3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

Every dental practice, no matter how productive, has missed opportunities and money flying out the door. Even practices doing an amazing job meeting or exceeding production goals have room for improvement.

No one will ever reach perfection in any aspect of their practice. If your vision is to become a highly productive practice, then you’ll need a highly productive team to support your practice vision

Whether you’re struggling to stay in business or firing on all cylinders and looking to increase your bottom line, these three tactics can do amazing things for your practice.

Review charts before each patient comes in.

 

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

 

Whether you keep them online or in a file cabinet, every patient’s chart should be well documented. Most dentists keep documents for patients to deal with logistical concerns when they arise. But these documents can actually lead to increased productivity just by being reviewed daily.

Every day, before a patient comes in, have a team member review their chart. Have them look at health histories, x-rays, any unscheduled pending treatment, and more. Have this information top-of-mind for when the patient comes in. That will make sure any issues or procedures that need to be addressed will get done. With more gets done, revenue and profits go up and your patients will get the care they need.

Take intraoral photos and discuss issues with patients.

 

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

 

You know the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” 

Have your assistant show your patients the dental issues that need to be resolved—such as cracked teeth, or leaking fillings—and explain to the patient what's going on in their mouth. 

Something as simple as having a visual to go along with the case presentation can make you thousands of dollars month after month. Taking intraoral photos of all of your patients ensures you can see—and show patients—everything that needs to be done to ensure optimal oral health.

If you need help training your team to discuss issues in ways that resonate with patients, these three strategies can help you improve case acceptance. If your team members get trained to discuss issues well, patients will be much more inclined to say yes to your treatment plan.

Help patients visualize a better life.

 

3 Ways Your Team Members Can Make Your Practice More Productive

 

Your patients want treatment for a reason. They have a vision of what it can mean for them and their personal lives. Make sure your team members discuss how their oral health issues are impacting each patient’s life.

Perhaps someone is coming in for teeth whitening because they have work or school photos coming up. Someone else might want dental implants because they’re sick of not being able to eat their favorite type of food or smile confidently. The list goes on.

If your team member can determine what is motivating your patient to get treatment, it will be much easier to present your treatment plan in the right context. In that case, present your treatment plan in such a way that it makes clear to your patient that getting treatment will help them achieve something they desire. That type of presentation will make the patient equate the cost of treatment as an investment in the outcome they want, instead of as a payment for a dental procedure. With an investor’s mindset, they will be much more likely to move forward with treatment.

What are your team members doing to make your practice more productive?

There are many strategies your team members can use to help make your practice more productive. At Delivering WOW, we’re determined to help you develop those strategies to get the results you deserve. 

If you want more help with getting your team members to help make your practice more productive, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

You can deliver the best dental care in the world, have the latest technology, and serve the most gourmet coffee to your patients, but you can’t run a WOW practice without an amazing team.

One of the best ways to make your team do great work is to make them feel a part of the process. When they feel like they’re a part of a practice family and are contributing to achieving your practice story, they’ll be more motivated and happier to wake up in the morning and come to work. They’ll feel their role is meaningful.

So how do you achieve that? One of the best ways to do that is to create a culture in which both you and your team are open to receiving feedback from one another. This creates a safe environment for growth and support and ensures you and your team are constantly improving. With many leaders, this can be a struggle because many of us feel like we need to have all the answers. But when we hire the best team members, their talents and experiences will complement ours and make their feedback extremely valuable to elevating our practices to a whole different level.

Here are three keys to creating a culture in which giving and receiving feedback leads to consistent growth and high performance.

Always ask for feedback.

 

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

Many times, team members are uncomfortable giving feedback to the doctors. It’s a natural concern for people to be concerned giving feedback to their leaders—especially when it’s constructive criticism.

To make your team members more comfortable with giving you feedback, ask for it. Also, ask for it in a very specific area, and request suggestions for improvement. The more focused and specific you are, the easier it will be for someone to respond. For example, you could ask, “Do you have any suggestions for how we can adjust how we schedule to improve production?”

Also, try to get a more rounded perspective when asking for feedback. Ask a number of team members for input when it makes sense to do so. Get everyone involved.

Be grateful for feedback even if you don’t like it.

 

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

Receiving feedback helps build vulnerability-based trust and a safe environment where people help each other improve. You don’t have to agree or disagree with what they have to say. Just thank them for having the confidence to try to help you improve. By encouraging it, you also won’t seem hypocritical when you give someone feedback.

For example, it’s hard to not get upset when someone says you were tone-deaf with a patient. But if you want to get the best work from yourself, you have to take a step back and be objective about their feedback.

Everyone has room for improvement. If everyone is able to look at constructive criticism pragmatically, you can start to create a culture of consistent improvement.

Encourage everyone to seek feedback from patients.

 

How to Always Get the Best Work From Your Team

 

Make sure everyone on your team looks for feedback from patients. In your office or online, what do they say? What can you read into how they act when they are in your chair? And what is their body language like when they are in your chair?

Team members aren’t the only ones who can give you feedback, but they can be a very helpful resource for gathering patient feedback. Make sure they pay attention to all forms of feedback from them, and not just from the online reviews.

When you receive feedback from patients, react the same way you would with a team member delivering feedback. Be grateful for it, and look for the practical takeaways you and your team can use to improve.

Are you getting amazing work from your team consistently?

Nobody is perfect, and nobody is going to do everything right all the time. We all have development areas. The best way to improve everyone's performance is to ask for feedback, be grateful when we receive it, and encourage everyone to seek feedback from patients. Then, you will create a culture of constant growth and improvement with a free flow of feedback in all directions. It will set the standard that all team members are expected to do their best work and constantly improve—leaders included.

If you want to learn more about building a practice culture in which everyone thrives, join our Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching program, and start learning from the best experts in the dental industry today!

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

Effective scheduling is one of the most important components of any dental practice. When done well, it can instantly boost productivity, profitability, and the return on investment for your marketing efforts.

Do you have a dedicated scheduler? If not, having one who is trained in four key growth strategies could be what your practice is missing. And if you already have a dedicated scheduler in place, here are the four growth strategies they should be doing to help you unlock your practice’s full profitability potential.

1. Use “block scheduling” to maximize productivity.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

A good scheduler will make sure you don’t end up with a scrambled schedule where you’re treating patients with different needs at the same time, hopping from one room to the other.

Instead, they’ll set up your calendar so you’re seeing patients with similar needs at the same time of day, scheduling patients for high-value procedures at the most convenient times, and using other block scheduling strategies to maximize productivity.

At my practice, we moved to a block-scheduling system that split our days into time blocks depending on the services needed by our patients. Our block-scheduling process helped us regularly meet up to 90% of our daily revenue goals before lunchtime.

Not only did profits grow, but everyone felt much less stressed, our schedule becomes much easier to manage, and we make sure we give each patient the quality care they need without anyone feeling overwhelmed.

2. Follow up with patients who have unscheduled treatment.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

Many practices have a long list of patients with unscheduled treatment. Not only is that list untapped production for your practices but it is also a list of patients with unmet dental needs. While some patients need to save up or secure financing for treatment, many simply forget to schedule treatment. They get on with their busy lives and their oral health needs to move down on their list of priorities.

Your scheduler should have a system in place for calling patients with unscheduled treatment. The system can be as simple as calling patients who leave without scheduling treatment. You could even prioritize patients with specific procedures you want to perform more of. Either way, your scheduler can help you fill your calendar by regularly contacting patients you know need treatment and getting them scheduled.

3. Make sure all patients are confirmed for the treatment they’ve scheduled.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

Missed appointments are not only an inconvenience but they represent a lost opportunity to get another patient in the chair. While confirmation is often automated, having a scheduler keeping on top of who is confirmed and who is not is key.

If someone has not confirmed, have your scheduler call them. They may have missed the email or text message. Or maybe they saw it and forgot to confirm. If they can’t make it, your scheduler can then call people with unscheduled treatment to fill the newly open appointment time and get the patient who can no longer make it scheduled for another time.

4. Track key statistics.

 

4 Ways Your Scheduler Can Help You Grow

 

An effective scheduler keeps track of key statistics for your practice. For example, they can keep track of and report the number of cancellations or no-shows. They can track the amount of time utilized per appointment.  And they can track the number of calls made to patients and new appointments generated. They can also track the number of new patients scheduled and how those patients learned about your practice. That can help you evaluate your marketing efforts and thank current patients for referrals.

Is your scheduler helping you grow?

If you do not have a growth-focused scheduler, you likely have significant untapped potential for your practice. Start utilizing these four growth strategies and you can quickly see more productivity for your practice.

If you want help training your scheduler to help you go, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

The best dental practices are built with the best team members. That’s why it’s so important to get only high performers to join your practice. Top performance can help improve systems and processes and work together to help you fulfill your practice vision.

While all team members are important, many practices miss tremendous opportunities to grow their practice by not involving all team members in their growth plan. Adjusting your growth plan to delegate to all team members can help unlock a practice’s full potential. That’s why we train practice owners and team members in the Delivering Wow Platinum Coaching Program. Doing so equips team members for success and empowers practice owners to delegate to all team members with confidence.

Here are four roles that are often underutilized in dental practices. Helping team members in these four roles unlock their full potential could be the key to helping your practice unlock its full potential.

How Front Office Team Members Help Your Practice

Front office team members can help you exponentially grow your practice. They are the first people patients meet, whether on the phone or in person. Are they personable? Do they have phone training? Do they have customer service, personal care training? And do they know the answers to your patients’ frequently asked questions?

Patients are often more swayed by their experience with your front office team members than they are with other roles. If a new patient calls, they assume you do good clinical work. Their decision to become a patient will often be based on other factors, such as first impressions, feeling important, and their in-office experience.

An effective front office team member will build deep relationships with patients and make them look forward to coming to your practice. Make sure your front office team members are personable, have the right training and tools to serve patients well, and is properly trained to address the most frequently asked questions of your patients.

How Dental Assistants Help Your Practice Grow

 

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

 

If you set your dental assistant up for success, they will make your practice run smoother and improve patient experience. They will handle all the little details that matter a lot to patients. This includes meeting and greeting patients and knowing a patient's medical history. It also includes explaining procedures to patients and getting informed consent, and giving post-operative instructions.

Having those little details taken care of help patients understand what to expect during and after procedures. They make a big difference in a patient's comfort with your practice. And they can help avoid confusion and misunderstanding. All of these small things are important. Many times, small confusion or misunderstandings can cause an otherwise positive experience to be perceived negatively. Get the details right and you and your patient can focus on the important issues, such as helping them get the best treatment. They’ll leave happy, well cared for, and more likely to refer you to their friends and family.

Empowering Your Office Manager to Grow Your Practice

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

 

Your practice will never reach its full potential if you don’t delegate and delegate well. That’s why we love helping people delegate more in their dental practice. One of the most liberating sets of tasks to delegate is office management. Way too many dentists keep office management tasks to themselves.

With so many responsibilities on our shoulders, delegating the task of office management frees us up to do much more important tasks, such as generating more revenue or enjoying time outside of the office. 

An effective office manager can do wonders for the productivity of your practice. In order for an office manager to be effective, they need to have leadership, initiative, emotional agility, communication proficiency, organizational abilities, time management, confidentiality, and many other skills. But getting them the proper training and empowering them to take care of office management duties could be one of the best investments of your time and allow you to unlock incredible practice growth.

How Your Scheduler Can Unlock Tremendous Profits

 

4 Team Members Who are Critical to Practice Growth

 

Effective scheduling is an art and a science. It takes a lot of effort to do this yourself, and by delegating this task you can focus on what you do best: dentistry. 

The best way to set your day up to meet production goals in a low-stress environment is through “block scheduling.”  That can maximize your profits and free you up to do your best work.

Do you have these four roles filled at your practice?

Make sure you have the right people in the right seats at your practice. It can be the best decision you make in your practice. And these four roles can be the key to unlocking your full potential.

If you want more help leading your team and event training them to do their best work, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you and your team can get the best information and even coaching from industry experts on growing your practice.

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

We all know dentists work harder than many other people, running a business, leading a team, and serving patients. Unless we delegate effectively to team members, we will live lives full of stress and burnout. Yet way too many dentists still do way too much themselves.

It’s natural to roll up our sleeves and push through a busy season or two, but if those busy seasons turn into months or even years, it’s not sustainable. We need to delegate more.

Many dentists struggle to delegate, though. Some of them just need some help identifying tasks to delegate and training their team to perform. Others resist, making up excuse after excuse for why they can’t or won’t delegate. Here are six common—but bad—excuses dentists use to avoid delegating.

1. “I’m better at the task than anyone I’d delegate it to.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

If you’re using this excuse, you need to focus on building a better team, training an existing team, or implementing systems and processes.

You may have more experience than your team members, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything just because you’re better at doing those things than your team members are. For many of those tasks, you will be wasting valuable chairside time to non-revenue-generating work. That can cost you a lot of money. If you’re better at the task, have someone shadow you while you do it a few times, documenting how you do it and asking clarifying questions. Over time, let them take over while you supervise during the time you would normally do the task. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to hand off the task without adding additional burdens to your schedule.

2. “It’ll take less time if I do it instead.”

If you do something that takes 12 minutes a day, you can save an hour every week by training someone to do it.

Even if it takes you four hours to train someone to take over the task over the course of several weeks, you will save that amount of time in just four weeks once they take over. It might take less time to do a task one time, but delegating is a long-term investment.

3. “I don’t trust someone else to get the job done right.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

The problem with this logic is that you shouldn’t have anyone on your team if they can’t be trusted to get a job done right that’s under their responsibility with proper training and systems. We must be able to trust everyone on our team to the point that we can train them, give them systems or processes, and confidently delegate appropriate tasks to them.

For example, if you can’t run the morning huddle one day—which you need to do to get your team to do their best work every day—you should be able to trust delegating that task to another leader on your team. If not, a key activity that promotes productivity will be completely dependent on you. That’s very risky.

4. “I need to be indispensable.”

Some doctors—and even team members—resist delegating because they want to be indispensable. This is a very bad idea. In addition to coming off to team members as arrogant, if you’re the only one who can perform a task, you’ll never be able to pull away from the practice. You’ll be a bottleneck. And if you’re sick or unavailable, productivity across the entire practice will suffer.

5. “I like doing the task, so I should be the one to do it.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

You might enjoy doing administrative work but that doesn’t mean it’s a good use of your time.

You didn’t go to dental school to do administrative work. Let someone whose job it is to do that work do it instead. They can likely do a better job than you, too, because they do those tasks all day.

It’s not a good use of your time to take you away from revenue generation or family time to do administrative work. Delegate tasks you shouldn’t be doing to people who should be doing them.

6. “My team is already busy enough.”

This excuse marks a bigger issue. If they’re already busy, you either need more team members or better systems and processes. Otherwise, your team will end up overworked and overwhelmed. It will only be a matter of time before they leave—especially the top performers who can more easily find other jobs.

Are you making excuses for not delegating?

You’ll never be able to grow your dream practice without being able to delegate confidently. So, if you find yourself making these excuses (or others), challenge yourself to look at the deeper issue and find a way to delegate more.

If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today, where you can access top training and get coaching for yourself and your team members from our roster of experts in all facets of running a practice.

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

 

In this solo episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast, I explore whether or not practice owners should share numbers and even personal expenses with their team.

Sharing practice numbers with certain team members is a great way to increase trust. And, also can empower the people you work with every day. After all, when more people in your team are aware of the numbers it makes it easier to reach new milestones. And therefore it becomes easier to smash goals and even grow your practice.

However, knowing which team members to share this valuable information with and what numbers you should share with them can be difficult. Listen in to discover what numbers to share with your team. And, learn how sharing numbers with certain team members can help increase profits.

 

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

 

In this episode, I discuss:

  • Why you should share your practice vision and numbers with your team
  • The role of an office manager
  • Important practice numbers to share with your team
  • How to calculate your practice’s profits and manage your cash flow
  • Tips to help hold your team accountable for meeting practice goals
  • Why you should share a percentage of profits with your team

 

Should We Share Numbers With Our Team?

 

Do you want to grow, scale and market your dental practice, FAST?

The Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program is the #1 program for dentists and teams to help scale and market their practices to new heights.

Inside of this Game-Changing Program, you will learn unique practice growth systems, how to manage your time, the best strategies for building a Rockstar Team, how to market your practice and so much more…PLUS…you’ll get NEW practice marketing campaigns every single month!

To find out more about the Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program, click here!

Watch a short trailer for this episode below:

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

As nice as it would be, high-performing team members don’t typically fall in our laps. We need to be intentional in finding them. Many times, they aren’t even actively looking for jobs. So, we need to be actively looking for people. We also never know when we’re going to come across a high-performer to add to our team.

When we find high performers, we must be ready to discuss joining our practice with them. This is especially true when building a high-growth, Delivering WOW practice because high performers can help us accelerate our growth. 

Delivering WOW practices are designed to be attractive to candidates, with training, support, and a WOW practice culture in place. Those factors tend to be ready to describe to candidates. We must also make sure we have accurate job descriptions ready to go when we run into candidates so we can begin a discussion about what their position at our practice could look like. 

In the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, Office Managers & Front Office Team Engagement coach, Dana Pardue Salisbury shared four things to put in every job description to woo high-performers to your practice.

Job Classification

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

 

Dana suggests putting whether the job has an exempt or non-exempt employment status at the top of your job description so candidates can know whether they have upside earning potential through overtime work.

Most team members working in dental offices tend to be considered non-exempt. This means they are qualified to receive overtime and are paid by the hour rather than given a yearly salary. Those with salaries are typically exempt employees. They make what they make whether they work twenty-seven hours a week or fifty hours a week. When non-exempt employees work more than forty hours a week, then they must be paid at 1.5x their pay rate per hour.

When in doubt, reach out for help. Improperly classifying employees can have a big effect on a small business. Ramifications could include paying back-due wages to that employee plus additional penalties.

A Short Job Summary

After you’ve identified the classification of the role, write a job summary that lets candidates know what to actually expect if they join your practice. This is an objective three-sentence paragraph talking about what the job entails as well as a general summary of the job. It should immediately make clear to the potential hire whether the job is a good fit for their talents, dreams, and passions.

An Accurate List of Essential Duties and Responsibilities

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

 

Beyond core attributes, such as having a positive attitude and strong work ethic, the truth is, what constitutes a high-performer varies for each position. That’s why it is very important to have an accurate list of duties and responsibilities laid out for each position.

The accuracy of the list is key. That way, the candidate can evaluate whether they have the skills to excel in on a day-to-day basis. It also identifies areas where they might need additional training beyond adapting to your office’s specific systems and processes. 

Be sure to include a statement that indicates the employee may be asked to handle special projects or other tasks as needed by management so they come in knowing your office is dynamic and needs might change. Also, be sure to mention whether there are travel or supervisory duties affiliated with the role so there are no surprises in those key areas.

An Accurate List of Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Core Competencies

In addition to a list of duties and responsibilities, list at least five to ten points of knowledge, skills, abilities, and core competencies that describe an ideal candidate.

These could include qualities like intuitive, creative, emotionally agile, collaborative, self-starter, and others. It could also include knowledge of practice management software or specific people skills. 

Listing the knowledge, skills, abilities, and core competencies lets people know about the environment they will be walking into and whether that’s a good fit for their experience and personality.

Do your job descriptions attract high-performers?

 

How to Get High-Performers to Join Your Practice

 

One of the best ways to attract high-performers to your practice is to be constantly growing and ready to bring exceptional people on your team. One critical piece to being able to do so is to have job descriptions ready that let people know exactly what they can expect and what will be expected of them at your practice. 

If you want help consistently attracting high-performers to your practice sign up for the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you and your team can access training and coaching from our team of experts in every part of running a WOW dental practice.

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

I recently went to a local jewelry store with my daughter to pick out a birthday present for her friend. I thought it would be a great opportunity to find out what she would like for her own birthday. As she was looking, I told the sales-person to put whatever she liked aside. Then I would come back and pay for it later.

However, when I went back to pick up the items and the sales-person who was helping me checked the reserve section they couldn’t find the jewelry my daughter had picked out.

After searching the entire store, the sales-person said that sometimes people don’t come back so they put the items back. My surprise was ruined. The owner then steps in saying “The next time we have an item to be reserved, what I want you to do is just give it to me and I’ll put it into the safe myself.”

This is something that I see happening in our dental practices. As the owner of a business it can be easy to just step in and “do it yourself.” But, if we want to level up in our leadership, we need to stop saying things like “I’ll put it in the safe myself.”

You can’t grow and scale your business by doing everything yourself. So, don’t be like that jewelry owner. Become the business owner that empowers your team and put processes in place that will help you build your business. Find out how on this episode of the podcast.

 

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

In this podcast episode, I discuss:

  • Why a ‘do it yourself' attitude is taking focus away from your business
  • The importance of empowering your team to be problem solvers
  • Why it is important to your business' success to make your team effective leaders
  • Why you need to elevate and delegate to get you to the point where you no longer need to do it yourself
  • That to elevate your business, you need that skill-set and knowledge of how to delegate

 

Would You Have Put This in a Safe?

 

Do you want to grow, scale and market your dental practice, FAST?

The Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program is the #1 program for dentists and teams to help scale and market their practices to new heights.

Inside of this Game-Changing Program, you will learn unique practice growth systems, how to manage your time, the best strategies for building a Rockstar Team, how to market your practice and so much more…PLUS…you’ll get NEW practice marketing campaigns every single month!

To find out more about the Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program, click here!

Watch a short trailer of the episode below, where I discuss how to grow your business by empowering your team members:

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

No matter how well we recruit, onboard, and train team members, people will leave your practice. When you first start building a WOW practice, some team members will find that they are no longer aligned with your vision. As you continue, people will leave for many other reasons, too. An exit interview provides a great opportunity to learn exactly what happened.

If you do not conduct exit interviews, you miss the opportunity to gain important information about your practice. Here's what you need to know about exit interviews and how to conduct one.

Why Every Practice Should Conduct Exit Interviews

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

One of the benefits of building a WOW practice is developing trust between you and your team members. Establishing shared goals and investing in team member development builds tremendous trust.

No matter how much trust you build, team members will sometimes still feel uncomfortable providing feedback. This is especially true with negative feedback about coworkers or the work environment. If they leave your practice without sharing the information, you may never know what changes you need to make to improve.

Exit interviews give you an opportunity to get open and honest feedback about your practice. Because the person will no longer rely upon your practice for income or see their colleagues, they are more likely to be forthcoming. These insights can help you reduce turnover and improve your practice in many ways.

How to Conduct an Exit Interview

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

In Delivering WOW Platinum, we recommend using a formal exit interview questionnaire to get feedback from departing employees. Using a formal questionnaire helps you standardize the process and ensure you address everything you need to address.

Exit interviews do not have to be long processes. But it's important that they be free from distraction and private in nature. Additionally, it should be comprehensive. Questions we recommend asking include:

  • What is/are your reason(s) for leaving?
  • If you are accepting another position, what makes it more attractive than your current position?
  • How would you rate your training received at the practice?
  • How would you rate the practice's pay and benefits?
  • Do you have any recommendations regarding our compensation, benefits, and other reward and recognition efforts?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with your supervisor?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with other management staff?
  • Do you believe management adequately recognized staff member contributions?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with other team members?
  • What did you enjoy most about your position?
  • What were some of the challenges you experienced?
  • Describe the qualities and characteristics of the person who is most likely to succeed in this practice.
  • What suggestions do you have to make the practice an even better place to work?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share as a final comment?

For answers asking people to rate their experience, we recommend asking them to rate them on a scale, such as on a scale of poor to excellent.

How to Spot Areas for Improvement From Exit Interviews

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

Once you record each team member's answers, conclude the exit interview. Then, immediately record your thoughts on paper while it's fresh in your mind. Specifically, ask yourself three questions:

  • Did the reason for leaving expressed during the interview match the stated reason?
  • Could the resignation have been averted?
  • What would need to change to have averted the resignation?

Finally, record any other comments or observations from the exit interview. When doing so, focus on reflections you can revisit on your own or with practice leadership to improve the practice moving forward. Spending time to reflect on what you can do to change can help you avoid other people leaving for those reasons in the future. Also, if a team member who was not a good fit for your practice leaves, what they say during the interview can help you put things in place to avoid hiring similar team members in the future.

Do you conduct exit interviews when people leave your practice?

Building amazing teams involves attracting and retaining top-quality team members while avoiding or moving on from team members who do not fit your practice vision. Conducting exit interviews can help you with both of these goals. If you don't yet conduct exit interviews in your practice, these questions can help you get started.

If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today. There, you'll get access to top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice, including our exit interview questionnaire that gives you everything you need to conduct an effective exit interview.

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

I recently had somebody reach out to me for advice on training new team members. This doctor was feeling frustrated because they had just hired a new team member and they found themselves having to repeatedly tell the new hire what to do.

I understand that hiring someone new and training them over and over again can be super frustrating and time-consuming. As a result I wanted to talk about the steps you can take to get through this process much quicker.

In this episode of the podcast, I reveal why so many dentists struggle to train new team members. And, what you can do to document your practice’s processes so that you don’t have to keep repeating yourself every time you welcome new team members into your practice.

 

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

 

In this podcast episode, I discuss:

  • A lesson we learned at my practice when it comes to developing new processes for the future
  • Why it’s so easy to get frustrated with new team members
  • How to document your practice’s processes and save time training new team members
  • Why you should create training videos and use them for onboarding new staff
  • The importance of providing clear guidance and direction to your team

 

Is Your Team Frustrating You?

 

Do you want to grow, scale and market your dental practice, FAST?

The Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program is the #1 program for dentists and teams to help scale and market their practices to new heights.

Inside of this Game-Changing Program, you will learn unique practice growth systems, how to manage your time, the best strategies for building a Rockstar Team, how to market your practice and so much more…PLUS…you’ll get NEW practice marketing campaigns every single month!

To find out more about the Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program, click here!

Watch a short trailer video for this episode below:

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

On this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast, I’m thrilled to be joined by Dr. Paul Etchison. In this episode, Paul reveals the secret to building a powerful dental team and preventing employee turnover.

Paul is the author of ‘Dental Practice Hero: From Ordinary Practice to Extraordinary Experience. The book details how dentists can grow startups to $1m in collections the first year. As well as explaining how to de-stress the day to day running of a practice and how to become a leader that influences practice culture so positively that practice growth becomes organic.

Paul owns a large office in the Chicago suburbs and only does two days per week clinical dentistry. He is also the host of the Dental Practice Heroes Podcast. During our conversation, he talks about dealing with team power, culture and running a great practice. The practice is likely to collect a staggering $4.5 million in collections this year. And, if that’s not enough, Paul has never lost a single team member throughout the eight years his practice has been running, and as a result he has zero employee turnover.

 

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

On the podcast, we discuss:

  • How Dr. Paul Etchison got into dentistry and started his own dental practice
  • Why Dr. Paul Etchison has experienced zero turnover and what he attributes that to
  • Tips for hiring the best team members, no matter where you are positioned
  • How to grow demand for your services and why block booking is so beneficial to your bottom line
  • The importance of creating an amazing patient experience and getting referrals from your existing patients
  • How to keep your team happy, engaged and accountable for practice growth

 

The Secret to Preventing Employee Turnover with Dr. Paul Etchison

 

If you want to find out more about Dr. Paul Etchison, you can check out his podcast, Dental Practice Heroes and read his book, ‘Dental Practice Hero.’

Dr. Paul Etchison and his good friend, Dr. Justin Bhullar have released an amazing online course called ‘Dental Business Mentor,’ which includes over 175 videos and 50 documents relevant to dental practice management. So, if you are interested in taking part in this course, you can learn more about it here.

To watch a short trailer video of the episode, click play below:

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

Sharing practice numbers with team members is a touchy subject for some practice owners. But it’s an important subject to consider because it can have a big impact on practice performance.

I recently reached out to the members of the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group to get their take on the issue. My questions to them were simple: Should the practice numbers be shared with the office manager or team leader. And I asked them to defend their answer: If so, why? If not, why not?

Members were overwhelmingly in favor of sharing. In defending their answers these three themes formed.

Sharing numbers gives your team more context to their work.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

Sharing your numbers is similar to sharing your practice vision with your team in that it helps you put context into key areas of team member performance.

For example, as I shared in my book (which you can get for free here) in 2011 I walked into my practice and told my small team I had a big vision. I wanted to grow while making a greater impact on people’s lives than we had been making. And I wanted to be different. I wanted to create an extraordinary customer experience for my patients. I wanted more! Had I tasked my team to help me achieve that vision without more context, they would have no idea what to do next.

The same is true with sharing numbers with key team members. With so many tasks that need to be performed in our practice, important things can seem like “busy work” without putting them into context. By sharing numbers with key team members, we let them know how seemingly disconnected tasks work together.

Additionally, sharing numbers shows team members where revenue goes. It shows them costs they don’t realize you encounter and trends in practice spending. They can see when things like supply costs, lease payments, or real estate taxes rise. When team members see the costs of running a practice, they often get even more aware the areas where they can help, such as reducing waste, negotiating supply costs, and more.

Sharing your numbers with your office manager or team leader builds trust.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

Although some people hesitate to share numbers because they fear it could cause a rift between team members and practice ownership, many people found otherwise.

One member commented that sharing the numbers ensures the “boat will be going in the right direction.” She said it fosters an environment of “trust” and “honesty,” in her practice, which she described as “two vital things for a lasting (and rewarding) relationship.” She continued, “It’s been a huge part of our success, if everyone knows where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going… those who are the right fit will be ready to help row!”

Another member said, “It breeds trust, it breeds culture and the numbers are the way to measure success!”

Because the Facebook group is closed, I have kept these responses anonymous. But trust was a common theme from the members.

Sharing numbers helps you incentivize and reward based on practice health.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

Another common theme with the members was something else I talked about in my book, rewarding based on practice health. In my book, I mentioned that my team understands that as our business becomes more profitable, they can earn more money because I share the increasing profits with them. They know that can enable them to do things in their lives to achieve their personal dreams. Having conversations connecting practice success with their personal success helps connect their personal goals to my practice vision.

One member put it this way:

When you share the performance results with those who are performing, performance begins to improve every time. It’s a form of transferring ownership. Every day we come into the practice we surround ourselves with brilliant people. Letting them see the successes and opportunities for improvement will allow their creative juices to flow and help capture those opportunities. Use data as a way to empower and motivate. Celebrate successes daily and identify one to two opportunities daily as you review together and incredible things will happen

Another added:

Your numbers should be shared with your entire team on a monthly basis. A goal and bonus system should be in place in every dental practice. If you invest in your team they will invest in you and your patients.

Sharing numbers, setting goals based on those numbers, and assigning a bonus system that allows you to share in the upside helps get the entire team working together.

Do you share practice numbers with team members?

Do you share your practice numbers with team members? If so, which team members? All team members? Just your office manager or team leader?

What about your numbers? Do you share all of them? Just high-level profit/loss numbers plus key performance indicators?

If you want help growing into your practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

Building a WOW practice takes a lot of work. And if you try to do all the work yourself, you’ll never be able to do it all. Even worse, you’ll spend your days stressed and frustrated. Eventually, you’ll burn out, never reaching your full potential as a dentist or practice owner.

The only way to build a WOW practice that delivers amazing patient experiences while maximizing practice growth is to have rock star team members supporting you. You can provide top-quality clinical care, deliver spalike patient experiences, and have systems and processes to run an efficient practice. But if you don’t have team members you can trust, you will never reach your full potential.

But finding the best team members is something many practices struggle with. In the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group, dozens of practice owners and I talked about how we find amazing team members to support us. If you’re struggling to find the best talent to grow your team, here are some of the places fellow practice owners and I have used to find top talent.

Online Job Search Sites

 

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

 

Many practices search for applicants on online job search sites, posting detailed ads on sites like Indeed.com, Dentalpost.net, and DentalJobs247.com

The benefit of using sites that like is they are dedicated to matching job seekers with new jobs. But if you only post on online job search sites, you might be limiting the quantity and quality of applicants. Many times, the best team members are valued by their current employers. Thus, they might not be looking at job ads online and online job search sites should only be used as one part of a thorough search.

Social Media

One of the best things social media has done is allow people to connect with others all over the world. And with Dental Facebook groups like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group, you could connect with thousands of dental professionals working hard to support each other. If the group allows, create a post letting people know about your opening. And if you’re not sure, just message the group admin and ask. Even if nobody in the group is a good fit, someone in their extended network might be.

Dental Events and Association Meetings

 

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

 

Conferences, trade shows, and association meetings can be great places to meet team members. Many people who attend events and meetings are there because they want to advance themselves in the dental industry. That’s a good sign that they are growth-minded and eager to learn and advance. 

Referrals from Dental Sales Reps

Dental sales reps interact with dozens of dental practices. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you have an immediate need, let them know you’re looking for a rock star. Describe the ideal candidate. And ask them to gauge the interest of anyone they think would be a good fit, even if they are unsure whether the person is actively looking for a new opportunity.

Dental Networking, Group Coaching, and Mastermind Groups

 

Where to Find Rock Star Team Members for Your Dental Practice

 

Dental networking and mastermind groups, like the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, attract dental professionals who are serious about growth and career advancement. 

By actively participating in those types of groups, you’ll get to meet and build relationships with a lot of practice owners and potential rock stars at once. And the next time you have a position to fill, ask your fellow members for referrals.

Everywhere

The reality is, rock star team members are all around us. And because we don’t always know when we’ll have a position to fill, it’s best practice to always be looking for top quality people.

As some members discussed, sometimes we need to think outside of the “dental box.” We can train people by teaching dental terminology and our systems and processes. But we can’t train people to have good personalities, be outgoing and friendly, or have a strong work ethic.

So, look everywhere and never stop looking. You may find your next rockstar waiting tables at your favorite lunch spot. Give her your card and just get to know her. And the next time you have a position to fill, reach out. 

Are you ready to find and develop rock star team members?

Rock star team members are everywhere but they’re not always looking for jobs. That’s why it’s best to not wait until you have a position to fill to start looking. It’s much better to start building relationships with people you can reach out to when a need arises.

Also, no matter where you find your next team member, it’s critical that you continue to train and develop them. That’s the only way they’ll reach their full potential. 

If you want help finding and training your team members, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

Dental assistants are some of the most important people in your dental practice. Often the face of the practice, they are often the first people patients meet when they sit in your chair. They are by your patients’ sides throughout their time in your practice.

Because of the influence they have on the patient experience, developing top-performing dental assistants must be a high priority of dental practices. And for dental assistants who want to advance in their careers, consistent improvement in key areas can make you indispensable to your practice.

Here are six important functions top-performing dental assistants execute well.

Get to know each patient by name and face.

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

The best dental assistants know patients before they come into the office. Perhaps the practice can put a system in place to take pictures of each new patient for their chart. That way, the dental assistant can check the patient’s chart and greet patients by sight. This will make sure each patient knows they are not just a number. The practice cares about them enough learn their name and face.

If you don’t have patient pictures in their charts, the dental assistant should ask the receptionist which person in the waiting room is the next one. You don’t want your dental assistant to walk into the waiting room and call out the patient’s name. That is very impersonal. They should know who the patient is so that they can walk directly up to them and meet, greet, and then seat them by name.

Review medical history and patient forms before each appointment.

Before the patient comes in, the best dental assistants review their medical history and patient forms. Are there any medical conditions that require pre-med? Is there anything that needs updating? Taking just a few minutes to review medical history and patient forms makes the patient experience more efficient, customized, and welcoming.

Explain procedures and ensure informed consent is obtained.

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

Patients feel much more comfortable when they understand procedures in plain terms. This is where dental assistants can really stand out. Top-performing dental assistants know enough about procedures to explain them and answer questions. Once informed consent is obtained, dental assistants will also make sure it has been properly documented.

Help patients during procedures.

Throughout procedures, most dental assistants read the doctor’s needs to ensure she or he has everything required to perform the procedure. The best dental assistants anticipate these needs, ensuring the doctor has everything needed in real-time. This makes procedures smoother and quicker.

The best dental assistants do not only read the doctor’s needs, though; they also read the patients’ needs. They’ll notice if they’re tightening their grip or if they feel uncomfortable and either get your attention or adjust what they are doing to ensure the patient is comfortable.

Deliver post-procedure instructions.

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

Once the procedure is done, the best dental assistants reorient the patient and ensure they are ready to return to their daily life. If the patient is elderly or on nitrogen, they’ll make sure to sit them up slowly in order to avoid dizziness. They’ll give the patient time to get comfortable and ready to go. Once the patient is reoriented, dental assistants should give post-operative instructions in plain language. Then, they should invite the patient to call or return to the office with any questions.

Dismiss and hand off patients.

After post-procedure instructions are given, the best dental assistants ensure each patient is cleaned off then escort them to the front desk. Once there, they will update the front-desk staff with specific instructions about next steps needed for the patient. This reduces the chance of mistakes in billing or scheduling, two big patient frustrations.

Are your dental assistants top performers?

 

How to Set Up Dental Assistants for Success

 

Dental assistants are with patients throughout their experience with your practice. They can make a big difference in patient experience, practice efficiency, and productivity.

If your dental assistants are not performing at the highest level, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

Data tells us that between 66% and 87% of workers are disengaged. Even at modest salaries, disengagement is costly. Disengaged employees are more absent than engaged employees and significantly less productive and profitable. Eventually, disengaged team members leave, adding additional costs to hire, onboard, and train new team members.

One way to help improve engagement is to ensure each team member feels appreciated for the work they perform. When they do, they are much more likely to work hard and feel a part of a team. If not, they often do just enough to keep from losing their jobs.

You might appreciate your team members to the moon and back, but if they don’t feel appreciated, it might not do much good. In many dental practices, there is a disconnect between how leaders present appreciation versus how team members feel appreciated. To get the best out of your team, we must be sure to show appreciation in the way they feel it. That requires us to express appreciation on an individual basis, too, because people feel appreciation differently.

Here are the four ways team members might feel appreciation. If you have been expressing appreciation in one of more of these without results, a simple switch might be all you need.

Express praise using words of affirmation.

 

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

 

Words of affirmation are praise expressed in words or in writing. If somebody does something well, praise them. And be specific. Don’t just say, “Hey, you did a good job.” Instead, add some specifics, such as, “Great job setting up that marketing campaign. You really knocked it out of the park with that audience targeting!”

The specificity helps in many ways. First, it lets people know you are sincere. You’re not just saying “good job” as a matter of habit. You were paying attention. Second, it lets team members know what behavior to continue doing. In this example, it’s paying attention to audience targeting when setting up dental marketing campaigns.

Giving words of affirmation is the simplest and lowest-cost way to express appreciation to team members. And many team members will feel appreciated when they know your praise is sincere. This is especially true when your words of affirmation are paired with other ways to strengthen your dental practice culture.

Spend quality time with team members.

 

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

 

One of the best ways to improve practice culture is to spend quality time with team members. To some team members, a few minutes of quality time is appreciated more than even monetary rewards. Like most ways to express appreciation, it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. An out-of-office lunch works. Even taking a few minutes to go for a walk around the parking lot to burn some calories and learn about each other personally can help. Many team members appreciate even a few minutes of your undivided attention and quality conversation.

Perform acts of service for team members.

 

How to Improve Team Member Engagement at Your Dental Practice

 

Acts of service is an often misunderstood way to express appreciation, with some people believing it requires performing chores or doing someone else’s job. That’s not true. But the reality is, with some team members, actions speak louder than words.

To those employees, words of affirmation or quality time have only a short-term effect, or none at all. But they will remember the time they were stressed by something at home and you offered to help them with their work so they could get home early.

Give team members small, tangible gifts.

Giving someone a tangible gift is another effective way to express appreciation. Again, this doesn’t need to be anything big. But the more thoughtful you can make the gift, the better. A tangible gift is personal and thoughtful. It could be a ticket to a local sporting event, concert, or play; a gift card to their favorite store, or even a little bit of extra time off after a particularly busy period.

If giving gifts isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Note that only 6% of people report that tangible gifts are their favorite way to be appreciated, and 68% of people reported that they appreciate tangible gifts the least out of these four ways.

Are you appreciating team members the way they feel it?

Don’t let your appreciation land flat. No matter how sincere it is, you might not be presenting your appreciation in a way that resonates with your team members. Find out how your team members like to be appreciated, and appreciate them in that way.

If you want help improving team member engagement at your practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today! There, you and your team can access the best resources and coaches in the dental industry.

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

A healthy team is a productive, high-functioning group. It leads to more growth for your practice, more profits made by your practice, and more lives being changed by your practice. In other words, a healthy team is what makes a practice successful. So, what makes a team healthy?

Josey Sewell, the Team Health, Culture, and Leadership coach for our Dental Platinum Coaching Program, loves to use the Lencioni Team Health Pyramid to describe what makes a team healthy in five simple elements.

Vulnerability-Based Trust

 

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

 

Trusting in your team and trusting that they have the ability to take care of the practice without you feeling like you need to be there to manage everything is important. But that’s not what vulnerability-based trust means. When we can count on someone to get something done, that’s not trust. That’s predictability.

Vulnerability-based trust means not showing your team your highlight reel but instead showing them the behind-the-scenes operations. It means you take off any mask you’ve put on and just be yourself. You admit when you fail, you ask for help, and you take ownership when you make mistakes. If your team member has an idea that’s better than yours, having vulnerability-based trust means you recognize that and praise them. Your team has to get past the whole “doctor persona” and really understand you as a person. Be open, honest, and—this can’t be stressed enough—vulnerable. In other words, be transparent. This can be emotional transparency or even financial transparency.

Vulnerability-based trust provides the foundation of the entire pyramid. Without it, you can’t achieve the other elements of the pyramid.

Constructive Conflict

A lot of practice leaders shrink away from conflict because it means confrontation and can destroy relationships within a team. Constructive conflict, however, is conflict around ideas rather than confrontation. Conflict around ideas makes ideas better as they are tweaked according to everyone’s opinions.

If you present an idea to your team during your morning huddle, but nobody participates and tries to make the idea better, the idea will never reach its full potential. If people weigh in and try to improve the idea, then the idea will only get better. A healthy team works together. One person doesn’t come up with all the ideas, expecting the team to just go with it with veiled discussions and guarded comments. If the team is healthy, members will all work on an idea together, regardless of who proposed it. They’ll be willing to debate the idea and even disagree with it if they want to.

Commitment

 

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

 

Once an idea has been agreed upon after some constructive conflict, your team needs to take action and be committed to making the idea productive.

After an open debate of ideas, your team will be more willing to commit to an idea. If you don’t have that constructive conflict, however, and the idea was yours and yours alone, your team won’t feel thrilled about committing to your idea because they had no say in it.

Accountability

The doctors can be held accountable by the team too. Accountability isn’t strictly from the top down. Everyone has to be accountable to each other, regardless of their position in the hierarchy, if you want your team to be healthy.

Results

 

5 Elements of a Healthy Dental Team

 

“Results” doesn’t necessarily mean profitability, productivity, or collections. One of the best results you can get is having a team that gets up in the morning excited to work with you. When your team members are happy to come to work, they’ll treat your patients with enthusiasm, and they’ll be happy to help you grow your practice.

Does Your Team Have all Five Elements of a Healthy Team?

All of these elements work in harmony with one another to create a healthy team, and a healthy team means a successful practice. How many of these do you have with your team?

If you need help building these five elements into your team, sign up for our Dental Platinum Coaching Program. In there, you’ll have access to leading experts on all parts of running a practice!

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

You’re a dentist. You’re a visionary. You have goals you want for your practice and you have a vision for what you want your practice to look like. While you might have a million ideas running through your head, you can’t expect your team to read your mind. And you can’t expect your team to have the same goals as you have. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a team that passionately buys into your practice goals. Your team members can share your practice vision—and they can buy into helping you achieve them. To do so you will need to get them to buy into the possibility that your practice goals will help them achieve other goals that matter to them. By doing so, your practice goals will become personal to them and they will be motivated to help you achieve them. 

Here are three things you need to do to get your team to buy in and help you to achieve your practice goals. 

Share Your “Why” With Your Team Members

 

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

 

Instead of only talking about what you want to accomplish, talk about why practice goals are important. Even before introducing practice goals, talk with your team about your vision beyond achieving the goals.

Do you want to build a practice that gives back to the community? Do you want to build a practice where all team members can achieve personal goals and spend quality time with their family? Talk with them about why you want to achieve the goal. Only after they understand and agree that your goal is for noble reasons should you explain what your goal is and how you and your team will achieve it.

This is true for big and small goals. For big goals, you might say, “I have something exciting to share with you. It’s a vision for our practice, to make sure we all get home on time, get to take stress-free vacations, and give back to the community by supporting important causes and providing free dental care to people in need.” Your team will be much more interested in that than, “I have a plan to triple profits.”

For smaller goals, such as wanting to go paperless, you might introduce it by saying, “I have an idea to help make all our lives easier and eliminate a lot of busy work in the office so we can all focus on the parts of the practice we love most.” 

Starting that way and elaborating with all the benefits to them will help you communicate to your team why going paperless will help everyone. They’ll be more motivated to learn the software they need to learn to make the change for your practice to become paperless. More likely than not, they’ll be excited to go paperless because it will make everything so much easier.

Make Sure Your Team Knows How to Achieve the Goal

How to Get Your Team to Buy into Your Practice Goals

 

Getting your team members to understand the “why” is important. But if you stop there, the excitement and motivation won’t last long. Make sure you also work with your team members to find the simplest, most efficient, and best way to achieve your goal.

Take time to map out a suggested plan so you come to the discussion with an idea. Then, ask for their input so they can feel like a part of the process. You don’t have to accept all of their suggestions but listen to them—especially about things they do more frequently than you.

If your goal requires you to get 100 new patients within the next month, the “why” might be because you need the practice to make more revenue to support labor and overhead costs. But how do you do that? You could do it any number of ways. Marketing is an obvious first choice, but just saying “marketing” doesn’t tell anyone how to get 100 new patients. You need to ask “how” again. How will you market? Facebook ads would be a great start. We regularly attract dozens of new patients on a very small budget using Facebook. Keep asking “how” until you know exactly what each team member needs to do to help you achieve your goal. 

Let Your Team Know What Success Looks Like

 

 

How will your team members know when they have succeeded? For example, a goal of 100 new patients in a month might sound clear. But what if your Facebook campaign attracts 200 leads, 100 appointments, but only 50 patients who show up? That’s certainly progress but it did not help you achieve your goal. And it didn’t help you earn the revenue you needed.

Thus, once you get your team to understand why and how you will achieve your goal, reiterate what success looks like. In this case, success would look like having 100 patients show up for appointments. Being clear about that helps you and your team can know whether you are on track. If you’re two weeks in and you have 60 appointments but only 20 patients show up, you might be on track for 120 appointments but you’re only on track for 40 patients who show up. That gives you time to adjust your plan. Maybe you need to change your Facebook ad targeting. Maybe you need to add other marketing strategies. Or, maybe you need to adjust your ad copy or split test multiple ads to find better-performing ones.

You can’t get to where you want to go and know when you might need to adjust without knowing what success looks like. 

Get Your Team on the Same Page!

Once your team understands these three things, they’ll be ready to get on board with your practice goals and work hard to help you achieve them.

If you want help setting practice goals and getting your team on board with helping you achieve them, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where the best experts in the industry will work with you and your team to help improve every aspect of your practice.

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

As dentists, we need to lead our practices well. We need to demonstrate good leadership skills to help our practice grow and get the best out of each team member. 

But sometimes, dentists have a hard time letting go of tasks they have no business doing themselves. It’s a natural tendency. If we do things ourselves, we know they will be done the way we want them. But if we want to grow our practice, we need to create systems and processes to ensure other people can do tasks as well as we can. This is especially true with tasks that can be done by a team member at a much lower cost than if the dentist had to take time away from patients to do them herself. But letting go is a problem for a lot of dentists.

If you struggle to let go, you are missing out on many benefits. No practice can succeed over the long term if the dentist bears the brunt of the workload. And if it does survive, the doctor will likely burn out fast. If that doesn’t sound fun, it’s because it’s not. The long-term impact of not delegating is burnout. But the short-term impact of not delegating isn’t good either. Here are two reasons to delegate more.

You Can Focus on the Things Only You Can Do

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

Only you can perform certain procedures but anyone can file paperwork. That might be an extreme example but we often hold onto tasks anyone else in the office could do with proper training and direction. Why spend doctor time filing paperwork, checking voicemail, or doing other tasks anyone can do at a much lower cost?

By managing your team members well and delegating tasks anyone can perform to them, you will be able to focus on the high-impact items only you can do. You can also free up time to get out of the office, be with your family, or take that much-needed vacation. Sometimes you’ll get busy and need to roll up your sleeves to help out but, for the most part, dentists can make their greatest impact on the practice by focusing on doing the things only they can do.

And practice leaders need to focus on strategy, growth, leading team leaders and other team members, and performing other high-level planning. Your time is valuable. You went to school to learn how to specialize in dentistry. You might love to do the marketing, scheduling, and so on, but you didn’t go to school for that—and you can get someone to do those things at a much lower cost than what your time is worth. 

Getting People out of Their Comfort Zone Is Where Growth Happens

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

When we delegate a task to someone, we’re enabling our practice to grow. We’re ensuring we’ve got a capable team that is able to handle any project that is thrown our way. We can trust them to get things done.

Many times dentists don’t delegate because they know how to do the task and their team members don’t. This is especially true with tasks involving specialized software or spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. But we can train our team members to do what we need them to do—and we can even outsource that training to an expert.

By doing so, both you and your team member might step out of your comfort zones. Training or outsourcing the training might be a reach for you. And learning a new piece of software might be a stretch for your team members. 

But, in the end, both you and your team members will grow. And delegating things you don’t need to do allows you to spend more of your time treating patients and earning revenue. You grow. Your team grows. And your practice grows, all because you stepped out of your comfort zone to delegate. 

Are You Delegating Enough to Your Team?

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

You can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything in your practice. Your practice will make less money. You will work too many hours. Your team members won’t grow as much as they can. And you’ll eventually burn out. If you’re not delegating enough to your team, start today. 

If you need help identifying what to delegate and then doing so effectively, sign up for the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching program today! In WOW Platinum Coaching, you and your team will be trained by leading experts in every aspect of running and growing a dental practice!

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

Your front office team members are the first people patients interact with, on the phone or when they come to your office. If patients love them, you’ll make a great first impression and be well on your way to building loyalty with your patients. That’s because patients don’t judge your practice based on how you perform dentistry. They expect you to be good with teeth. Patients judge your practice based on their experience coming in.

Patient experience has everything to do with the customer service your front office team members provides. This is not only important for loyalty, either. Customer service could even help you raise your rates or break free from PPOs. In fact, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service while 78% of consumers have bailed on a sales transaction because they received poor customer service.

That’s why many online practice reviews have nothing to do with dentistry. They are usually about how patients were greeted and treated, how practices handled their appointments when they called last minute, or other “experience” issues that made them feel important or unimportant. These things all begin with your front office team members. Here are three things your front office team members can do to WOW every patient who calls or comes in.

Follow Basic Customer Service Rules

 

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

 

When a patient first arrives, a front office team member should stand up and greet the patient. They need to welcome them to (or back to) the office and make them feel welcome with a smile and a personal introduction.

While they are waiting in the lobby, your front office team members should offer them refreshments like coffee, tea, or water, show or remind them where the restroom is if they need it, and make sure they don’t wait an excessive amount of time. If things are running behind schedule call them before they arrive so they can leave their house or work later or reschedule. If things run behind while they are in the office, let them know as soon as possible.

When patients are on the phone or in your office, your front office team members must make serving them their priority. Don’t make other office work the priority. If they have to make a call to an insurance company, that can wait a few minutes until the patient is taken care of. It’s more important that they connect with your patients and make them feel welcome and important.

Use the Right Words When Discussing Treatment

 

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

 

Confidence and delivery when talking with patients can go a long way to make patients feel good about being your patient. Front office team members should avoid saying “maybe” or “um” when a patient is asking them whether or not they need treatment. They need to sound confident.

Also, make sure front office team members don’t talk about services or service alternatives being “cheap” or “cheaper.” A better word to use is “affordable.” That helps avoid the perception of being the cheapest alternative.

In a similar sense, if a procedure is expensive, ensure that your front office team members aren’t talking about its “cost” when a patient asks about the price.

It’s much better if they talk about the “value” that the patient will get from the procedure. With high-cost procedures, they can focus on monthly payment ranges than total cost, too. So, first focus conversations on outcomes patients will get from procedures first so the patient has more context for what they will receive. With dental implants, for example, you can talk about smiling confidently again, being able to chew again, or avoiding their teeth becoming crowded. When talking about price, it’s much better to talk about the price being as low as $99 a month instead of $2,500, for example.

Avoid Using Scripts

 

3 Things Your Front Office Can Do to Help You Grow Your Practice

 

While bullet points or lists of answers to frequently asked questions are certainly helpful for maintaining consistency in answers, scripting full conversations can make patients feel unimportant.

People know when your front office team member is using a script. If a patient asks a question that makes things go off-script, you run the risk of having your front office team member stuttering because they don’t know what to say or trying to lead a conversation back to a script.

This can be incredibly frustrating for patients. If they believe your front office team members are either reading scripts or not listening to their specific issue, they are highly unlikely to stay with your practice.

Do your front office team members help grow your practice?

There’s no denying that customer service makes a difference when building relationships with patients. These three strategies can help make an immediate positive impact on the direction of your practice. How do your front office team members contribute to your practice growth?

For more strategies about building a WOW front office team, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today where you and your team can get coaching from leading experts on all aspects of growing a WOW dental practice.

You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!

How to Set Expectations in Your Practice

How to Set Expectations in Your Practice

We’re dentists. Many of us are also perfectionists. It’s not our fault. We’re trained to be perfect with our clinical care in dental school. But many of us expect perfection in all parts of our practice. That makes us do too much work ourselves, fearing we need to do things to ensure they get done right. That’s why implementing systems and processes is so important. It’s the best way to make consistent performance easy.

To put systems and processes in place that get followed, we need to set the right expectations throughout our practice. We need to set expectations of our team members. And we need to set the right expectations that our team members can have for us. That way, everyone on the team can trust that they have the best tools and support to serve our patients well. And when we set the right expectations, everyone on your team will be motivated to perform, have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them, and have the tools to do their best work. Here’s how to set the right expectations in your practice.

Anticipate Setbacks and Failures

 

How to Set Expectations in Your Practice

 

As powerful as it can be to set clear expectations and put systems and processes in place to support every team member, growing a dental practice is anything but linear. You are going to have setbacks no matter how well you plan or clear your expectations are. Getting into the right mindset is critical to pushing through those setbacks and failures and continue on your growth plan. Otherwise, you run the risk of people abandoning an amazing growth plan because they believe a setback or failure along the way means it was not the right plan.

When things don’t go as anticipated, be resilient—for yourself and your team. Team members will mess up. Systems and processes will be improved. And unexpected setbacks will happen that will be out of your control.

Be there for your team during those times because that time is when they need you the most. Don’t make your team members feel bad when they mess up. If someone is consistently not meeting expectations, address it with them or let them go. But nobody will be perfect so we can’t expect perfection.

Set Data-Driven Expectations in Real Time

 

How to Set Expectations in Your Practice

 

You can make your expectations more attainable and more realistic if you set them up in real time with data to support them. For example, it might be too ambitious to say you want to have a 15% increase in case acceptance within the next month, especially without guidance from experts in case acceptance, like Dr. Paul Homoly, our Delivering WOW Platinum Case Acceptance Coach.

But you could set a realistic expectation to increase case acceptance within a week. At the end of the week, measure what your increase was and set expectations for further increases based on your actual data. If you see a 2% increase in case acceptance after that week, you can set a more realistic expectation. Maybe an 8% increase in case acceptance within the next month. Or, maybe you see an opportunity for improvement and invest in getting expert help for an even larger gain. The expert can share their experience and guidance for improvement and help set expectations based on data from their experience with other practices.

Either way, data-based expectations in real time help ensure you set appropriate targets and position everyone on your team to succeed.

Avoid Projecting Expectations about Your Performance onto Your Team Members

 

How to Set Expectations in Your Practice

 

Many dentists have the expectation that their staff should be performing at the same intensity that they are. While your staff may be connected to your vision, they won’t always be as emotionally connected as you are. You can’t expect them to care as much about the goals you have for your practice as you do.

We can reduce this by tying your practice vision into their personal goals and dreams. But it can take some time to get complete buy-in. And, even then, not every person can have the same intensity and emotional connection to your practice as you. If you expect everyone to be as intense and invested as you are, you will get frustrated a lot.

You can also make sure to connect with your team members on a personal level. If you care about them and helping them achieve their personal goals, they’ll start to feel the same way about you and your practice vision. They’ll be much more invested in helping you achieve your practice vision because of their personal relationship with you and the connection between their personal goals and your practice vision.

Are You Setting the Right Expectations?

If you’re not setting the right expectations in your practice—for you and your team—your practice will never achieve its full potential. By expecting setbacks, setting real-time data-driven expectations, and avoiding projecting expectations about you onto your team members, however, you can build an amazing team and achieve incredible things together.

If you want more help setting expectations in your practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you and your team can get expert guidance from our resident Mindset Coach, Dr. Shakila Angadi.

You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my Free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Candidate for Your Dental Practice

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Candidate for Your Dental Practice

The wrong hire can cost a practice thousands of dollars in direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include costs for job postings, recruiters, training, and more. Indirect costs include culture damage, delay in bringing in the right candidate, and stretching your team thin until you find a great candidate.

Recruiting is one of the biggest challenges for dental practices. But all hope isn’t lost. Practices can take specific steps to recruit better candidates for their practice. Here are three steps you can take to avoid hiring the wrong candidate for your practice.

Determine Each Candidate’s Personality Type

 

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Candidate for Your Dental Practice

 

Many practice leaders readily understand that each position requires a candidate with a specific skill set. Front desk team members need to have basic technical skills, for example, such as the ability to use office management software, fax machines, scanners, and telephone systems.

Traditionally, practice leaders searched for candidates with the skills needed to complete each position’s primary job responsibilities. But skills are only half of what makes a candidate successful. Someone could have extensive experience using computers, fax machines, and telephone systems but make a bad fit for your front desk team member because their personality isn’t outgoing or personable. Front desk members are the first people your patients meet when they call or come in. They are critical to making the best first impression.

Thus, their personality style can be even more important than their skill set. After all, you can train someone to use a fax machine. It’s hard to get someone who isn’t extroverted to be outgoing and lively five days a week.

In my practice, we use the DISC personality test to find the right personality fit. DISC is an acronym for four different personality types: Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive, and Cautious. My hygienist is very outgoing, for example, but she’s not going to be the person to soothe a patient. Thus, I make sure her assistant has a very Supportive personality style. The person who handles my financial accounts has a Cautious personality type, which means they are very detail-oriented and deliberate with everything they do. This makes it natural for them to catch even the smallest mistakes.

If you have had trouble finding the right candidates, it’s possible you are filling positions based on skills only. Add personality tests to the equation and you can likely find much better fits.

Conduct Multiple In-Person Interviews and Interview Multiple Candidates

 

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Candidate for Your Dental Practice

 

We recommend conducting at least two in-person interviews. It’s very hard to know a candidate fully with only one in-person interview. Have them talk to practice leadership and their direct supervisor face-to-face. Get a sense of whether they have the skills and experience for the job. Ask them about their experiences and how they addressed issues similar to those that come up in your practice regularly.

In addition, have them spend a little time with the team members they’d work with if they got the job. This is important because the best recruiting finds the right candidate for your practice and not just the candidate with the best résumé. By having them come to talk to the team, you can get the team’s input on whether they think they’d like working with the candidate. You can listen to their evaluation of the candidate and see if they approve of them or disapprove of them. The candidate can also see if they think they’d get along with your team.

Finally, unless you find what you believe to be the perfect fit of skills and personality, consider interviewing multiple candidates for each position. This helps you and your team compare the pros and cons between candidates to find the best overall fit. Of course, if you find the perfect candidate right away, be prepared to make them an offer. But most of the time, everybody benefits by interviewing multiple candidates.

Test Each Candidate Before Hiring Them

 

How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Candidate for Your Dental Practice

 

Many dental practice jobs require a lot of skills. And as much as someone’s résumé can list their employment experience, there’s no way to tell if they’re actually good at what you’ll need them to do.

If patient-facing team members can’t perform how you want with a patient they’ll damage your practice’s reputation, or worse. Consider testing them in a mock situation. Test them on yourself or with a team member willing to be a test patient. Give office staff small sample projects. If they do well, it’s more likely you can trust them.

How Do You Avoid Hiring the Wrong Candidate?

Do you consistently find great candidates for your practice? If so, what are your best tips for doing so? If not, these three tips can help. If you want more help, consider joining my Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where dental recruiting, hiring, and team onboarding expert Samantha Leonard will work with you and your team to find, hire, and onboard the best candidates for your practice.

How to Find a Mentor for Your Dental Practice

How to Find a Mentor for Your Dental Practice

 

Running a dental practice is a lot of work and a lot of responsibilities. And during the first twelve years of running my practice, I did way too much of that work myself. Like many dentists, I had a decent business, a supportive team, and very satisfied patients. But I had been just going through the motions for years.

In 2011, I decided to change the way I ran my practice. I told my team of three I had a big vision for our future. I wanted to grow. I wanted to make an even bigger impact on people’s lives than what we had been making. I wanted to be different.

But in order to achieve different results, I needed to do different things. Doing the same things I had been doing would only get me the same results. So I committed to continually learning and growing. I got a lot of help running my practice. And one of the best things I did was surround myself with great mentors. My mentors shared their wisdom and experience, held me accountable, and pushed me forward. Here are three ways you can find a mentor to help you run your practice.

Find a local mentor.

 

How to Find a Mentor for Your Dental Practice

 

Because dental practices can take a lot of work to run, many dentists hesitate to reach out to other dentists for help. While it is important to respect people's times, many dentists will happily share what they have learned with dentists genuinely looking for help.

The key to finding a local mentor is to make it as simple and convenient for the mentor. You don't need to formalize anything, either. You could just invite someone to coffee, lunch, or dinner and get to know them. Go out of your way to make it convenient for them by picking a place near their home or office. While there, ask if they minded if you asked for their advice with something in which you are struggling. Make sure you pick up the check and thank them for their time and wisdom.

Local mentor relationships work well because your mentor will likely know your specific market well, can look you in the eyes, and shake your hand.

Find a virtual mentor.

 

How to Find a Mentor for Your Dental Practice

 

While local mentors can be great, many dentists prefer to find virtual mentors. These dentists prefer having an outside perspective and can choose among many more potential mentors when they are not limited by geography.

One great thing about virtual mentors is you can get started very informally. Some virtual mentors don't even know their mentees. But they produce and share content on a podcast, blog, or book, sharing their wisdom and experience with the world. You can try out many potential virtual mentors this way until you find one whose message resonates with you.

Once you find a virtual mentor you like, you can grow into your relationship with them. Subscribe to their blog or podcast. Join group coaching programs. Or, sign up for one-on-one coaching.

Virtual mentor relationships work incredibly well because you can often find a better fit and be more selective than you can if you limit yourself to finding someone in your local market.

Join a premier dental mastermind group.

 

How to Find a Mentor for Your Dental Practice

 

Dental mastermind groups are an underutilized way of finding mentorship and guidance for running your practice. For those who aren't familiar with dental mastermind groups, they are a way for you to access the best and brightest minds in the dental industry. Not only are the leaders of the mastermind groups dental experts but the members of the mastermind groups are high achievers committed to excellence. Each member will come to the group with strengths and areas for improvement.

Thus, when you join premier dental mastermind groups, you can find mentorship from both the leaders of the group and other members.

Dental mastermind groups work well because you have a similar ability to find good fits and be selective with what group you join as you do with virtual mentors. But you get access to many different mentors with dental mastermind groups. No matter what area of your practice you need help with, you are bound to find a member or leader who can help. This makes for an environment of consistent learning and growth.

Do you have a mentor for your dental practice?

If you've struggled to find a mentor to help you build your practice, these three strategies could help you find the guidance, support, and accountability you need.

Look in your local area. Or, if you prefer, find a good virtual mentor. When you're ready to really grow your practice, consider joining a one-on-one or group coaching program with them.

And if you're ready to take your practice to a whole new level, you can join my Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Group. I have assembled a team of expert coaches, trainings, and resources to help you no matter what you need help with.

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

Running a practice can take a large amount of work and create a lot of stress when you can’t rely on your team members to perform on their own. There’s always something to do, so when you feel like you are the only person who can do things well, you will never experience true freedom.

When we train our team members to become true leaders, a lot of the burdens on practice leaders disappear. That is why so many practices are investing in coaching or training for their team members—such as the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

Here are three signs that your investment in your team members is building them into true leaders.

1. Your team members are communicating clearly with each other.

 

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

 

Leaders know the way to evaluate effective communication is through the responses they get. If the responses match expectations, the communication was clear. If the response is not what you intended, chances are you were not clear in your communication.

A good leader knows this and does not get frustrated when people do not respond the right way—especially when more than one person misinterprets the leader’s words. Instead, they seek to communicate more clearly.

If your team is communicating clearly with each other and consistently working on improving communication, chances are your team members are becoming true leaders.

2. Your team members control their emotions and do not take things personally.

 

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

 

Leaders know how to control their own emotions and not take constructive criticism personally. Dental practices can be emotional places. Many patients are anxious at dental practices. Additionally, patients can easily become confused about out-of-pocket costs for procedures, especially with insurance practices. When emotions get high, leaders remain calm.

Leaders are also able to manage their own emotions. They recognize when they begin to get frustrated. They take a walk, breathe, pause, and do whatever else they need to stay in control. Leaders manage their emotions for the good of the practice.

3. Your team members overcome adversity to complete difficult tasks.

 

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

 

One of the telltale signs of a true leader is their ability to overcome adversity. It takes humility, the willingness to make mistakes, and the tenacity to push through challenges to become successful. Only developed leaders will truly have this ability.

When times get tough, leaders dig in and push forward. When something doesn’t go well, they learn from mistakes and try again. This trait does not always come naturally, but it will come out as team members grow into leaders.

Are your team members developing into leaders?

These three traits are common signs that your team members are developing into leaders. When you build a team of leaders, everyone wins. Negativity will go down. Team members will identify and improve systems and processes. They will delegate to each other and step up to support each other when needed. Best of all, they will take much of the work—and stress—of running a dental practice off the doctor’s shoulders.

If you ever want to build a practice that gives you true time and financial freedom, it is critical that you get out of the “I’ll just do it myself” mindset and invest in building a team of leaders to support you.

Having leaders on our team can make our jobs as owners so much easier and can build the strength of the entire team. A good leader lifts everyone with them and guides the team forward to a brighter future. Use these signs to evaluate your current staff members and maybe even to evaluate yourself. You may be surprised by what you find.

If you want help developing leaders within your team, our team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program can help. Not only will we share tools, trainings, and resources, but we can also train your team members directly and hold them accountable.

You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my Free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!

3 Skills to Help Every Team Member Develop

3 Skills to Help Every Team Member Develop

Often, leaders fall into the trap of hiring people and expecting them to have all the skills needed to perform their tasks well. While that is ideal, it is almost never the case. Even the most highly qualified and experienced applicant will be missing some traits and skills needed for your practice. They have been trained by another practice to do things the way that practice does it.

With Delivering WOW, your practice will be different than most other practices. It will be run differently. It will be more focused. And when everyone is on the same page, it will be smoother and easier to run. Here are three skills to help every team member develop if you want to ensure your entire team can help your practice achieve your practice vision.

The Ability to Create and Harness Value

 

3 Skills to Help Every Team Member Develop

 

One of the best skills a team member can have is the ability to understand what actions would add value to your practice. That skill helps team members provide direction, confidence, and creativity. It helps them understand their unique talents and strengths. It helps them identify areas for improvement and gives them the confidence to ask for help when needed, for the greater good of your practice. And when they need help, the ability to identify, create, and harness value lets them know where to look to get the help they need.

As practice leaders, we can help team members create and harness value by talking openly about practice goals and individual strengths and areas for improvement. That allows us to build a team of leaders who can elevate our practices to new heights. They will do so by having the confidence to get help when needed and consistently improve the way your practice is run.

The Ability to Take Initiative to Solve Problems

 

3 Skills to Help Every Team Member Develop

 

Team members create an environment of excuses, not initiative, if they constantly say, “It’s not my place,” “I don’t want to step on anyone's toes,” or “It’s someone else’s responsibility,” when something goes wrong. We must promote the idea that taking initiative to find solutions to practice problems is part of everyone’s job responsibilities.

Your staff should be looking for ways to take initiative to solve problems in your practice. When problems arise, the best team members identify, discuss, and solve them as efficiently as possible; they don’t pass the buck to someone else or ignore the problem, hoping it will go away on its own. The best team members take action to solve problems as soon as possible.

Encourage team members to execute solutions that are well-reasoned without having to go to you beforehand. Give them the freedom to try new things, and accept that not everything will work out. Being proactive means stepping out, taking a risk, and trying something.

The Ability to Maintain Focus on Achieving Results

 

3 Skills to Help Every Team Member Develop

 

In my Inner Circle Dental Mastermind, we teach leaders and team members to ask themselves what tasks look like when they are done and done well. When leaders train team members to ask themselves that question, it helps them focus on results without sacrificing the practice culture. It helps them work “smarter, not harder,” which maximizes results achieved within set time periods.

This will give them a really solid point of reference for any upcoming similar projects. They won’t be left scratching their heads, wondering if they’re doing something right and constantly having to check in with a leader for approval. From that explanation of a “good” outcome, they can reverse engineer success.

Giving Employees the Skills Needed to Succeed Together

Training and developing a team that performs consistently well and heads in the same direction can be the best investment you make in your practice. It is the only way to be able to delegate with confidence. It is the only way to make sure everyone is working both smart and hard. These three skills will position team members to do exactly that. 

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

To learn more about leading your team members, our team of expert coaches at Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program can train you and your entire team in every area of your practice.

You can also check out our upcoming Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge where you will receive 21 days of actions to implement in your practice, alongside your team. By the time the challenge is complete, you will have created your 12-month marketing plan, launched a successful marketing campaign in your community, and implemented systems for repeatable, scalable success in your practice. Click here for more details!

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

Gossip is something many dental practices deal with. Many of us experience it in our practice. It is important for all team members to be able to voice concerns and resolve problems. Everyone needs to be able to talk about and improve work conditions. They need to be able to get feedback on how to handle situations and brainstorm solutions.

But when people resort to gossip, it causes pain, fractures trust, and creates a toxic culture. To eliminate gossip, we must understand where it comes from and create a safe environment to resolve issues before they lead to gossip. Here are six characteristics of a healthy, gossip-free practice culture.

1. Clear Expectations and Accountability

 

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

 

Dentists and other practice leaders must be very clear that there should not be any gossip happening in the office. Educate the team on the best ways to get help with team members or leadership. Talk with them about ways they can communicate with each other to discuss and help find solutions to issues in a productive way.

Ask your team members to also lead the way and set those clear expectations with each other and when new people join the practice. Clear expectations and accountability will help ensure a no-gossip environment continues over the long term.

2. Vulnerability-Based Trust

Vulnerability-based trust occurs when people are comfortable sharing problems they are experiencing without fear of retaliation or losing respect. It also occurs when people feel safe discussing issues with the person causing the issue—especially as the dentist or team leader. With vulnerability-based trust, people know others will support them in finding solutions and not judge them for not being able to solve a problem on their own.

There must be vulnerability-based trust among your entire team. If issues cannot be resolved because there is no trust, that is an environment that is ripe for gossip.

3. Agreement and Commitment from the Entire Team

 

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

 

Make sure there's agreement and a commitment from everyone in on the team to having no gossip in the office. This is not something one leader or dentist can do on their own.

Most of the time, gossip happens outside of the dentist or team leader's presence. If the issue is about them, the gossip will occur outside of their presence. If the issue is about someone else, their conversations are generally solution-focused. That is why it is important for leaders to set expectations but get wider agreement and commitment. The team's commitment and agreement will define your long-term success when it comes to building a no-gossip environment.

4. Commitment to Discuss Issues With any Person Directly With That Person

When the team is comfortable discussing problems or challenges with the person causing it in a productive way, everyone wins. If someone needs help, that is fine. Even having somebody sit with you while you discuss something that is difficult can help keep the situation productive.

Encourage your entire team to address things head on directly with the person causing the issue. If they want help, encourage them to approach leadership with their concerns so they can get advice and direction.

5. Solutions-Based Communication

 

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

 

Keep lines of communication open by promoting and practicing solutions-based communication.  Leaders must keep communication lines open and allow people to talk about difficult things in a productive way—especially if they need to give the leaders feedback. This avoids putting up a barrier that leaves team members confused about how to get issues solved. Because they will not know what to do they will start talking with each other and make it much more likely that the conversation will lead to gossip.

Ask team members to bring suggested solutions to conversations if they need to talk about something difficult. The solution you bring might not be the one that is adopted but it ensures the tone of the conversation is solution-focused. Let them know that it is ok if they do not have a suggestion. In those cases, ask them to be able to discuss things they considered. That will also help focus the conversation on finding solutions.

6. Real-Time Feedback

Create an environment of consistent real-time feedback—positive feedback and constructive criticism. When we constantly solicit feedback, we will create an environment that catches issues early.  When somebody needs to give you constructive criticism, it can be difficult to not get emotional or upset. You can ask clarifying questions but make it a safe discussion or people will eventually resort to gossip.

We can create an environment of consistent real-time feedback by asking for feedback at the end of each shift. Ask team members what went well and where could we have done better. As time goes on, these conversations help avoid things from getting to the point where team members feel the need to gossip.

Are you building a gossip-free environment?

An environment with these six characteristics gives all team members a safe place to have their voices heard and resolve issues without needing to resort to gossip.

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

If you’re anything like the 300 practices that have gone through our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge, you may be feeling like your team could use a bit more energy and excitement about growing the practice. That way they could spend less time on gossip and more time serving patients and doing the dentistry we all love. If that sounds familiar, then this is your invitation to join our 21-day Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge, and get a 20% discount at checkout when you use the code CHALLENGE here.

Increasing Practice Efficiency And Communication With Mike Buckner

Increasing Practice Efficiency And Communication With Mike Buckner

On this exciting episode of the podcast, I welcome my good friend, Mike Buckner, onto the show to talk about how you can increase patient retention, with help from some powerful technology.

Mike Buckner has been working in the Dental Technology Field for eight years. He has worked as a Business Development Executive for Solutionreach, as well as a Director of Business Development for Dental Intel.

He is currently the Director of Business Development for Weave, and speaks at various meetings about patient retention and building patient loyalty. And, on top of all that, he has twin baby boys that keep him on his toes!

 

Increasing Practice Efficiency And Communication With Mike Buckner

 

On the podcast we discussed…

  • What makes patients reluctant to come back to your practice
  • How to improve patient retention by focusing on relationships
  • The action steps you can take to maximize relationships with your patients
  • Why you should use text messages to bond with patients and increase case acceptance
  • Using the Weave App to help improve efficiency and communication

 

Increasing Practice Efficiency And Communication With Mike Buckner

 

Weave is a powerful and unique platform that improves your customer response, team workflow and revenue generation. Go to try.getweave.com/deliveringwow/ to save 50% off activation!

If you’d like to get in touch with Mike to learn more about Weave or to ask him any questions, you can email him at mike.buckner@getweave.com

 

For a sneak peek into the episode, watch this video trailer where Mike explains how to improve patient retention and conversion:

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

Growing a dental practice requires you to do a number of things. First, you need to set a vision and goals for your practice. That tells you where you want to go. Second, you need to develop a WOW culture to attract and retain the best team members possible. Third, you need to give every patient a WOW experience every time they visit your office. Fourth, you need to be profitable. If you are not profitable, you will not be in business very long.

I lay out these four steps—and more—in my book, Delivering WOW: How Dentists Can Build a Fascinating Brand and Achieve More While Working Less…. (which you can get for FREE right here—just cover shipping). Here are the three pieces to building a productive, profitable practice to support you and your team as you work to achieve your practice vision and goals and give patients a truly WOW experience.

1. Empowered, Accountable People

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

 

You will never build a productive, profitable dental practice without having the right people on your team. Setting clear practice goals and a practice vision helps attract people who share your values. Building a WOW practice culture helps you keep your team engaged.

But making sure every team member has clear goals and the processes, systems, and tools to do their job well gets you profitable. In other words, once you have the right people on your team, you need to make sure they know what to do and how to do it. That's where the processes, systems, and tools come in—to empower, focus, and hold team members accountable for achieving their individual goals.

2. Processes and Systems

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

 

Processes and systems help make everyone's jobs easier. They promote consistency in people's work and hold people accountable for doing tasks the right way.

One of my favorite systems to put in place is a dental practice scorecard. A dental practice scorecard allows you to see the most important numbers in your practice, in real time, and in one place.

In my practice, I have my scheduling coordinator pull the info into the scorecard. Every Tuesday we have a leadership meeting where we discuss the numbers from the scorecard. We have a system for her to pull the information and update the scorecard by Monday morning. That system holds her accountable for completing it and allows us to spot and address issues in real time.

For example, one of the most important metrics we track in my practice is our dentist's production per visit. If we set a goal of $700 per visit but see $400 per visit in our scorecard, we know we need to close that gap. One way to do that would be to do Invisalign or crown promotions to attract more patients for high-revenue services. We could also talk with the doctors about doing as much as they can in one visit so the patient gets their treatment faster and our production per vision increases. Over the longer term, we could send one of our doctors to a CE to learn how to perform higher-revenue procedures as well.

This system allows us to make a change right away and not wait a month or longer to see the overall numbers. And if we are hitting or achieving our goals, we can congratulate team members in real time, too.

3. Tools

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

 

Finally, we need tools to help make the systems and processes easier and more efficient. Processes need to be very easy for your team or they will feel overwhelmed. One of my favorite tools to increase productivity and profitability is Dental Intel.

Dental Intel's software suite connects with your practice management software and pulls actionable data into one simple presentation. My team can pull everything we need for our scorecard in a matter of seconds. It has several other powerful features, too.

With tools, we need to be careful in choosing tools that help make our practice better that we have the resources to integrate and use well. Dental Intel is one that is both highly effective and easy to use.

With the right people in place and systems and processes to support them, having tools to make their work even easier is the final piece of the puzzle.

Do you have all three pieces to the productive, profitable, practice puzzle?

Way too many practices do not have all three pieces of the puzzle together. Some have great team members but lack the processes, systems, and tools to help them do their best work. Others have a strong team with processes and systems but no tools to make them easier. Once I had all three pieces working together, my practice growth skyrocketed. I worked less and made a lot more. And my team was supported and set up to succeed.

To learn more about building a productive, profitable practice, our team of expert coaches and training resources in our Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program can help. You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.

How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup

When is the last time you reviewed your core values? Core values define who you are, who you want to be, and what your company strives for.

Why Core Values Matter

 

How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup

 

Core values make running a dental practice much easier. They guide you in how you hire, fire, reward, and recognize team members. They also make tough decisions easier because they give you important context within which to make decisions. Additionally, when team members know about your core values, it guides them in many things, including these:

  • what they should be doing
  • how they should be conducting themselves
  • how to interact with other team members
  • how to interact with patients

If you have not written core values, take a few minutes to work through this exercise. If you already have core values written, take a few minutes to re-evaluate or update them to make sure you have the strongest set of core values guiding you and your team.

Brainstorming Possible Core Values

Start on a personal level. Think about yourself as a person. What are the ten or so principles you personally live by? It doesn’t matter what they are, just list things that are most important to you. For example:

  • How do you want people to perceive you?
  • How do you want people to think that you act?
  • How do you actually act?
  • What do you want people to say about you when you are not around?

Write down everything that comes to mind when thinking of those questions. If it helps, imagine you live in a perfect world in which you can design exactly who you are and how you act. Write down the characteristics you would choose.

Analyzing Your List of Core Values

 

How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup

 

Take your list of personal core values and think about them in the context of yourself, your team, and your practice. What core values do you want everyone to think about you, your team, and your practice? What values are non-negotiable in your practice? Edit your list with that in mind. Then ask yourself each of the following “yes or no” questions for each value listed. Write down your answers for each value.

  • Is the value absolutely necessary to our unique culture?
  • Would we want our organization to stand for this core value 100 years from now no matter what changes occur in the world?
  • Would we want our organization to hold this core value even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage?
  • Would we want our organization to hold this core value even if in some instances the environment penalized us for living this core value?
  • Do we believe those who do not hold this core value or those who breach it consistency simply do not belong in our organization?
  • Would we personally continue to hold this core value even if we were not rewarded for holding it?
  • Would we change jobs before giving up this core value?
  • If we awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire for the rest of our life, would we still hold true to this core value?
  • If we were to start a brand-new organization, would we build around this core value regardless of the industry?
  • Does this value represent the primary behaviors our organization wants to encourage and stand by?
  • Is this value one that we will continue under stress, duress, and in the face of all obstacles?

Finalizing Your List of Core Values

Narrow down your core values to the seven to ten most important values. Use your answers to the questions in the last section to guide you. For example, the more you answered yes for a value, the more important it is. Keep only the seven to ten values that are most important on your list. Those will be your revised core values that will lead yourself, your team, and your practice forward.

Communicating Your Core Values With Your Team

 

How to Give Your Dental Practice a Core Value Checkup

 

Make sure everyone on your team knows your core values. Post them in your office where people can see. Discuss them openly and regularly. Let everyone know why they are so important. Be sure to let them know everyone in the office is expected to act consistently with the core values. Let them know you will be evaluating decisions they make in accordance with the core values, even if the decision goes wrong. For example, let them know whether they acted in accordance with your core values will be something you consider when mistakes happen. When you position this in a positive light and follow through on that promise, you will encourage your team members, and everyone will benefit.

Give your dental practice a core values checkup today.

If you have not set or updated your core values in a while, take a few minutes to update them today. You will come away with a list of seven to ten principles that guide everything you do in your practice.

If you want help setting core values in your practice, check out the team of expert coaches and training resources we offer in our Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

With so many documents, photos, and bills to manage, keeping organized can be a nightmare. We need to organize leadership files, patient photos, advertising assets, and more. We need to keep our accounting documents organized to make sure bills get paid. We need to keep training and development files up-to-date and accessible to everyone who needs them. And with many team members accessing key documents, it can be easy to get disorganized.

Google Drive can help you keep everything organized and make sure everyone is working from the best and latest information. Here are four steps to using Google Drive to make organizing documents, photos, and monthly bills easy.

1. Create primary folders within your main Google Drive.

 

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

 

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and synchronization service. If you manage your practice email using Google, you already have a Google Drive account. If not, you can sign up for free. Google Drive allows you to control who can access documents on an individual level or by folder.

Once your account is active, set up folders for your primary practice categories. We set up folders for accounting, leadership, marketing, office documents, patient photos, and training and development. If we have special projects that are outside of those main categories, we will set up additional folders. If you use Asana to create teams and assign projects, you could match your folders to your project names to make it familiar for team members.

These main folders should make it easy for team members to know where to find and save documents. Invite team members to the folders they will need to access to make sure the right people have access to the right documents.

2. Create important sub-folders within your folders.

Sub-folders are an important part of getting and staying organized. Instead of putting all files relating to marketing in one big folder, organize the documents further using sub-folders, and sub-sub-folders. For example, within marketing, we have sub-folders for articles, Facebook ad examples, Google ad examples, images, swag information, and a few more.

We also have a main folder for photos. Within those, we have a sub-folder for patient photos. Within our patient photos sub-folder, we have further sub-folders for procedures, such as dental implant before-and-after pictures. Within that sub-folder, we have additional folders for each doctor. Within each doctor's sub-folder, we have folders for each letter of the alphabet.

That folder structure allows us to easily find patient photos by procedure, doctor, and last name.

3. Make sure everyone uploads all documents to the right folder or sub-folder.

 

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

 

Once your folder structure is in place, make sure each team member stores documents in the right folder. Have one file system and one place for each type of document. This way, nothing can get lost.

This is especially important for keeping monthly bills organized. In my practice, we scan all bills into the computer. We then put them in sub-folders by month. For monthly bills, my team knows use the accounting folder, monthly bills sub-folder, and specific month sub-sub-folder.

4. Communicate about each document using Google Drive comments and Asana.

Google Drive's document sharing feature is helpful. You can create a link to each folder, sub-folder, and individual document that you can share with your team. If you need to communicate about a document, you can add a comment within Google Drive and tag the right team member to see the comment.

You can also use Asana to communicate by creating a task for the document within Asana, pasting the link, and communicating back-and-forth within the Asana task.

How do you keep files organized in your dental practice?

 

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

 

If you do not have one place to organize your documents, Google Drive is a simple but powerful tool. You can add every type of file to Google Drive. You can add images, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, Google Spreadsheets, or any other type of file. It helps you keep everything safe and in one place.

To learn more about getting organized and productive, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.

How to Get the Support You Need as a Visionary Practice Leader

How to Get the Support You Need as a Visionary Practice Leader

Visionary practice leaders are an inspirational group of people. Many dentists consider themselves visionary leaders. I am a visionary leader.

Visionary leaders set big goals. We have big dreams. We can’t help ourselves. We see opportunities to make a positive impact beyond our practices and cannot help but pursue those opportunities.

That passion helps us achieve amazing things and inspire our team members. But it also presents challenges when it comes to leading more introverted or detail-oriented team members. If you consider yourself a visionary leader, it is important to understand those challenges and how to support your team members so you can get the support you need to achieve your big dreams.

The Benefits and Challenges of Visionary Leadership in Dental Practices

 

How to Get the Support You Need as a Visionary Practice Leader

 

Visionary leaders are community changers. We are world changers. We want to impact the world beyond our practices. We want to change dentistry for the better. We are driven. We are relentless. We do not accept the status quo. We will not continue doing something just because that is what the dentists who came before us did.

While that passion and focus can lead to incredible things in our communities, the dental industry, and the world around us, it presents two key challenges for employees.

First, in the world, it can become intense. We set high expectations for ourselves and our team. We are not satisfied showing up, fixing teeth, and going home.

It can get uncomfortable for our team members.

Sometimes it becomes a little bit difficult for our team members to be able to handle our expectations.

How to Support Team Members When You are a Visionary Leader

The best way to support your team members is to put yourself in their shoes and let them know you recognize the challenges of working with a visionary leader.

Their days are full. They have a list of tasks. And then all of a sudden, you burst in with a great idea that will change the world. That can be overwhelming to them. Let them know you recognize the challenges of working with a visionary leader. (They already know the challenges; let them know you know.)

Tell them you know you have some ideas that might be crazy. Tell them you know that on a whim, you come up with ideas that you believe will change the world.

Let them know you need to get your idea out right away, but that does not mean they always need to do the work right away. Most of the time, we do not need things done immediately. But we need to get our ideas written down and scheduled.

Finally, when you give them a new idea, ask them what else they are working on. Then help them prioritize the work.

These things help you ensure that your team members feel supported.

How to Get Support Team Members When You are a Visionary Leader

 

How to Get the Support You Need as a Visionary Practice Leader

 

Getting the support you need from your team can take time. But you can get the support you need by helping them help you. Here is how to do that.

First, be open and honest about what you expect from them. If you need something done right away, let them know.

Second, give them the tools they need to do their work well and efficiently. My team and I have been using Asana to organize and prioritize tasks. Invite them to ask questions on Asana so you can reply as soon as possible and keep all communications in one place.

Third, encourage questions. No matter how amazing your team members are, it is unreasonable to expect them to have the same vision as you. Be open to questions. It will improve results. Be patient.

A Visionary Leadership Case Study

Sara, one of my amazing Delivering WOW team members, is a high C in the DISC personality test. She is extremely detail-oriented. She is a planner. She knows exactly what she has to do at the beginning of each day, down to the smallest details such as when she’s going to walk her dog and eat.

When she first started working with me, she was not used to working with a visionary leader. She would be the first person to tell you it took her months to adjust. But we got into a rhythm, and we work very well together. I committed to supporting her, and she committed to supporting me.

So when she gets a message (or ten) from me with another idea, she knows exactly what to do. First, she asks, “How important is this task, and when would you like it done by?” This helps her stay organized.

She also lets me know what she already needs to get done that day. If this is a higher priority than that work, we set new deadlines for those projects. If not, she suggests a deadline for my new idea. Most of the time, her suggested deadline will be fine. Sometimes, I will want it sooner, so I will push out another task she is working on.

Either way, we both get what we need. She gets order to what would seem like disorder. I get the support I need to implement ideas.

Are you getting the support you need from your team members?

 

 

Are you a visionary leader? Do you feel like you are getting the support you need from your team? If not, be sure to get them the support they need to help you. Then work with them to ensure you get the support you need in return.

To learn more about getting the support you need in your practice, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.