Dentistry: A Shocking Glimpse of 2017
From the Desk of Tony Gedge
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better – you were right.
I seldom make predictions, most who do, ALWAYS get it wrong.
But today, after being in dentistry for my thirteenth year, and working with hundreds of dentists and their teams seeking more FREEDOM, and with some who’ve EXITED for large sums and most now achieving more purpose, more progress and more profit, than ever before…here is a word of caution to my 104 existing members about the coming year of 2017.
FIRST, I make THREE safe, for 2017 without egg on my face, which by the way is only six months away as I write. The only principal getting it wrong in 2017 is the business owner who chooses not to consume this urgent warning and more importantly… take action. Ready?
STUNNING 2017 PREDICTION # 1: PATIENT DEFECTORS TO IDH
IDH, rebranding to My Dentist, the McDentistry corporate vulture and numbers based behemoth, with a soulless culture will in fact burden, affect, and further annoy you in 2017.
I have witnessed firsthand how they can easily loose twenty percent profit of their newly acquired private practice in the first year.
The thing is, if they open up next door, you WILL lose a chunk of change. Your PATIENT DEFECTORS may score low on your “Client Happiness Index”. But they are still worth something to IDH’s balance sheet. Make no mistake your cash flow will suffer in 2017 if you carry on doing what you did yesterday. Make sense so far?
EVERYTHING IS MARKETING
From the desk of Tony Gedge
I’ll keep it short and sweet, my time is just about up. On Tuesday night I headed for a Rotary events committee meeting.
“Take a right past the famous Marbella Beach Club and look out for Villa Las Palmas” said Des. I arrived at Barry’s place worth £15 million and rents for 60K a month. Barry is seventy four and now takes a back seat in his PLC company. He has chauffeur for his Bentley, house maids, chef, and unfortunately his wife has chronic fatigue syndrome.
He’s a member of Rotary and not only that, has another villa around the corner, on the beach too, his daughter lives there. He is an amazing character, a northern lad from Morley, Leeds. I took a shine to him immediately because of his dapper trilby hats, pastel coloured clothes and snake skin cowboy boots. May 2nd and Barry is throwing a charity bash and wanted my input.
Two lawyers were present, nice fellas and fun too but the arrangements were dull to say the least. No theme, no story, just dull. In the end it was decided, Barry’s Mad Hatters Garden Party. Mike from MPOD is to do the flyer and I’ll show you next month. Here is a picture I’ll be maximising…and as the title of Fred Joyal’s book says, Everything Is Marketing.
Lunch & Learn …
and How To Make It A Success
From the desk of Vicki Mayson
Something we have started here at MPOD is a monthly “Lunch & Learn” so I wanted to give you a few tips on how to start your own Lunch & Learn if, of course, you don’t already do one.
How to start your own Lunch & Learn
Interested in bringing Lunch & Learn into your practice? Here are some tips to make it a success:
- Plan for the same date and time each month: “A big reason why we started Lunch & Learn was to make sure there was consistency and structure. If you build structure to people’s routine, it helps them do their best work. It’s a comfort thing – you’ll always come to work on Lunch & Learn day and you can always expect lunch and to learn about something new.
- Plan lunches and presentations in advance: Plan who will be teaching at Lunch & Learn and from where lunch will be catered about a month in advance. Local cafes and restaurants are great options to order from, or personalise your Lunch & Learn even more by asking for employees favourite ones.
- Be persistent: Most people will need regular encouragement to participate in a monthly Lunch & Learn but with persistence, it can grow into an event that everyone looks forward to. Before you know it you will have the team volunteering to lead Lunch & Learn or to suggest a cafe to order from. When you start something, the goal is that you don’t have to actively continue it; the goal is for it to become something on its own. It will take a while but it will happen.”
Some Benefits of Lunch & Learn
- The biggest benefit of a Lunch & Learn programme is that you are able to get more training delivered to your team at minimal additional cost.
- A Lunch & Learn programme doesn’t make more hours in the day, but it makes better use of the time you have.
- Your team will appreciate the nature of the training.
- The team member doing the training will enjoy the spotlight of being able to share their expertise with others in the practice.
Have fun with your Lunch & Learn
To Infinity And Beyond…….
From the Desk of Cally Gedge
One of the big takeaways for me in business is to trust my gut instinct more, especially when it comes to working with team members and recruiting.
As business owners are in a constant recruitment, review and reward process, it will never end. That is unless you stop growing.
Make it a passion for 2015 rather than a chore.
Enjoy the time you take with your team at your monthly reviews, find out their strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t use the review process as a stick to beat them with but for a time to move them forward and find out where they sit in your practice.
My philosophy is when challenges arise, which they do every day, “deal with them at the time, immediately.” How do we do this?
The team have a concerns book where all challenges are added and once resolved we discuss them at the huddle so that everyone is made aware of any changes to our team or processes.
And to simplify our business we have invested in new project management software. This will keep old and new team members in the loop and also give us a bird´s eye view of the business wherever we are. More importantly it takes us away from excel spreads and highlights blockages fast.
Finally, for your benefit, we are switching over to a new measurement tool this month for online marketing, it´s ahead of the game in the market. We will be contacting each lead generation and conversion client to set up a phone meeting whereby we can set up goals with the software company on what is important to your marketing and the reporting is really structured and easier to follow than Google Analytics.
My task is to get and keep the team on board with the two new major changes to all of their roles. We have a quote of the week which we read out at the huddle each morning, here is ours for our return.
You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.
CALLY GEDGE WILL REVEAL
“THE MUSHROOM KEPT IN THE DARK GROWS 3 INCHES”
From the desk Of Cally Gedge
Problem is … most Practice Managers are abdicated their position. From dental nurse to PM. Job dumped. Now try figure it out all on your lonesome.
You may want to keep her busy working IN the business, but without specific and relevant personal and professional development, burn out maybe on the horizon. Or at best, she never grows taller than 3 inches.
Even more important, PMs are expected to know about team motivation, performance related pay, reviewing individuals, attracting and retaining top class talent; keeping daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual PULSE MEETINGS ALIVE. And many other KEY SUCCESS DRIVERS to grow your practice. Although, occasionally, an NVQ course appears, it is no substitute to regular meeting and learning and sharing fears, frustrations and desires with other successful PMs.
Today, you have 3 options available,
1) Keep your mushroom in the dark hoping she will GROW without adding more high quality.
2) Continually be disappointed she does not know how to grow your practice purpose, progress, people, patients and profit.
3) Grow your PM through Cally Gedge and her high quality ideas.
For starters, it’s 12 months into the MPOD Diamond Practice Managers Club. Cally will reveal the latest information, what’s working, what’s not. Case studies. And pure PM motivation.
Miss this and the chances of liberating your practice without a switched on PM is like growing a mushroom with the lights on.
The Glorious Success of Failure –
Not One Of Us Einstein
From the desk of Tony Gedge
Money is flowing right now and no more so than in your backyard. The total wealth of the richest 1,000 UK individuals, couples or families jumped 15% in a year according to the 26th annual Sunday Times Rich List. Would you believe there are 104 billionaires living in the UK and has risen to more than 100 for the first time. This means the UK has more billionaires per head of population than any other country.
The UK is the best place right now to provide personality driven dentistry to those who can and will pay for it. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his wife Jules saw their fortune leap £90m to £240m with their restaurant chain, TV appearances and her children´s wear range. X Factor Simon Cowell is now worth £300m. David and Victoria Beckham £210m. Now are you thinking of retiring and making a comeback? David Bowie’s return to the limelight saw his wealth expand to £135m.
ENTITLEMENT is also over rated and soon NHS dentistry managed by Virgin Care will crush those practices which have only taken out and put didly squat back into their infrastructure, service, and education of self. As the Queen will attest, nothing stays the same forever. Queenie has been on every Sunday Times Rich List since she topped the first one in 1989, and is now worth £330m but that is only enough to see her ranked 285th.
Bagless vacuum billionaire Sir Dyson now owns more land (25,000 acre portfolio) exceeding the Queen’s 20,000 acre Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, as well as the Duke of Bedford’s 13,000 acres in Bedfordshire. Where there’s muck there’s brass. Where there’s the NHS, there’s gonna be tears. Change or die.
Sam and Dan Houser, creators of the block buster X Box Grand Theft Auto and despised by moralists and loved by teenagers for its virtual porn and prostitution, are at 947 on the list with a joint wealth of £90m. Not bad to say the game was created in my home town Leeds. It’s no surprise there are those moving up, down, staying the same and some with lost fortunes never to appear on the rich list ever again. But that is what business is about. It’s hard, it’s easy, it’s constant, and it doesn’t care about your fatigue, your wins, your losses, your debt, your insanity, your family. Business just doesn’t care.
My green juice and expensive life extension supplements also do not care whether I die today, or live to see another day. A lion never stops to think about the beautiful Zebra it claws to the ground and then locks its jaws around its neck. I have been bankrupt, sold 2 businesses for a profit, walked away from 3 others, lost 150K on my record label, gave away a night club, which I allegedly won in a game of cards. Cally the same, although she sold Soul Kitchen cafe bar at a profit whilst in the airport on our way to Jamaica. In the world of direct response marketing which is where we spend most of our time, the reliability of this method of growing a business and its people and profits is more predictable than copying a corporate with large advertising funds or indeed listening to dim wits who never owned their own business apart from the one they are trying to make work now.
Much of what we do here at MPOD is to TEST SMALL, then steadily increase the spend till it stops working. Drayton Bird said it best, ‘I like to waste small amounts of money first.’ He should know, he’s helped grow many businesses into the millions and millions including Virgin Wines. Testing by the way, sounds far better than the glorious success of failure.
But if failure is too risky for you, then so is marketing and being an entrepreneur. One of the businesses I made the most money from, nightclubs, started out horribly. It took two months of zero crowd to hit a consistent 3,500 clubbers. It grew legs. Marketing is the same. Necessity is the mother of invention. You have bad cases, complainers, moaners, whiners, when you start a new procedure. They are your guinea pigs, like it or not it’s true. Jon Swarbrigg was my first muse; some stuff worked some stuff met with epic failure. But what counts is we are wasting small amounts in uncharted territory. The first time we used video on a dental website, it showed follow on videos of drugs, and crazy religious sects. Our dental client axed us in the head, but we learnt fast after that. You won’t catch Dyson talking about his vacuums with bags, those are long gone; he is now the bagless wonder.
TWO BIG TRUISMS. First is that you can’t be jack of all trades, nobody can be great at everything – and those working with you too – move on from what you suck at, and get better at what you are great at, move on. I was shocked recently when a client told me he was still agonising over his accounts. Getting better at your weaknesses is B.S.
Second, every ultra successful person falls flat on their face the first time they do what they eventually become epic at. Branson failed with his Student Magazine, and made it big with the album Tubular Bells to fund the cash to expand Virgin Records. Whoever thought he would use Necker Island to promote his global brand? Keeping on trying, failing, succeeding, trying, failing, and succeeding. It is usually Plan B, C D, where the YES lives.
I never intended to be in the dental market, it was by chance and on my strong reputation I was introduced to the PDS Dental Laboratory by Brendan’s Bank Manager. It was not luck either. I networked like crazy for two years to win my luck. I never intended to exit the night club economy and work with the once ultra successful Royal Bank of Scotland and given free rein to train 2,500 commercial bank managers. It just turned out that way on the strength of my reputation. I never intended to develop MPOD as it has; I went into information marketing to semi-retire to Spain, and drink Pina Coladas all day by the pool. I never intended to help facilitate taking 3,200 kids out of daily dental pain in Morocco.
Most of the time things work out for the best. When the worst happens, it usually always works out for the best. Just as the sun sets and rises, that is what business and life is like. Up and down. Up and down. Successful people cry for a while, or as Paul McGee calls it – SUMO – shut up, move on. He says it’s ok to wallow for a while, but you gotta keep on keeping on. If you aren’t willing to make yourself cry, you will not get far in this hostile jungle. You will never get to the oasis on the other side. You’ll stay thirsty, hungry and curious as to what awaits you in the promise land. At the minute there are many tears to cry. There is huge change happening within dentistry and the spending habits of consumers. But just because tears are falling, you should NOT stay safe in your comfort zone. Get your cheeks wet. Over 27 years in business, I have known, interviewed, mentored, counselled many successful business owners. Most from scratch. Myself and Cally included, not one of us Einstein. Most are seen as brilliant and outgoing and innovative, and lucky. But what they do, is not really what they intended.
The Starbucks´ founders, originally wanted the company to be called Pequod, after a whaling ship from Moby-Dick, but this name was rejected. The company was instead named after the chief mate on the Pequod, Starbuck. Imagine, ‘Heh, fancy a latte at Pequod’. Branson wanted to call Virgin Records ‘Slipped Disc’ but thought better of it. Imagine, Slipped Disc Media? I was opposed to MPOD done for you lead generation and conversion for MPOD members. Make no mistake, I relish in change and am not afraid to say I made a mistake.
One more important point: Us entrepreneurs and business owners are only a fraction smarter than our brothers and sisters; albeit they are slaves to a job. People like you and me, get more things done, more often and with more passion. (Your laws of attraction won’t make you rich anytime soon by affirmations alone. Hard work will.)
Get The Most Out Of Emergency and Tooth Crisis Clinic Marketing
From the desk of Cally Gedge
Do you spend good money on emergency dentist Google PPC, leaflet drops or Facebook marketing?
Does your front desk team fully understand what this means and what conversation needs to happen when you attract an emergency prospect?
If “yes” brilliant!
You will be winning on this spend, but if not then here are a 3 strategies I learnt in 2015, training dozens of reception teams and listening to recorded calls.
- The front desk should never offer phone numbers of other practices who are taking NHS patients because they will never try and convince them to go private.
- Please get the whole team to read your emergency GUARANTEE on your website and fully understand what this means.
- Inform reception team what new monthly marketing has been agreed with MPOD so everyone is in the loop and you do not confuse or turn away new prospects
Your GUARANTEE will read similar to this…
“We guarantee Stress-Free support within 59 minutes of your advised arrival time at the award winning xxxxxxxxxx or your visit will be FREE of charge – This is our personal rock solid guarantee.
Our Dental Emergency Guarantee
You will get a free visit if we don’t help you within 59 minutes of your visit on the day of your call and that even includes Saturday mornings (Excludes Sunday).
So how would you like to:
- Steer clear of painful toothache?
- Repair loose crowns?
- Restore broken fillings?
- Heal sore and bleeding gums?
We Also Offer A Full TOOTH CRISIS Audit For Only £xx With Complete And Understandable Guidance Of Any Additional Treatment Cost!”
With this copy you are attracting prospects into the practice to introduce them to your unique and novel patient care.
And this needs to happen without judgement or assumptions that the prospect is looking for NHS. After all they have search for you online and read the above content then picked up the phone. Marketing has worked!
But not only that you also need to monitor PATIENT VALUE spend of these prospects through your lead capture form because on average they spend more and refer more.
Finally, please do a weekly routine check on MPOD ROI Call Tracker software to ensure the above is in hand so that you are not wasting your hard earned cash on a campaign that is being blocked at the first introduction.
And more importantly that you are lining the pathway with ease for a neglected mouth who in return will refer more.
Do What Actually Works And
Not What You Think Should Work!
From the desk of Mike Leach
MPOD Online Strategist
That is the most important lesson you can learn in marketing. I have lost count of the times that I’ve spoken to new, prospective members that tell me that they love their website, the layout, the content, the flow but it doesn’t convert.
Why would you want to keep something that clearly isn’t bringing in the goods?
Sometimes people are scared off by an MPOD style website. I’m not talking about the Lead Generation & Conversion Package as a whole, just the website design itself.
I always try to explain that a website doesn’t have to be over-the-top in design; it should be an extension of your personality.
Not everyone wants a picture of David Hasselhoff on their home page, but they should.
I know that websites with personality convert. I know that websites with lots of video content convert. And I know that websites with lots of well written content convert.
Yes all the fashion are these simple websites that are graphic heavy with a paragraph of content in the middle of the page that is surrounded by stock images. I like that look, I think it looks good, but I also know that it won’t convert.
Ask yourself, if you knew nothing about dental implants would you call a dentist after seeing a picture of a 40 plus couple laughing together with a paragraph that states that ‘we do dental implants by inserting a screw into your jaw bone’.
I wouldn’t, even if I really needed them. Besides which, on your aesthetically pleasing website I can’t find the phone number because it’s been dumped in some random position for artistic effect.
You see I don’t need to know about the process yet, I just need to know why I might need treatment, how your treatment is different to that offered by everyone else, and finally I need some proof from real people to say that they had the treatment done and that I should too.
It’s not complicated, but some people always think they know best.
Your content needs to be informative, without giving away too much.
There should be lots of call to actions and plenty of choices for the lead to contact you depending on how far into the buying cycle they are.
Here is an example of what I mean…
If you forget what you think people should see and go with what works you’ll find yourself inundated with new leads, then all you have to do is be yourself when you meet these people.
Before you know it that new lead has become a new patient.
The Long Lost Art of Uncomfortable Conversations
By Cally Gedge
At Treasure Map 10, part of the chat I had with you while on stage was not being afraid of “challenging conversations”.
This includes when needed on the spot and also appreciation and praise—also on the spot.
Let’s start with WHY this needs to consistently happen.
ONE: If you don’t deal with challenges and GIVE appreciation on the spot you lose the impact to change people’s lives for the better.
And if people either don’t feel appreciated in a proper fashion (this can be done of course through TINYpulse) or worse, you know yourself you haven’t dealt with a challenge because it was uncomfortable then make no mistake you will be the one to suffer in the long run as it will fester and annoy you!
TWO: Being open about the truth then invites it back, which means everyone is on the same page and conflict no longer becomes uncomfortable. Therefore it is a rite of passage for growth.
There is something within all of us that responds deeply to people who can be honest, good and bad within us.
Most of us want to hear the truth even if uncomfortable.
Let´s take a minute to give this some thought.
Ask yourself the following four killer questions …
- What are your goals when you converse with people?
- How often do you find yourself saying things you don’t mean?
- How many meetings or impenetrable conversations are going on whereby the real issues are not being discussed? What are you avoiding?
- If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions who would you ask and what would they be?
Because when was the last time you confronted someone and ended up enriching yours or others relationships?
Because when was the last time you confronted someone and ended up enriching yours or others relationships?
If this resonates with you then consider this …
Avoid Laying Blame
The person who can most accurately describe reality without laying blame will emerge a leader.
We have all been there where we let our emotions over run and end up being personal.
Always focus on the process not the person, ask intelligent questions.
What solution can we come up with to avoid this happening again?
Let´s look at your process for carrying out this task and see how we can improve it.
First, for your own and everyone else´s sanity don’t allow BUTS in the conversation and no more EXCUSES. Replace the word but with ‘and’.
Second, we are doing our hardest to eradicate the excuse of being “too busy” here at MPOD.
We are in business, we are growing of course, we are busy, but the key is to be productive and know how to prioritise and without this talent we are lost.
*Last but not least: as the Scout´s motto says … be prepared!
Why not go into all conversations challenging or appreciating knowing what your outcome needs to be. Don’t win important conversations.
Once you orchestrate this you will make it habit.
For example, when in a difficult conversation, allow silence to give everyone chance to breath and reflect.
Make sure the other person has the chance to speak even if it is not what you want to hear. Be “fair and reasonable”, as Jon Swarbrigg says.
If you are a Practice Manager and would like to join my Diamond Managers Practice Club please drop me a line email@example.com.
7 Pillars Of Private Dentistry Success
BY TONY J. GEDGE
Imagine if you were the Six Billion Dollar Man. You could buy eyes so powerful you could spot gaps in teeth, discoloured smiles, and how fat a woman’s purse is.
You could listen in to people’s conversations about what they like and don’t like about you or your competitors.
But these are all expensive, time consuming add-ons, each one requiring more work, time to get used to, and more repairs. You have a choice for 2016; you can take the expensive shortcut and try becoming the billion-dollar man overnight.
Or you can build a solid foundation for your business, and repair the decay underneath the veneer before placing it.
The latter way is sustainable for maybe ten years. The quick route is not getting the tooth dentally fit, although a short-term financial gain, will eventually wind up before the GDC.
Now comes the juicy, proven, predictable teachings for FREE.
Today, I’m going to train you on three Return on Investment Strategies to Increase Your Income Further in 2016. I do not promise ten time ROI like some do.
Who Not What
But when applied at the same time will reveal one of the “seven pillars of private dentistry success”.
This pillar if applied to your private practice could grow your business in 2016 by double digits. It could be worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, over your dental career.
But is worthless unless seriously executed. I will provide to you in a moment, just how successful it has been for MPOD members. Perhaps you know my friend No Pain Nigel, from Brighton. Nigel has been a member for nearly eight years.
He’s famous in Brighton for offering The Gentlest Dentistry. Nigel Kennedy has led the Pain Free revolution in the UK.
I’ve been to his home. I’ve seen him practice his pain free dentistry on kids in Morocco for Dental Mavericks charity.
He has over seventy video testimonials testifying pain free dentistry.
He flipped the mundane, anxious, painful commodity called dentistry into a risk-free environment, fun, experiential, and fascinating.
Nigel has been the inspiration for many Marketing Pirates of Dentistry members and has just SOLD OUT to No Pain Shane also invisibly practising pain free dentistry.
But in the early days just didn’t have the confidence, or the competence to let the public know about it.
I want to tell you a very valuable marketing strategy, and here’s what you can learn from Nigel and Shane, and I have already given you at least six secrets that most dentists will just ignore.
But let me give you the big obvious one.
Nigel placed an A Frame board outside his business, offering the Gentlest Dentistry or your money-back guarantee. So do you think that according to the BDA, the 28 percent of the British public, who are anxious about going to the dentist will now feel more at ease with such a risk-free proposition?
You bet! Nigel also has his car fitted with magnets advertising the fact. His welcome letters, limousine pickups and drop off service too. His ads, website, patient newsletters, business cards, all appealing to a certain WHO.
Nigel and Shane may never have beat stiff competition if they had not branded themselves as such. It is a clever core promise.
But with appealing messages one gets paid more for WHO you are rather than WHAT you are. Get busy Pirate revealing your warts and all. She buys you, not your hands.