What’s More Important Than Money?

Today I’d like to share a story that happened to a doctor I’ve known for a very long time and who I have a great deal of respect for.

Having been in practice for many years, this doctor was in the process of training an associate to take over the practice after their eventual retirement. The two had formed a strong connection and all seemed to be well for a long time. What my friend didn’t know was that their associate was secretly opening up their own practice down the street, catering to the same market, the same patients, and even bringing some team members with them. The rest of the team knew about the betrayal and even supported the other doctor by liking posts on Facebook and other seemingly minor actions. 

Upon hearing this story, I simply couldn’t believe that it was true. The fact that someone could be that blatantly unethical was astonishing to me. 

I know that some of you will shout from the rooftops, “That’s why we have non-compete contracts”, but shouldn’t we live in a world where people want to do the right thing, not because they have a contract telling them they have to, but simply because it’s right?

As I continued to think about this story, I realized that at its core, it is a situation that all of us will face at some point in our careers. As a business starts to gain traction, and everything seems to be going amazing, you’re going to face decisions that will determine who you are. 

In those moments, you’re going to have to choose between making more money or doing the right thing. 

For example:

Let’s say you consider making a recommendation to a patient who really doesn’t need the treatment, but you want to hit your numbers. 

What do you think you’d do? 

Let’s say your team has botched a service, resulting in more costly visits for the patient that should have been unnecessary. 

Do you own up to the mistake? 

Sometimes doing the right thing in situations such as these will cost you money. Sometimes it will cost you time. However, if instead, you choose to make money the deciding factor, the cost will be much more significant in my opinion. 

That cost is going to be your ability to look yourself in the mirror at the end of your life and be happy with the person you’ve become. Choosing the money over what’s right once or twice, may not cost you your soul. You may even think you’ve “gotten away with it”. But gradually, the little decisions will pile up. 

So, every time you face that decision – make a good choice. Not “good” in the sense that you think it’s best for your business, but “good” in the sense that it’s best for your soul. Surround yourself with people that have a high sense of integrity and know that when you do reflect back on the life you’ve lived, you’ll be proud of what you’ve accomplished and how you did so. 

Ethicality has a pivotal role in my own business and life. If you want to talk about the choices you’re facing in your business, and whether or not they are the right ones, reach out. I may not be able to solve the problems you face, but I’ll offer guidance and support to help you conquer them. 

Schedule a call at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

 

Join Our Free Facebook Group

How Are You Celebrating Your Wins?

Whether you’re running a single dental office or the entirety of a global enterprise like Amazon, there’s a focus on how we can improve and grow our businesses. This is one of the best parts about owning a company and I would never suggest you do otherwise. At my speaking events, in my business, and even in conversations with friends, I talk openly about the importance of embracing the need to improve. Considering how we can be better is a great way to induce change and create a stronger business.

However, the “too-much-of-a-good-thing” rule applies here. When we focus solely on “fixing” our business, there is no time left for celebrating our wins.

It can be challenging to focus on the good when you’re overwhelmed by your business, worried about your patients or your schedule. But taking the time to stop and celebrate is critical.

When your team only hears from you when things are stressful or wrong, they never see the other side. Ignoring the wins can be not only demoralizing for your team, but can also sabotage your long term success. If you’re not consistently celebrating the good, you may be creating an atmosphere that people neither want to work for or with.

Today, make the conscious effort to celebrate a win. Ask yourself, “what is worth celebrating in my business and how are we going to do so?”

  • Did you recently have a larger number of five-star reviews than usual?
  • Have you received a large number of patient referrals?
  • Did you go for a week with no missed or canceled appointments?
  • Did a particular department meet a set of goals you had created?
  • Have you met or beaten certain benchmarks of the industry?
  • Know that these celebrations aren’t just “nice”. If you want to improve your team, your practice, and yourself it is absolutely necessary.

With this knowledge, I challenge you to celebrate at least one win in your practice today. Think about what your team has been doing well and celebrate. For this first time, the how and the why aren’t nearly as important as simply making the effort. See how your team reacts and let us know if it helps create a happier and more productive work atmosphere.

In the meantime, if you want to more useful business management tips, or want to get started on a marketing plan for your practice, schedule a complimentary marketing planning session with me for no charge, at https://identitydental.com/cmps.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Let’s Talk About Why Most Business Owners Never Grow Beyond the $1 Million Mark

No one is born being a fantastic business leader. You either enjoy it and do your best to learn more, or you don’t. Despite this fact, I often hear dentists claim that they are “bad at business” when the reality is they are only holding themselves back. 

 

So, what’s holding you back from finding success? What’s stopping you from not only reaching that $1 million mark, but surging past it on your way to greater things? In all the time I’ve spent in the dental community I’ve noticed a commonality between those who realize their potential for growth and those who do not. 

 

The doctors that do the best and continue to grow past the one million dollar mark are the ones that are willing to take risks.

 

Different Kinds of Risk 

When I talk to those who are hesitant to take risks on anything, I tell them that there is an

inherent risk in every aspect of life, whether they realize it or not.

 

There’s risk in hiring and there’s risk in firing. Investing in your marketing, your advisors, or a dental CPA are all risks too. Even becoming a dentist was a risk.  

 

While those financial risks are a major factor, there’s also the risk that comes with being known. Many don’t want to market their business and grow because they don’t want to be exposed to a larger world. They don’t want to risk that someone might not like them. To that, I say – are you really going to let the rest of the world determine your success? 

 

What if You’re Happy With Where You’re At?

When I talk to a doctor or another practice leader for the first time there is always a great deal of pride surrounding the fact that they’ve only grown their business by word of mouth. While I can appreciate the sentiment, to me it’s an indicator that they just haven’t yet figured out how to leverage marketing effectively. It also shows that they may not be willing to take the necessary risks to grow beyond their natural growth rate. 

 

This is not to say that leading a successful dental practice is as easy as saying yes to risk. In fact, I truly believe that dentistry is one of the hardest industries to build success in. Not only are you trying to grow a business, but you are responsible for leading your teams and treating patients. You truly are the “Chief Everything Officer”. 

 

You’ve worked hard to build the success you have, and putting that success on the line is not an easy task. However, if you find yourself constantly avoiding risk in the interest of saving your practice ask yourself this: 

What is all that saving costing you?

 

If, after reading this blog, you think it’s time to take a risk and do something different, you can schedule a call with me. Not only will we discuss a marketing plan that will get you started in growing past that one million dollar mark, but we’ll talk about you and your business as a whole. 

Work with Identity Dental Marketing, and see what’s on the other side of your risk aversion. 

https://identitydental.com/cmps/

Join Our Free Facebook Group

New Year’s Resolution Check-In

I’m going to say something that may shock you.

January is almost over.

If you are like me, you’re probably wondering where the time went. You may also feel a slight sense of guilt as you realize you’re not quite as far along in your New Year’s Resolution as you would like to be. As we move into February, it’s important to evaluate how you’re doing on your goals. Are you still going strong, or have you begun to taper off? Have you even started?

Sometimes when we begiDental Marketingn on our resolution plans, we realize that there is a major difference between knowing you want to change and knowing how to achieve the goal in a realistic way. Saying, “I want to see my business grow”, is a great ambition to have, but it probably isn’t going to provide you with enough direction to accomplish anything significant.

To give you a more solid understanding of the changes you want to make and generate more specific goals, I’d like you to take a look at the following questions.

1.) How often do you assess the weaknesses in your company? Have you seriously sought out and considered ideas for improving processes, policies, and procedures in your business lately?

2.) Does every decision and idea go through you before being implemented in your business? What effect is this having on productivity?

3.) Do you focus more on the “rules” of your business than on the values your team should all share?

4.) When was the last time you challenged your team to go above and beyond?

5.) How clear of a communicator are you? Could you improve?

6.) Do you wish you could make decisions faster, or more thoughtfully?

7.) Do you actually listen to your team’s feedback? Do you give them the opportunities for feedback that they need?

8.) Are you afraid to admit your mistakes and acknowledge when a decision you made needs to be changed?

9.) Are you willing to seek outside guidance when you and your team don’t have the answers?

10.) When was the last time you thought about your motivation techniques and how each person on your team may react to them?

11.) Have you ever found yourself delaying a tough conversation?

12.) Have you been putting off marketing for your practice because of your need for perfection, or fear of the unknown, or the notion that it’s easier to stick with what you have than to find something new that actually works?

Not all of these questions may apply to your situation, but I’ll bet that at least one of them got the gears turning in your mind. If so, you’re on your way to honing your resolutions and creating a real action plan to accomplish them.

Whether you need help hammering out that plan, implementing the necessary changes, or even if you just want a supporter to help you through the process, we are here for you.

Figure out exactly what you want to change and how to make it happen with Identity Dental Marketing. Schedule your call with Grace today. https://identitydental.com/cmps/

Join Our Free Facebook Group

The First Three Steps You Can Take For Your Perfect Dental Marketing Plan for 2020

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time for many of us to look towards the new year and begin planning for our growth in the new year. To help you get started, I’ve outlined the first 3 steps of my 13-step guide to creating a marketing plan that can take your practice to the next level. It will be easy to rush through these, but it’s worth taking the time to really consider what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. If, after reading this blog, you want to continue on with the next 10 steps, all you have to do is join our free Facebook group, Dental Marketing With Grace at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DentalMarketingWithGrace/ and watch the video where I explain each step in detail. For now, let’s get started.Dental Marketing

 

Step 1:

It’s hard to get to where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been, especially when it comes to marketing your practice. To help you better understand your current situation, you should first evaluate your current new patient flow.

 

How many new patients do you see, on average, per month? How have they changed throughout the year? Where are these patients coming from?

 

If your numbers aren’t as high as you’d like them to be, that’s ok. It’s better to know. Accordingly, you can target your marketing campaign to help you see improvements in the necessary areas. When you understand your needs, you can then begin to think about how many new patients you can honestly accommodate and build your marketing plan around those numbers.

 

Maybe for your practice, you have the numbers, but you’re not seeing as many big cases as you would like. Think about the cases you want to specifically target and how many of these cases you’d like to see. Painting this picture for yourself allows you to identify your goals in a concrete way, then structure your plan around them.

 

Step 2:

What’s special about you? Some may think there’s nothing special and others may have a hard time picking just one. If you’re struggling with the former, consider why your patients are loyal to you and why they refer their friends and family to you.

 

When generating ideas for your special quality, take a look at what dentists in your area are saying about themselves. If all the general dentists are referring to their care as “gentle”, you won’t want to do the same. You’ll need to find something that differentiates you while remaining true to who you are. This differentiator will be the underlying tone for all your marketing.

 

Once you figure out what that is, it’s important that your whole team knows and understands why it’s so important to your brand. They’ll be able to bring this quality to all their patient interactions until it becomes a part of the practice culture you develop over time.

 

Step 3:

Many dentists still feel uncomfortable about marketing their practices and themselves. What we can tell you is that your patients and your community want (and expect) you to market.

 

People want to be able to engage with you and hear from you. A better way to think of your marketing is to understand the purpose behind it.

 

If not you, then whose responsibility is it to educate the community about oral health? Take this mission upon yourself and create a reputation of care for your entire community. Embracing your marketing in this way is both a positive experience for both your community and your practice.

 

To accomplish the third step in creating your 2020 marketing plan, write down 5 things that you want your community to know about oral health. If you’re a pediatric dentist, you could discuss how you help infants receive proper nutrition. If you’re proud of your technology, you can educate your patients on the benefits of your favorite gadgets. Even the relationships you have with your patients can be shared with the wider community.

 

With these ideas in place, it’s easy to create custom educational pieces that get your face, your name, and your brand well known in the community.

 

 

If you need help with any of these first three steps, my team and I are here to assist you. Just schedule a complimentary marketing planning session at https://identitydental.com/cmps/ and talk to me about your practice and your goals. If you want to continue your plan on your own, join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DentalMarketingWithGrace/ and follow along with the rest of my video lesson.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

3 Reasons Why You Hate Marketing That Are Really The Reasons You Should Love It

It has been a long-held belief in the dental profession that there is no place for marketing in dentistry. Unfortunately, the marketing industry is not doing itself any favors when it comes to dispelling this myth in my opinion.

For some doctors, it is the concern that marketing may be simply too much of an added stressor or time drain. You are already responsible for excelling as a dentist and leader of your practice. The thought of adding ‘marketing manager’ to that list of roles can be daunting for many. For others, they finally make the leap into the marketing waters only to be met with the icy embrace of an unethical and unfair marketing company.

For those that are suffering from the latter, I can understand why you may never want to try marketing again. But I can also assure you that one bad experience is not a reflection of the entirety of what marketing can offer. In fact, these bad experiences are often blessings in disguise.

Reason 1 Why You Don’t Like Marketing, But Really Should:

In my 10 years of experience, I have found that many have a negative view of marketing because they don’t fully commit. Doctors in high competition areas will invest $200 one time and if it doesn’t bring in a patient immediately, they’ll write off marketing as just another hoax. Imagine if your patients only brushed their teeth for 30 seconds one time and expected to maintain a healthy smile forever after. That low-risk tolerance holds many people back and prevents them from seeing the full rewards that are possible with a little faith and patience.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you. You should love marketing because it almost always gives you what you put into it. When the same doctor who invested $200 once begins to invest more (both in terms of time and money), they’re going to begin to see results. A good company can help you use your resources more effectively, but at the end of the day, you’ll still need to give to get.

Reason 2:

It is also a common expectation for new practice owners to expect results quickly, without giving their campaign time to gain traction. What I tell those dentists, and what I will now tell you, is that most marketing initiatives only START to gain traction at the six-month mark. Anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or is purposefully lying to you. Give your marketing the time it needs and you’ll be rewarded.

When you do so, marketing becomes more than just clicks and Google searches. Your marketing also increases your word of mouth referrals because you’re top of mind. It accelerates growth by educating the community on your services and the importance of proper oral health care. When you put all that together, it means you’ve become a positive force in your community. You become an entity that people know of, that they trust, and that they first think of when the need for dentistry arises. That’s a pretty powerful reason to love good marketing.

Reason 3:

It is often the case that many marketing companies (especially in the dental space) don’t have the proper education, experience, or certifications to be running successful campaigns. Unfortunately, there’s also a gross lack of ethics in the marketing profession (from what I’ve seen in dental marketing since 2008). As a result, campaigns run, but the dentist doesn’t know their ad spend, doesn’t have ownership of their websites and as a result, they don’t see the results they are looking for.

However,  ignoring marketing is not the solution. Instead, learn enough to protect yourself, create a plan, track your patient referral sources, and do it the right way. If you’re looking for all of these needs wrapped into one dental-specific marketing company, then you’re looking for Identity Dental Marketing. Not only do we deliver marketing that works, but we do it in an ethical way that you can feel confident about.

Whether you’re trying out marketing for the first time or you’re looking for a better way of doing things, we are here for you. Schedule a complimentary marketing planning session and allow us to learn about you and your practice. Together, we can work to achieve many of the goals you have for your success. https://identitydental.com/cmps/

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Why Transparency Is So Important To Your Business

Recently, I had some unexpected time on my hands and thought I’d check out the corporate optometrist near me. I was curious what kind of shenanigans I’d get to witness. After seeing specials for $35 eye exam, I didn’t have much to lose. Of course the exam was next to nothing and the eyeglass section was abundant. Since they were 15 minutes late for my appointment (no biggie), I picked out my glasses before my exam.

The process was smooth, the doctor was very nice. All was well.

I picked out frames that were $190 and on sale 40% off. I went to pay it was just shy of $400. I paused, asked again the cost of the glasses and then again asked the cost of the exam. She said the glasses and exam were on sale. Now the basic exam was $50 (not the same as the sign outside) and the glasses were on sale from $190. I then asked to see an itemized breakdown. I’m no mathematician but $190 + $50 doesn’t equal $400. It equals something less than that. 😂

It was all digital and presented on an iPad. The descriptions of items were not things I recognized. I noticed the $300 coating on the lens and said “well we can definitely remove that”. The price didn’t change much. Everything else just adjusted its price to equal almost $400 again. Again, I’m not a mathematician but $400- $300 isn’t $400. I was then given a discount for having medical insurance (Weird! Especially since it didn’t include vision.)

Now my price was down to around $350. The math still wasn’t clear. I decided to take my now $59 exam and leave. I said, “this pricing just doesn’t make sense and I’ll have to take the prescription and move on.”

After I paid, in a last-ditch effort to sell me the glasses the woman said, “just so you know, the price of the frames is $190. The lens’ are not included in that price.” Now I know anti-glare coating and some other options cost money— but this was just crazy.

There was a lot of clever and somewhat sneaky things happening in that optometrist’s office that day and I know it’s very similar to how some dental offices operate. While I’m sure that some people may go along with the trick and get taken advantage of, I have to believe that most people would take the same course of action that I took. What could’ve been a higher sale and perhaps even a loyal customer, turned into much less because of their attempt to pull one over on me.

The same lesson goes for your dental practice. If you’re willing to lie and offer anything just to get patients in the door, you’ll lose something more valuable than business. You’ll lose your reputation and you’ll lose the trust of your patients.

Transparency, honesty, or even just being a decent human being are critical components of your business. Without them, there’s simply no way you’re going to experience continual growth and success. While it hopefully seems like common sense to most of you, I’ll reiterate for those who rely on false advertising – patients go to health professionals that they trust more readily and more frequently than they will ever go to someone who lies to them.

Later that same day, I took my prescription to a website called Zenni Optical and purchased SIX pairs of glasses for under $200. It wasn’t that I was unwilling to spend. It was that I was unwilling to spend with a company that wasn’t transparent. Your patients are going to be the same way.

If you want to work with a marketing company that places the same emphasis on integrity and transparency as you do, contact Identity Dental Marketing. We’ve been helping dentists create honest, ethical, and effective marketing for over 10 years and we can help you do the same. Schedule your complimentary marketing planning session with me online at https://identitydental.com/cmps/ and let’s have a conversation about you, your goals, and your transparency.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

The Recipe For Successful Relationships: 1 Part Integrity, 1 Part Openness, 1 Part Trust

Have you ever met someone who is incapable of admitting when they made a mistake? Whether it is from fear of punishment, or a simple unwillingness to believe that they could be wrong, this inability to apologize is a serious hindrance on your business growth.

No one likes to mess up and admitting when you made a mistake can be difficult. However, doing so demonstrates an invaluable quality for any employee, or for that matter, any person to have: a strong commitment to integrity.

Integrity is the foundation of true growth and success. When someone possesses integrity, it allows you to depend upon them to get the job done, correctly and completely. That level of trust allows your business to do more and operate more efficiently.

Like any house, your relationships are built upon a foundation of integrity. When someone fails to honor a commitment, or doesn’t own up to their mistakes, it’s like taking a hammer and chipping away at the foundation you’ve established, bit by bit.

No, the house won’t fall immediately with a few chips in the foundation, but if these chips continue to occur over a long time, there will eventually, and inevitably, be a destructive failure.

Similes aside, the little promises we make to people throughout our day can add up. Whether this is in employee exchanges, a business partnership, or a marriage, all of your relationships are built upon your ability to trust that the little promises people make to you will be honored. If they are not, then you should also be able to trust that the person will be open and honest in their communication about their failures.

When looking at your own team, make a conscious effort to gauge the level of trust you have in each person. Who are the people you trust to see things through? Who are the people who could use some time to develop into a more dependable person?

Determining these answers is a big step to ensuring your team is a powerful and cohesive unit. When you count on your employees, you can delegate more responsibilities, freeing up your time to work on big picture business growth ideas. If any member of your team seems to be incapable of moving up on that meter, it may be a sign that they are not a fit. 

The Identity Dental Marketing team is here to serve you with honesty and integrity. Made up of trustworthy, ethical members, you can rely on us to honor our commitments and get the job done with the highest level of quality. Schedule a call and tell us what you need help with at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Dental Marketing | Tweak Your Mindset For a More Positive Practice

As you may have guessed, we spend a lot of time talking to dentists here at Identity Dental Marketing. One thing we hear frequently from our clients is the idea that “people don’t really want dentistry”. Whether it’s their time or their money, many doctors are under the impression that patients don’t want to spend anything on dental care. In fact, many of our clients say these things so often that they even start to believe them. When this happens, it has a noticeable impact on their practice, their team and their patients too.

Like a trickle down theory of negativity, your attitude is adopted by the members of your team, who lose motivation in their work. This, in turn, is felt by your patients who eventually stop returning to your practice. They do so either because they feel that their dental needs are not taken seriously by your team or they themselves start to undervalue your care in a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

Needless to say, this is bad news for everyone involved. You know the importance of great dental care, and so do we, which is why it is so important to insert this belief into everything we do.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who hasn’t had regular dental care. It isn’t because they don’t want your care. We’ve never met anyone who wanted gross, rotten teeth. Have you?

Instead, the reason they don’t seek regular care is likely because they don’t realize that they can afford it. These people want dentistry. They want to protect their teeth, they want to be pain free, and they want to be confident in their smiles. When you tweak your mindset to understand this, then you can truly make a difference in your life and the lives of your patients.

Help your patients imagine a life where they don’t have to hide their smiles or worry about the damage they’re causing to their mouth. Let each patient know these three things:

  • They deserve what you’re offering
  • Your care is accessible and affordable
  • You are there to support them and make great oral health possible

When you do this, you stop putting yourself in a losing position and start creating an atmosphere that recognizes the positivity of dentistry.

Identity Dental Marketing supports you in the creation of this atmosphere through marketing materials that express the positive value you bring to dentistry and attracts patients that need your care.  Get started on your ethical, effective marketing campaign at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

Join Our Free Facebook Group