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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Monday, March 31, 2014

External Marketing

Internal Marketing

External Marketing:

We discussed marketing last week.  I hope you were able to engage in some external marketing and saw the benefit. Marketing is critical in order for you to bring in new patients and helps reward your current patient base. External marketing is activities that help boost your current patient base to feel valued and to give them information while also increasing the word about your office.


There are several types of external marketing that you can do. Including Facebook,   a Website, and a blog.  You may also utilize, Yelp, Google plus and twitter. However, these are just a few of the social media sites that you may use in order to market your business. Each site can be set up and managed using Hootsuite to help you organize your posts.

There is a variety of quotes and information you can post on these sites. Research suggests that Facebook users want to get to know you and your office. They want to know what is going on in your office. It is an extension of who you and your staff is. Contests, questions and data can also help bring individuals flocking to your site.  Each post can be unique and different on each site, or you can post the same quote or information piece across multiple social media sites.

Blog posts can be short, sweet and informational. About three hundred to four hundred words can help support a blog, two times a week. When creating a blog make sure to give readers information that is about your practice and topics that interest the population of patients you see. For example, if you see children in your office that focus on information that is going to be important to parents.

A few tips and tricks:

1.     Be consistent
2.     Use information that is relevant
3.     Do giveaways or contests every once in awhile
4.     Post photos
5.     Create QR codes in the office for patients to scan and quickly get to your site

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rules of asking for a referral

On Monday we discussed external marketing in regards to asking for a referral. In your daily or weekly huddle you are going to identify which patient personalities you want more of. Once you have identified which patients best fit your population, practice asking for the referral.

Role-play in the huddle using different dialogue in order for everyone to feel comfortable asking for the referral.  You might try saying, “did we do an excellent job today?” They respond with yes. And you say, “fantastic please take a moment to tell a friend about your excellent service today. You want to sound natural and make it a part of the conversation but it may feel awkward at first.

Offer a referral rewards program. For example, a free gift card to Starbucks or entry into a drawing for a free whitening session.  Whatever, your office comes up with advertise it in the office and get patients talking about it.  

You can advertise on your external websites but use caution as there are some regulations in regards to rewarding patients for reviews and liking you on Facebook.  You cannot directly tell individuals that you will offer something if they like you on Facebook or give you a yelp review.

Set a goal number of referrals you are going to ask for each day and keep track of how many you actually ask for. This is important in order to make sure that staff and you are being held accountable. It is easy to say yes, we are going to do more of that but it will build momentum when you have that constant goal you are trying to reach.

Asking for a referral helps continue to build your practice by bringing in new patients. Each individual that leaves your office that you do not ask is a missed opportunity. Be consistent and pretty soon you will find more ideal patients walking through your door.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Internal Marketing

Marketing is what your office does to bring in patients. There are two types, internal and external.  Today we are going to focus on active events that you and your staff can do that would be considered internal marketing. Internal marketing are activities that occur in the office that help bring in new patients or help find opportunities for the dentist in order to build the practice. 
It starts with asking for a referral. During the team huddle, look through the schedule. Identify which patients you want to see more of. 

Second, look at if you had the ideal practice which individuals on the schedule you would want in your office?  These are the individuals you are going to ask for a referral from. You don’t want patients that you struggle to get paid from or ones that cancel over and over.  People spend time with which they are most like. So, you want to bring more patients through the door that smile when they are there, enjoy coming to the dentist, and keep their appointments.  Post a sign up that let’s individuals know about your referral incentive.

Utilize demand force or a website that has the same capability to send out reminders to patients about their appointments. Set up a system where the patient will receive an email in advance and then a text a day in advance. Ask them to confirm their appointment.

Set up a contest where a patient can win a fancy toothbrush or free whitening. This can be advertised on your external marketing but it will also get patients excited about coming to your office. Excited patients talk to other people. Individuals can go to just about every corner and find a dentist so, make sure that your marketing is the one that keeps grabbing their attention. 

External marketing helps continue to build your patient base. New patients equals new opportunities. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Madness

March madness doesn't mean you have to loose your mind at the office. Take the time to build your practice by assessing your monthly goals. Take a look at your collections, how many new patients you have brought in, your accounts receivable, outstanding insurance claims, marketing and analyze what step your team is going to take next.

It is important every month to look at what your numbers are in order to know where you will be going. One of the areas you may decide to focus on is, opportunities.

Opportunities are the times in which your patients are sitting in the chair and you or your assistants have a conversation with the patient about what is going on in their mouth and teeth that may need to be fixed.  For example, your patient may have a tooth that is chipped or crooked.

However, an opportunity may also be a staff member discussing a new whitening system or a new offer you have for x-rays. Or it may be a new patient special. The opportunity can be a discounted toothbrush when they check-in on yelp. Whatever, the item is that is going to bring the patient back to the office or generate an increase in income for the practice, is an opportunity.

You wouldn’t let a patient walk out of the office with a cracked tooth? So, don’t let your patient leave your chair without having information on all of the latest information that will help to create a better, healthier smile. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Key Lime Pie Smoothie

Get in the spirit of St. Patricks day with this fun treat!

Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie

                                     by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on May 18, 2012

Who doesn’t like pie, smoothies and graham crackers?
Or, limes, frothy toppings and sweet breakfasts?
Big mugs, green things, and meals packed with goodness?

All of these things? Can be your next green smoothie.
Because green smoothies don’t have to be a “pinch your nose to scarf it down” experience.
They can taste like pie or fudge or cake, ice cream or brownies and everything in between.

Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 500mL, 1 serving
Vegan, gluten and nut-free key lime green smoothie that’s under 300 calories. Tastes just like pie!
  1. Add all ingredients in the jug of your high-powered blender in the order they are listed.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
  3. Add whipped topping and crushed graham crackers, if desired.
If whipped topping is used, recipe is no longer vegan. To maintain vegan-ness, try using vegan whipped cream instead.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stages of Concern

When something ends in our life there are seven stages of grief that individuals go through. Everyone moves through these stages at a different rate and not everyone experiences them in the same order. Some people may skip a stage completely. There are also seven stages of concern that an individual goes through when change occurs as well. It is important as a leader of the organization to understand these stages because you will be able to analyze potential problems. You will also know when people hit a certain stage what information to present to them at that time. For example, when an individual is at stage two which is personal, you can begin to share with them information on who the change is going to impact your life. However, if an individual is at stage management, you will need to focus your energy on refining the change.

Use the seven step model of concern to better support your organization and the individuals within. Just like stages of grief, individuals will pass through the levels at different times and may stay in one stage longer than others or they may skip a step altogether. That part is not as important as knowing which characteristics a team member will display within each level.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Change impacts us

Change happens often and all around us. How we react to change depends on multiple things. Whether we are impacted by the change in a small way or if it is changing the core of our world. Change could be something as simple as a new line to say to patients when you answer the phone for example, "Hello, I can help you." Versus, "How may I help you?" Or it maybe a new way to organize the front office. However, big or small the change people will react differently based on how much they feel their life is being impacted.

Some factors play into how easily you adapt to change for example, a persons background knowledge and experiences will impact how they approach change. An individual that has moved often may not care as much about getting rid of the clutter in the front office, while someone who had very little growing up may have a very difficult time throwing away items.

How comfortable a person is with a situation impacts how easily they adapt to the change as well. Your front office may have outside knowledge of computers therefore, a new program may not impact their world. While someone who is still learning the basics of computers may become easily overwhelmed and frustrated with the introduction of a new system.

No matter the change, it is important for you as the boss to make sure that individuals have some control over the situation. The more a person has over the change the more likely they are to be comfortable with it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Who makes change happen?

Sometimes when we are at work and a system fails you may be quick to jump to a new process or procedure. Then a few weeks go by and you walk into your office and the same system is still failing. Don't blame the change, you have to take a look at your people.

Change is carried out by the people that work in your office. It is not possible to assess how change is going without looking the people that are supposed to be carrying out the expected change. When change fails, reflect on why? Is it because of the structure of the policies? Or is it because an individual in the office doesn't want to see the change happen?

If you as the leader focus's too much on the new procedure or policy without looking at the people that are supposed to be making the change you undermine the value of what  you are trying to do. Change is hard and therefore, the more you can support the individuals in your organization the more likely it is that change will be successful.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Change-a process or event?

Change occurs often in our worlds. When it happens it is either a process or an event. Think of an event as a wedding. It may be big or small. There is planning that goes into the event. People get dressed up and there is usually some nervous energy. An event occurs once, there is a big to do and then it is over. You clean up and go home. While the happy couple goes on their honeymoon.

While a process looks completely different. There is a starting point and an ending point that is planned out. There are steps along the way that different people are going to take. You may even have different people in charge of different components of the process. When change is a process it might have time lines that need to be met.

If everyone approached change as a process individuals might handle it better. For example, if you took a big change and broke it down into smaller parts it is easier for individuals to handle the change. You can work as a team to analyze how the plan is going along the way and problem solve when you need to. It may not be beneficial for you to plan for the change to occur over night as this may cause unnecessary stress on everyone.