How Much Should I Pay My Dental Team?

3 Ways to Train Your Dental Team to Collect Payments Well

How to Find a Good Dental Team Member

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How To Build a Successful Dental Practice

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How to Promote Safety When Reopening a Dental Office Post COVID-19

Reopening a dental practice post COVID-19 is a welcome event. But while opening the doors is a welcome event, it's not as simple as opening the doors and getting back to normal.

We have new guidance to follow. We have new demands from our government, team members, and even patients. Expectations of our practices have never been greater. Our patients need to be confident that they are safe in our offices. Our team members need to as well. Thus, we must take very deliberate steps to ensure our practices are a safe, welcoming place for everyone.

We've been monitoring the best and latest information for you to help you successfully reopen your practice. Here are key steps to minimize health risks when reopening your practice post COVID-19.

Prepare Your Dental Practice for New Oversight and Regulations

 

How to Promote Safety When Reopening a Dental Office Post COVID-19

 

Regulations and oversights used to move slowly. COVID-19 changed that. In a matter of days, we were told to cancel elective dental procedures. That forced many dental practices to close completely. Others were open only for emergency visits.

As we reopen, consider whether you want to perform emergency procedures or even virtual consultations should COVID-19 flare up again. Put a plan in place should regulations return over the summer months or even next fall or winter. Will you perform emergency procedures? Will you conduct virtual consults? If so, how? Who will handle those? Will you promote that your office is open for emergencies and virtual consultations? If so, have your messaging in place so you can get started quickly.

Similarly, connect with communities of practices, like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group. There, you can connect with other practices navigating the post-COVID-19 world. You can share resources and information to maintain flexibility and be in a better position to navigate any future disruptions.

Establish Additional Safety Procedures for Post-COVID-19 Heath Risks

Review the ADA Interim Guidance for Minimizing Risk of COVID-19 Transmission. In there, you will find guidance for minimizing risks before dental care starts, during dental care, and after dental care is provided.

For example, before dental care begins, the ADA recommends you address the following three issues.

1. Dentist and Dental Team Preparation

We must have procedures in place to ensure the safety of the staff. This includes ensuring all dental health care personnel have received their seasonal flu vaccine. Any team members experiencing influenza-like-illnesses should know to not report to work. Those who are of older age, have pre-existing, medically compromised conditions, or other high-risk qualities should take extra precautions.

Practices must also ensure team members self-monitor, check their temperatures, and remain alert to symptoms of COVID-19.

Other preparation suggestions include:

  1. Being diligent in ordering personal protective equipment. These items may be in short supply from time to time.
  2. Removing magazines, reading materials, toys, and other objects that may be touched by others and which are not easily disinfected.
  3. Printing and placing signage in the dental office for instructing patients on standard recommendations for respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette and social distancing.
  4. Scheduling appointments apart enough to minimize contact among patients.
  5. Preventing patients from bringing unnecessary companions to their appointments.

Together these preparations will minimize the spread of COVID-19 for everyone in the office. Communicate these procedures to all staff and patients so they can comply. They will also be comforted that you are taking these precautions.

2. Screening for COVID-19 Status and Triaging for Dental Treatment

While minimizing the spread is important, the ADA also recommends putting in place screening and Triaging procedures.

Specifically, the safest way to reopen is a phased approach, focusing only on emergency or urgent care.

While doing so, the ADA suggests making every effort to interview patients by telephone, text, or video before their visits. Utilize these COVID-19 interview and assessment guidelines from the CDC when interviewing patients. Review the ADA interim guidelines for how to handle patients with various symptoms. The ADA recommends that only asymptomatic patients, patients who have tested negative for COVID-19 infection, or recovered patients (after 3 days since the resolution of signs and symptoms) be seen in dental settings.

3. Take precautions upon patient arrival.

When a patient arrives, permit them to wait in their personal vehicle. Communicate this policy before the appointment.

Ensure team members keep adequate supplies to reduce the spread of germs, such as appropriate hand rum, tissues, and no-touch trash receptacles.

Take precautions during dental care.

 

How to Promote Safety When Reopening a Dental Office Post COVID-19

 

The ADA recommends taking extra precautions during dental care, as well, including the following.

1. Adhere to both Standard and Transmission-based Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Standard precautions are the minimum infection prevention practices. This includes:

  1. hand hygiene
  2. use of PPE
  3. respiratory hygiene/etiquette
  4. sharps safety
  5. safe injection practices
  6. sterile instruments and devices, and
  7. clean and disinfected environmental surfaces.

In addition, implement transmission-based precautions, such as:

  1. patient placement (e.g., isolation)
  2. adequate room ventilation
  3. respiratory protection (e.g., N-95 masks) for team members, or
  4. postponement of nonemergency dental procedures.

The ADA also recommends replacing PPE frequently, with surgical masks being replaced between each patient. Wear face shields to protect yourself, especially during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids.

2. Adjust clinical techniques.

Ensure all team members review the ADA's guidance for clinical techniques that minimize risk of infection. These include guidance about handpieces, equipment, disinfectants, and taking other important precautions during treatment.

3. Address suspected unintentional exposure quickly and schedule appointments to minimize risk.

Follow CDC recommendations in the event of suspected unintentional exposure. This includes having instructions on hand regarding when and where to go for testing. Include information about how to justify the need for testing and how to contact the dental practice to report results. If a test is positive, the office needs to report the exposure to all team members or patients at risk.

Additionally, schedule appointments to minimize risk. For example, the ADA suggests aerosol-generating procedures should as the last appointment of the day.

Put post-dental care procedures in place to increase safety.

Put policies in place to ensure safety post-dental care. This includes both practice procedures in between patients as well as adjusting post-operative instructions for patients.

1. Enhance safety procedures in between patients.

While practices regularly engage in cleaning between patients, take extra care to reduce transmission risk. This includes cleaning or replacing PPE and disinfecting non-dedicated and non-disposable equipment.

2. Update post-operative instructions to patients.

Review the latest guidelines regarding appropriate post-operative treatment. For example, there is controversy regarding whether ibuprofen is appropriate to take in light of data suggesting it might harm patients with COVID-19. Thus, you might consider recommending other medications to manage pain in case a patient has COVID-19 but is asymptomatic.

Teach team members to protect themselves and their families after work.

 

How to Promote Safety When Reopening a Dental Office Post COVID-19

 

The ADA suggests team members should change from scrubs to personal clothing before returning home. Upon arriving home, they should take off shoes, remove and wash clothing, separately from other household residents, and immediately shower.

These activities will help reduce the risk that a team member brings COVID-19 to their families.

How are you preparing to reopen your dental practice post-COVID-19?

While reopening your dental practice post-COVID-19 is exciting, it must be done with safety in mind. Not only will that protect you, your team members, and your patients but it will also help you make everyone feel safer in your office.

How are you preparing your practice to be reopened? Let us know in the comments or in like the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group.

 

 

How to Become a Better Leader with Dr. Ankur Gupta

How to Become a Better Leader with Dr. Ankur Gupta

Do you want to learn how to become the best leader for your dental team? If you’re nodding yes, you’re going to learn a lot from this episode of the podcast, where I’m joined by Dr. Ankur Gupta.

Dr. Ankur Gupta completed his General Practice Residency in 2005 and built his dental practice soon after. In the beginning, he thought his success and the success of his practice was inevitable. However, his plan went up in smoke as he watched his practice flounder and finances become unpredictable. In an attempt to turn things around, he tried personal and professional “experiments” in self-improvement.

Nowadays, Dr. Ankur Gupta enjoys excellent new patient numbers, case acceptance, a solution orientated dental team, and so much more. He even shares his knowledge and helps other dental professionals across the country implement practical step-by-step strategies to help them see the same success.

 

How to Become a Better Leader with Dr. Ankur Gupta

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What Dr. Ankur Gupta is known for
  • How to become a better leader
  • Why good leadership is important within your dental practice
  • The importance of showing your team appreciation
  • How to do an annual evaluation of your team members
  • Why every practice owner needs to create a “dream team” vision

 

 How to Become a Better Leader with Dr. Ankur Gupta

 

If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Ankur Gupta and his seminars, please visit: https://drankurgupta.com

 

Check out this short video trailer of the episode below:

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

How to Build an Environment in Which Every Team Member Does Their Best Work

My Delivering WOW team members are some of the most trustworthy, knowledgeable, and motivated people I have ever met. They know marketing, dental practice management, and effective ways to help practice leaders grow.

They are successful with Delivering WOW and active in the dental industry. For example, one team member works at a multi-location dental practice. During her first year, she grew the hygiene department 104%. In the last 18 months, she added millions of dollars to the organization through hygiene production alone. She also decreased cancellations and no-shows from 30% to less than 10%. The list goes on.

Her success with Delivering WOW and in her current position suggests she turns everything she touches into gold. While it is true that she is talented and hardworking enough to do so, she would be the first to tell you her career wasn’t without its challenges.

As leaders, we can help team members fly or clip their wings and hold them down.

 

How to Build an Environment in Which Every Team Member Does Their Best Work

 

Earlier in her career, this amazing team member moved across the country to take a job. When she started, she was told not to say or do anything for the first ninety days. Her bosses told her to be a “fly on the wall” and just observe operations during that time.

Twelve days into her job, however, she was called into the president’s office and fired. She was told that management didn’t think the position was right for her. They complained that she hadn’t made any decisions to help the company during the first twelve days. She had moved across the country and her husband had quit a job he held for a decade to move with her.

After defending herself as having followed directions, she was given one more chance. Needless to say, she completely lost trust in the leadership team. They told her to be a fly on the wall and then tried to fire her for doing so twelve days later. After taking a break to compose herself, she told one of the leaders how disappointed she was. She then decided to go back to the office do her best work, although it was hard to trust leadership after that. Eventually, she left and found new employment where she felt better supported and did incredible work from the start.

While she was able to turn a negative situation into a positive, not every team member is as self-motivated and determined as she is. She only stayed there long enough to be noticed and recruited by her next employer.

Build a positive environment to get the best work out of every team member.

 

How to Build an Environment in Which Every Team Member Does Their Best Work

 

What did her new employer do differently to get her best work? Why did her earlier employer tell her to be a fly on the wall and then fire her twelve days in? Simple. The difference between the two companies is the environment the leadership team built.

The environment at her old employer caused her to feel fearful. She would sit and question her emails multiple times before sending them out. She wouldn’t take risks or reach beyond the direct responsibilities of her position. She would not take any risk. She was miserable.

The environment at her new employer gave her the freedom to take risks and make decisions she felt were best for the company. She did not have the same fear of being fired for minor offenses.

How to build a positive environment that gets the best work out of every team member.

 

How to Build an Environment in Which Every Team Member Does Their Best Work

 

Leadership expert Simon Sinek talks frequently about the impact of environments on productivity. In short, Sinek says if people trust leadership and feel safe and supported, they will do their best work. If not, they will do just enough to not get fired before they can find another job.

Building an environment that gets the best work out of your team is much simpler than many dentists expect. Generally, you only need two things to build a supportive environment.

First, you need consistency in what you measure and the metrics that matter. Let your team know what is most important, and systematize as much of your day-to-day operations as you can. By doing so, each team member will know what they need to do to succeed and will have simple strategies for completing the most common ones. That frees them up to direct their creativity toward helping you build your practice.

Second, you need to manage people. You need to lead people well. With systems in place and clear metrics being measured, your team will understand the goals for their position. But team members work harder for leaders they trust. If you tell them to be a fly on the wall for the first ninety days, do not threaten their jobs twelve days later for not doing more. That is a surefire way to lose trust. Your team will do just enough to not get in trouble.

If you are consistent and trustworthy and show people small failures won’t make them lose their job, they will do whatever they can to help you achieve your practice vision.

Continued improvement in systems and measurements plus your ability to lead people will create an environment in which every team member feels empowered and does their best work.

Are you building a supportive environment in your practice?

The only way to get the best work from every team member is to build an environment built on trust and support. As practice leaders, we all must continue to develop our leadership skills in addition to implanting systems and processes to support our operations.

For more help get started on becoming the best practice leader you can be, join our upcoming Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge — save 20% off with the code CHALLENGE at checkout!

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

Asana is one of my favorite tools to increase productivity in dental practices. It is the best way to collaborate with team members to manage key tasks and projects. You can easily get everyone on the same page and prevent key tasks from falling behind or not happening at all.

Asana keeps everything organized and sends automated email notifications to team members when they have something to do or a task they are working on gets updated. You can also send notifications to team members manually through Asana by tagging them in a post just like you would tag someone on social media.

If you have never used Asana before, you are only four steps away from the peace of mind that comes with knowing your most important tasks are organized, assigned, and on track.

1. Sign up for Asana to manage dental practice projects with ease.

 

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

 

If you have never used Asana, you can sign up at Asana.com. Asana is a web-based program so you can access the secure platform from anywhere you have an internet connection. No need to stay late at the office to review progress and keep tasks on target anymore.

Asana offers a free version for small teams that do not need customized privacy settings. The free version lets you either keep information private to you or make it public to everyone on your team. For customized privacy settings, which I recommend, claim a free trial to the premium version. Customized settings allow you to choose exactly who has access to what information, instead of limiting it to nobody or everybody. When your trial expires, you pay a small fee per user. If you use Asana well, increased productivity will more than cover the fee.

2. Create teams for your practice.

The best way to manage projects is to make sure everyone knows exactly what they need to do and by when they need to do it. Asana’s “team” function allows you to do just that. Once you set up your account, you can set different Asana teams for different needs and assign team members only to the teams they need to access.

We suggest starting with five teams. First, create a team for your entire practice. There, you can share practice-wide initiatives, news, and information. Second, create one for training where you manage training activities within your practice. Third, create a team for accounting and finance. There your accounting and finance teams can manage information. Finally, set up a team for marketing where you can keep all your marketing materials and activities organized.

When you set up a team, choose a name, add a description, and then add email addresses for team members who need access. You can choose for the team to be hidden or public to the entire practice. Projects and tasks in a hidden team will only be visible to members of that team. Projects and tasks in a public team will be visible to all practice team members.

3. Create team projects.

 

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

 

Once you create your teams, start creating projects for each team. As with teams, you can edit privacy settings for projects to be public or private only to select team members.

We recommend adding projects for the items you want to make sure happen in your practice. For example, you could set a project for your Team Leader Live Agenda, Training, 90-Day Planning, and Systems for your practice-wide team.

Having a Team Leader Live Agenda projects allows you to make sure your agenda is up to date. It also ensures your entire team knows what topics their team leaders are focusing on. Your Training project lets everyone know what training they must complete. The 90-Day Planning makes sure you set your 90-day goals and stay on track with tasks needed to achieve them. Finally, a Systems project organizes key practice systems in one place.

4. Create sections and assign tasks to the right team members.

Within projects you can create multiple “sections.” Sections function as additional ways to organize tasks by timeline or priority. For example, in your 90-day planning project, you could have three sections, one for each month.

Once you set any sections you need, you can easily create and assign specific tasks to team members. Each task is organized in one convenient thread where you can add a description, attach documents, assign a due date, communicate with team members, and even assign the task back and forth. All of your communications will be in one place, so you never have to waste time searching email or papers again. When a team member completes his or her part of a task, they can “assign” it back to you for review similar to volleyball players knocking the ball back and forth over the net. If you need them to adjust their work on a task, you can add a comment and assign it back. If it is complete, you can mark it as complete or assign it to another team member to add their part.

Are you ready to get more organized and productive than ever before?

 

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

 

Asana is my favorite productivity tool for your practice. Once it is set up, creating and assigning tasks will be easier than ever. You can keep all tasks organized and on track from wherever you have an internet connection.

To learn more about using Asana to get more organized and productive than ever before, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

If you want to join hundreds of practices that we've been helping on getting more productive and organized, please check out our upcoming Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge.

Find out more here — plus use the code CHALLENGE at checkout to get 20% off!

Increasing Call Conversions with Cory Pinegar

Increasing Call Conversions with Cory Pinegar

Join me in this episode of the podcast, where I speak with the CEO of CallForce, Cory Pinegar, about growing your practice, increasing call conversions and getting more patients back in.

As I mentioned above, Cory is the CEO of CallForce, a dental solutions company that is dedicated to helping dentists succeed in their practices by helping them improve their overdue hygiene recall. In his spare time, Cory loves to play golf and tennis.

 

Increasing Call Conversions with Cory Pinegar

 

On the podcast we discussed…

  • Cory’s story – how he came to be the CEO of CallForce
  • How the overdue patient recall system works
  • The reactivation process and capitalizing on your overdue patient basis
  • An insight into how practices can produce an additional $400 to $600 per rescheduled patient using CallForce
  • The importance of having a positive tone on the phone when speaking with patients
  • Cory’s top tips for increasing call conversions using a script that patients can’t say no to
  • Using patient feedback to improve your customer services
  • Why you shouldn’t waste marketing dollars attracting new patients and then neglect to bring them back in for a follow-up appointment
  • How you can manage your schedule and time more efficiently
  • Understanding that returning patients are just as valuable as new patients
  • How dental practices can improve the patient’s in-house experience
  • Reaching patients via their preferred channel of communication
  • The importance of having a recall system in place to increase call conversions

 

Increasing Call Conversions with Cory Pinegar

 

Find out more about how CallForce can help fill chairs and improve profitability by going to getcallforce.com/wow for a discounted price for Delivering WOW community members and get your first six appointments for FREE!

To watch a short video trailer of the episode where Cory explains how to schedule overdue patients over the phone, hit play below:

How to Improve Consistency in Your Practice

If there’s one thing that controls the direction of your dental practice, it’s consistency. If you and your team do consistently well, you’ll build an amazing practice. If you do consistently poor or are inconsistent, you’ll never reach your practice’s full potential.

Building more positive consistency into your practice doesn’t need to be difficult either. In fact, it can make life easier for you and your team while improving your results. Here are two ways to improve consistency in your practice.

Get your team to take responsibility for practice tasks.

 

How to Improve Consistency in Your Practice

 

Accountability is one of the best-kept secrets of the most successful people in business and life. Think about how many people set New Year’s resolutions each year only to give up after a month, week, or even a day.

While sometimes the problem with New Years’ resolutions is that people set a goal without a plan, oftentimes, the real problem is a lack of accountability. Say you want to lose weight. You might set a New Year’s resolution to lose 30 pounds next year. Even without a complicated plan, most people know they’re likely going to have to eat better and get more exercise to achieve their goal. In other words, most people who want to lose weight have some vision of a plan.

The reason most weight loss resolutions fail, however, is people lack accountability. They have nobody encouraging them to follow through with their goal. They have nobody supporting them in eating better or exercising more. In fact, the support communities that usually come with organized programs are often the main reason many people have at least short-term success with organized diets. There’s no one perfect diet. There are a bunch of diets that help people lose weight. When people sign up and get held accountable through support networks, they lose weight.

The same is true for your dental practice. One of my favorite productivity tools we use in my practice is a simple whiteboard. We use it to write goals for procedures and hold each other accountable for completing the tasks that allow us to hit our goals. This is important. If we want to place 50 implants one month, we don’t just recommend implants to people. We market to attract implant patients. We follow up with patients who have talked with us about implants. We check in with patients who we think may be interested and invite them in for a consultation.

The act of using a whiteboard this way and checking in with our team to see where we are throughout the month helps hold us accountable and keeps our goals top of mind.

We don’t just list various goals for procedures, new patients, and the like. We also ask each team member to hold everyone accountable for one or two of our goals. We then write who is responsible for each goal next to it on the whiteboard so everyone knows.

For example, one team member might be in charge of holding us accountable for crowns goals. That person would do things such as follow up on crown marketing funnels and marketing. They would remind doctors and hygienists when they’re scheduled to see patients who may need a crown. They would also make follow-up phone calls with potential implant patients.

Having each person take primary responsibility for one or two goals does two things. First, it makes sure no task or goal gets overlooked. It’s sometimes easy for five people to each assume one of the other people is performing a task only to realize nobody was. Second, it spreads out work and allows each person to focus on one or two tasks. Together, this helps you ensure each goal for your practice is being consistently pushed forward.

Give your team a safe place to address patient issues.

 

How to Improve Consistency in Your Practice

 

Another important part of your practice where consistency matters is the way you deliver WOW experiences to your patients. For example, in my practice, we offer headphones and iPads to patients to take away the sounds of our tools. This helps ease people’s anxiety along with some of the other things we do to create a spa-like atmosphere. It’s one of the things that makes us different.

If we don’t consistently provide headphones and iPads, or gourmet coffees and teas, or warm towels, or any of the other things that help us deliver WOW experiences, we’re not us.

One morning, a patient mentioned that they weren’t offered headphones. I didn’t know why they weren’t offered headphones. Maybe the batteries were dead. Maybe a pair or two was broken and we needed to order more. All I knew was a patient wasn’t offered headphones.

With everything going on in a practice, it’s easy for issues like these to be forgotten. But we use our whiteboard to get to the bottom of all these issues while they’re still minor.

Right next to our list of practice goals, we have a box that says “issues.” Whenever an issue comes up, someone writes the issue down to make sure it gets addressed.

We don’t make a big issue out of things, and my team understands that. Our issues section on our whiteboard just acts as a safe place to list things for us to get to the bottom of the next day in our morning huddle. That ensures we address things quickly, get back on track, and move forward together. We all have little things that happen in our practices. If we can address those things in real time, it helps prevent little things from becoming bad habits. And that prevents bad habits from becoming inconsistencies in the experiences our patients receive when they come in.

How do you maintain consistency in your practice?

 

How to Improve Consistency in Your Practice

 

If you aren’t using a whiteboard for practice goals, consistency, and accountability, you could be making life much more difficult for you and your team. You could also be making patient experiences subpar or inconsistent. A simple whiteboard could be all you need to make things run much smoother!

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

If you want step-by-step guidance on how to implement whiteboards in your practice, your next step is to learn more about our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge. Hundreds of practices have gone through this challenge and experienced renewed purpose and energy in their work, clear tracking of their goals, AND growth in their production and revenue! Save your spot in our upcoming Marketing and Practice Growth Challenge here — use the code CHALLENGE for a 20% discount at checkout!

For more support, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.