Beyond The Chair (Part 1 of 2): “Why You’re Bleeding Thousand Dollars Every Month & Have ZERO Clue That It’s Happening”

Welcome to our new series, “Beyond The Chair”. 4x Inc. 500/5000 CEO, Graig Presti M.B.A., discusses the issues facing today’s practice owner, and how to stay competitive in your market. Our discussion this week focuses on running your practice like a true business.

This week, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The reason why you’re losing several thousand dollars every month by not reviewing phone calls and patient interactions like a hawk
  • How tiny verbiage changes or tonal adjustments can result in HUGE boosts in profits and production
  • 3 essential rules to remember as you build your staff and office culture that will ensure authority and respect, even with “bad apple” employees

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Transcription of Part 1:

Benjamin: Hi, welcome. My name is Benjamin Portnoy with Local Search for Dentist, I am the Director Of Marketing; this is the C.E.O. of Local Search for Dentists, Graig Presti. We’re here in Graig’s backyard and we are talking about managing your staff, delegation, running your business.

Graig: Yep.

Benjamin: So, what do you think, is this a good idea; delegation, running your business?

Graig: Well, running your business is always a good idea, hopefully, no, I think when it comes to managing team members and having to deal with all of that, I think there’s a lot of stress that comes along with it and you know, especially in an dentist office, right? You are in a smaller space with these people you know, eight to ten hours a day, multiple times a week, very close quarters. There are a lot of personalities and it can become an environment that can be dramatic and hostile, and there’s ebb and flows and unfortunately in dentistry, stats show, that turnover for staff is extremely high and you know people bounce from practice to practice, in and out of dentistry and usually the only consistent thing is the actual dentist, him or herself.

So I think when it comes to managing your team, I think you have to manage them like a hawk and I think at least in most instances with a practice, you do want to manage a lot of close level, right. I think you should be recording every phone call that comes into the office. I think you should be reviewing those phone calls and you should be grading that I mean, whether you outsource it to you know all start …, or Scheduling Institute, or something that you need to really understand what is the front line person saying on the phone, that’s the first contact with the patient, it needs to be on point, all right, you will reviewing those constantly.

Benjamin: Yeah.

Graig: OK. And that’s something where that seems a little micromanage-ish, but it’s your business, because at the end of the day the person answering the phones, they can leave and go get another job. Your name’s on this building, your name’s on this LLC, you hold all the risk, you absolutely need to know what’s being said on the phone. I think a lot of times, most people become comfortable with that, “Mary’s been with me for twenty years. She does a great job on the phone.”

Well, when was the last time you actually audited one hundred phone calls of Mary’s and listened to exactly what is said? Are you missing appointments that you should otherwise be getting, right? I guarantee there is stuff there that you can find, absolutely without question.

Benjamin: Yeah, and you don’t have to be a jerk about it either, you just aware of what’s going on in your business and when you really think about it, Mary, as that gatekeeper, controls a lot of the course of where your business is going, because if one small action or one wrong word is turning people off, you need to know about it and if that gets adjusted or fixed, that can course correct the business into more cases, more profit.

Graig: Yeah, there’s a lot there, yeah. I mean, I think if you look at it, I mean I think your point of there’s a lot of fear there where the dentist doesn’t want to start before recording phone calls and doesn’t want to start reviewing them with the team is because it can be uncomfortable and you know now they’re going to think I’m micromanaging them, and all this …,  and in an instance you know, to be honest with you, all you’re trying to do is make the business run better and more efficiently. So therefore, they can have a job for a longer period of time and everyone is better because the business is healthier, because the phones are being dealt with appropriately.

Benjamin: Yeah.

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Graig: I mean, let’s look at it you know, let’s look at the banks right, you called your credit card company or you call you know your cable provider, your internet provider right, what’s the first thing you hear when you call? “This message may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes”…because they understand that that’s the frontlines, the value is we’re going to understand what’s being said on phone, so we can provide more value to our customers which is no different than it would be in a dental practice, and I think having those checks and balances in those places are important.

Take half of the Friday, take the day off and have these things that you’re going to review, you’re going to review financials, “I’m going to review phone calls, I’m going to make sure everything is running appropriately in terms of the checklists for managing hygienists and office managers and you know, so on and so forth.”

So yeah, you need to wear that hat, because right now, if you’re watching this video, I guarantee there’s a few thousand dollars every single month you’re probably losing, that something’s gone wrong with the phones, absolutely.

Benjamin: Now, let’s say you’ve done that and you’ve gotten to a point where you realize OK, it’s something needs to change, number one, how do you approach that and in a way that’s not threatening but is still assertive enough to get your point across, so that there is an adjustment and if you get some blowback to this where you have staff members, maybe not even in response to this conversation in particular but you have staff members who are not treating you, or your customers, or other staff members with the amount of respect that is necessary.

Graig: Well, I think first and foremost you can’t be afraid to fire people, I mean at the end of the day, if someone doesn’t want to comply with making the business better and great according to your standards, which by the way, those are the only standards that matter, are yours, and you have to be willing, even if they’ve been with you for two decades, you have to be willing to let them go. Because let’s face it, there is someone that can replace them, and within a reasonable amount of time do exactly things the way that you like, and you’ll be fine. You know, it isn’t going to be the end of the world, right? So you have to be OK with if they’re not OK with it, and if they’re not OK with it, they don’t want to play ball. So, maybe it’s time for you to part ways and put the business together the way that you would like it, OK.

But to the flip side of that is if you do get blowback and you’re not going to let go and, which is always not what you want to do, but you can’t be afraid to do it, is you need to make sure that they’re all in on it right? They need to have skin in the game too.

So, if this is going to make the practice better and run great and make you more money and serve more people, then you need to save those words and if they’re really whole bent on it, you can’t keep up, I think conveying the value to the practice is so critical, I mean, and we do hear about these horror stories where the dentist goes to a conference, take 72 pages of notes, learns all these great things, comes back, has a team meeting, is going to implement ten new thing, and everyone is like, “I don’t know… this is so annoying. This isn’t going to make a difference, this is going to weigh me down.” You get that sort of “woe is me” kind of thing.

Well that all starts with the business owner and the culture that you prevail in your business.

If you go back from a conference and you go to your team and you offer suggestions that’s going to help the business and half of those people are telling you how bad of an idea it is, you need to get rid of half of those people, because they’re the reason you’re not achieving the goals that you should be.

Benjamin: Yeah.

Graig: Because you came with these great ideas, these great things, you know there’s value there but you’re being told by someone who has no skin in the game, that they’re bad. You’ve got to clean up the garden sometimes and then eventually what will happen is that as you get rid of the bad apples, and you put in with good apples every time you come back from a conference. Everyone’s in and it’s family and everyone’s sort of moving that train down the tracks appropriately, and I think it’s hard for you know doctors to just sort of understand that firing and hiring is part of life, when it comes to setting those goals and those expectations of what you want your team to do.

Learn How To Get A Custom Marketing Plant To Beat Your Town’s Competition By Clicking The Link Below: 

I want to help you put an action plan together to get your practice moving in the right direction. Do NOT be a stick in the mud, who refuses to change. This year can be that year for change. Let’s do it!

One word of WARNING: This action plan will disappear with out notice! So don’t delay.

Check it out by clicking the link below:

Be Bold And Make Things Happen!
Graig Presti, MBA
CEO Local Search For Dentists®; A 4X Inc 500/5000 Approved Dental Marketing Agency

PS- Life does get in the way but THIS is the simplest way to keep patients on track, reactivating patients and SPARKING that REFERRAL fire all in one fell swoop with almost ZERO effort what so ever….

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One of my private clients (who will remain nameless) is already breaking his competition in half ….buying practices, just killing doctors who won’t change.

So, if you’re struggling with making heads or tails of what to do that can specifically help you grow your practice then this action plan is a “glove fit for you”.

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