Test Blog

 Measuring Results

Prove to me that your marketing program works. Make new patient acquisition costs scientific. ROI starts and ends with measuring results, quantifiable results. Numbers can mislead but never lie!  Can marketing become a science?  Absolutely!

In 1996 I flew my entire team to Utah for strategic planning meeting. Since the beginning of my business ownership I have been 100% committed to aligning my company mission, vision and goals. My thinking is twice per year the owner should stop what you are doing and communicate clearly with your team in a comfortable learning environment. Staying in a cabin in Sundance Utah seemed the perfect place.  This year just like all SPM meetings I hired a marketing coach to teach my team the importance of marketing. We were ready to listen and change.

The marketing coach flew from Sacramento CA to teach.  Her first question to our team was “who needs to market”?  We spent 20 minutes defining the dentist that needed marketing. The new practice. The young dentist. The dentist who clearly struggles with communication. The foreign dentist. The bad dentist. I remember as if it were yesterday how upset she became. She actually physically started to leave. Walk out!  I nearly had to tackle her. She spun around to me and said “I don’t have time for companies that don’t get it”?  I finally stopped her and asked why are you so upset?  She quickly explained everyone needs to market. The next two days certainly changed the way I think.

She went on to explain the race is on!  The race for New patients. The golden era of dentistry is upon us. She was ahead of her time. The race is still on and there are companies far in the lead.

Take Clearchoice for example. Wow what a marketing machine!  They say they don’t compete with the average Joe dentist. They say that they fill a niche that they can fill. If anything they think they are good for the average dentist. They couldn’t be more wrong. Yes they fill a hole in dental marketing. Yes they target the dental phobic. Yes they don’t compete with the average Joe based on money or disc out dentistry. And yes many of you reading this right now have done cases that did not accept treatment at the clear choice factory. However;  you are absolutely wrong if you think you don’t compete with them.

Everyone knows the lasik story right…  They are the lasik story for dental implants. Wow how can you not respect that. Marketing directly to the consumer through TV ads, radio, billboards. Go to their web site and drool. They have taken they direct education of the general public to new heights. Better yet go to one of there events and watch magic happen. The event I went to had just about 100 total people. I would guess 50 potential buyers. My estimate is that 25 scheduled before they left the event and they close about half of those (I have several friends and past employees that influence this guess). Considering the average case runs over $30k that is not a bad event.

So how can you learn how to make marketing a science?  Track everything with a unique phone number and start recording calls. Most companies do it. You hear this call may be recorded for training purposes right?  You bet they record calls so they can track results. Customer service results. Marketing results. The most critical piece of equipment in your practice is the phone. Not the Cerec, laser or the high speed hand piece. The single most effective change we have made in the past 5 years is call tracking and recording.

Does anyone else feel the way I did?  I felt like ALL marketing companies played the shell game. You know where is the object?  You never pick right. Here it is. Now it’s gone. How can you choose marketing without being robbed?  Don’t get SOLD a bill of hot air.  Market, track results, quantify your acquisition of NP costs and prove your choices work. Connie with Hycomb asked me a curious question I will never forget, “is your dentistry so bad that your community would be better served not knowing who you are and what you stand for or are your proud of your work”. It is absolutely your job to educate the consumer on what you do who you are and your unique buying opportunity. Don’t let others in our industry create the perception that they do it better faster or with more love and caring than you do.

Motivating Self & Others



   Motivation – The processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal.

Intensity – How hard a person tries.

Direction – Where effort is channeled.

Persistence – How long is effort maintained.







  • Different for everybody
  • Can change over time
  • Fuel for “The Journey”


  • Short Term-Extrinsic (Carrots)

Comes from outside the person, such as pay, bonuses and other tangible rewards.

  • Long Term-Intrinsic (Values/Mission)

Comes from the inside – a person’s internal desire to do something, due to such things as interest, challenge and personal satisfaction.

  • All Motivation is “Self Motivation”

Have a cause.

Have a dream (a big dream).

Be hungry.

Run your own race.

Take one more step.

Let go of the past.


  • On THE ONE THING – That guarantees success!

FOCUS on Yourself First

  • If you want to double your motivation.

–      Double the time you spend on yourself.

–      Give yourself permission to work on you.

–      Attend a Lotus workshop!

  • Create more “Peak Moments” in your life.

FOCUS on Relationships

  • Family / Team / Patients / Community
  •  Family first.
  •  Don’t spin too many plates – Just say NO!
  • 80 / 20 Rule

FOCUS on Delegation

Delegation – assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities.

  • The opposite of effective delegation is micromanagement.
  • Can save time and $$$.
  • Will help in building the skills of others, as well as motivating them.
  • Get the monkey of your back.

FOCUS on Action

  • What does action look like?
  • Inaction is the opposite of motivation.
  • Utilize “Action Planners” and agreements.

Write down the specific actions you have decided to take in the last 30 days to create your dream practice.

Write down the top 5 things you want to change in the next 30 days to move your practice towards your dream.


Possibility – A thing or event that may be the case.  The state or fact of being likely or possible, likelihood. 

  • Be open to possibility – What is the upside, what is the downside?
  • Whatever you can dream of can be possible!
  • What are the different “Income Centers” in your practice?
  • What other areas are possible as Income Centers?

“The One Thing”

  • What is it to you?  Your team?


Spend quality time with your team and team members.

Give feedback and coach.

Be a believer (Empower your team).

Theory X

The assumption that employees dislike work, will attempt to avoid it, and must be coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment if they are to perform.

•Theory Y

The assumption that employees like work, are creative, seek responsibility, and can exercise self-direction and self-control.


Gourmet Restaurant Exercise

  • “Product” plays a very small (yet important) role in the overall experience
  • A crown is a crown is a crown???
  • It’s an investment in a “Trust Account”


–      Make regular deposits into their emotional Bank Accounts (10:1)

–      It pays long term dividends

–      Allows you to make withdrawals when necessary

–      Promotes Trust

  • Invest in a work environment that everyone is proud of.

–      1st Class Facility

–      Newer technology

–      Nice Break Room

–      Team Building Activities

  • Day of Beauty
  • Fun Days
  • Secret Pals
  • Appropriate Pranks
  • General Fun
  • Shopping Spree
  • Bring in Lunches
  • Dress Up Days
  • Team Goal Setting

–      They want to be a part of something “Going Somewhere.”

–      More energy is created if they strive for a reward.

–      Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

.    Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

–      Creatively and Enthusiastically reward in a timely manner.

  • Grab Bag / Team Outings / C.E. Trips / Fun Days, etc.
  • Why don’t dentists deal with Team Motivation?

–      Busier building walls – don’t let team in

–      Takes time

–      Takes effort

–      Might even cost money to motivate

–      It’s worth the time and the investment

  • DO IT!  NOW!!

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a process, and working together is success.”     Henry Ford


“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined efforts of each individual.”    Vince Lombardi


Immediate Action Items

  1. Put Team Motivation in the budget (1-3%).
  2. Schedule Power Lunches.
  3. Thank the team for being who they are.
  4. Create a place in your calendar for your first of next team trip.

–    Best bang for your team trip buck:  LOTUS TEAM WORKSHOP!

  1. ACTION CARD:  To remind you of immediate actions of team motivation and in what order you wish to implement


Create the kind of team that will “WALK THROUGH THE FIRE” for you!






Questions, Creative Thinking & Big Ideas 



  • Avoid surprises
  • Ask a question back



  When responding to patient’s questions

  • Wastes time
  • Seems like you are not listening
  • Seems like you don’t care
  • Frustrates them
When responding to the team’s questions
  • No ownership for the results
  • Does not empower others
  • You have to have all the answers
  • There might be a better way





  • “Why can’t I get a filling like the last time instead of a crown?”
  • “I’m not sure about this perio cleaning, why can’t I get a regular cleaning?”
  • “Why can’t I get a silver filling instead of white if insurance doesn’t pay for it?”
  • “Can I wait to do the crown and just do the filling right now?
  • “Do I have to get numb?”
  • “How long can I wait to do this treatment?”
  • “When do you think I should do this?”


  • “Can I take some extra time off next week?”
  • “Can I speak with you after work?”
  • “Will you talk to the hygienists about sterilizing their instruments?”
  • “Are we going to get health benefits any time soon?”
  • “Can I change my hours?”
  • “Can we order some more instruments?” 


Study why they might be asking the question to help you respond appropriately

When responding to patient’s questions When responding to the team’s questions
  • “What is your concern?”
  • “Why would you prefer that instead?”
  • “What are your goals for your mouth?”
  • “What do you hope to accomplish?”
  • “What do youthink about that?”
  • “What would you like to do?”
  • “Is it important to save your teeth?”
  • “Would you mind telling me more?”
  • “What would be comfortable for you?”
  •  “Do you think it is a good idea?”
  • “Why do you ask?”
  • “How did you handle it in the past?”
  • “Do you think that will work?”
  • “How will that impact the practice?”
  • “Do you have a preference?”
  • “What is the up side?”
  • “What would be best for everyone?”
  • “Is there anything I should be prepared for?”

Some things to remember

  • Don’t play this with your spouse
  • Don’t play 20 questions
  • Answer when you find out the reason
  • Watch your tone and inflection
  • Don’t overuse a clarifying question



When you believe it, you will see it!  When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why it is impossible.  But, when you believe, really believe something can be done; your mind goes to work for you helping you find ways to do it. Believing something can be done paves the way for creative solutions.  Creative thinking can be: When a financial manager devises a plan to give Sally (from a low income family) the smile that will win her the Miss Texas pageant, sells the “impossible” patient, or keeps the four kids that mom brought to the office occupied, and enjoys doing it.  It is having fun at work, turning an “undesirable” office into something to be proud of, doubling the number of new patients you see, and increasing your production in the process. Believing it can be done is the beginning of creative thinking.  Some suggestions to help you develop creative power: Eliminate the word “impossible” from your vocabulary.  Impossible, never, can’t, not in a million years, did that and it didn’t work, are all failure words.  Those thoughts set off a chain reaction of thoughts that prove to you that you are right. Prior to 1978, the dental industry regulated what type of dental sign and marketing a dentist could do (and there are still dentists that adhere to them).  Look at what has happened since.  That is an example of traditional thinking.  The traditional thinker’s mind is paralyzed.  He reasons, “It’s been this way for twenty years.  Therefore, it must stay this way.  Why risk it and change?” “Average” people have always resented progress.  Many voices protest at the idea of marketing dentistry.  Soft tissue management seemed too drastic.  But, “status-quo-ers” still don’t get it.  Fifty percent of America still does not seek annual dental care.  Why not?  Ask the average person what a sealant or veneer is.  Isn’t that what they put on countertops? Traditional thinking will kill the dental industry, as we know it today.  It is time for Creative Leaders, Managers, and Teams to work if dentistry is to survive in a way that dentists, their teams, and their patients can enjoy dentistry. Did you know that nothing grows in ICE?  If we let tradition “freeze” our minds, new ideas can’t sprout.  Propose one of the ideas below to someone in the dental industry and watch their reaction:

  • You must cut your overhead by 40% today.
  • We are moving in with Wal-Mart and must staff the office from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • I can double your paycheck today and have fun doing it!
  • Case acceptance is 100%, no exceptions.
  • All Americans will seek dental care this year.

Whether these statements are practical or not isn’t the point.  What is important is how a person handles these propositions.  If they laugh at the idea and don’t give it a second thought (and probably 95% will laugh at you) chances are they suffer from tradition paralysis.  The one in twenty, who says, “I’m open to that,” or, “That’s an interesting idea,” or, “Tell me more about it” has a mind that’s open to creativity.   Traditional thinking is Enemy Number One for the dental team that is interested in future success.  Traditional thinking “freezes” your mind, blocks your progress, and prevents you from developing creative power.  Here are three ways to fight it:

  1. Become receptive to ideas.  Welcome new ideas.  Say, “I’m open to that.”  Success has very little to do with how smart you are.  “We may not be the smartest dental team, but we listen and soak up all the good ideas out there.”
  1. Be an experimental Team.  Expose yourself to new learning.  Try new ideas.
  1. Be progressive, not regressive.  Don’t say “That’s the way we did it where I used to work.  We ought to do it that way here.”  Ask yourself, “How can we do it better than we did it where I used to work?”

Questions we should continue to ask ourselves and expect an answer:

  • How can I do a better job today?
  • What can I do today to encourage my team?
  • What special favor can I do for one of my patients today?
  • How can I make a difference today?
  • How can I increase my personal efficiency?
  • What is great about our team?
  • What are the most exciting things going on at work?
  • What isn’t great yet?
  • What if we increased our new patients this year?
  • How can we bonus this month and have fun doing it?
  • How can the team make it better for our patients?

In our experience of working with hundreds of dental teams, we’ve found that the individual team members that ask questions of themselves, the team, and their patients are more successful than those that do not.




Believe it can be done.
Don’t let tradition paralyze your mind.  Shake off the ICE ICE BABY.
Ask yourself questions daily.
Practice asking questions and listening.
Stretch your mind.  Get stimulated.  Don’t let good ideas escape!