Tag: dental consulting

Countdown to Hinman 2014: Will We See You There?

Yes, I’m really this excited.

Jill and I are thrilled to attend the 102nd Annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta, GA next week. Although we’ve opted not to rent a booth this year, I’d like to personally extend an invitation to connect with us and schedule an appointment time. We can discuss the latest and greatest in social media, blogging, and digital marketing for your practice, and we’ll answer your questions about creating a strong online presence that strengthens your relationship with new and existing patients.

By the way, have you checked the Dental Junkie events calendar lately? We’ve added over 70 events from now through the end of 2014, with hundreds more soon to be posted. You’ll find dental conferences, annual sessions, expos, CE opportunities, and workshops from across the country—nay, the world!

It’s nearly impossible to say what I’m most excited about, but these are my top 10 courses and special events picks for the 2014 Hinman meeting:

No. 1: Speakers. So Many Speakers.

Previous years’ speakers have been nothing short of fascinating, and I’m sure the latest crop won’t disappoint. Dr. Anthony Cardoza will be on hand to discuss forensic dentistry, and I’ll be interested to hear from local practitioner Dr. Jimmy Eubank as he shares insights into restorative dentistry and occlusion. Dr. Mark Hyman always has interesting things to say about motivation and team building, and Dr. John Svirsky may very well blow your mind with his discussion of oral pathology. Dr. Svirsky rocks a bowtie like nobody’s business, and it’s obvious from his speaker photo that this is a man who gets very excited about oral pathology.

No. 2: Creating Vision and Value for Patients

In this post, I pointed out that one of our clients’ biggest challenges is marketing to cost-conscious patients at a time when many view preventive care as elective. Imtiaz Manji discusses the power of dentistry to effect positive changes in patients’ lives, both clinically and socially. Manji emphasizes the need to create a unique vision that encompasses their needs as patients, people, and consumers. Course Th303, 3/27/2014, 8am – 11am

No. 3: The Exhibit Hall

I could (and probably will) spend hours perusing the exhibits. The Exhibit Hall features charity events, food, charging stations, vendors, table clinics, and thousands of people who share your passion for all things dental. New this year is the “Dentists Only” session. On March 27, from 9am – 11am, attendance will be limited to dentists only. Plan ahead with the interactive 2014 Exhibit Hall map, which you’ll find here.

No. 4: Health and Wellness Track

Can’t decide on your courses? Opt for a track, which is something of an all-inclusive program comprised of several speakers and workshops. Altogether, you’ll hear from five speakers, each with an hour-long discussion of topics to include oral cancer, patient medication safety, longevity, cardiovascular disease, and the effects of lifestyle on chronic illnesses. Course Sa270, 3/29/2014, 8:30am – 3pm

No. 5: Networking Reception and Panel Discussion With Women Dentists

As a woman, mother, and business owner, I understand the importance of balancing family life and work. Panel members will discuss practice management, career advancement, and what it means to be a woman and a dentist. Course Sa411, 3/29/2014, 12pm – 1:30pm

No. 6: 21st Century Dentures: New Ideas, Techniques, and Technology

Baby Boomers are more knowledgeable about personal oral health than their predecessors, and they’ll no doubt seek out the best treatments and care. Dr. Joseph Massad shares his thoughts on improved impression techniques, occlusal schemes, and jaw relationship recording. Course Sa373, 3/29/2014, 1:30pm – 4:30pm

No. 7: The Fun Way to Proficiency With Digital Dental Photography

Who wouldn’t want the chance to become the Ansel Adams of intraoral photography? Dr. Mark Kleive leads a hands-on workshop for capturing images that improve communication between your team and your patients. Role-playing abounds. Course Sa164, 3/29/2014, 9:30am – 12:30pm

No. 8: Ask and Ye Shall Receive! The Art of Getting to “Yes”

In last week’s post, I touched on the benefits of internal marketing for case acceptance and patient referrals. In this course, Dr. Mark Hyman offers advice on selling services, building strong dental teams, and the critical nature of listening to your patients. Course Sa361, 3/29/2014, 9:30am – 12:30pm

No. 9: Back to the Eighties Auxiliary Reception

Arcade games, live music, a photo booth, and a costume contest? Do tell! Open to hygienists, office staff, lab techs, and assistants, the reception will be held at the Omni Hotel ballroom and features a buffet, dancing, and drawings. Complimentary beer and wine, as well as a cash bar. Bless them, they even offer free shuttle service to nearby hotels. Friday, 3/28/2014, 7pm – 11pm.

No. 10: Messages to Our Military

Not a purely dental affair, but an incredible gesture nonetheless. Stop by Booth #137 in the Exhibit Hall to send an appreciative postcard to American soldiers serving overseas. More than 2,500 attendees participated last year, and I know we can do even better in 2014.

About the author: Jill Nastasia, CEO and Director of Business Development at MDPM Consulting, lives, breathes, and dreams dentistry. From masterminding social media to forging brand identity, she is passionate about her clients’ dental practices and patient experience. She’s also passionate about Flock of Seagulls and has every intention of winning the 80s costume contest.

Social Networking for Dentists Made Easy!

You’ve heard about using Facebook for your dental office. You may have attended a seminar about social networking or read books on the subject. Perhaps you want to Tweet, post, blog, comment, and update, but you just don’t have time. How can you reap the benefits of social networking without squeezing time from your already hectic schedule? The answer is simple. Call MDPM.

What is Social Networking for Dentists?

“Social” has to do with friendly companionship, according to Dictionary.com. “Networking” relates to a group that shares information and services of a common interest. So, social networking for dentists involves a friendly sharing of information about health, wellness, dentistry, and your local community. It has to be personal; it has to be genuine; it has to be interesting to your patients.

Why Use Social Networking in Marketing?

To dominate search results for a variety of targeted keywords with the ultimate goal of increasing your patient base.

Social networking involves daily digital interaction with your current patients, as well as reaching potential patients with your brand. Done properly, social networking is part of an overall search engine optimization plan that includes website optimization, regularly posted blogs, as well as local listings and original videos, articles, and press releases.

The more places you are online, the more posts and articles are associated with your practice, the higher you’ll rank on Google. Read More

Busy or Profitable? Your Choice.

Today, veteran dental management consultant Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting shares insight on increasing profitability in the dental practice. Subscribe to the Jodena Consulting blog by clicking this link.

My most recent blog post listed four ways to increase revenue in a dental practice. In retrospect, I would like to add a fifth. It is an important strategy that relates specifically to the topic of efficiency in the doctor’s appointment schedule for a busy dental practice.

The most important management system in a dental practice is scheduling, because the only thing we have to sell is our time. Yet over the years, I have observed that many practices are terribly inefficient in the way the doctor is scheduled to deliver treatment, wasting upwards of two hours every day. I didn’t say they weren’t busy–I said they weren’t efficient. There is a huge difference between being busy and being profitable.

I believe that when an effective scheduling system is introduced into a practice:

  • the stress level of every one can be significantly reduced.
  • the appointment backlog can be cut in half.
  • the need for an associate is often eliminated.
  • production is increased dramatically without raising fees or altering the mix of the practice.
  • every hour in the practice becomes a productive hour no matter what procedures are being performed. Read More

Dentists as Experts In the Media

Does your dental practice website have a page that features published articles, news clips, and books published by your doctors and team members? If not, it should! We are in the process of compiling archives for our own “Media & Publications” page here on the MDPM website. See our new page here. Along with patient testimonials, a webpage touting your published works is a great adjunct to any online dental marketing strategy.

Do you dream of being the Dr. Oz of dentistry? One of the advantages of Internet marketing is that you can quickly position yourself (and your team members) as an expert in your field of expertise. Adding a page to your website is just one way to start sculpting your expert status.

In addition to sharing a sampling of your published works on your dental website, blogging can give you expert status. Whether the purpose of your dental practice blog is marketing through SEO or providing information to potential and current patients, there’s not any reason in the world that you can’t also leverage your blog to promote yourself as an expert. MDPM writes and posts optimized blogs for our clients. As an adjunct to our SEO-focused strategy, we encourage dentists to send us their own posts. We can then translate the submission into an optimized blog, as well as an article to submit to online distribution sources. The blog post may be picked up by a large publication, local newspaper, or (at the least) read by your potential patients.

To add more power to your post, MDPM can send the text in an email blast to current clients (you provide the email list). We can further enhance your exposure by developing a press release about your expertise and submit it to local news stations and publications.

Don’t be shy about your accolades. In the professional world, those accolades can build your future — only if they’re marketed properly.

For more information, call Jill at 972-781-8861 or email info@moderndentalmarketing.com.

Case Acceptance by Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting

Today’s guest blog is by dental consultant Dr. Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting. A former dentist himself, Mayer has helped tons of dental practices to achieve better profits, retention, and publicity since 1989. You can learn more ways to improve your practice by subscribing to Mayer’s blog.

Needless to say, it has been tough sledding for any business owner battling the effects of the “great recession”. But lately, everything I read is predicting a moderate rebound in the economy with job creation and less  unemployment. Up until now, people have been understandably cautious with their discretionary spending, so there is a lot of pent-up demand for nonessential services. Thus the environment for promoting comprehensive and cosmetic dentistry is probably the best that it has been in almost three years. How can you take advantage?

1. You need to promote “wants” based dentistry instead of “needs” based dentistry. Patients will pay out-of-pocket for what they want, yet will continue to depend on insurance to pay for what they need. Your mission is to get patients excited and emotional about what dentistry can do for them. Please take the time to schedule treatment consultations where you offer choices. Choices empower patients. Remember that people like to buy – but they don’t like to be sold. I am very excited about how dramatic case presentation can be by using an I-Pad.

2. You need to realize that your fees are not preventing people from accepting comprehensive dentistry but rather a lack of flexibility in payment options that you currently offer. If you can give someone a way to budget their payments for the dentistry, and they really want the dentistry, they will accept the treatment.  Re-examine how well your financial coordinator is presenting Care Credit or other outsourced arrangements. Scripting and verbal skills are so important. Outsourcing should be a first choice rather than a last resort. You can’t afford to be the bank. By outsourcing financial arrangements and offering extended payment plans, you give your patients the opportunity to pay for the dentistry on a monthly basis, yet you get paid right away. Read More

5 Social Networking Tasks Dentists Can Hire a Teenager to Do

In a Biznik article, Sue Cartwright, Social Media Marketing Expert, tells us: “With 78% of consumers trusting peer reviews when only 14% trust advertisements, it is essential to be involved in your online community, to build a good reputation and know what people are saying about you. To do this effectively you need to engage in conversations, monitor the outcomes, join the debate, help others and show customers you care as a means to building a loyal network.”

Having been in dental marketing for years, I know that most dentists don’t have the staff or time to invest in an all-out social media marketing campaign. I do think, however, there are a few things your front office person can do to get your office engaged on Facebook. You can even hire your teenage daughter to do these things. Seriously, $10 an hour, 5 hours a week – not much of an investment. The return will show up, most likely, in patients being more loyal to you, giving you free word-of-mouth referrals, and remembering to keep up with recall visits and follow up with treatment. Why? Because you’ll be engaged, showing that you care!

You’ll need a human page and a fan page to make this work. Here’s how to do it: Read More

Wait Until You See This!!

This week’s guest blog is by dental consultant Dr. Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting. A former dentist himself, Mayer has helped tons of dental practices achieve better profits, retention, and publicity since 1989. In this blog, he discusses the use the iPad in case presentations. You can learn more ways to improve your practice by subscribing to Mayer’s blog.

In my opinion, one of the major ingredients for successful case presentation is to take the time to schedule second visit consultations with your patients and present treatment choices. A picture truly is worth 1000 words–and more and more dentists have become adept at showing photos. I think that a good digital camera is perhaps the most important piece of equipment you can own, and something that in this day and age, you just can’t practice without! Loading these photos into a computer–perhaps even organizing them into a PowerPoint presentation–is a great way to communicate. We have come a long way from showing x-rays (patients have no clue what you are showing them) and drawing squiggly lines on the bracket table cover.

But this technology seems 19th century compared to showing photos on an I-Pad. The vivid LED backlit display makes viewing photos on the I-Pad extraordinary. I have never seen anything so crisp and clear. You can see and touch the photos in intuitive new ways. And using the multi-touch screen to move and drag and enlarge photos is so high-tech and very impressive to your patient.

In preparation for your treatment presentation, take the photos from a little further away than you might normally do, because with the I-Pad they can be significantly enlarged. Your digital photos are imported into the I-Pad directly from your camera either with a camera connection kit or a connector to the SD card.  Use some type of basic photo editing program to perhaps brighten them and clean them up.  The I-Pad can also be synced to your computer so that the photos are stored in both places.

At your consultation visit with the patient, instead of the two of you looking at a computer screen at images that can’t be manipulated, the whole experience becomes so much more intimate for the patient when you sit right next to them  holding the I-Pad and you start moving the photos around. And of course, when you turn the I-Pad, the photos automatically align with the new position of the I-Pad.

I was blown away with the impressiveness of this technology and the cost is pretty minimal–about $450. I predict that once you try this way of presenting treatment, you’ll be as excited as I am and you’re never going back to the way that you use to show your photos. I would very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Keeping Patients Happy, Asking for Referrals: The BEST ROI for dentists!

This week’s guest blog is by dental consultant Dr. Mayer Levitt of Jodena Consulting. A former dentist himself, Mayer has helped tons of dental practices to achieve better profits, retention, and publicity since 1989. In this blog, he discusses some ideas for phone etiquette in the dental office. You can learn more ways to improve your practice by subscribing to Mayer’s blog.

As a dental management consultant, I advise my clients on strategies that will attract new patients to their practice. However, I balance the importance of attracting new patients with the essential task of keeping faithful, current patients happy. We should not overlook the importance of maintaining our current patient base.

It’s much wiser, financially, to retain your patients than to lose them and seek new patients.

In a report I read recently, an interesting truth was revealed. You see, patients don’t often leave their dentist in the first few years of the relationship. Instead, they fall off the map after about six years. Six years! Why? The main reason is that the patients who leave began to feel unappreciated, forgotten. At first, they were treated like royalty, but as years passed, they became a number.

How to keep your patients happy:

Praise them; thank them; handle them with care. Let them know, from the moment they walk through your doors, that you and your team are happy to see them again. Give them reasons not only to respect and trust you, but to like you!

Don’t give your patients the six-year itch.

Your current patients return to your office every six months for cleanings and checkups, and more often for restorative or cosmetic treatment. The dollar value associated with each existing patient is huge. In addition, when your current patients are pleased with your practice, they’ll spread the word to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family. You cannot buy that kind of awesome advertising.

You can leverage the power of word-of-mouth advertising by educating your team to ask patients for referrals.

If you do not ask your established patients for referrals, you are missing a golden opportunity. Here’s the key to making the request professional, consistent, and effective: ask for a referral when a patient thanks you. Read More

Today’s Guest Blog: Hire the Best Person and Train for Dental Success

This blog was provided by Warschaw Learning Institute and written by Elaine Dickson. Let me know what you think!

Dr. Bill Sasser, a periodontist in Charleston, South Carolina puts it very simply.  “I don’t base my employee’s salary on the position, but on the person.  A good employee is worth everything, and a bad one is worth nothing.”  In dentistry as in many other businesses, all employees are not “created equal”.  Just because someone has more “experience” does not necessarily make them a better candidate than another person who has not worked in the field.

Limiting your hiring process by recruiting only those who have worked in dentistry can be very hazardous to practice growth, because you may not get what you are paying for.  Just because someone interviews well and has worked in a position for awhile, does not always mean they have been successful.  This depends on the person, and it’s the right combination of attitude, character traits, experience and personality that makes a truly valuable employee.  Experience is only one piece of the puzzle, and the question you must ask yourself is “what type of experience?”  Sometimes experience translates into bad habits that can encumber your progress and actually cause your practice to digress.

People make all the difference.  What good does it do to spend thousands of dollars on continuing education and implement practice management systems designed to insure effectiveness, when you do not have the right people to carry these systems out?   As a dentist/practice owner it is not humanly possible for you to perform chairside and oversee all of the administrative or even clinical systems of your practice at the same time. Read More