Chinese Foot Massage

Friday FINISH

Chinese Foot Massage– February 7, 2020

Recently my wife invited me on a date for a “Chinese Foot Massage” at a little shop in a strip mall a few miles away from my home.

Sounds a little strange, right?

Well, it gets even better from here. This “Foot Massage” is actually a full body massage. You walk in, they ask you one question, if you want feet only or full body. From there, no more questions or talking, they just take over while you relax.

I used to think a professional massage was the weirdest thing until I tried it. I’m not sure how my wife ever found this place, but I think it was recommended to her. It’s not your typical massage therapist style either. They use Chinese Reflexology, which is a little different, but very effective. 

There are no frills here. They use old towels to keep you warm, and your feet go in a plastic bucket with a plastic liner and warm water. Old massage type chairs that look more like a recliner but they do have a hole in the headrest for when you lay face down.

Some traditional Chinese music plays from a little speaker in the room, no centralized sound system here. It’s very clean and they are professional. As many “mom n’ pop” shops go, they charge you a credit card fee, but it’s cheap.

Really cheap.

It was originally $45/hour, but they ran a special for $35/hour awhile back when my wife went. Now their sign on the door has a slash through $45/hour and it says $35/hour.

While they are fairly busy, I instantly wondered, “are they actually making any money here?” It can’t be free to hire licensed professionals. If my hygiene department ran that lean we woulnd’t make any money, but maybe these guys have figured out a way to make it work with bare bones overhead. But my gut says they haven’t. (Which is also why I gave them a big tip because I feel for them and they did an excellent job.)

It appears to be a family run business, with the owners and their children doing most of the work. It looks like they work long days and late hours, which is respectable but probably not sustainable or a real “business” that can be sold. It’s more of a self-employed job.

What fees are you slashing? What areas of service are you cutting back in? Or are you adding up?

I’m a bigger fan of valuing up rather than discounting down. There will always be someone else lowering their fees or “rolling back” prices. You can play the low game or the high game, but usually if you are in the middle you’ll get burned. 

Find ways to add value to your patient experience. Even a free bite adjustment on a crown or implant is added value. You’re going to do it for free anyway if your patient needs it, so you may as well use it as a case acceptance tool or as part of your “selling proposition.” Here are 4 examples:

  1. If your crown fee is $1000 and you have a 30% profit margin/70% overhead, and you “slash” your crown fee to try and gain more business, remember that you now have 82% overhead and a 18% profit margin.
  2. Instead, find ways to value up, such as offering your patients more convenient appointment times (our evening and Saturday spots have filled up quickly since we started offering them 7 or so years ago). 
  3. Offer both options, with the higher priced one being an upgrade of better material, longer warranty, etc.
  4. Always know your math, you can solve just about any problem in the world with the right math (that is why I was an Economics major in college and why I love Algebra – nerd right!).

If I can help in any way, please reach out. Have a fantastic week!

If you want to receive more information like this, simply send me an email at twilliams@pinecrestdds.com and put “Friday Finish” in the subject line. 

Italian Food!

Friday Focus – January 31, 2020

Recently, I took my dental practice team out for a New Year’s Dinner at Valter’s Osteria in downtown Salt Lake City. Valter’s is not your typical Italian restaurant.

Valter, the founder and owner walks around with his big head of white hair, in a finely dressed suit and shares a smile and a strong Italian accent “hello” with his guests. His regulars get a warm hug at the door or at their table. It works well for him because we ran up a bill of $800+ with tip in just a couple of hours for nine of us. Their made from scratch menu is not to be forgotten.

My team was very appreciative and my wife and I enjoy treating them to a diner every new year. They all loved their meals and as always my wife absolutely loves the bread they offer there.

Valter is full of personality, and that cannot be copied or replicated.

Are you fearful of changes coming your way in dentistry? Are you awake at night worrying about your team or what your patients will think of their experience in your practice. If so, you need a new or updated strategy for being the place to go for your patients. What makes you different?

If there’s one thing no corporate practice or new office on the block can copy from you, it’s your personality. Marketing legend Dan Kennedy calls this “personality in copy” when referring to the way you communicate with your patients in your communication with your list of patient, which includes recare letters and appointment reminder emails that you send to them. 

What makes you different? What personal experiences do you have to share? Why should a patient come see you versus all other available options, including options that have nothing to do with a dentist? Have you ever realized that vacations, new cars and shopping on Amazon.com are your real competition, not your colleague down the street?

You need to communicate your personality and the personality of your team like Valter does. You don’t have to be exactly like him, but you need to be you and share your stories and personality like he does. You need to share your team members stories too. It is your unique identifier and should be part of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) if it isn’t already. Do you have smiling, trust and testimonial-building faces in your newsletter, or just articles about teeth that will bore or even scare many of your patients?

By sharing your personality on a daily, weekly and monthly basis with both your team and your patients, you will build lasting relationships that are unique. You will also dramatically increase the frequency of which your patients visit your office, which will help you reach for your goals you have set out this year. Then continue to share this message over and over.

If you are going to be in downtown Salt Lake City anytime soon, I recommend you make a reservation at Valter’s in advance, as they get completely booked every weekend. I recommend the salmon and any of their pasta and bread.

If I can help in any way, please reach out. Have a fantastic week!

KNOCKOUT Speed with “20/20” Vision

January 24, 2020, by Tyler Williams D.D.S.

This week was “20/20” day (January 20, 2020). To have perfect vision is to have a perfectly clear understanding of what you see in front of you. A vision for the future of your practice. This includes today’s vision, tomorrow’s vision, and next year’s vision. In the bestselling book Traction by Geno Wickman, the author provides a powerful insight on how to set a 1 year, 3 year and 10 year plan. If you don’t already, you should create and have these in place for your business, refer to them regularly, and update them annually with your team.

Last Saturday night, history was made in the UFC Mixed Martial Arts world of sports as Colin McGregor routed Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone with a TKO in 40 seconds. McGregor was like a raging, chargin bull and took down the Cowboy with lightening speed. McGregor had a plan and executed it perfectly, and by doing so was awarded a guaranteed $3 million just for showing up, but took home an estimated $80 million with all of his payouts according to CBS Sports.

McGregor is controversial. 

McGregor is cocky.

McGregor loves to promote himself and his line of Irish Whiskey.

McGregor has a trademark “billionaire” walk the goes before him.

Whether you like him or not, he knows how to win. He has 20/20 vision for his professional career and his company. He had so much confidence going into the fight, that he instantly took over and blindsided the Cowboy in a matter of seconds. Simply put, McGregor knew how to get the result he wanted.

The questions for you to ask yourself are: do yo know how to get the results you want in your practice? Do you have a 20/20 vision for your future? Does your team know what your vision is?

The key to having a great year is being able to articulate how to execute your plan. You don’t have to be perfect to be a success. I’ve certainly made more than my share of blunders as I’ve grown my own practice. But we have to “skin our own knees” and “kiss a few frogs” on the journey to our final destination. However by leaning on the experience and advice of those who are more successful than us, we can make a lot fewer mistakes, save a lot of wasted money, and save ourselves a lot of wasted time.

McGregor is probably not your ideal role model, so who do you look up to for inspiration on your own vision? Keep in mind that your team and your patients care about 2 things when in your office:

  1. Confidence. Do you personally, as the practice owner and visionary, have the confidence and care that they can see and feel in your office culture?
  1. Results. Not confusing “activity with proactivity.” To win in sports, it’s not about how long the game goes, it’s about how you control it. If it takes less time, even better. Your patients don’t want a longer procedure and will never complain when it takes less time. The sooner you are out of their mouth the better in their mind, assuming your are following the highest ethical standards in the way you treat and provide care.

I hope your year is off to a fantastic start and that you are living the vision you have created for yourself, your team and your family. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

If you have any thoughts, please send them my way, I’d love your feedback!

What do your patients really WANT?

January 17, 2020, by Tyler Williams, D.D.S.

On this very day in 1792 the dollar sign ($) was born and showed up for the very first time on a federal U.S. document, which was a treasury bond issued to President George Washington (Source: WSJ).

Only three stocks have every broken the trillion dollar mark, until Google’s Alphabet stock (GOOG) became the fourth this week as it also broke the trillion dollar mark. Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are the only three others to ever hit this huge number. On the flip side, J.P. Morgan, Chase the LARGEST U.S. Bank is worth less than half of Google, Amazon, or Apple* at just short of $426 Billion as of today (Source: Yahoo Finance).

This brings me to my point, what do your patients really want?

All of us NEED a bank account to stay in business or to buy groceries and gas. But most of us only WANT an iPhone, 2-day delivery, or online search at our fingertips. These WANTS aren’t things we need to function. 

As a bank holding your money, J.P. Morgan is more of a necessity than any of these tech giants, yet it isn’t even worth 50% of the value of Google.

When you tell your patients they NEED a crown, mouth guard or wisdom tooth removed. Do they belive you? You are clinically trained to know what’s best physiologically for your patients, but do you really understand their psychology? 

Helping our patients WANTS match their needs is the key to case acceptance. If they want whiter teeth, show them how their needed perio treatment will make their teeth whiter. If they want to save their teeth until they die, show them how they need a crown to prevent losing a tooth or needing a root canal or dental implant.

As demonstrated by Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, WANTS are at least 2x more powerful than needs for all of us.

Now I think I WANT to grab an afternoon snack, surely I don’t need one, but never underestimate the emotional side of needs from you or your patients. Plus this powerful psychological principal can more than double your case acceptance like it has in my practice. 

Until next time, have a wonderful week! If you have any thoughts, please share, I’d love your feedback!

*full disclosure: I am a shareholder of Apple and my iPad is one of my favorite productivity tools!