How to Find a Good Dental Team Member

How-to-Find-A-Good-Dental-Team-Member3

How To Build a Successful Dental Practice

How-to-Build-a-Successful-Dental-Practice

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

Running a dental practice is a team effort but, as dentists, sometimes it feels like we’re doing all the work. The reality is, that’s not the case. In fact, your practice wouldn’t be as amazing as it is without your team members contributing greatly. Your practice might not feel amazing right now. But with a few simple shifts, you can experience incredible growth and fulfillment. 

While these challenges are important to overcome in any environment, now is an even better time to help get them done. The covid-19 crisis, and the resulting pause to our practices, gives us an unprecedented opportunity. During this pause, work on putting simple strategies in place to come back stronger and with an even more productive and motivated team.

Here are two daily challenges many practice owners express and how to solve them.

“My team member isn’t getting done what I want them to get done on a daily basis.”

 

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

 

With this one, sometimes the cure is a dose of hard truth. When this feeling comes up, are you sure the issue is with the team member? To find out, ask yourself, “What did I not do to make this person as good as they could possibly be in their position?”

Oftentimes, frustrations cause us to only focus on a team member's mistakes. That causes us to think about taking measures to replace them. When that happens we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember the value of that team member. They’ve surely done a lot of amazing things for your practice. If not, it's possible they need to be transitioned out to protect the rest of your team. But many team members just need better direction and management from us.

A great way to point your team member in a better direction, and ensure they get done what you want them to get done, is to create a task list. Reprioritize their responsibilities. When you do this, you might even realize that your current expectations are unrealistic. You might be asking them to do too many things. You might be asking them to do low-value tasks that cause high-value tasks to go undone. Or, you might ask them to do things that are too difficult for them to do.

Create a realistic, prioritized task list that has your team member focusing first on what you want them to get done every day. That way, they’ll get the high-value items complete first. They’ll also be much happier and motivated. They aren’t being given a daily list of duties that leaves them feeling unproductive and overwhelmed.

“My team members aren’t implementing my processes.”

 

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

 

When you strive to deliver a WOW experience to patients, you’re going to do unconventional things. You'll hand patients warm towels when they come in or offer them gourmet coffee. You might spend a whole lot of money to get all these processes put in place. And then you might get annoyed when you realize your team members aren’t giving the patients what you want them to give them.

If your team members aren’t implementing your processes, educate them as to why they need to put those processes in place. To use the example of handing out warm towels, explain that patients come back to your practice for the experience rather than the dentistry. Talk about how this motivates people to get dental care they need and improve their health. Your team will be more motivated knowing handing out towels helps people avoid big health issues in the future. All of your processes can be tied to a motivating positive outcome. Your team members will begin to see the importance of them. 

Motivate them further by telling them that increased productivity will result in an increased bottom line, which will result in them getting bigger bonuses. Dangling the carrot of a big bonus is an incentive many dentists use when trying to get the best work from their team.

What issues are you having that we can help you with?

 

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

 

Are your team members regularly completing their tasks or following procedures? If not, ask yourself whether a shift in the way you lead them is the answer. And try these tweaks to the way you lead them. They might be just what you need to take your practice to new heights.

If you want more help with building a WOW practice, 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.

 

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.

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

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

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.

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:

Why Every Practice Leader Should Delegate More

Building a dental practice is challenging. We must deliver top-quality care to patients while simultaneously running a regulated business.

For those reasons and others, many dentists find themselves stressed and overworked. Eventually, something goes wrong. The natural reaction during times of stress is to roll up our sleeves and work harder. The mindset is that training people takes too long and delegating to untrained team members is too risky.

The truth is, practice leaders can’t and shouldn’t do everything in their practice. That’s why you have a team. If you don’t have the time to train your team or confidence to delegate to them, the solution is not to do more work yourself. The solution is to either find the time to train them or get help training them. Here are five reasons every practice leader should delegate more.

Delegating tasks frees up your schedule.

 

Why Every Practice Leader Should Delegate More

 

What would you do with an extra hour in the day? What about an extra two or three hours? Delegating helps you literally create more time in the day to do whatever you want to do.

What if you didn’t work fewer hours but your time became more flexibility to attend events for your kids, go out to lunch with your spouse, or exercise?

Unless you delegate, you will never be in a position to cut back on hours or shift your time around the life you want to build for yourself or your family.

Delegating helps you focus on what you do best.

Many dentists not only dislike admin work, but they’re also not very good at it. Other people excel at admin work. Thus, delegating tasks to someone who can do it better allows you to turn your attention to your highest-value activity, caring for patients.

Delegating helps you train other people.

 

Two Personal Brand Secrets and Why Reputation Precedes Revenue

 

One of the most common excuses for not delegating is that it’s quicker to do a task yourself than to train someone else to do it, review their work, and provide feedback. While that is often true for one-off tasks, it is very shortsighted for tasks performed regularly at your practice. With those tasks, delegating allows you to invest a little additional time upfront to save a lot of time down the road once your team member is able to complete the task with limited supervision.

Delegating helps build team members into leaders.

Team members will never become leaders if we don’t give them additional responsibilities and build a culture of delegation. When we give team members higher-level work and delegate important tasks to them, they learn more than only new skills. The example we set when we train them and delegate tasks shows them important leadership traits. And if we build a culture of strategic delegation, they will gain experience training and supervising others.

Delegating helps team members learn to collaborate.

 

Why Every Practice Leader Should Delegate More

 

Establishing a culture of delegation at your practice allows all the benefits of delegation to flow throughout your practice. It gives team members an opportunity to work together to complete tasks delegated to them. Your team members become resources to each other. They learn to support each other. They learn to find each other’s strengths and utilize each other’s strengths to complete tasks faster and better.

Do you need to delegate more in your practice?

Many practice leaders struggle unnecessarily because they feel they need to do everything themselves if it’s going to get done right. While that may be true in the short-term, over the long-term, it’s a recipe for disaster. You will become more stressed and overworked. And you will eventually burn out.

If you regularly feel stressed, overworked, or burned out, chances are you could benefit from delegating more in your practice. If you want help building a culture of delegation, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today. By doing so, you and your team will get access to top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice. This gives you the systems, processes, and support you need to make delegating easier.

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

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.

4 Parts of a WOW Practice Culture

Companies across industries understand that the success of their business depends on their ability to develop amazing team members and a healthy business culture. Dentistry is no different.

That’s why I dedicated a significant part of my book, Delivering WOW, to helping practices set practice goals, find and develop team members, and build a culture in which everyone thrives. You can get a copy of my book for free here.

To build an amazing practice culture, we must first understand what makes for an incredible culture. Here are four parts to building a WOW culture for your practice.

An Environment of Continuous Improvement

 

4 Parts of a WOW Practice Culture

 

With the right marketing, you can quickly attract an influx of new patients. With the right systems and processes in place, you can quickly become more productive. But culture is different.

Sure, you can create excitement and short-term progress by implementing new initiatives to support team members and improve working conditions. But the strongest cultures are built over time through continuous improvement.

An environment in which all leaders and team members strive for continuous betterment motivates everyone to become the best version of themselves incrementally and avoids complacency. This ensures team members remain optimistic, motivated, and fulfilled.

An Environment in Which All Team Members Are Set Up for Success

Few things discourage team members from doing their best work like the feeling that they have no chance to succeed. That’s why we encourage all practices to implement the best tools, systems, and processes into their practice.

Having the best tools, systems, and processes at people’s disposal lets all team members know exactly what is expected of them. It also lets them know what they need to do to succeed.

An Environment in Which Team Members Support Each Other

 

4 Parts of a WOW Practice Culture

 

No matter how much you commit to continuous improvement, some team members will be asked to do things they have not yet mastered. That’s the reality of running a busy practice.

And no matter how many tools, systems, and processes you implement to set up your team for success, the demands of a busy practice will cause team members to experience busy times where they struggle to keep up. It happens when team members go on vacation, get sick, or take extended family leave. It also happens on busy days, weeks, or seasons.

When work piles up or team members are asked to do tasks outside of their experience level, other team members will step up and support their colleagues in practices with incredible cultures.

An Environment in Which Team Members Enjoy Spending Time Together

Efficient, supportive teams will make your practice more profitable. But if your team members do not enjoy spending time together, the environment will eventually catch up to you. Your best team members will leave for other opportunities. And you will struggle to attract rock star team members to replace them. The negative implications of losing your best team members will cascade from there and you will eventually find your practice less productive and much more stressful.

As busy and efficient as high-performing practices are to operate, the best practices are also fun for both patients and team members. A telltale sign of a WOW practice culture is having team members enjoy their days. They work hard, but they enjoy their time in the office. Many of them will spend time together outside of the office.

When first working toward improving your practice culture, you might need to organize out-of-office events for team members to get to know each other outside of work. Plan a trip to the movies. Organize a bowling outing. Sign up for a charity race together. Your team members will get to know you and each other in a fun, casual environment.

Over time, those fun experiences will pay dividends in the office. Team members will begin to spend time together on their own. By doing so, they will develop deeper relationships with each other. And those relationships will lead to them supporting each other more, plus other great benefits.

Are you ready to build a WOW practice culture?

 

4 Parts of a WOW Practice Culture

 

If you’re ready to build a WOW culture for your practice, start by focusing on these four simple parts. Encourage and provide support for every team member to continuously improve. Set your team members up for success by providing the best tools, systems, and processes. And encourage all team members to support each other by rewarding and recognizing team members when they do. Finally, start to plan out-of-office opportunities for team members to get to know each other better.

If you want help building an incredible practice culture, 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

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 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.

How to Transform Your Dental Practice in Just 21 Days

Transforming a dental practice from stressful, low profit, or hard to run does not have to take a lot of time. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of money, either. I know this from having helped thousands of people grow their practices.

My programs help grow practices without stress, overwhelm, or sacrificing family time. But to put them to the test, I created a 21-day Marketing and Practice Growth Challenge. I designed the challenge for practices led by doctors who are fed up with overwhelm and ready to get results.

For practices who have only achieved lackluster results in previous marketing efforts, 21 days might seem like a very short time. But that’s the thing. Growing your practice is not about how much time has passed. It’s about understanding basic principles of business, marketing, and leadership, and taking action. When you put a few strategic systems in place, you can create transformational change in a very short period of time.

That’s exactly what we sought to do with the practices who took the challenge. We helped them set goals, get on the same page, and put together a marketing plan. We then coached them through implementing their plan and helped them stay accountable. And the results didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the transformations challengers reported achieving in a few short weeks!

Greater Purpose

 

 

One strategy we teach in the challenge is a low-tech whiteboard system for increasing profits. Primary benefits of the system include increased accountability and real-time production snapshots. But one doctor reported an even greater transformation than those in her practice.

In her words, one team member said, “She loves the whiteboard because it gives her so much more purpose in her work!” Team members who find purpose in their work are unstoppable. Imagine a team member self-reporting finding greater purpose in her work in a matter of weeks!

Better Teamwork

The most productive practices work together using simple strategies to achieve clear goals. With those pieces in place, team members all take ownership of the results. They work harder knowing their efforts are going toward a common goal. That’s what challengers experienced, too. As one doctor put it, “It’s so exciting to see us beating our numbers.”

Higher Profits (and in Less Time)

 

 

Imagine increasing profits while working less in just a few weeks. That’s not only possible but an actual result reported in the group.

Here’s how one doctor put her experience:

Yay, two weeks of tracking and we are going to hit higher numbers than ever in our practice this July 🌟🌟🌟🌟 being open 2 1/2 years and one of my assistants is off for almost two weeks of vacation 🤭🤭

Forgot to mention, we went from 5 days to 4 days🥇🥇🥇

How’s that for transformation?! Higher numbers than ever! With one assistant off for two weeks. And dropping from five days a week to only four!

Transform to a results-oriented practice culture.

Many doctors are perfectionists. That’s a good quality when treating patients but not when applied to practice growth. It does nothing but hold you back and cause you to procrastinate. You will never produce results if you don’t move forward.

Procrastination is the thief of success. And the cure for procrastination is having deadlines, support, proven systems, and accountability. One doctor shared that she loved how the systems, accountability, and speed of the challenge forced her into action. It shifted her thinking from perfection to results. And that spread throughout her practice.

Develop a proactive approach.

 

 

Many practices look at their numbers once a month, and only after financial statements are finalized by their bookkeeper. The problem with that is it’s a very passive, after-the-fact approach. They don’t learn of a problem until weeks later, at best. And it can be weeks more until the next set of numbers will let them know if their adjustments worked.

The simple, real-time systems in the challenge help you shift from a slow, reactive approach to a fast, proactive one. Members set their goals and got their team to buy into the process in a matter of minutes. And they had real-time numbers at their fingertips, 24/7. Here’s what one doctor had to say about how they shifted to a proactive approach in less than two weeks:

With the way our whiteboard is set up, we can be proactive rather than reactive, and see which procedures are falling behind, etc. It also holds everyone accountable to update goals, from administrative to clinical team members.

If your practice is too reactive, you will never achieve your full potential.

Build an engaged social media following.

Social media engagement is one of the most powerful things you can have for your marketing. It can help you fill last-minute cancellations. It can help reduce your marketing costs, sometimes to zero. It is powerful for potential patients to see comments, shares, and likes on your social posts when they visit your social media sites. And it allows you to develop more effective targeting audiences for future ads.

 

In minutes a day, challengers grew their audience and had posts viewed, shared, and engaged with thousands of times. For example, on one post, a member reached more than 3,700 people, 263 of whom engaged with the post, including 38 shares! Another member had one post with 86 comments and shares, another with more than 125 comments and shares, and another with 196 comments and 210 shares!

With the right strategies and support, you can build an engaged social media following fast!

 

 

Are you ready to transform your dental practice?

Are you ready to transform your practice? If so, sign up for the next Marketing and Practice Growth Challenge!

I can’t wait to help you Deliver WOW and make meaningful changes in y

our practice—in just a few short weeks!

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

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

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!

How to Treat More Rockstar Patients with Weston Lunsford

How to Treat More Rockstar Patients with Weston Lunsford

I’m so excited to introduce you to my special guest on this episode of the podcast, Weston Lunsford. Together, we discuss how you can find your ideal patient. And, the things you can do to attract more ‘rockstar’ patients to your practice.

As CEO of Dental Intelligence, Weston oversees the strategic direction of the company and its products. Above all, he is responsible for the revenue growth and future expansion plans. But he also dedicates a large part of his time to be intimately involved with their clients, the dentists. This allows him to fully understand their needs, wants and their experience with their solutions.

Weston spent the previous 10 years as the founder and principal partner in Lunsford Peck. Lunsford Peck is a Certified Public Accounting firm providing services for medical and dental professionals. Also they have an impressive community of clientele, with nearly 2,000 clients on their books.

Weston and his team are passionate about what they do. So, they trust in each other and in their abilities to create something special, unique, and impactful. As Dental Intel always says, “we make incredible happen!”

 

How to Treat More Rockstar Patients with Weston Lunsford

On the podcast we discussed:

  • Weston’s professional background and how he got into dentistry with Dental Intel
  • How to increase production in your practice
  • Why it’s important to identify the type of dentistry you want to do
  • Efficient ways to target your ideal patients
  • Why and how you should rate your patients
  • How to increase patient retention

 

How to Treat More Rockstar Patients with Weston Lunsford

 

If you’d like to get a FREE practice analysis from Dental Intel, whereby you’ll discover strengths and opportunities for growth in your practice, click here.

To watch a short trailer for this episode click the video below.

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

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

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.

3 Steps to Increasing Case Acceptance Fast

One of the quickest ways to increase profits while simultaneously helping patients is to improve your case acceptance rate. Unfortunately, dental school doesn’t do a great job teaching best practices for improving case acceptance. And the truth is, it doesn’t matter how detailed our brochures are or how well we explain the treatment procedure. That just doesn’t cut it. Here are three steps to increasing case acceptance fast.

1. Monitor case acceptance during your daily morning huddle.

 

3 Steps to Increasing Case Acceptance Fast

 

What gets measured gets improved. Thus, if your goal is to improve case acceptance, you must first see where you are. Many practices have no idea what their case acceptance rate is. Don’t let this be you.

To start, address case acceptance during your team morning huddle. Look at what treatment you and your team presented and what was accepted. Calculate your case acceptance rate based on the value of the treatment presented compared to the value of the treatment accepted. For example, if you presented $100,000 worth of treatment and patients accepted $40,000, you would divide 40,000 by 100,000 to get a 40% acceptance rate.

2. Monitor each team member’s impact on case acceptance.

 

3 Steps to Increasing Case Acceptance Fast

 

At least once a week, monitor and report how each team member impacts case acceptance. This is a little more in-depth than just looking at treatment acceptance. The goal is to help each person who interacts with patients improve their contributions.

Is each person contributing to a positive, professional, trustworthy experience for patients? Does each patient have a positive experience before and during their exam? Is each patient invited to ask questions? Does your finance manager have several financing options ready to present to patients to help them afford their care? When the patient is presented with their treatment plan, is it conversational? Is it focused on life improvements for the patient (e.g., no more hiding your smile or removing dentures for cleaning)? Or, is it very technical (e.g., describing the procedure itself)? If your case presentation is technical, patients will be much less likely to move forward. If you focus on outcomes your patients actually want, they will be much more likely to move forward.

3. Create a patient follow-up plan for all patients who leave without scheduling treatment.

 

3 Steps to Increasing Case Acceptance Fast

 

No matter how well you and your team treat patients and present treatment plans, some patients will leave without scheduling their treatment. Sometimes, they need to talk with their spouse. Other times they have to check their calendar or talk with their boss about getting time off. Still other times, they need to budget for their treatment or want to compare financing options. Helping patients understand insurance coverage and find other ways to afford care will help but some will still want time before moving forward. If they are not ready to move forward, try to understand why so you can help them overcome any obstacles standing between them and the care they need.

Once a patient leaves your office, however, it is highly unlikely that they will get back to you. Even if they intend to, their lives are busy and their treatment plan often falls through the cracks. We have to make sure we follow up with them to help them move forward and get the treatment they need.

If you don’t follow up with a patient in a timely manner, then their unscheduled treatment might end up slipping through the cracks and never happen. To avoid that, assign someone on your team to call patients with unscheduled treatment on a regular basis. Use email or other methods of communication as well.

What do you do to improve case acceptance?

While the top-performing dental practices reach 65% case acceptance rates, half of dental practices see less than 40% of their presented treatment accepted. At Delivering WOW, we pride ourselves on helping our clients having case acceptance percentages significantly higher than industry average.

What’s your treatment acceptance percentage? Do you need to increase it? Do some of your team members need improvement with their case acceptance percentage? Do you have a follow-up system in place? Asking questions like these will help you to increase case acceptance in your practice.

If you want help increasing your case acceptance rate, sign up for our Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where experts like Dr. Gregg May, Dr. Chris Bowman, and Dental Intel’s Weston Lunsford will work with you and your team to help you improve case acceptance fast.

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!

How to Build a Dental Practice Like an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs have been lauded as the end-all-be-all of business people. They can start from scratch and build a thriving business. So why doesn’t dental school teach us how to build a practice like entrepreneurs build their businesses?

As it turns out, there are many ways we can build our practices like entrepreneurs build their businesses, but we must first recognize some of the differences between entrepreneurial businesses and more traditional, bureaucratic ones.

 

How to Build a Dental Practice Like an Entrepreneur

Traditional, Bureaucratic Dental Practices:

  • Encourage learning by researching
  • Have rigid titles and responsibilities
  • Base pay on time and attendance
  • Values reason over emotions
  • Lead based on status
  • Are transaction-focused
  • Operate with rigid plans
  • Build a culture of scarcity

Entrepreneurial Dental Practices

  • Encourage learning by doing
  • Build teams with fluid titles and responsibilities
  • Base pay on outcomes
  • Value emotions as well as reason
  • Lead based on contributions
  • Are relationship-focused
  • Operate with malleable plans
  • Build a culture of abundance

Entrepreneurs give up security in exchange for opportunity. Unlike most people who are content with a job, a regular paycheck, and clearly defined responsibilities, entrepreneurs are willing to jump into the unknown: betting on their intelligence, expertise, and ability to problem-solve and create solutions in hopes of generating a profit. They are not always successful, and they are by no means perfect. Four out of five new businesses fail, and working in an entrepreneurial company can be far more demanding than a traditional one.

But there are some really incredible pieces of the entrepreneur puzzle that can make for a high-performing practice. You’ll be more secure and structured in a bureaucratic practice—you’ll have all the power to make decisions—but that also means you’re doing all of the work to lift and lead the practice. Your job title will entitle you to status, and the practice will work according to that status. This is organized and can work well for many people. But it creates a less collaborative and, we think, a weaker environment.

If you decide you want to build your dental practice like an entrepreneur, here are four things you need to commit to.

Be willing to change the status quo, even when your practice is profitable.

Bureaucratic practices find something that works and stick to it no matter what. It might be a system or process to run your practice or a way to attract new patients. Even good things can be made great.

To grow a practice like an entrepreneur, you must be willing to make changes, even when things are going well. Things will always be changing in a thriving entrepreneurial business. Entrepreneurs are constantly trying new things out to see what works. They are always looking to improve, even when things are going well.

Create a culture of abundance.

 

How to Build a Dental Practice Like an Entrepreneur

 

A culture of abundance is one in which your team cooperates with each other to help the entire practice improve. This is in sharp contrast to a culture of scarcity, which results in a competitive environment in which team members fight for credit and look to achieve personal gain.

Entrepreneurs know the best way forward is when every team member works together as a team. To achieve a culture of abundance, we must encourage and reward things that encourage cooperation and teamwork.

Help your staff do their best work.

Entrepreneurial leaders give their team members the tools, training, and resources to do their best work. They invest in the best systems and processes and on constantly improving them so each team member can perform consistently well.

Beyond tools, training, and resources, entrepreneurial leaders let their team members know small failures will not get them fired. We must give team members permission to make mistakes in the pursuit of consistent improvement. Remember, it’s easy for those in a position of power to take a risk. It’s harder for those who feel they have more to lose.

Shift your pay scale toward rewarding performance.

 

How to Build a Dental Practice Like an Entrepreneur

 

Rewarding people on results will shift the mindset of your team members from rewarding people’s presence to rewarding their performance. Even if it just means creating a commission or rewards system for hitting practice goals, rewarding performance will transform your practice from a bureaucratic one to one in which everyone begins to think like entrepreneurs.

Are you building your practice like an entrepreneur?

These practices can begin to boost the culture and work ethic in your practice. True leaders and entrepreneurial team members will rise up. Also, team members who are not on board with a healthy, entrepreneurial culture will be more likely to move on to create a stronger team moving forward.

If you want help building a practice like an entrepreneur, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program. Our coaches will help transform your practice by implementing entrepreneurial systems and processes, coach your entire team, and even keep them accountable for helping achieve your practice goals.

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

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

A while back I came home from the office, and my daughter asked me to pick her up some lunch. I went into a coffee shop and ordered her a ham and cheese panini.

While I was waiting for the panini, my daughter’s ballet instructor came up to me. She had seen my daughter in a dance show from another school and wanted to tell me how great a job she did.

My daughter has been dancing for about twelve years and goes to two dance schools. In her ballet class, she is not being challenged. She gets frustrated by that and is always making up excuses for why she can’t dance.

On the other hand, she is always challenged at her other school. Each class is more challenging than the last. But my daughter never makes excuses for why she can’t dance with the more challenging classes. She always dances. In fact, she has even won a prestigious award for her performance with this class.

When her ballet instructor saw how well my daughter danced for the other class, she was surprised.

I told the instructor that my daughter loves dance but she does not feel challenged in her current class and gets bored. I suggested she challenge her a bit more or move her up a class to get her to perform at a higher level.

The instructor told me she had no idea my daughter had that in her because she never shows up performing at 100% for her class.

The same happens all the time in the dental world. Recently in one of my coaching programs, a team member expressed that she wanted more responsibility at work. We coach both doctors and team members because we know how important it is for everyone to grow. This team member was getting frustrated because they were not given more responsibility. It happens all the time. Many times, team members leave for other opportunities when that could have been avoided.

Here are two ways dental team members can set themselves up to earn more responsibility.

Examine how you show up to work.

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

 

Do you show up to work on time? Do you dress professionally? Do you take initiative? Do you work hard when you are at work? Do you run out the door at the exact time your shift ends?

All of these things send a message to the practice leader. If you show up late, wear wrinkled clothes, complain all day, and then sprint out the door the second the clock hits quitting time, you will likely not be there very long.

If you show up on time, dressed well, work hard while you are at work, and stay late if needed, you will likely open doors for tremendous growth.

Neither of those scenarios mentioned pedigree or intelligence. They mentioned how you show up to work and what you do when you get there. Those two things will help you earn more responsibility much more predictably than anything else.

Offer to take on new projects.

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

 

If a team member wants to work her way up in the practice, she could approach the doctor with a new project she would like to lead. It might be a new marketing campaign. Or, it could be an operational issue such as offering to create a process or system for something in the project. That initiative will go a long way toward earning more responsibility.

Identifying something that can be improved and offering to do the work to make the improvement is a great way to let the doctor know you are ready for more responsibility.

Are you setting yourself up to earn more responsibility?

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

 

We all want the same thing in business. We all want to be recognized and acknowledged for who we are and what we do. And we all want to be challenged at work or we will quickly get bored.

If you are a dental team member, take a look at how you are showing up to work. Are you showing up in a way that instills confidence in others? If not, simply showing up on time—every time—is a good start. Then identify something in the office you think you can improve. Ask the doctor if she is okay with you doing that.

If you are a dentist, what can you do to encourage your team to earn more responsibility? Could you reward and recognize them for showing up early to work and taking the initiative to suggest a new project? What do you do to encourage your team to work hard and take initiative?

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

When your team sees the vision and an action plan to grow the practice, that’s when they begin to step up and earn advancement opportunities. That begins today with your decision to invest in your practice’s growth. If you’re ready to make that decision, your best next step is to join our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge! See what other practices had to say 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.

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.