We are a group of Dental Consultants who offer, improved practice morale; a happier, more profitable patient base;and improved home life; increased collections. (And yes, our average is 35% in year one.)

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Increasing your likes

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Increasing your “Likes”

Sometimes I have found that individuals don’t want to take the time to be on Facebook because they feel people are not paying attention or because it takes too much time. Don’t be tricked into believing that your Facebook presence isn’t important even if you don’t have a lot of likes. Continue working, tweaking and building your Facebook page because I can guarantee it does make a difference.

However, here a few simple ways to increase your readership on your Facebook.

1.     When patients are leaving have your “front office genie” inform the patients that you are now on Facebook. Ask them to like you by handing them a card with the URL or again having IPAD’s available so they can do it right there.

2.     Like what other people and patients have on their pages.

3.     Create a post card with all of your online information and mail or email it to your patients in order for them to easily access your information.

4.     Have a contest or a special. If you’re able to offer a 5% discount if a patient likes you on Facebook. This will not only help increase your number of patients overall but it will increase the number of people who are looking at your page.

5.     Keep it simple, neat, organized. If it is easy for patients to find and easy for them to navigate they will be more likely to keep going back to your page.


We live in a digital age. As younger generations have to pick who to give their business too and who to trust with their health they are looking not only what happens in the office, but what happens in your office online.

Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Increaing your online presence: Facebook




It is not new information that patients are looking to connect with their dentists and doctors in other ways, besides entering the office. Your online presence is important however, not only for patients but for potential employees as well.  Recently my husband and I decided to place our kids in the school district closest to our home. The first thing I did was look for their Facebook, website and reviews. What information you have or don’t have on the Internet greatly impacts your practice. When I started looking for a new dentist to take my kids to, again I immediately went to the Internet.

Facebook is a great and easy way to keep patients in the know. How do you create a good look? Well that is the great thing about Facebook, you don’t have to spend hours creating colors and designing. You get an option on a business page for a header picture. You can do this in three easy steps.

How do you get patients to find you? There are a couple of different options. For example, you can purchase IPads and have them in your waiting room for patients. Have it immediately load your Facebook page and potential patients can like you. However, this also allows patients to do something else while waiting. You can also have a QR code on your business cards that takes patients to your page or you can have a post card that has your information on it with your Facebook url code. 

What content do you put on there?

This can be a little tricky because there is so much information going out on the Internet. However, you can do a quick survey of your patients, using a website called Survey Monkey that asks patients what information they want. Or you can do some Google searching to see what other dentists are putting out there.  Here is what I recommend:

Monday: a welcome hope you had a great weekend quote.

Tuesday: A new technology, special or event your practice is engaging in

Wednesday: a dental fact

Thursday: an inspirational message

Friday: A enjoy the weekend quote or message

Your Facebook should represent you and your staff. Put pictures of your office up. If you write articles for magazines or other online places, give this information to your readers. If your patients like you or send a message, you want to respond. Appreciate them for going to your site and helping to build your online presence. This isn’t an area you can afford to neglect anymore.

Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Team Strategies by Salt Dental Coach Debra Quarles

Team Strategies,
       The Dental Practice Companion
by Debra Quarles

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Based on lessons taught and learned over a quarter-century of dental practice management consulting, Team Strategies, The Dental Practice Companion is a comprehensive and easy-to-follow game plan for staying competitive in today's market. As a brief taste of what it's like to work with SaltDPM, Team Strategies is good reading for any forward thinking dental practice. (revised 2013 edition.)
 

Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com

Monday, June 17, 2013

Get Organized

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Do you struggle to organize your priorities? Or do you move one list of To Do’s from sticky note to sticky note? Here are ten ways to organize your day to be effective and efficient. Mark Twain suggests taking your whole list, breaking it down and then starting at the beginning. However, you may need more than one strategy to get you organized and through your day.

1.     Prioritize. It is really important no matter what position you hold in the office that you prioritize what needs to be done. Stick with it. Don’t get side tracked when something else comes up.

2.     Put things where they belong. Don’t take a short cut with items because you are busy. For example, don’t set charts on a chair because you don’t have time to put them back. Put the instruments in the autoclave right away. 

3.     Don’t put off tasks. I’m sure you have heard this a dozen times. However, putting off running that report only takes up your time later one. And you may not have time later. 

4.     Be efficient. When you move from place to place take care of each task along the way. For example, you have a message for the doctor, a chart needs to be returned and the bathroom trash needs to be emptied. Do all of those things at one time so you’re moving purposefully and efficiently.

5.     Be effective. Do your job and do it well the first time you do it. Again this is not a new concept. However, look at each and every job you approach with the expectation of your self that you are going to do it 100% correct. It takes away valuable time when you have to redo a procedure, rerun a report or reschedule a patient because you put them in the wrong slot. 

A dental practice is a busy place. There are lots of things going on at any given time. However, when you approach each day with an organized and efficient mind, you can end your day on time, have a lunch and a happy staff.   


Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stand Out Amongst the Crowd

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In an ever-changing world where dentist offices sit on every other corner what do you do that stands out? 

I have a dentist that was assigned to me due to my insurance. I'm not particularly attached to them and I don't get the impression they are attached to my family and I. They are polite enough. They make an effort to schedule appointments by sending out a post card. While I'm there they have old magazines for me to look at. They have televisions above the chair. Unfortunately, they do the basics. And it has been over six months since I have last been in. 

I know dental care is important and I know keeping up on my kids' cleaning and preventative care is critical for good oral hygiene. However, I have taken on a lackadaisical attitude towards my dental health that mirrors the image of my dental office. 

How do you step up and provide more than just the average? Or what small changes can you make in your office to create a Wow experience instead of just okay? You want patients when they walk out of the office to share their experience with everyone. 

Suggestions: 
 
Purchase a few IPad's and have your pages uploaded where patients can review you right then and their. 

Place QR codes on your appointment cards in order for patients to bring up your website. 

Have a Facebook page where patients can get to know your staff and feel a personal connection with them.  It will not only remind them to call and make that appointment next time they are in the office. It can help build a relationship, because you can ask them if they saw your fantastic information on your new flouride. 


You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to bring patients through the door but you can change a few things to increase your productivity.


Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.
  


Monday, June 10, 2013

Time to get Real

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Change is hard. It is even harder to get rid of a staff member whom you know needs the job to feed their family or who has been with you for years. However, in order for your office to stay on top you need to take your staffing liabilities and turn them into your biggest assets. If that change cannot happen then it’s time to have a tough conversation and move your practice forward.

How can you turn your staff around? First, you need to identify what the problem is. Does your front desk struggle to stay organized? Or is she rude to patients? Or is your dental assistant never where you need her and forgets instruments needed for procedures?

When talking to your staff member about changing practices utilize I statements.  I see that you are working hard to create an office that matches our vision however; I feel we need to change some things.  I see you are working hard, now can we work together to help our office become more efficient?   

Next, ask them how they see things, and listen when they tell you.  Recap what they say to make sure you understand how they see things and to show you are really listening. Work to find out what they see the problems are.  Or what is holding them back. It is not a complaint session however, you need to know what is stopping them from completing things to your expectations otherwise together you cannot problem solve and fix the issues.

Once you have discussed what the problem is, work to solve the problem by asking them how they believe things can be fixed. Offer suggestions to tweak things to your expectations.  Remind them of the vision and mission of the office and ask them their part in achieving this? Set short-term goals with your employee and discuss choices if these goals are not met. This may have to mean termination but set this expectation up ahead of time so that they know what the goal is they are working towards.

In the end change is inevitable but the change you want should work towards the benefit of your office and ultimately your patients.  



Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lead

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One of the hardest jobs someone can face is not necessarily the patients. It’s not the reports. It’s the day-to-day relationships with the members of your team. The individuals that work there will impact the inner-workings of your office. It is your job to set clear and concise expectations for your team to follow.

You are the leader in that office and when your leadership skills fail your team fails. Someone wise once told me, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link.” I live this daily in my life.  My job is not to micro manage the people who work with me, but I do need to be an effective leader and learn to motivate them to do what they may not want to do. I need to set clear and fair expectations for everyone. If one staff member comes in late every day, what does that say to others?

Build trusting relationships with the individuals that work in your office. You may be a hands off individual or feel that they’re personal life does not have a place in the office however, knowing what is important to your team can make your job in leading them easier. Know and learn what makes them tick, why do they do the job and utilize their strengths to help build a stronger practice. Find out what they’re interests are. People are not doormats they have feelings and emotions that play an integral part in the overall success of your business.

Treat your team with respect. No matter what conversation you are having with them. They deserve your respect. It is okay for someone to not be the right fit for your office and it is okay for you to remind individuals of office expectations. However, the way you present the information will impact the result.


Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Permission to Succeed

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Permission to Succeed

Your biggest enemy to your success is not your bottom line, it’s not your office staff, and it’s not your patients. It is you. Most people stand in their own way of succeeding because they are busy telling themselves what they can’t achieve instead of finding ways to achieve the things they want. We create excuses on why something is going to go wrong or why we are not able to get more patients in the door. But you don’t have to fall in to this category anymore. You can give your self permission to succeed. 

            Giving yourself the open door to achieve success is not going to happen over night. It is going to take some hard work on your part however, the first steps are simply putting the excuses to the side and moving forward. If you want to have your schedule filled, then take the time to do some research on creating schedules. If you want a happier staff then build a team who promotes themselves to customer service genies instead of front office. And give them permission to achieve their goals as well.
          
   Here are  a few other suggestions to get you started:

1.     Pick what three things you need to change in order to succeed
2.     Write them down and put them all around you
3.     Write out the steps you need to take in order for you achieve these goals
4.     Restate your goals to yourself throughout the day and often
5.     Keep record of your progress, tweak what isn’t working and celebrate what is.

You are worth all of the success you want to achieve in this world and you don’t have to change everything in your office to be a successful business. You do have to take the time to step outside the box though and get out of your own way. 

Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.