWAITING: This is probably THE biggest differentiator between getting patients in your chair and seeing them walk out the door. Yet, few practices can really deliver it. If you can actually spend time with each patient and don't rush between multiple patients at the time of each appointment, you need to spread the word. SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Some Dentists struggle with this one because they could potentially lose money on a patient’s opinion. But, when you offer Below are a few examples … • •
By Chuck Nemitz, Certified GG12 Coach
I’m often reminded of a former manager I once worked with, who worked directly under Amar Bose, the founder of Bose. This manager would quote Amar, who fervently believed that if you wanted to build a better product, you had to change the way it was perceived. That’s exactly what Amar did with his sound systems. As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amar purchased a stereo that failed to meet his needs as a consumer. Determined to find out how the system could be better, he developed crystal clear sound technology … and the naysayers hated it. Bose was criticized for his unique ideas. But for consumers, it was gold. Bose’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) was that they could offer the same sound quality of live audio through their stereo systems. Theoretically, all a listener would have to do is close their eyes, and it was as if they were transported to front stage at an Aerosmith concert. It was a feat no other sound company could accomplish, and, even though naysayers ragged on it, consumers loved it. Today, Bose is a $3.8 billion company whose products are used by loyal listeners worldwide. So, what does this have to do with dental consumerism? It can be difficult
to conceptualize how your local mom and pop dental practice could deploy the same tactics that Bose implemented to become synonymous with sound, but you too can give your patients the front row, VIP meet- and-greet section at an Aerosmith concert treatment. All it takes is finding out what sets you apart and relentlessly selling it. When coaching Dentists through the USP process, we always ask them the big question … What makes YOU different? We often hear responses about friendly service and personable employees, and, while these are great qualities for your practice, they don’t exactly scream VIP Five-Star Treatment. In fact, nearly everyone can claim these traits. It’s just basic customer service. Instead, find what makes your practice completely different than the one down the street. What makes you the obvious dental solution for Janet Smith and her family that the practice down the street can’t fill? Can you guarantee your patients won’t have to wait longer than 10 minutes when they arrive for their appointment? Advertise that! • HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M DIFFERENT?
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p.1. Perfection. Give it a Rest. Gems Inside
p.5. Red Flags of Embezzlement You MUST Know to Protect Your Future
p.3. Happening on Planet Gems!
p.7. Why Should I Choose YOU Over the 47 Other Dentists?
p.4. The Business Logic for
Making Hygiene Recall a Priority
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that safety net and can back it up with quality work, many patients will feel secure choosing your practice. Of course, it must be a limited warranty (scope and time), and you can’t guarantee medical or dental outcomes … only that they’ll be happy or get their money back (up to $X for $Y years). If you dare venture to create such a warranty, you must have your attorney review it prior to deploying. GUILT-FREE DENTISTRY: Educating your patients about techniques and oral hygiene is a must, and, if you can find a way to do this without patronizing or guilting them, you have a goldmine. Keeping the conversation positive, even in the midst of a stern reminder, is a gift. SEDATION DENTISTRY: This option isn’t offered everywhere, and it does require extra training. But, with so many patients who have dental anxiety and the diverse requirements of special needs patients, it can be beneficial to offer sedation dentistry and tap into that market. A SNACK BAR: Your dental practice CAN be a destination and a place where people don’t fear visiting! In fact, Dr. Orent has a popular story about a few patients who would swing into his dental practice for happy hour after work! If you can turn your waiting room area into a cozy space, it will already feel like home for new patients. DIGITAL X-RAY MACHINES: A news report a few years ago indicated that there may be some concern with radiation and dental X-rays. In response, as mentioned above, many dental practices have opted for digital machines, which give off about 90%
less radiation. This can be a big factor for patients who are concerned.
Simply add your USPs to your regular advertising and make this language part of your verbiage when talking with new or prospective patients. Of course, a list of USP benefits alone is not going to make an effective ad. You’ll still need all the other components of effective advertising to hit the mark. The one spot that your USPs should be proudly branded is in your New Patient Welcome Packet. You may already have these patients on your schedule, but you still need to sell them on the qualities and benefits that make your practice stand out. Regardless of how you choose to market your USPs, the KEY is that you actually advertise them! Bose didn’t just let their sound systems speak for themselves; they found a way to get their sound into people’s ears. Push what you have to offer out where new patients can find it. If you need help discovering what makes you unique or crafting your USPs, your Gems Coach can help. See an example of USPs online at InsidersCircle.com SITE MAP ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ADVANCED MARKETING BRAIN TRUST 002 UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION.
• LATEST DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY: Patients love efficiency, and, just like how they appreciate Dentists who can get them into (and out of) their appointments on time, they desire testing that can provide accurate and early results. If you can offer your patients the latest technology, they will have more confidence in your ability to identify and treat their conditions BEFORE they present larger complications. CONTINUING EDUCATION: As Dentists, you’re constantly improving your professional skills. This isn’t necessarily what sets you apart from other dental professionals, but what does is the type of continuing education you choose. If you can offer your patients more than bread-and- butter general dentistry, that makes your practice unique. For example, if you are certified to treat sleep apnea patients, deliver sedation, treat complex orthodontic cases, etc., you will appeal to many more patients than you are currently able to service. This is a common question, but it’s often met with a simple answer. How else would you get out the word about something in your business? Advertising and marketing, right? Do just that with your USPs. Have one of your Dentists or marketing personnel promote your USPs on their blog, and add the USPs elsewhere on your website. Shoot out blasts on Facebook advertising, list the qualities on an inserted advertisement with your local newspaper, and/or send out a direct mailing campaign. • HOW DO WE GET THE WORD OUT?
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