What’s In It For Them? Use Your Team to Reach Your Goals

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As a dentist and business owner, you are capable of reaching your goals, whether they include attracting more new patients, increasing online reviews or growing the cosmetic side of your practice. However, it doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Having a strong team behind you not only allows you to focus more on dentistry, it also helps you to reach your goals in a more effective, efficient, and enjoyable manner.

Here a are three ways to do this:

1. Incentivize: Incentives can be a great way to encourage team members to work harder and stay motived. Once your team is fully motivated and engaged with the practice goals, the whole office can begin to reach its full potential. It is important to use incentives as rewards for stellar performance, not acknowledgment for status quo efforts. Together as a team come up with reachable goals that will be rewarded when met. For example, if the goal is to increase referrals each month, give the staff member who asked for the most a gift card to their favorite restaurant. When the staff feels appreciated and reaps the benefits of reaching the practice’s goals, they will work harder to achieve them.

2. Celebrate Wins: This is important no matter how big or small the win is. While it is nice to celebrate a big win, they are often only occasional. The celebration of a small win can have the same positive effect as the celebration of a big win. According to The Harvard Business Review, small wins can increase people’s engagement in the workplace and also their happiness while at work. Celebrating small wins evokes a sense of pride in an employee’s work making them want to create that feeling again by winning more. Small, but continuous steps forward by an entire organization result in larger goals being met or even exceeded.

3. Provide Feedback: Feedback lets your staff know how they are doing and allows for improvements to be made. Without feedback your staff has little to no idea how they are performing, which hinders progress towards your goals. When employees are provided with constructive feedback, the result is greater efficiency, higher functionality, and increased productivity. The staff is also happier because they have a clear picture into what they are doing correctly and what they can work to improve on. Constructive criticism is just one part of feedback though. Be sure to provide praise for actions that help the team to reach the practice goals. Reinforce those actions and you will see them multiply.

In the end, using your staff to help reach your goals will help more than just you; it will create a team that is excited, happy and motivated to work towards something bigger than themselves.

Create a Practice Manifesto and See Production Rise

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We’re approaching Q4 and the New Year is just around the corner. Are you on track to hit your goals in 2017? Have you even thought about your goals for 2018? If you feel a bit in the dark about where you stand, we have a starting point that will either revitalize your end-of-year strategy or jumpstart your 2018 production goals: create a practice manifesto.

What is a practice manifesto and why is it important?

A practice manifesto is similar to a mission statement in that it acts as you and your team’s guide for treating patients, living fulfilled lives, and achieving profitability in your practice. It is the compass from which each decision is made. It is the platform from which all care is delivered. Your manifesto may be written down, it may be verbally communicated, or it may be a series of images that visually represent your message. The important thing is that you have a manifesto and that each and every team member understands its meaning and is on board with putting it into practice on a daily basis.

In Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he tells a story of visiting a hotel that amazed him with its employees’ level of customer service and anticipation of customers’ needs. As he peered through the back door to the kitchen, he saw a sign that read, “Uncompromising, personalized service,” and when he asked one of the managers about it, the manager whipped out a full written mission statement that the entire hotel chain adhered to. Everyone who worked for the hotel believed in the idea of “Uncompromising, personalized service.” That was their manifesto, and it emanated out of every customer interaction.

Similarly, in a dental office, your manifesto may culminate in the idea of “Superior and Distinguished Care” or “Enduring Relationships, Lasting Confidence.” The core idea in your manifesto should be what permeates throughout your dental office. It is the feeling that each staff member puts forward and the differentiator that crosses each patient’s mind.

How does this increase production?

Once you have a manifesto, one that radiates throughout the practice, your employees and even your marketing (especially your marketing!), your ideal patients will flock to your office. The patients you desire value what you value. They want to receive the kind of care you offer. And more of your ideal patients means more productivity and more profitability.

Enlist a branding expert to help your office create a manifesto that will produce real results. Speak with a member of our team today.

 

 

Big Buzz Partners with Fortune Management

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Big Buzz, the nation’s third largest dental marketing agency, is pleased to announce a partnership with Fortune Management, a leading consulting firm serving the dental industry.

Fortune Management is committed to helping doctors and their teams turn dreams into reality. Big Buzz draws from more than 50 possible marketing solutions to craft the right strategy for each practice, resulting in higher patient numbers, production, and overall fulfillment.

Both Fortune and Big Buzz offer complimentary assessments, educational content and lectures to assist dentists and teams in growing their practices.

Jennifer Sims, Office Manager for Tafolla & Rikli Family Dentistry and a client of the two companies recently said, “Our practice has been working with Big Buzz and Fortune Management for a number of years now. We have greatly benefited from their expertise in marketing and practice development, and we appreciate the natural synergy between the two companies. As a result of the partnership between Big Buzz and Fortune Management, our practice is soaring to new heights!”

For additional information, please contact Nina Somps at (720) 350-4484 or nina@bigbuzzinc.com.

6 Ways to Leave a Positive Impact on your Practice, Your Patients, and the Dental Industry

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Leaving a legacy is a goal that most dentists aspire to meet. In the day-to-day throws of dentistry, it can be easy to slump into a routine and neglect the purpose of your work: to improve the lives of others. Follow the tips below to guarantee a positive impact on your practice, your patients, and your industry.

  1. Prioritize your patients. The relationships that you foster with your patients will help build trust, increase comfort, and make it more likely that they will refer others to your practice. Listen to your patients. Ask them open-ended questions and really make them feel heard. Remember, their health is in your hands, and that is so important. With positive doctor-patient relationships, satisfaction will increase all around. You will feel fulfilled practicing dentistry, your team will be busy and excited, and your patients will feel respected and valued. Not to mention, a positive relationship between a doctor and his or her patient often means more successful treatment.
  2. Take continuing education courses. Never stop learning. Staying up-to-date with dental technology and keeping your skills and your mind sharp will keep you more engaged in the practice, as well as improve your reputation as an expert dentist. Dentistry is always changing and evolving. Don’t get stuck in a familiar rut.
  3. Empathize with your patients. Empathy is simple in thought, but difficult in practice. As a dental professional, you know that a filling is an extremely simple procedure. Your patient does not. Step into his or her shoes and let them know that you hear them, that you understand their concerns, and that you’re on this journey with them. Empathy establishes trust and esteem. Trust and esteem translate into positive outcomes and satisfied patients.
  4. Invest in marketing. Marketing your practice is a surefire way to attract more patients and grow your reputation in your community. Depending on what your practice needs, marketing can get you more referrals, better online reviews, smoother team communication, etc. The list is extensive. Marketing will ensure that your practice will be successful long after you leave it.
  5. Act on your ideas. Have you ever had an idea to make a process more efficient? Perhaps you heard of a technique that will yield higher success rates? Share this at your study club. A great way to really make a name for yourself within the dental industry is to create something that benefits others.
  6. Give to something you care about. Whether your gift is money, time or labor, generosity will always be appreciated. It will also boost your practice reputation and brand awareness. Volunteer with groups that provide dental services to those less fortunate, provide toothbrushes to a homeless shelter, donate to research. Charity is key to improving the lives of others while you build your legacy.

We have #4 covered for you. Click here for a free marketing plan.

5 Ways the Dental Industry Will Change in 2018

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The dental industry is always changing and evolving, allowing for greater opportunity, growing competition, and more reason to be in-tune with the trends. Here are five ways the dental industry will change in 2018:

Online. Online. Online.

The Internet has changed the game in every industry, both for the consumer and the business. More than ever, consumers are scouring the Internet for information, education, and reviews before making a decision, especially in healthcare. This trend is only expected to rise, making it vital that your website is mobile-friendly, that you have plenty of positive online reviews, and that all of your online listings are accurate.

The Patient Experience Takes Precedent

It is imperative to ensure your patients have a timely, comfortable, and personable visit at your practice each and every time. Advanced technology, a modern office environment, and a welcoming atmosphere all add to the patient experience. Take it a step further by making each patient feel like your only patient; connect with them on a personal level and practice empathic listening.

Agile Financial Solutions

There is a significant lack of education among the general public about how dental benefits and insurance works. And with healthcare policies in flux, this will likely be an issue in 2018. Avoid the confusion and offer a variety of financial solutions, whether it be flexible payment options, in-house loyalty programs, or CareCredit.

The Rise of Group Practices

The number of single-doctor, single-location practices is shrinking, and will continue to do so. Much of this has to do with corporate dental, student loan debts, and the rising cost of opening a practice. By working in a group practice, you are entering into an already established patient base that likely has more capital to spend on things like marketing, coaching, consulting, etc.

Gender Shift

Historically, dentistry has been a male-dominated industry. The trends show that dental students as they enter school are essentially 50% male and 50% female, with a huge spike in young practicing doctors being female. As the older generation retires, the gender gap will continue to decrease.

 

Stay on top of the trends taking place in the dental industry to ensure your practice will stay ahead of the curve and continue to attract new patients.

Get Your Team on Board with Your Vision

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You didn’t get into dentistry to be average or just the same as the rest. Somewhere along the line, you established a strong, clear, and amazing vision for your practice and imagined the impact you wanted your dental care to have on your patients. In order to bring that vision to fruition, you need to have a driven, inspired, and equally amazing team backing you. Even more so, that team needs to be on board with your vision for your practice and your business.

A dedicated and hard-working employee can remain dedicated and hard-working without even being aware of your vision. In most cases, though, their dedication and hard work may be intrinsic. The first step, of course, is sharing your vision with your team. Beyond just reciting it, explain to them the reason behind the vision, how you came to it, and why it matters.

The next step is ensuring that each employee’s head and heart is connected to the business, the goals, and the vision. Show them how they have skin in the game – how they’ll benefit and advance both professionally and personally when the vision is achieved.

Further, people feel more fulfilled when they know the work they are doing is impactful. Working in the dental industry, this may seem obvious at times, but by keeping it top-of-mind and a main point of conversation, it will remain much more front and center. The work that you and your team do is changing lives; celebrate the successes, how you’ve impacted a patient’s life for the better, and how everything you do adds value to their lives.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, always be listening. By establishing a culture of listening and understanding, communication will evolve and trust will naturally develop. All of the aforementioned traits allow for a positive working environment, which naturally fosters growth, unity, and success. Allow your employees to come to you with questions, concerns, thoughts, ideas, and inspiration. This reciprocal relationship is exactly what you need to build, maintain, and achieve a unified vision for your practice.

Top Challenges for Dentists (And Tips for Resolving Them)

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Affordable Care Act

March 23, 2010 – Date enacted

January 20, 2017 – Date an executive order to begin repealing it was signed

Dental patients are confused and/or fearful of these changes

“Dental insurance, for the most part, isn’t covered under the Affordable Care Act. However, children’s dental coverage is a required benefit included on all ACA-compliant plans and cost assistance can be applied to any Marketplace plan that includes dental.”[1]

Resolution: Education

Dentists are going the extra mile to over-educate patients on how dental benefits work and what plans are accepted. They are also offering in-practice plans to better serve patients.

Consolidation of Providers

25.8

Percentage of dental practices with 10+ employees accounting for percent of total receipts in 1992

 Independent dentists have trepidation about this growth.

“Though dentistry has traditionally been referred to as a ‘cottage industry,’ not only are the cottages increasing in size, but they are more likely to be part of large multi-unit dental firms.”[2]

Resolution: Differentiation

Now more than ever, independent practices are investing in target market research, professional brand development and reputation management efforts in order to differentiate themselves in the market.

Encroaching Competition

42

Number of dental schools in 1950

65

Number of dental schools in 2013

This means that the marketplace is flooded with new dentists.

“In addition, several universities around the country are in various stages of planning to open a new dental school, although there is a great deal of uncertainty as to the number of these plans that will come to fruition.”[3]

Resolution: Collaboration

Gone are the days of the single practitioner working as a lone wolf. Independent dentists are pooling marketing budgets for broader and deeper market penetration, starting small group practices and collaborating in other creative ways to stay ahead of the growing competition.

Shift to Digital Marketing (and More Marketing Needed)

2008 – ADA marketing guidelines for dental practices were still quite strict

2016 – The year that the ADA published a Managing Marketing Module

“Where is your next new patient coming from? Do you know why patients are loyal to your practice? How can you avoid losing patients to another practice? The one answer to most of these questions is likely an easy one: ‘Marketing.’”[4]

Resolution: Marketing Prowess

Practices are no longer cobbling together marketing solutions, but are now hiring full-service marketing agencies to drive patients and production into the practice.

Bring Passion Back to Your Practice and Your Life

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Do you wake up and feel the weight of the day you’re about to have? The weight of the day before? Does each day drag on, yet the weeks fly by? Are you or your team feeling stagnant in your roles?

The passion and initial spark that drove you into the dental industry are still there and deserve to be reignited. Reenergize your work, your team, and your life, so that each and every day can unveil a new adventure, excitement, and learning opportunity. Below are three tips to help you get off the treadmill of your day-to-day sameness to revive your special spark.

1. Take Back Your Excitement
Remember your first day of school, the day you opened your practice, or the start of your most recent vacation – what were you most excited about? What are you lacking today? Are you missing the challenge of doing something new? Is there less opportunity, less growth? Manifest that feeling you’re lacking, and focus on that excitement.

2. Learn, Learn, and Learn Some More
The brain thrives on education, knowledge and learning. By constantly learning and challenging yourself (and your team) you are able to exercise your brain, practice critical thinking, deploy your leadership skills, and constantly improve yourself both personally and professionally. It doesn’t have to be something overly complicated; learn how to utilize shortcuts on your computer, take a new way to work, or practice long division with your children. Watch excitement return to your life by continually learning.

3. Use Your Practice to Live Out Your Ideal Lifestyle
If you really want to make a difference in your practice, consider attending the Get Off The Treadmill Summit, featuring Chuck Blakeman and Craig Spodak, DMD, in Dallas March 31 and April 1.

This event will help you and your team make more money in less time, smile more often, and get your brains back. Having your own practice doesn’t need to consume your life. This unique learning experience will revolutionize everything you know about success as a practice owner. In this two-day seminar, you will learn how to:
– Evolve your already thriving practice into a time and money producer
– Reignite your passion for dentistry
– Increase revenue, reduce expenses, and attract the best talent
– Build an environment where everyone is held accountable and is working toward unified goals
– Develop and evolve your network and community within the dental industry

Register Here!

From “Meh” to Amazing: How the Dentist Affects the Marketing

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Everything that the dentist does has a trickle-down effect on the team and the practice.

Everything.

And as Fred Joyal famously said, “Marketing is everything.”

When the dentist is in chaos, the practice feels hectic, team members are disjointed and patients may be confused and disloyal.

When the dentist is apathetic, the practice becomes slow, team members have a sense of lethargy and it may become difficult to attract new patients, earn treatment acceptance or keep patients.

When the dentist is passionate and visionary, the practice comes to life and team members are animated, open and willing. People love this energy, and patients naturally flock to it and stick. This is where true growth, success, and prosperity happen.

Here are six ways to go from “meh” to amazing:

  1. Decide what you want – and why. It’s not enough to simply say, “I want more new patients.” Why do you want that? What impact will you have had on your corner of the world 100 years from now? What are your biggest dreams? Write down a decisive statement about what you want and why. For example:
    1. “I have decided to grow a multi-million dollar small group practice because the dental industry needs more dentists like me.”
    2. “I have decided to hire the best and brightest associates right out of residency because they deserve the experience of working for a practice like mine.”
    3. “I have decided to attract two implant cases every month because I am passionate about transforming smiles and the world.”
  2. Take action. Next, write down the specific actions you will take to reach your goal. Oftentimes we feel like we are in action, but we may not actually be, or we may be taking the wrong action. By outlining your action steps in written format, you will be able to regularly review your plan and adjust it as needed.
  3. Inspire your team. Regularly share your decisive statement and plan with your team. Invite them to help deploy the action plan. Delegate as much as you can so that you can stay focused on the big picture rather than getting lost in the weeds. Revisit the plan together at least twice monthly in order to stay on point.
  4. Find your tribe. Add to your plan a list of people who you can call on when the going gets rough or when you want to celebrate wins. Your team is certainly on the list. You might add mentors and coaches or consultants with whom you have worked. Consider including any spiritual advisors you may have in your life. And don’t forget your children, parents and/or significant other. Once you complete your list, contact each person in your tribe to share your decisive statement and plan. Ask if they will each support you in your journey to success. And reach out regularly to prevent isolation as a practice owner, which is very common and catastrophic to momentum.
  5. Mind what you feed your brain. Next, add a list of books, podcasts, TEDTalks and other media will best support your plan. If your plan is centered on growing a large practice and team, consider reading Total Leader, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and How to Win with People. If your plan is focused on creating wealth, you might read Think and Grow Rich, The Law of Success and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. If your plan is about attracting more implant patients, try KABOOM!: The Method Used By Top Dentists for Explosive Marketing Results or Marketing Implant Dentistry.
  6. Go to night school. Keep your entire plan with the decisive statement, specific action plan, delegation notes, tribe list and reading list in a place where you can read it every day. The best time of day is at night just before lights out.

In working with hundreds of dental practice across the nation over the last 10 years, we find that the ones enjoying the best results from marketing are those that are lead by a visionary dentist. And by following the steps above, that can easily be you!

 

 

 

 

How to Impact Your Team and the Dental Industry

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You are more than just a dentist. Your thoughts, your work, and your insights have ripple effects on your team, your community, and the dental industry on the whole. Here are five ways to positively impact everyone in your sphere of influence.

  1. Hire the best of the best. The very best dental team members attract and retain your patients, and thereby bring in more production to the practice. Beyond that, they are great to work with, which means you are more fulfilled. And when you have the production and fulfillment that you want, you are more able to have a positive impact on the world around you.
  2. Implement a rewards and incentives program. Even the very best employees get sidelined without clarity, direction, and incentive. Articulate your vision for the practice in writing and share it with the team. Help them develop individual action plans for helping the practice reach its goals. Work with each of them to develop clear benchmarks for success. (They will be different for each role.) Finally, show them what they will get when they reach and exceed those benchmarks. The rewards could be bonuses, gift cards, time off, etc. Once the action is tied to an outcome that directly impacts them, watch production and engagement soar!
  3. Learn and teach leadership. Read texts such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Think and Grow Rich and The Power of Positive Thinking. Immerse yourself in podcasts and videos to learn leadership skills such as proactivity, openness, willingness, big-picture thinking and inspiring others. Get into coaching with one of the masters at Fortune Management. (We don’t get anything for recommending them; we just love them.) When you truly learn leadership skills, you can then teach them to the dental team. A whole practice full of leaders is a high-impact practice!
  4. Become known for one thing. Maybe you want to be the implant dentist in your market. Or the go-to cosmetic dentist. Or the sleep apnea expert. Fine-tune your marketing strategy to attract just the right patient to your practice. Take it a step further by developing podcasts, videos, and lectures on your area of expertise.
  5. Back a cause. One dentist that we know started a dental clinic in Africa. Another sits on the board of Kids in Need of Dentistry. Another rehabilitates the mouths of recovering methamphetamine addicts. Find the one corner of the world that you wish was better and explore how you can get involved to inspire change.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”