Justin: Welcome to the dental marketing guy show, I’m Justin the dental marketing guy, joined by Vlad, my co-host from VladKostDentalMarketing.com
Today we have a very special guest; she started working in the dental industry in 1998, she's been licensed in 2 states as a dental assistant, and has worked as an office manager for 18 years.
Dentists hire Heidi, because she helps find the invisible profit, in their business and she helps them stop leaving money on the table.
Heidi, how are you?
Heidi: I’m doing great, how are you?
Justin: Very good, thank you for joining us.
My first question is, there's so many dentist that are working so hard, and they want to make more money, or maybe they know what the issues are in their office, but they’re not sure where to begin, how do you help them?
Heidi: You're right dentist do work very hard, and they usually do know what their issues are, what their goals are, so basically when I’m on a strategy call with them, of course I spend time finding out what's going on in the practice and I’ll give them my thoughts, and then let them choose what they want to work on first.
Since my niche', and what I’m known for, is how to make more money the next schedule day, that tends to be what we start working on.
They don’t want to leave that money left on the table, a lot of help with productions and help with all of that, helps with a lot of financial issues, so, I try and develop a signature solution for the practice, because, its more than just a blueprint or script, it’s like their fingerprint, and its unique, so you can have all the SEO's and the NBA's and the AAG's, and the LMNOP's, and a 100 new patients calling you, but if you don’t know how to communicate in a way that’s not only comfortable to the person saying it, but in an authentic way, the patients just won’t say yes to your treatment plan, or refer people; if you’re not being authentic and stuff.
So with my experience in the dental field, I do understand the challenges that the offices face, I pay bills for the dentist, I know the high expense they have, so it’s not just a matter of saying the right words to the patient, if you've been in the field a while; we've all heard it or said it 'I don’t want to be all salesy' or 'I don’t want the patients to think that I need a new car' or 'I’m not that type' or 'I can’t say that' so, if you can teach how to convert the potential new patient, and look for a dentist to serve the patients in a way that helps them prevent issues, give them piece of mind, save them money in the long run, then you realise what you have to offer is a gift to solve their problem that they present.
So, one example I can give is, my husband is a chief of a fire department, and he had Lasik eye surgery done to correct his vision, but then about 10 years later he needed a little slight vision correction, so he went to an eye doctor, who knows he's in front of a computer, he's a hardworking man, and he came home with his glasses, and then he was like 'look at these, I got anti-glare, anti-scratch, bendable frames' and everything he came in for, and my response was, 'those are really cool and look great and their bending and that’s great for you, but did they offer you some contact lenses? For driving or scuba-diving, so you can read the gauges?' and he said, 'no they never offered me that' so, it’s not a matter of being salesy, do you think offering him an extra pair of contacts to solve his problem would be pushy?
A lot of times we just need to sit back and give the bigger picture to the patient, give them the benefits and everything, and then let them decide for themselves.
Justin: Yeah, that makes sense. So much I've heard of patients who, they have the general dentist, and then they go to another dentist for veneers, because they didn't even know the general dentist did that, and the general dentist is like 'ah hold on a second, I do veneers', but the patients didn't even know!
Can you kind of explain some ways that you get patients to understand or basically motivate them to accept treatment?
Heidi: Sure, well put yourself in the patients shoes, that helps you understand that, no one likes going to the dentist, and you’re getting into their personal space, we literally have an oral business, so the staff play a huge part of this role, getting them trained is so imperative; especially to take it to the next level.
When I worked as a dental assistant, as you said, the case acceptance rate was 98%, but in my coaching, when I work with them, sometimes I find out they have 100's of leads on Facebook, or they're trying to get people to schedule, and some have success, and some have under 30%, but usually after a few phone calls, I can get them increased to 50%, converting to either having the patients schedule at their office, or present the treatment plan and pay and things like that.
So when your staff learns to listen and observe, you'll find what motivates the patients, in less than like 3 minutes.
You know there’s a patient that comes in and is like 'my mother had these awful looking dentures at 45 years old, I’m so afraid to lose my teeth', I find a lot of time, no one bothers to listen to that as far as taking it in, or telling others, or writing it in their chart, or discussing it further, and things like that. So if you have that same patient, with an 8 mm pocket around a 4 unit bridge, and the hygienist is doing their perio maintenance cleaning, she might recommend putting an antibiotic chip in that pocket, and has to tell them it’s $75, but if your hygienist is able to say 'I know it’s important for you to save your natural teeth that you invested $5 000 on that beautiful bridge, I feel if I put that antibiotic chip directly into the infected pocket, its anchoring that bridge, you don’t want to lose that tooth, would you like me handle that for you', then it’s not being manipulative, but it creates a little tension to get the patient to make a decision. They don’t want issues in their mouth, especially when their reading all over the health articles that 'periodontal diseases is linked with Alzheimer's, or high blood pressure, or heart disease', so patients are pretty easily able to do it if you present it in a way that has some value, or benefit, and touches on what’s important to them.
Vlad: Heidi, it sounds like the dentist that doesn't want to immediately spend money on advertising, would enjoy working with you
Heidi: They do
Vlad: So what do you tell dentists when they tell you 'hey, you know what, I don’t want to spend money on advertising'?
Heidi: Well, I mean, you can certainly do it as inexpensive as possible, and every dentist is sitting on a gold mine, they just have find the hidden revenue, and figure out ways to do internal marketing or something like that.
I have one client that is in a big downtown medical building, and I asked them just to spend a few minutes a week, just meeting the other people in the neighboring offices, I told them 'don’t say anything salesy, don’t hand them your business card, just go in and be authentic', so a couple of staff members walked into the optometrists office, or some other offices around, they were like 'hey, I’ve never been here before, I’m at Dr Smiths dental office, on the 10th floor, and we just wanted to say hi', they did that, they probably spent like 3 minutes one day, because it’s all that they had, and they went back to the office and that week, no kidding, 2 patients scheduled off just walking around saying 'hi' and complimenting something about their office, you know.
There could be a patient being seen, and they bring a significant other, or friend, in the office and their sitting for some fun, Mr Slurpee, Mr sunshine, and the child's in the chair, because you don’t want their 1st visit to be that one where they bang their front teeth, then their experience is not good; not happy to be at a dental office. I like to catch them really young, so they enjoy coming to the dentist, not like every time they’re going to the medical doctor, their getting shots and, it’s just so different, so we want to start them off young so they love coming to the dentist.
So, what you do within the practice is actually what sells the most dentistry. You want to treat your patients like, say you haven't seen a friend in 7 years, what’s your reaction to them? You’re really excited to see them, you have that look, well what if you treated your patients with a little bit of that? You don’t need to run around hugging them, but just think about it and really try to at least know their name, don’t just walk in, and look at the schedule and figure out what’s going on, you’re trying to make it special.
I remember when we were looking for a new car, I was driving a little Salah, and I wanted a 4 runner, and I shopped around, and I go all the way there, and I don’t know about you, but I hate buying a new car, it’s like buying a new house, the paperwork is super thick, I just don’t like it.
And so, I went to the dealership and said 'okay, I’ve got this car, this is the one I want', get all the way done, and they're like 'we don’t have it ready for you', and I’m thinking 'oh man, I've got to go through all these sales people again and blah blah blah', so this is going through my head really quick, and the sales person said 'we'll just take it to your house', well I live an hour away, and their like 'don’t worry, we'll bring the car to your house' and I thought, 'this is so cool', and I know you guys are thinking 'oh, you paid for it', but when they did that kind of customer service, I was so impressed. They showed up right on time, with my brand new vehicle, and then when they get there, their like 'I just want to let you know the license plates are on the vehicle, the registration's paid for 3 years, and you get the next 3 years of oil changes, and maintenance free', I’m thinking 'wow, I don’t even have to go to the DMV, this is fabulous'
I must have told 14 people about that experience, it was just so different.
So we want to be a little bit passionate with our patients, and ask them questions that aren't really happening elsewhere, like: 'what are you passionate about?' or 'What do you like doing in this world?', just simple questions that keep it on the patient, or you take their blood pressure and show them that their mouth is connected to their whole body.
It just takes a minute or 2 of your time to educate, taking photos of the patients, and educating and really documenting.
Justin: It's kind of like a previous episode we did with Sunny Pahouja, we talked about the patient experience, and basically how internal marketing, that’s how you can get really good patient loyalty, really good case acceptance.
We are coming to close on our time now; I was hoping before we leave, we can give 1 quick tip to our listeners.
Heidi: Definitely get to know your patients, finding out what their motivating factors are, is it; pain, time, money, cost, what is it, and use that inter-oral camera to put the nasty looking photo of their tooth on the screen - because a picture is worth a thousand words, and then just go ahead and utilize what you know about the patient, as far as the motivating factor, and use that in your sentences, like 'remember how upset you were when you lost the tooth on this side, you want to avoid losing it on the other side too’, you’re kind of using their hot buttons in it, like 'you know you really want to take care of that tooth before an abscess or a crack in the way that you'll need a root canal at an inopportune time that it’s going to be inconvenient for you, or costs more, because it breaks off in a way that we can't restore it'
Just trying to educate the patients as much as you can, by giving them what they want, not pre-judging to what you think they need or want, or not having that fear that 'oh, I can’t say anything because they’ll think I need a new car'
Vlad: Heidi, if one of our viewers want to hire you or have a consultation with you, where can they find you?
Heidi: So, they can just personally email me at 'Heidi@coachingdentist.com'
Justin: Cool, well, you know, I know we barely scratched the surface on this, I know you've got a really holistic approach. You know one thing I like, I've just started working with Heidi for one dentist and, what I really like about your process, as we close here, you don’t come in like a wrecking ball, you don’t say 'you're fired, you’re hired', you're trying to build synergy with all of the staff, and the dentist and I really appreciate that, it’s a really good holistic approach, it’s a really positive approach. We just started getting into it, but I look forward to the results that you bring.
Now one last thing before we go, Heidi actually has a guarantee that you will get at least $500 per day, in increased revenue. That's a great risk reversal guarantee, I am definitely interested in seeing the results that you bring for that dentist that we're working with, and just thank you for your time, doing this interview, I know we’re all busy, and our time is valuable, and to our listeners, I hope you gained a lot of good knowledge, but let me tell you, this is just scratching the surface, and if you have any questions for us, I'm the Dental marketing guy; DentalMarketingGuy.Com, We've got CoachingDentist.Com with Heidi, and Vlad at VladKostDentalMarketing.com, thanks for watching the dental marketing guy show.
Text summary of what was discussed (narrative, not a transcript):
I'm Justin, the dental marketing guy, your SEO specialist for dentists. Joined by Vlad my cohost at vladkostdentalmarketing.com. Today I am joined by a very special guest. She started working in the dental industry in 1988. She has worked as a dental assistant for 18 years. She has been licensed into states to work as a dental assistant and has been an office manager for a dental practice for 18 years. Dentists hire Heidi to find the hidden revenue and lost profits in the practice. Heidi, how are you?
I'm doing great, how are you?
Very good! Thank you for joining us! My first question is: so many dentists are working so hard and yet they feel like their profit margins are high enough to justify their time investment. How do you help dentists uncover the hidden revenue in their dental practice?
Dentists work very hard and they usually know what the issues are in their office. So basically when I'm on a strategy call with them, of course I find out what's going on in the dental practice, and I give you my thoughts. And I let them choose what they want to work on first.
And since Coach Heidi's niche is, what she's known for, is how to make more money the next scheduled day, that tends to be what we first start working on. Dentists don't want to leave all that money on the table so addressing things like production and other money issues, we want to help them not leave all that money on the table.
So Heidi strives to find a custom solution for them, not like a script, but more like a fingerprint for that unique dental practice. So you can have all the SEO and marketing that you want, but if you're not able to talk to the patient and relate with them in a way that creates patient loyalty and case acceptance, it's not going to matter if you are getting hundred patients per month, or hundred new patients per month, because the way you make money is through conversion of those new patients into paying patients.
You need to be able to communicate in a way with your patience that is comfortable to them and also authentic, otherwise they just won't say yes to your treatment plan. They won't refer people. So with my background as a dental assistant and working in a dental office, I pay the bills for the dentist so I understand how high the overhead is and this gives me really good insight when developing cohesive strategies to help you improve your dental practice by uncovering hidden profit.
If you've been in the dental field for a while, you know we've all heard it or set it where we don't want to be "salesy." In other Dennis says I don't want the patient to think that I need a new car, or anything like that where I feel financially motivated to present a specific treatment plan, for my own financial advancement. But if you present cases to a potential new patient in a way that is authentic and you help line up the patients thinking with that of a clinician or dentist, you can get them on the same pages you by showing them the true value of preventative dental care.
Heidi helps dentists present case treatment plans in a way that the patient understands that this is for their benefit.
Heidi goes on to tell us a story about her husband who is a firefighter and he was able to get some new glasses that had all sorts of great features. They were bendable glasses and they had scratch proof and fog proof lenses all sorts of features. But what they did not do was make her husband aware of the potential treatment of using contact lenses. Now, what's interesting about this story is the fact that we are able to line it up to what probably occurs in your dental practice. In many cases, some that you may not even be aware of, the dental office run by a general dentist is perceived as the place where the dental patient gets their teeth cleaned. They think of it as oral hygiene. And then maybe some exams and some general dentistry advice.
The host, the dental marketing guy, goes on to talk about how many general dentists will find out, one way or another, that the patient actually would respond to an invisible line or veneer advertisement, because another dentist was known for this sort of thing. And the general dentist is standing there finding out that his patient or her patient, has gone to another dentist for that expensive and profitable treatment, which the general dentist actually offered themselves. And this can be very frustrating for those of you dentists who have experienced this. So it's actually a really great example of how Heidi's husband experienced a similar situation with his optometrist. Dentists can definitely benefit from applying this narrative to their own dental practice
The dental marketing guy then asks Coach Heidi about how she motivates dental patients, or actually how she helps dentists motivate their dental patients on the issue of accepting treatment. Heidi goes on to explain that putting yourself in the dental patients shoes, basically having empathy for their position, is a good first step to learning what actually motivates that particular dental patient.
Heidi goes on to say that there are many different ways to motivate dental patients, based on their unique psychology, and the underlying motivating factors, of why they would accept treatment. Based on these principles, Heidi has been able to secure a record of 98% case acceptance rates.
She goes on to tell us that within a few training sessions, she can usually get a typical dentists to increase their case acceptance rates 50% or more. She goes on to tell us that when dentists pay attention to what their dental patients are actually saying, taking the time to listen, that you can usually figure out how to sell any case treatment plan in a way that will appeal to them. She goes on to say that usually only takes about three minutes with the dental patient, for a dentist to understand what that patient really wants.
She provides an example of a dental patient who might be more common in your practice than initially dentist my realize, and goes on to say that this dental patient will complain that their mother had very bad teeth and ended up needing dentures. And they recognize, and are expressing to you the dentist, that they want to avoid that sort of thing. But it's interesting because Heidi goes on to explain that many dentists just won't connect the dots in terms of taking a note, both mental and also perhaps a written note, that this dental patient wants to avoid dentures, perhaps at all costs. Or at least at a higher cost than another selling point, such as having a beautiful smile that is attractive to people right now. The real example, this real-life example of a dental patient, is very interesting because she is able to tell us exactly what the best selling point is.
Heidi explains that by listening you are able to pick up on certain buzzwords, in this case "avoiding dentures" is the buzzword. Heidi goes on to cite an example of a clinical dental case where by the specific issues being faced by this potential patient is such that the recommended treatment is actually in line with preventing dentures, in the long run. And so she goes on to explain that this is a real science to presenting a case in a way that identifies those buzzwords.
Basically, Heidi tells us that we should focus our case presentation in a way that promotes the dental patients values, even if those values are little bit different than what we might consider ourselves to be most important, as dentist. This allows the dental patient to make a decision confidently, knowing that the decision they're making with investing in quality dentistry, is in line with what they actually want. Not what a dentist wants for them. And this allows them to make a great decision, which will inevitably cause them to accept treatment, pay more, and feel better about you as a dentist.
Vlad offers some insight by noticing that a dentist who doesn't want to spend money on advertising or marketing, might find real value in what coach Heidi is offering. Heidi then confirms that yes, many dentist don't feel good about advertising when they don't feel good about the internal marketing, or at least even the way things are run in the office behind the scenes. She goes on to tell us that by having the dental office in order, many dentists are then more confident in their ability to start marketing.
Heidi then goes on to tell a story about a dentist who was able to gain new patients in about three minutes, simply by going up to the upstairs offices in the commercial building, and introducing themselves. She goes on to say that it's not sales at all to introduce yourself to your neighbors, you don't need to hand out your business card, you don't need to present any selling points. Just introducing yourself and allowing people to know who you are and what you do is a huge opportunity that many dentists may miss out on. In the example that Heidi provides, this dentist was able to get to new patients scheduled that very week as a result of just walking around and saying hi and introducing themselves. Vlad listens as Heidi talks about how dentists have many opportunities to just mention what services they offer, and how so many people don't have a dentist already.
For instance, some people could already be in your dental practice, and not have you as a dentist. As an example, Heidi talks about a family with multiple children, it's one of the children may go to that dentist however you can introduce yourself to the rest of the family and see if there's any way that you can help with their dental treatment. This is a really great tip! Because, the people who are already in your dental practice are halfway past the psychological barriers to accepting treatment from you. They trust you because their family goes to you. And they will probably be more receptive to becoming your dental patient.
Heidi goes on to explain how it is particularly important for children to have a good experience with you as a dentist, so that they don't have only bad memories of going to the dentist. It's important to make things fun for kids so that they remember going to the dentist as a pleasant experience. This can also impact how they accept treatment in the future, as adults.
Heidi goes on to explain that the dental patient experience is of paramount importance. She talks about how if you didn't see a friend for seven years, how excited would you be to see them. And perhaps this is an extreme example of how you should be excited to treat your dental patients, however this is actually a really good example of how dental patients really care more about the patient experience, and perhaps anything else. Being excited to see someone, being appreciative and valuing their time and the fact that they came to see your dental practice over all other dentists, this is very important. People want to feel appreciated. Heidi's examples provide a nice narrative for this. Heidi goes on to say that at bare minimum you should know the patient's name before you walk into the laboratory. What great advice!
Heidi goes on to tell another story which I'm sure the dentist listening to the show can relate to. And that is her experience of buying a new car. She cites how going through the buying process was made difficult at one point due to the car not being ready in time. What the car dealer ended up doing was over delivering in a way that was unexpected. This is a great example of how you can over-deliver in your dental practice. If the slightest thing goes wrong, and that doesn't mean that you or your staff made a mistake, but if the dental patient perceives that you did something wrong, you should try and make it up to them. This can be done in a number of ways. And if you get creative, you can really come up with some great ideas, yourself. Heidi offers some of these ideas as part of her service with coachingdentist.com as well as many other great ideas on how to grow your practice without even investing in advertising or external marketing for your dental practice.
The dental marketing guy goes to close the show, citing that Heidi Mount is actually able to offer a risk reversal guarantee for dentists. If you contact Heidi, be sure to mention that you saw her on the dental marketing guy show and she will offer you a $500 a day guarantee. Heidi will uncover $500 per day or more in your dental practice within the first 30 days of her training.
This is an incredible offer! I've been working in marketing for many years, and the fact that coach Heidi is able to offer such an amazing guarantee has really sparked some interesting discussion on the dental forums. Without any marketing or advertising for your dental practice, at all! Why not give Coach Heidi a call or email and contact her about making at least $500 per day in increased revenue for your dental practice?
Read more on the dental marketing blog!