Welcome to the Dentist's Office

Welcome to the Dental Office blog. On this site we will share information on how we conquer the real-world challenges that we each face in our pursuit of running high-quality, successful, profitable and harmonious dental offices.

The Dental Blog invites you to share your knowledge, successes, failures and crazy stories with fellow dental professionals. Sharing our combined knowledge, we can each create our own unique dream practices.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Looking for New Patients - Door-to-Door

When I first started my own private practice, I was short on two important things: cash & patients. I knew I had to do networking to help develop relationships in the community but that was going to be a long-term project. In the short-term I needed to do some form of advertising to get patients in the door.

Short on money, I used the one resource I had plenty of – time. I decided to print a free check-up and X-ray coupon and walk door to door in the area near my office. My marketing plan was not to just leave the flyer on the door but rather to knock on the door and personally deliver each flyer to the occupant.

Every day after work I would walk for about an hour and knock on doors. I would tell the people that I was a new dentist in the community and if they did not currently have a dentist that I would be happy to give them a free exam and X-rays for their entire family.

I figured I could knock on lots of doors each day but I found that I wound up talking to a lot of the people and only got a couple of dozen out each day. I had moms & dads ask me all kinds of questions and about dentistry for their kids. I had seniors ask about dentures and implants. I got all kind of questions. I started to hand out tooth brushes (with my name and office number on them) at the houses I visited.

The door-to-door marketing was working great and I was getting a lot of new patients. I even had a few dentists call me and ask me to stop soliciting their patients. I politely told them what I was saying as I went to each door and that I was truly not trying to take patients away from other dentists rather reach the 50% of people who did not have dentists. I also pointed out that other dentist flyers and other advertising went to my patient’s homes and that they did not seem to be bothered by that. I was marketing my practice – they were free to walk the streets too.

Although no other marketing project ever brought me more solid, long-standing patients than my walking campaign, I only did it that one year. Although many years have passed since my street-walking marketing campaign – the marketing would still work today. People WANT TO KNOW their dentist and people love to ask questions. If you are short on patients you might want to consider going door-to-door looking for them.

Dr. Corey Gold
President – Advanced Continuing Education Systems

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Praise in Public

If you want to develop a loyal, respectful  and compitent staff, make sure that you take time to praise their accomplishments publically. Just as important, make sure that when you need to speak to a staff member about correcting behaviors or mistakes – that you do this discretely and privately.

As dentists and CEOs of our businesses, we are all very busy. We often just expect our staff to do things right. We don’t stop to think about praising them for correctly “doing their job”. We only notice our staffs when they make mistakes or act out of step with our practice philosophy.

Try to catch your staff doing things right and publicly praising them for doing their job as you expect. Your staff will feel very positive about being praised in front of patients and other staff members. It might feel foreign to praise people for simply doing things as expected but it will start to feel good to do. Your staff will love you for noticing them and for telling others that they are good at what they do.

On the other hand, try with all your might not to criticize your staff in front of patients and other staff members. Keep your cool when things go wrong and make note to talk to the staff member privately later about the mistake or issue that needs to be corrected. Never talk down to your staff, never make your staff feel incompetent – rather reinforce that you like them as a person and just want to work on one area of their performance to help bring it up to the expected level.

After advising a staff member on how to correct an area of problem, look for reason to praise them in their performance in the next few days. Especially look to see if they are working to improve the area you spoke to them about. Make sure you mention you notice the improvement and appreciate the effort.

Staff members are people with feelings. We all want to feel we are doing a good job and appreciated. We all want to avoid being publically embarrassed. As dentist/CEO it is up to you to set the tone for your practice. Look for things your staff are doing right and let them know you notice and appreciate their competence and professionalism.
Dr. Corey Gold
President  - Advanced Continuing Education Systems