What Matters Marketing Barrier
How’s your practice marketing these days?
Let me guess, you’re feeling pretty confident. I can see it
now, the chest is puffed out, the shoulders are back, and your swaggering
response to my question is, “I don’t need to
market my practice. I have too many patients as it is.”
Congratulations, indeed, many doctors are finding that demand for
their services is fast outpacing available hours in the day. With
fewer people going into dentistry and an increasing number of dentists
reaching retirement age, the problem probably isn’t
attracting the patients. But before you get too comfortable consider
this little detail: 80% of dental practices are losing more patients
than they are bringing in new. Why? When the phone is ringing,
practices often become so caught up in being busy they lose sight
of what matters and what matters to the patients is what matters
to the practice.
marketing challenge isn’t attracting warm bodies, it’s
attracting quality patients interested in investing in quality dentistry
and keeping those patients returning to the practice. The
patients you want and the patients you need have high expectations
and even higher demands. But what can you do to pick the plum patients?
A lot. In fact, dental teams have control over 90% of the reasons
why patients leave. That’s a pretty astonishing statistic,
here’s the breakdown.
In 9% of the cases, patients begin doing business with another dentist
because their practice looks more attractive, 14% leave because
they are dissatisfied with a product or service, and nearly
70% walk out of a practice because they are upset with the way they
were treated by the staff. Many dentists and their teams
forget that they are “marketing” the practice –
for better or worse – in every patient interaction. From the
patient’s first call, to the appointment confirmation, to
the doctor’s follow-up courtesy call to the patient –
provided you actually do that – patients are sizing up your
practice based on how their wants, needs, and concerns are handled
by you and your team. Pay attention to what matters to your patients
and you pay attention to what matters to your practice.
week, the top 10 “Marketing Matters.”
you have any questions or comments, please email Sally McKenzie
in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club?
An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause
VP Professional Relations
Computing - Part 4
Last week, I discussed your first “live” day with computers
in your treatment rooms [see
article]. See, I told you the team would survive! By now you
most likely have found things you like and dislike about your charting/imaging
program. In my experience, the initial “dislikes”
around the exam sequence being different than the one you are used
to on paper.
Things you probably like already ....
system automatically posts to the ledger when you chart completed
The system automatically builds a treatment plan when you chart
work that needs to be done.
The system builds your clinical notes for you so your notes are
faster, more complete, and unbelievably legible!
You don’t have as many charts on your desk.
Things you might not like yet ....
You might not like the way the software “flows” from
screen to screen.
You might think you have to adapt your exam/treatment sequence
to the software rather than the other way around.
Some of the procedures (the one’s you only do every once
in a while) don’t have complete clinical notes yet.
There are too many buttons on the chart screen! What do they all
I can’t show a fissure pit graphically on a tooth.
The chart is too small to read so far away.
suggestions for the things you might not like yet
Your software was either designed with a forced flow or has a
“setup” area (configurable) where you tell the software
which screens to bring up first, second, third, and so on. Both
forced and configurable software exam sequences can be successful
in your office. Find out if your charting system has
a “setup” area. Find out how much of that “setup”
is controlled by you vs. the software design itself. Chances are
you have many more options available to you than you realize.
If there are 115,000 dental offices, there are 115,000 different
exam sequences. No two dentists do exactly the same thing
in exactly the same order, exactly the same way. Therefore,
this might be the perfect time to take another look at who does
what (hygienist, assistant, dentist) within the examination/treatment/data
entry flow. You’ve had some time to practice. Now refine
your clinical data entry by assigning the appropriate exam/treatment
sequence to the right people on your clinical team.
Remember how important I said the initial setup was? You’ll
find out real quick when you don’t have default
clinical notes for some procedures. This is to be expected.
In time, they’ll all get in there. Keep plugging away.
The buttons on your charting screen are most likely customizable
by you. So, if you don’t know what they are – well,
it’s your fault. Remove the ones you know you will never
use and add the buttons you will use all the time. You may be
able to order, resize, reshape, or add pictures to the buttons.
You might even be able to add a “hover window”. The
“hover window” is a little note to yourself
that pops up when the mouse pointer “hovers” over
the button(s). The little window that pops up tells you what procedure
(or procedures) the button is used for.
Get over it! Charting systems are not CAD programs!
You can’t just draw pictures on teeth and expect them to
mean anything to anyone but you. If you really, really need to
note something that your software is not capable of graphically
drawing – add a tooth note or clinical note.
Chances are your software has an option for viewing segments
of the chart in a “quadrant view”. This will
greatly enhance the readability of the data for both clinical
team and patient.
Patient WOW, you can create with the proper use
of your charting/imaging system, I will cover over the next few
you have any questions or comments, please email Mark Dilatush at
in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club?
Mark's Technology Workshop titled Using
Your Practice Management Software to Drive Revenues on Dec.
10th in La Jolla. For more information email email@example.com
or call 1-877-900-5775
The Cold Shoulder
Giving Dentists And Their Staff Different Perspectives On Day To
question from the dentist below was a post on the Dental
Town Web-site. I
was planning to discuss the topic of leadership and this question
is an excellent one
opportunity. The way that the dentist phrases the question covers
many of the inaccuracies about leadership and demonstrates the universal
shortcomings that are the rule more than the exception regarding
the typical dental professional.
of the tough things about having a dental practice is leadership.
It is one thing to constantly try to improve our patient interaction
skills and clinical skills but leadership is a tough nut; at least
for me. It is not the forward thinking for a vision or the planning
to make it work. It is the day-to-day leadership skills that are
a killer. Keeping a team motivated. Working out conflicts. Keeping
a pulse on the office to catch problems before they become conflicts.
Chocolate will only go so far.
Then there is delegating. Some people are a natural at leadership
but not me. It is work. I have an easygoing style. I expect to lead
by example. Tell someone once and expect things to be done. Give
someone the idea and let him or her run with it. I expect self-motivated
staff. Am I delusional?
It takes work to get staff to this level. Do not get me wrong. I
have a great staff. I just know I can take the practice to a higher
level, if I can get them to the next level. Any ideas ?
The Coach Replies:
The standard and common definition of leadership involves having
a vision and communicating that vision successfully to others.
One can easily presume from this definition that, if you can communicate
clearly, then others will follow you. If this logic appears reasonable
to you, then you have no concept of human behavior other than believing
that the workers should follow you, because you are right about
us begin by being reasonable. Some human beings have the
charisma to entice others to follow them. Some leaders
have enough charisma to get others to follow them if there is a
tangible payoff (typical business executive), and there are leaders
with charisma who get people to follow them when the payoff is intangible
There are two elements defining charisma. The first element is a
universal appeal. Charisma is simply something that is universally
appealing about this person to other human beings. There
are many adjectives that can be used to define charisma. For our
purposes here, it is something instinctive and natural. It is almost
a secret shared between brains and beyond our consciousness. The
second component are the followers who decide to follow. Here, there
must be some incentive which must be part of the equation. Sometimes
it is the incentive to do the right thing and that is sufficient,
and other times the incentive is “I get something for me”
from following this person.
What is clear is that there are very few people with natural charisma
and therefore it is foolish to assume that you, by virtue
of your decision to act like a leader, are in fact a leader.
The logical next question would be, could good leadership be learned?
It is my opinion that leadership can be learned but it will never
feel natural to those who have learned it from someone else. Regardless,
life is more enjoyable for the professional who can lead than for
the person who lives the life of a bewildered King Lear.
No. 1: Leadership is a challenge for everyone that is placed
in the position of running a business. All the medical and dental
practices that I work with are businesses bringing a skill, talent,
or product to market; however, there is no requirement for
leadership abilities and therefore it should not be assumed
to come as an entitlement with the position of owner.
is a personal attribute. A leader must be personally responsible
for the welfare and livelihood of the people who do his or her bidding.
In other words, a leader must love their followers.
It is this concept of love and recognition of the capacity for love
that is at the heart of good leadership. The concept of love is
the element which is avoided in all the business books and seminars.
Leaders must have the capacity to feel love for the efforts of other
human beings. Do you have the capacity to love is a better starting
point when deciding whether or not you have leadership skills.
No. 2: Having a vision and a plan is essential, but it
is still secondary. Vision and a plan provide the followers with
something to understand, grasp, and adopt as their own. However,
let us be reasonable; if the leader’s plan is to become rich
and the follower gets their industry standard wage, then where is
the incentive to follow regardless of the great vision and plan.
It is naive to believe that a plan and a vision accomplished anything
other than structuring the owner’s perspective of the future.
The vision and the plan must have something in it that directly
benefits the followers. This sentence is not implying that
paying monetary bonuses is the solution to being a good leader.
Next week, I will continue with What Makes a Good Leader.
Want your issues answered? Ask the firstname.lastname@example.org.
miss The Coach’s workshops on Oct. 8th, Office
Politics …The Enemy Within, on November 8th,
Your Practice Back – Leaderhip Development for Dentistry.
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or call 1-877-900-5775
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You Keeping Your Patients?
Your Patient Retention
by Sally McKenzie, CMC
You simply can't afford not to make EFFECTIVE
follow up calls to your hygiene patients
- Get hygiene patients to schedule.
- Turn around those patients who cancel.
- Overcome patient objections with field-tested techniques.
- Develop an effective presentation script.
- Strengthen overall communication skills.
the week of 9/26 and reserve your personal copy of Sally's soon
to be released CD
Produced by CareCredit
I try to have a morning huddle about 5 minutes before the start
of the day. But they seem to be unproductive. Do you have any tips
on what should be covered and how to make them more productive?
Items to be discussed should include:
Dr. Production for day vs. goal
Yesterday's production vs. goal
Hygiene Production for the day vs. goal
Yesterday's production vs. goal
Today's New Patients
Best Time To Schedule New Patients
Patient's with Financial Concerns
Past due family members of Today's patients (as seen from the computer
Have copy of and discuss next two day's work schedules (very important
to troubleshoot problem areas ahead of time)
Hygiene to identify who needs bite wings, FMX, perio charting
In order to be more productive, have a definitive agenda every day
with the items above. We find this works well for our clients.
Hope this helps.
you wondering if your hygiene department is producing what it could
Allan Monack's hygienist produces $1231 a day seeing
1 patient an
hour with a
prophy fee of $70.
your hygienist producing?
Monack is the Hygiene Clinical Consultant for McKenzie Management.
He can help you produce the same results.
To find out more about the Hygiene
Clinical Enrichment Program [go
here], contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call: 877-777-6151
Center for Dental Career Development
Business Education for Dental Professionals
737 Pearl Street,
La Jolla, CA 92037