Bowl Games & Memberships

Welcome to another episode of the practice X Factor. I think we just hit episode number 30, which is pretty exciting. And I hope you’re off to a great new year. If you haven’t planned out your new year and set your goals and got with your team and identified your membership goals and new patient goals and collections goals for the year, there’s no time like the present. If you need some help with that you can shoot us an email or reach out to us at the office, we have some resources available that can help you plan for a great year. And also, there’s a whole bunch of free resources on our website,

So I want to share a little bit about an experience I had recently and I was able to go to the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. And it was a lot of fun. I Went down there with my dad and brother and took my son and we did a quick road trip down to Pasadena. We’re big Utah Utes football fans. So we were excited to have our team playing in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State. And it was a great game. Heartbreaking that we lost the last few seconds of the game but I think it was the second most watched bowl game this year when I was looking at some reports. So really exciting game with two great teams, a lot of fun, and definitely something that I would do again

Even though my son who was 13, he was kind of bummed to miss out on some New Year’s Eve parties with friends and family and things we knew this would be a once in a life experience and something that if you haven’t done, I recommend you definitely check out a bowl game or championship game, if you have a team that you follow. Because it’s a very powerful and fun experience. You know, and as I was there, I was kind of thinking about how much emotional energy is zapped by something like an event like this. I mean, we were standing up probably 75% of the game, you know, yelling, shouting for our team, lots of plays that were, you know, stressful, and we’re all anxious to see if our team scores or, you know, catches an interception, all those kinds of things. And, you know, I thought about it, because we were and we got some food and things and it almost felt like we didn’t even eat because, you know, you’re just so hyped up, and anxious. I think it kind of boosts your metabolism or something where you can eat. My son was like, you know, they had this big bucket of cookies you can buy. It was like 20 bucks for 36 cookies. And my son is like “Dad, we gotta try that.” And they looked really good. So we split it between a few of us. And I told him, I said, Man, if our health insurance knew we bought this, they’re gonna drop us for reckless driving of our medical health,

And, you know, I just thought about the, you know, the physical exertion, the emotional exertion, the mental exertion, you’re out there and it’s kind of hot for a few hours, and then it gets cold and you’re putting jackets on that the lengths you go to beat an outdoor event, even though Pasadena is a pretty temperate climate overall. Compared to Utah, where I live, you know, you got to prepare for these things. And there’s a lot that goes into that. So the lesson that you can apply to your practice, especially to creating membership plans for your patients, options that are alternate to insurance, and often better.

You know, for us when we have patients who sign up for membership plans, the advantage is, there’s no billing, there’s no third party administration, and there’s no limitations. There’s no deductible, there’s no waiting period. There’s no compromise of the options you offer your patients. You know, sometimes patients can feel like their options are limited because of what dental insurance will cover.

You’re probably well aware that dental insurance really isn’t true insurance. You know, dental insurance is almost like a prepaid benefit or, you know, almost like kind of like a health savings or flex spending works where there’s some dollars set aside for dental care, but the disadvantages, you know, there are a lot of things that, as you probably know, are not covered or not covered completely in patients are misled. You know, I had a discussion with a great longtime patient this week because she’s, you know, going on to Medicare and changing our plan and things and you know, she’s being very misled by what The representative at the insurance companies telling her because she needs things like gum maintenance and fluoride, and she’s got old crowns and bridges to replace.

And they’re telling her these percentages that you and I both know are not accurate, because when it comes down to it, they’re gonna cap out at a certain dollar amount. What they’re telling her is preventative is not, you know, because she’s on periodontal maintenance and other things. So those are the kind of things that we really have to think about when we create a membership plan and how you can really make it better.

And most of all, being obsessed with the experience you provide for your patients. So when you look at great businesses, great practices, they become very obsessed about the experience they provide for their customers or patients, and how they’re treated. And everything that happens a tizzy what happens before the visit, during the visit after the visit? Not just the dentistry. And when we’re in the chair and have our heads down, it can be very difficult to see the big picture of what’s going on around us. And then we could sit back and wonder, Well, why is the hygiene schedule falling apart, we’re all the new patients, while our collections went off the charts last month, and this month, a little bit slow. I was looking at some things this week in my own office and noticed a couple patterns in some of the things that our hygiene schedule was, you know how it was evolving. And fortunately, you know, because I have an associate, and I’ve set the schedule to have some days where I can plan and work on the practice not in it, which is something I highly recommend. But because of that it allows me to adapt and improve the care we offer our patients and really think about their experience. So you know, when you go to a sporting event, you buy a ticket to get in. So we paid pretty good money, you know, to get a Rose Bowl ticket per ticket, easily a few $100. But that ticket doesn’t include your food and drinks and souvenirs and anything else you may want to buy inside. You know, when you go inside of a game or a theme park, the food’s not cheap, relatively for what you get, you know, but they have a captive audience. They’re really good, making the food smell good and look attractive. And like I said, even if it’s a bucket of chocolate chip cookies, it’s made to look really attractive. So that you want it now.

Now, when patients can be misled with dental insurance if they think because they have insurance, it’s gonna entitle them to all those other things they want: implants, crowns, whitening, veneers, you know. And a lot of people are really misinformed on that. And so when you when you craft your membership plans, and you put those together, think about how you can improve that, you know, when I was thinking about at the Rose Bowl specifically, you know, if they would have offered me some type of VIP meal voucher that I could have purchased in advance, that maybe would offer you know, some kind of price you pay up front and then maybe you get you know, a meal and drinks and you know, souvenir cup or whatever they may offer, I probably would have gone for it. Not necessarily because I’m, you know, a coupon shopper, I don’t really, you know, do that kind of thing. I personally think it’s a waste of my time. But, you know, I do like and appreciate convenience, and simplicity when, you know, you go somewhere and they say hey, if you buy this package, it contains everything you need, and it’s gonna get you there. You know, and maybe for a one time football game, you wouldn’t have something like a season pass or a membership. But you know, a VIP pass or a game they pass that provided you with, you know, a commemorative t-shirt and a drink and an entree or something. You know, I bet they would have sold a lot of those.

I mean, I saw so much gear that fans were wearing on both sides, not knowing if their team was going to win. Buying that, you know before during after the game, and I’m always amazed, you know, a couple companies that come to mind. Costco, you know, I think they have the best membership model of any retail company. If you know, if you haven’t listened to it, you go back to a couple other recent podcasts we talked about but you know Amazon is obviously the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to volume of retail sales. But when you look at profit per employee, and the profit margin, Costco blows Amazon and Target and Walmart out of water.

So, with your dental practice, you know if your practice in a city or town where there’s competition, which, you know, it’s no secret, that there’s almost nowhere there isn’t now, thanks to social media and the Internet, we all know all the good places to live. So if you live in a place that’s fun to live, there’s probably some competition. And the truth is, I don’t think that other dental practices are even our biggest competition, our biggest competition is indifference putting off care, lack of urgency, being confused, you know, looking at the family budget, we’ve got a vacation coming up, we’ve got to get new tires on the car, we’ve got to get contacts or LASIK, you’re competing against all those things, that’s your true competition.

And, you know, what Costco does really well is they sell their memberships up front, which is really just admittance, inside the building, you know, it admits you to go inside, they’re selling air, essentially. And then you go in, and you see all these great products, you know, their warranties, excellent, you can return almost anything.

Whereas when you buy things on, you know, sites like Amazon, you can still buy some really cheap quality things. Costco is generally known for a little higher quality, and higher profit. And so, you know, unless you want to be Amazon, which means you’re the biggest, largest practice in your city or your state, you may want to look more at the Costco model, which is, how can we be really profitable, and deliver incredible value to our members. And that’s a much more sustainable model for most of us, because we’re small businesses.

Disney is another one, Disney, you know, they’ve kind of changed this from my understanding. But over the past 10 years or so, up until the pandemic hit, my family had gone to Disneyland once or twice a year. Now, the visits have been a little less frequent, because of park closures and things. But Disney always had an annual pass, and annual pass holders get discounts on dining and souvenirs and those kinds of things. And we weren’t actually Annual Pass holders, we didn’t consider it even though we lived out of state, you know, if you go I think, two or three times a year you breakeven on what was their annual pass and but you know, those kinds of things provide ongoing value for their customers and members.

So it’s not just a, hey, buy this and get in the park, it’s by this, you’ll get in the park unlimited to some capacity, and then some and so with your membership plans, think about things you can offer on an unlimited basis, and you have to excuse me, I’m kind of fighting through a cold here, home from the office today. So anyway, you know, when you look at how they do things, you can think about how could you offer something, your own practice that maybe have extra value to your patients.

That is different from insurance, because you really should think about your membership as apples and oranges don’t try to be like insurance, sound life insurance, smell like insurance, or you’re going to be compared to insurance. And that might be a battle that you lose. But if you offer something like, you know, unlimited emergency exams, on your membership plan, you know, that can be up to one per month, or that can be completely unlimited. That’s something that no dental insurance on the planet offers.

And it might be very valuable to your patients, you know, that alone might be enough of a proposition for them to say, hey, you know what, this sounds pretty cool, then I don’t have to feel like I can’t go to the dentist or I’m going to have a big bill every time I walk in. It provides the patient with some peace of mind and security, so that they can come see you. You know, obviously the other services and charges are extra. But you know, that’s just one example of something you could offer in your practice.

So what might your patients be looking for or asking for? To really reach and give value to their unspoken needs that they have? You know, you can look at things like whitening, you can look at things like office visits, you can look at things like implants, clear braces, sedation.

Those are some things that we commonly incorporate to our membership plans because that allows for you to, you know, be an apples and oranges comparison, right? Some implants are now covered by dental insurance. But you know as well as I do when a patient comes in, and they need three or four, six or full mouth implants, that’s not something that’s going to be covered by dental insurance. And when you can build some savings into your plan, and I’m not suggesting, or even recommending that you give those things away for free, you have to, you know, protect your bottom line and make sure you’re making a profit.

So knowing the numbers is important. As you know, the famous marketing legend Dan Kennedy said marketing is half psychology and half math. So when you are putting together a membership plan, that’s a form of internal marketing, and even external marketing doesn’t mean it’s salesy, or pushy, or, you know, a big billboard, saying, Look at me, it simply means you’re seeing who’s interested in raising their hand. And you have to know the math, and you have to know the psychology behind your patient.

Aside from those two, what you offer matters much less than knowing your patient. And we use, you know, a free app called Survey Monkey. There are others like it that I recommend, we’ve been doing this for many years. We will text or email patient surveys, and ask about their experience in their visit. And I would recommend you do paper surveys as well. Some people prefer paper surveys, obviously, they take a little more work to distribute.

But when you do paper surveys were nearly 90% or higher completion rate of people who fill those out. So we will actually give our patients a survey that’s pre stamped with envelopes, they go home and fill it out. They don’t have to look for a stamp by a stamp, send it back to you.

Most practice owners won’t do this because they think well, stamps are too expensive, or nobody’s gonna fill that out, or how’s that going to help me. But I’m telling you, right now, when you get those surveys back, and you read through them, and have someone in your office, enter those data sets into a spreadsheet, or, like we do, they enter right into Survey Monkey.

And then there’s a separate one for the link that we share with our patients to fill out in Survey Monkey. And, you know, I think we actually had to upgrade Survey Monkey because they give you, I think, a few 100 or a 1000 Free surveys. And then when you get to a certain point, you have to use the paid feature, but it’s well worth the press, because that’s a database of what our patients want.

So your patient demographic is different from mine. And it’s different from your friends. So when your friend says you should do this, or do that, you always have to take it with a grain of salt. And think about, you know, your top 50, top 20, top 100 patients, who they are, what they do on the weekends, what makes them tick, what kind of work they do, what their lifestyle is, like, what their family size is like. And that’s when you craft your membership plans accordingly.

So be careful of, you know, companies who are telling you to set up this membership plan and you just do a blanket discount on everything. And to me that is very vanilla. That’s a very easy way. But it’s also a less effective way of building loyalty with your patients, right. Because if you just do that your patients may hop back into insurance, you know, or they may go to another practice offering the same thing. So you have to really customize and personalize your membership. And it doesn’t have to be hard. You know, we started out with this seven or eight years ago, and it was pretty bare bones. But it started to gain momentum and people saw value in it. And people who had been cash patients for years now had a loyalty program that helped them stay as patients in the office. It helped them have a great experience.

And our renewal rate is incredibly high for those I have. I don’t have the numbers in front of me. But the renewal rate on patients who you know, don’t move away or pass away, or maybe change jobs where now their job offers insurance. These are people who a lot of my patients are retired or they’re self employed. And so you know, they’re not offered dental insurance, our renewal rate is 80 to 90%. On the majority of our membership plans and when you look at you know dental insurance people bounce around that year after year after year and That’s where, you know, you have to be careful of what insurance plans you take, especially if you’re, you know, not a drill-fill-bill office that is high volume. You know, because that can really eat away your profit margins. And, you know, your patient might get a new plan, and you don’t accept that plan, but you just kind of sit down and explain to them, “Hey, look, we can still work with your insurance, here’s how…” whether you accept the benefit or not, and remind them that, you know, in 12 months, they’re probably going to get another plan and for your patient to transfer dentists usually cost more than the out of pocket from being out of network or not having their insurance.

So what I mean is, you know, you know, as well as I do that if a patient goes to 10 different offices, they’re going to get 10 different treatment plans. And that’s not because, you know, dentistry is not on board with what’s right for our patients. It’s because we all have different services we offer, we all have different personalities, we all have different ways of treatment planning. And as long as you’re giving patients options, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with different treatment plans in different offices.

But when a patient bounces from office A to B to C, over a few years, if they had to have any work redone, if they had something to slip between the cracks, and now it turned into a root canal when it could have been a crown or filling that caused the patient a lot more. And that’s where you know, your renewal rate on memberships is a number you should know and measure and really look at because if the renewal rates low, if you have a lot of people who are doing a membership for one year in your practice, and then next year, they’re off to back to insurance or they’re out talking to their insurance agent looking for a plan. That means your plan probably didn’t meet their needs.

And so we do have, you know, a little brochure we typed up in our practice, and I would recommend you do the same. And if you’d like a copy, you can email me at I’d be happy to share the template with you. But it’s essentially a guy that made our patients that explained the difference between traditional dental insurance and membership plans. And you’re welcome to use that. Or you can make your own. And that’s something I would have on hand so that your patients can really know what that means. And you can preempt or intercept their questions about well, “I better wait on these implants because I’m getting insurance next year.” And, you know, “HR told me that they’ll cover it,” we know that’s not true, at least not in the sense of what the patient has in mind. So I hope this has been helpful. You know, I always am seeing examples in real life of membership plans. And you know, when you own a practice or you own a business, it’s a great lesson to go and be a customer or prospect, other businesses, other events. And so I would encourage you this week as you go shop places online in person, other health care facilities, where you interact, take some notes on things that you see and hear and people want.

Another good place is if you go to your local grocery store, and pull out some magazines, yes, those paper printed magazines, you can look through things anywhere from AARP. If you have patients, you know, in that age range, you know Better Homes and Gardens Health magazine. You think about your patient demographic and what types of media they read, what type of social media channels they’re on, and what’s appealing to them. And you can really use that to reverse craft new and better benefits to your membership plan.

So thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes. If you didn’t enjoy this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes.

We’d love to hear your feedback and mention a couple resources. So if you want more information, please reach out. I love helping my peeps grow their membership plans and take your practice to the next level.

Hope you have a great 2022 And we’ll see you on the next episode.

If you’d like to listen to this topic, check out this episode by clicking here.

Gold Star Scheduling with Flint Geier of the Scheduling Institute

Dr. Williams

Welcome to another episode of the Practice X Factor. And we’re back this episode to share with you some tips on really boosting the membership aspect of your practice, and have a cool, unique, and precious guest today, which is Flint Geier from the scheduling Institute.

So, welcome, Flint. Thanks for joining us today.


Thank you, thanks for having me.

Dr. Williams

So we, you know, I’m a high Quick Start Kolbe kind of guy. So I like, you know, pictures, colors and graphics, bullet points and those kinds of things. I was delighted that you’re willing to come on the show and honored to have you guys because you are the expert, as far as anything goes with phones. You do a lot more than that, but when it comes to having good data on phones, like with my team in the office, you know, if something comes up, like hey, look, you know, the Scheduling Institute has a lot, hundreds of 1000s, if not millions of calls that they can account for on, you know, this one point.

So, great to have you here; I love to have data. So please share with our listeners a bit about you, kind of your journey, and your role with the Scheduling Institute.


Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s funny, just as you were even explaining that, right, talking about all the data that we do have on the phones, it’s interesting because you’ll have listeners. You may be familiar with the scheduling Institute for some of you listening. So you may have a perception of what you think it is that we do.

It’s funny when you’re in the marketplace for as long as we have been, and you get to build this fascinating laboratory of offices, team members, doctors and, and kind of just observe the marketplace like that, we’ve been able to do a lot of really cool stuff. And really, we’re where I fall into it; if you have been following us, you’ll recognize the last name, Geier, and Jay Geier, who was my father started the scheduling Institute back in 1997. And it was really around this core principle, that, whether you’re marketing, whether you’re not marketing, whether you are the most significant clinical producer there is.

I know you guys talk a lot about obviously increasing those capacities. But at the end of the day, there’s only one avenue that almost every single new patient comes to your business through, and that’s, that’s through the telephone. And so we’ve been working on that aspect of the business, that first point of contact, that intake piece for the company’s existence and built on the things a lot over time: whether it be team training and coaching. But what’s been rewarding in my actual journey with it is, you know, I didn’t plan on coming to work here. I played football in college, went to Cornell University to study finance and entrepreneurship.

And, you know, the Wall Street deal that was, if you’re, if you’re in the business school at Cornell, that’s pretty much where you have to go. Oh, my roommates ended up there. And what was fascinating was about halfway through my time at Cornell, I had an opportunity to get a little more involved in, you know, what is the journey that we’re witnessing clients go on? It, you know, goes much beyond that first piece, which I’m excited to talk about today. But, you know, when that flip is switched off, you’re not just impacting the person who answers the phone, it’s, it’s the doctor, it’s their teams, it’s the community they serve. And, Dr. Williams, you get to see this.

And from what I’ve seen, it looks like you have several excellent examples of how the things you do to work on your business have that positive impact on your team members, your patients, and ultimately, their community. And so, that was a massive draw for me. And so out of school, I decided, you know, what, I’m going to do this thing, I’m going to come home, if you will. And it was. I was happy to get out of the Northeast. It’s not that nice, dry cold like you guys have out in Utah. But you had a fascinating experience, right off the back, being one of our onsite trainers.

And so we’ve got about 50 team members who are traveling full time, we’ll do about 300 in-office training a month, and it allowed me to be in, you know, three or four offices every week, all across the country. We do so internationally as well. And when I talked about that laboratory, it’s, you’ve got these team members who are in hundreds of offices over their first few years. And it’s funny, I was listening to one of your previous episodes, and I think it was Dr. Farran mentioning the number of offices he has been into. Right? What do you think that number is for the average? Dentist? Oh, the standard like, say, someone like me, how many other offices have I been in? Yeah, probably like, just a tiny handful, I mean, not as much as we should do, you know, right.

And it’s so interesting, because, you know, we’ll go in, and we’ll get to have a conversation and the lens, almost, that a lot of your listeners I’m sure have is one, two, maybe five ops. And so we’re enjoyable unique piece about doing that, as you can just see it on all sides, sizes, shapes, different towns, etc. in how people are doing things right and wrong, and all those areas. But really, it comes down to the exact first place that they all get to talk to you. So after I did that, I moved over into our new member acquisitions team, which was a great experience, really just helping doctors find the right mix of services. And now I’m running our foundational memberships.

So the stuff we’re going to talk about today when it comes to the phones, the original value proposition, the foremost thing that we brought into the marketplace back in 1997, is where I spend all of my time, which is rewarding and fun for me. Because, you know, I remember when it was in the basement right there. Just mounds of cassette tapes in the basement of our house into now what is we’ve been fortunate enough to win the Townie choice for a practice management consultant for I think 11 years in a row now and have some excellent facilities for our clients to enjoy that are not the basement of the house.

So excited to be here and sharing a bit of some of the foundations that we’ve been talking about for a long time.

Dr. Williams

That’s cool. You know you make a good point because I had a couple of old crowns and fillings and stuff I was replacing lately. And I’ve been intentionally scheduling them with different doctors, different dental offices. Some I know well, some I don’t so just because for precisely what you said is like, you got to get out of your own space sometimes see, it’s eye-opening for me because they’re every time I learned something, so I’m like, you know, whatever I’m paying them to get that procedure done. Because I don’t want to freeload off my friends or colleagues is or that in multiples: because of what I get to observe the office staff doing the doctors doing their workflow, things that are maybe beat myself up about our office that is like, Hey, we’re not doing too bad, because they’re kind of dropping the ball gives you both sides of it.


And interestingly enough, we look at it through the lens of okay, even in the context of this podcast, right? So I’m sitting in an audio booth right now, and there’s a chair across from me. And, you know, this is not anything new or radical. But you know, when we have this conversation, and I’m sure you do the same thing, you almost want to be able to say, All right, well, there’s you and there’s me. And then there’s that patient, and how is everything we’re doing affecting that person? Even my father will, he will try and find the worst rundown practice he can if he moves to a new town: because there’s so much valuable information and things tomorrow, that I mean, we do it because we’re in the business of it, but I think it’s a precious learning experience for any doctor.

Dr. Williams

Well, it sounds like your experience was really like, Hey, I’m going to go the Wall Street Avenue. When you’re in college, or you go the mainstream avenue and the differences, the Wall Street Avenue, you got to please shareholders. And even corporate dentistry is a lot that way. Not that we’re, you know, kicking down corporate dentistry, it has its place, but it’s much more about pleasing shareholders, where you guys teach us about pleasing your client, your customer, your future patient, your existing patient. And that’s really what feeds the practice.

And I think I’m always amazed at how practices will undercut or self-sabotage. How much things cost to get done, you know, dental work is not cheap, but, you know, even just the way the doctor speaks about, Hey, your insurance doesn’t cover this, or this is going to cost a lot unless you don’t want the patient to choose that as an option. I mean, there’s a way to word that, in my experiences, if I really kind of want to steer the patient away from an option. And that isn’t a good fit. You might use that as a technique. But, you know, we just undercut cutter and lays out. And I think and dentistry is so valuable because, yeah, some of this stuff costs as much as a car, but it might last you a lifetime. Everybody else turns their car over every five years and gets a new one. Oh, yes, that’s $40,000 over and over and over again. It’s like, man, it, you know, a friendly smile. You can’t put a price tag on that. But it’s, you know, something that can last a lifetime.


Yeah, you? You’re sorry, not to interrupt you. I think you’re right. And I’ve heard you say a couple of times, you know when you’re selling dentistry, and people have such a negative connotation around sales, but you’re right, it might be the same as a car. But how valuable is, you know, entirely new self-confidence?

Dr. Williams

I mean, that is me. Yeah. Well, that’s the whole thing was, you know, what, why I think memberships are so helpful, because, you know, when everything’s based on insurance model, the problem is, dentistry, for the most part, costs a lot less than, than most procedures in medicine. I mean, I always just think, man, if you were to have a tooth taken out, that’s maybe a few $100 in the dental office, and he may, he might hit a four-figure number, if it’s bone grafting, and an implant or something. But I think, man, if he had that done in a hospital, it probably three to four times that, and it’s all because they’re playing that third party game.

And so the challenge in dentistry is we have to demonstrate the value more than in a lot of hospital systems: where it’s like, well, this is where the insurance told me to go, I’m here, I might be having a mediocre experience, the doctor might be the most socially awkward person and can’t even talk to me straight, what I see is 90 certificates on the wall. So I’m just saying, Oh, this seems reasonable enough. We’re in dentistry, and even certain areas of, you know, elective medicine, Lasik eye surgery, those kinds of things, you have to sort of show that value to your patient.

I remembered years ago, you guys sent us one of those CDs, you probably still send them, and it’s like, you know, Dr. Williams, your ears burning or something like that. And of course, my ears were burning, you know. So we’re, I remember putting that in is like, you scored a zero out of five, like, oh my gosh, so I remember, a call came in. And this is when I just started. I had like one, maybe two team members. And I remember grabbing a call being like, Okay, I’m going to pay attention to what this lady is saying. I will give her my best, most detailed response and get another zero. And I’m thinking, Oh, my gosh, what’s going on? But once I understood, it was eye-opening because the response is, you know, people ask like, you probably have better data. But it’s like, there’s a small handful of questions people ask. And it’s not about what you’re saying. And even as much as how you say it, and how you’re, you’re spinning that question to make it.

How am I giving value to this? Caller? Like, why do they want to see me? And you know, when people ask these questions like, well, how much does this cost? Or you take my insurance. It’s opening that up to Hey, yeah, you know, How’d you hear about our office here? I mean, that’s just magic because it just softens that. And I just see when, when I’m teaching my team members how to do that, it starts to make it about the person and the relationship. And that that wins every time. So can you share with us, you know, people listening some data: because I, you know, I’m, I love doing these, have shared it with my friends who are made me think, oh, man, you know, I need to sell my office to corporate practice, or should I try to model after corporate office and to me, it’s like, you know, if you do special, membership-driven training, you can shine but share with us, as you said, I mean, what percentage of contacts are still coming through phone? I mean, we all think everything’s going to text and automated responders email, but at least in my office, yeah, probably 90% are still through the phone. What are you seeing, half an hour?


I think what you just said is a fantastic point. And so yeah, exactly. The first thing we’ll tackle is alright. the initial point of contact, right? Because obviously, you’re into the marketing game, right? With that nice mix where you know, you’re doing mail. You do all that good stuff. And a lot of your listeners: I’m sure are taking some of the things you guys have talked about and want to implement. Right? Because yeah, no, that all makes sense. Absolutely. They move into town; we should go after those people. But what’s fascinating is, in every year that I have been looking into this, it gets less and less surprising. So when I first started, I was convinced, you know, these old numbers were saying 95% of all new patients call before they come in, you know that’s going to change right that is going to be affected by the Digital Age.

And to be honest, it hasn’t made a real, impactful change. I mean, you’re still looking at 90% of new patients where even if they schedule online, they’re still going to call in, right? People have so much angst, nervousness, and fear of coming into, especially a dental office. And I think, because, you know, some of your listeners are in the industry, or maybe have grown up around it, that doesn’t exist for them. But if you look up…the top three fears, number one is public speaking. So if you can do that, you are like a superhuman. Number three is death. And then number two is going to the dentist. And so, we are to assume that online scheduling will make this radical shift.

Even if they got to 30% of all new patient calls, you’re still talking about an enormous opportunity coming through the telephones. And so if really everything that we talked about breaks down into three key areas of how to grow the practice: you guys touch on a lot of things that fall into this, but it’s number one, increase new patients because a certain percentage are going to leave every year, people are going to die, people are going to move, people are going to say You know, I don’t like that guy anymore. There’s nothing we can do about that 10% of human beings that are a little bit crazy. And so we have to be able to not only get more new patients through the front door, and that’s the key piece they need to walk in, they can’t just call right. Marketing is effective only when that person walks in the door.


Up until that point, it’s pretty much all loss. Because while people may know your name, if they call in and essentially are turned away inadvertently, which we see happen often, then we’re paying someone to pick up the phone. We’re paying somebody to market to get the call to come in. And none of that comes back as a return to your business. And when you were going through your nine pitfalls, I think it was your episode 26. It was so fascinating. Not knowing the value of a patient and not knowing your numbers. I think that is by far and away. If you could do a podcast every single week on that, I would imagine because you know your numbers. And one number I want to talk about is the average value of a new patient.


And so everyone who has a practice, right, anybody collecting money from patients and having new patients come in if you just take your collections over time, let’s just say a year, and divide that by the same time, right? divide out how many new patients, so collections are divided by new patients, that should give you a number that will be an essential tool moving forward and figuring out every time the phone rings, and there’s a new patient on the line. What is at stake! right. And that’s essentially the first, the first lesson that we want to teach anybody, even before we engage with them, is Hey, every single time someone calls into your business, you already have existing conversions have, you know, when they come in? Are they going to stay? Are they going to accept treatment, but the one that we put the least amount of focus on is a win when they call in? How many of them schedule? What is the conversion rate on new patient phone calls? And the easiest way to increase intention, increase focus around something is to let someone understand what it’s going to cost him to do it incorrectly.

And so if you have that average value of a new patient, which for a general practitioner is somewhere around 2000 or 2500: you know, for your Orthodontist that’s going to be closer to 4500, maybe 4000 that essentially says, If I can get that call, to walk through the front door, as a new patient, I can expect over their lifetime with me that amount. So let’s say it’s $2,500. So, Dr. Williams, you guys are open for five days.

Dr. Williams

Four days. Yeah.


Awesome. So you guys are open for days.

Dr. Williams

And are we answering phones on the fifth day?


Yeah. Okay, so what’s crazy? And obviously, you get this piece in every other business in the world. We have to be there five days a week or answer the phones before seven sometimes or seven. I mean, that phone support. We’re like, hey, so Let’s check on the <calls> that trickled in on the weekend where you’re like if I call that guy back, and you know, there are some crazy people over the weekend too. So those happen, but for the most part, it’s like, to call someone back and go, Hey, you know, I saw you had a toothache or whatever, how can we help that like, people are just like, oh, my gosh, you call me on a Saturday? This is unbelievable.



Dr. Williams

But the whole crazy piece is, everybody else has to answer the phone and work American business hours. But for some reason, the industry’s gotten away with it.


And I think why some nice insights into why that happens. But right, if you don’t answer the phone for a full day, in the workweek, Monday through Friday, you’re immediately kneecapping your business at 20%. And so, like, the easiest thing you could do, pay somebody to answer the phones. Test it out; no one calls for 90 days. Fantastic. Maybe you don’t have to do it. But if you get two new patients, maybe you get one new patient a week because you answered the phone, and your average value of new patients is $2,500.

Right, you just made back 10,000. Over time, just by answering phones. And that’s just picking it up. Right? So we marketed, the person called, the team member picks up the phone. Think of it as a funnel. What happens at that initial point of contact? So I wanted to pull some data for you. Because you know, doctors like numbers. And so we have done, and this is just this year. practices who have inquired, and they want to see, hey, you know, how are we doing at the initial point of contact? What is the, at our intake process, right? How are we handling it when you compare it to hyper-successful and effective teams and offices? And so I pulled a study of about just under 4000 calls.

So 4000 offices, where we are trying to determine, you know, based on what we know, to be effective: which essentially breaks down to be a welcoming greeting, that is very concise, professional, you know, let the patient know who they called, and where they’re where they’ve called right instead of just doctor’s office or something like that, which you hear still way too much. And then effectively handling questions and answers, right. So making sure that not only do we respond to the question, but you’re not oversharing and doing what you call verbal vomit because, again, you’re talking to someone who was already anxious, who is looking for any opportunity not to schedule. And we just breezed past this. We forget that that person is seeking a reason not to schedule, but they already know they need. They have already researched providers.

They have already picked you on the list on Google. And they’re speaking with you, right. So all of those things have already occurred when any new patient phone call is just happening. But that is not how it gets treated. It is treated as if, oh man; I sure hope they schedule you to know, it’s up to them. Maybe they will; they won’t. They’re just price shopping, right? They don’t want to come in. I will apply all of my incorrect monetary preconceived notions and how I think insurance is important, but maybe it’s not to them. Right, and just apply all of this garbage that’s in my head on this patient. Because I don’t know any other way. That does happen.

Dr. Williams

You said it because, like, especially with newer team members, I noticed our default is kind of like, Oh, this guy’s asking a one-off question. And all of the sudden that like, the initiative to get them into the chair, like just like, case acceptance. Oh, he’s asking if we do this XYZ procedure here. I figured I better talk with the doctor about fully describing the procedure. Okay, yeah, if we do that, we may as well kiss him goodbye, now. Share the life out of him, you know, he’s going to like, what you’re going to put that in my mouth, like, you know, and the worst thing you could do is describe what’s going to happen to them when they are how pleasant it’s going to be.

It is going to sound terrible to the untrained ear. I mean, that’s just the reality of the business that you guys are in. I mean, out of those 4000 calls, it’s probably just slight deviations of a handful of questions. I looked this up to a scientist I fall, who did this COVID study. And it was like 4000 cases of studies; why Thinking of this number you threw out here at 4000. Because there were 4000 of them, he looked at the DNA on every one of those viruses, and every single one was slightly different. You know, and, and the point of this was what, you know how the virus is evolving.

But the moment I bring this up is, you know, like, 99.9% of that big long DNA thing is the same. And it’s like people. People aren’t; they’re not asking, like, do you take my insurance or thinking, I’m scared of the dentist, I might want to bring my family here, maybe refer my friends? Do I feel confident in your response? I mean, would you? Would you agree with that? It’s almost like that’s what they’re asking when you do white fillings. They’re saying like; I’m kind of scared. It’s been a while I don’t want to feel judged. I want to feel comfortable. I want I’m calling the right place.


Absolutely. And what’s fascinating too is, you know, if you go across the industry, typically, you’ll have a process for determining what type of call it is. And, if you look at it dental practices, only seven types of calls come in, but new patients need to be the number one priority. So even in that example of hey, do you do whitening? If you call me and ask if I’m if I do whitening? The first thing I’m going to ask is, when’s the last time you were in to see us? Because the answer, that’s not Mrs. Smith calling in to see hey, when I come back in, can I do whitening, too, that’s a potential $3,000 new patient, that’s somebody who may need a lot of stuff, who needs to find a new place, that you need to be confident enough to say that this is the right place for you. And we can get everything that you need to get taken care of.

And just making it easy for that person who has all kinds of anxiety and has probably some, you know, if they’re at least 30 years old, they probably have one negative experience. That’s the unfortunate truth that you have to kind of undo psychologically. But, you know, earlier when you talked about the treatment presentation piece of it, and being able to do that effectively. And so much of this is undoing the way people think innately. And showing that there’s a correct way because you don’t know what you don’t know. And so, once you handle the question correctly, we want to take control of the call, right? So-called the transition. It’s that question you just mentioned.

How’d you hear about our office? Do you want the referral sources? But now, because I’ve asked you that question, I have complete control. And then we’re going to go into an effective close. And what was fascinating, I’ll get to the results of the 4000. But in a sample of about 140 non-clients who joined us at an event in October: one person offered an appointment out of 140. Wow. Only one person even offers.

So we’ve had we had 139 potential new patient calls, where they were never actually offered a time to come in. We were running complimentary dental question & answer service lines, and I don’t think that’s what your listeners are looking for. But that’s the norm, right? So you want to be able to have, right, greet them nicely, answer the question, transition, close them, and then get the data, no matter what happens. So whether they schedule or they don’t, we’re still gathering that information. Because like you mentioned about that Saturday call.

Dr. Williams

This is a $2000 – $3,000 opportunity for your organization, for your business for your practice. And we’re just going to let that go after one try. We’re in every other industry, right? What is it like 7 to 12? Attempts?


Yeah, seven in one.

Dr. Williams

And how much that bottom line brings? I mean, you know, you were saying, hey, 2500 bucks, but I’m thinking about your office managers already there, your assistants already there. So that overhead already has all kinds of sunk costs. It’s like that 2500. It’s probably 70 to 90% is going right to your bottom line too. So it’s not even just, you know, you might go well 2500 on a monthly that’s not a ton. But what if you go well, 2350 that’s profit.


Because in that study, let’s see we had 96% got a zero or a one. This means we have changed it to zero probably since the first time we did it for you because so many people got upset by getting zeros. You can only get an A. That’s probably why you have to change it. So, the only way you can get zero is if we call during business hours when you have stated that you were open on end in it, and we tried three times Wild. I mean, you’ll see stuff all the time. 30% of the time, people go into practices, nobody picks up. We track a metric where it’s just handled by a person who can help.

And that’s happening, you know, across the board at really, really not great rates, we’re talking under 70% of the time is the person who can help that patient, the one who picks up the phone. And then I mean, just picking up the phone at all is drastic. And its just so much opportunity going, going away for really no reason. Because if you take that $2,000, just let’s say you lose one new patient a week because you’re conservative, and you’re, you know, you’re a humble listener. You say, alright, well, if 3732 of the 3879, right, get a zero or one, that’s a pretty good chance I might be in there too, let’s say you’re losing out on one new patient a week. I mean, throughout was that so 4000 a month. See 4000 times 12 You’re looking at, I’m sorry, it’s 8000 mental math.

So it’s almost $100,000 a year. And we’re talking about a process that happens possibly at the highest repetition of anything in your business. New patients’ calling happens every day, happens every week, and happens every month. But it’s happening probably 30 feet away. So I’m sure the first time you went through this, it was you kidding me? This is happening 20 feet away from me. And I had no idea that that’s what was occurring. Or that’s what, essentially, and then we’re all complaining that there are not enough crowns on our schedule. And oh, my gosh, September so slow, and all the holidays are here, no one’s calling, you’re like, nope, what my experience is the holiday, everybody’s breaking tea, I don’t know what it is they’re out spending their money or even on top of the hurricane.

Dr. Williams

It’s like, there are specific, you know, markets, things change a little bit. But you know, December’s been some of our best months, you know, some of yours. Kicked butt, December, you know, it’s just about how you approach it. But I’m just; I’m just doing some math here on my handy calculator based on what you’re saying, because I’m taking all kinds of notes around, but okay, someone’s listening to this, and they have sort of a million dollar a year practice. And they’re getting, you know, 25 new patients a month, that’s 300 new patients a year, we take your formula and divide that 1 million by 300, you’re going, and each of those patients is worth $3300. And let’s reproduce that, you know, and all you got to do is answer that phone. And, you know, based on what I’ve learned from scheduling Institute and infer, you know, listeners are, one thing that helped me out is like, it takes a while for your team members to understand like, hey, the phones are in like, let’s do a cartwheel backflip and grab that phone because that’s who’s paying your paycheck not me.

You know, I joke with my team, I’m like, this is who’s paying your salary, not me, I just sign it, but they’re the one funding. And you know, so? Well, if you’re listening to this and you’re implementing this, what I do, if I’m sitting there talking with a couple of team members, maybe having a quick meeting going paychecks and the phone rings, I reach my hand down, like the first rings not even finished. I grab that and follow this script or hand it to a team member. You know, and I don’t answer the phones a lot. Once in a while, I’ll do that just to kind of get a pulse on what’s going on. Because I think too many of us practice owners just kind of bury our heads in the sand and hope everything’s going the way you want. But you got to this is your investment. Not your team’s. Oh yeah, you got to get them on board with what you’re doing. And the man in that’s like, a way to show exemplary leadership. So your team’s like, Okay, we get this, this is very important to him, he sees me doing this, he’s probably going to be pleased. And then there’s perhaps more bonus opportunities or whatever.


If You don’t take it seriously as a leader in this area, that goes for anything, right? Anything we teach, and we go in. We implement something into an office. We could pretty much tell before leaving whether or not they’re going to get the intended benefit based on the engagement level the doctor, correct and, I mean, that’s the thing, it’s. Still, it’s also a process that is so easy to learn that you can always lead by example when it comes to this one piece. Right, and it’s a process, and it’s the beauty of it once you get it into place correctly. Team members may change over time front desk is probably the highest turnover spot even before COVID. Still, it’s just maintaining that process and in a standard, if you will, from that first point of contact, and that’s the purpose behind everything we do. And I love what you said about, you know, it’s the patient that pays the paycheck. It’s, the patients don’t just pay them, they don’t just pay you, right? Everything that we put out there has to be suitable for that patient when it comes down to it. Because the patient pays us all.

Dr. Williams

We do this thing. It’s like, you know, when we get a bonus thing, it’ll say like, congratulations! You hit the gap because we close the hole, and whatever the goal was, and it’s this business card has a picture of Michael Strahan smiling with a significant gap in his teeth, you know, the NFL player? And then it’s like, here you go! But the thing of the thing, I think it’s cool. You know, I was just thinking about this when you’re saying it. Because we’ve done, this is like, how often are we answering that phone? And, you know, if you’ve got someone listening to this, like, you got a college intern or the highest school student who wants to come in on Saturdays or evenings. Like, set something up where they answer phone calls, and its incredible people are calling at six, seven, you know, two seven breaks at a convenient time. Or we don’t have a question, convenient time.

And we have, you know, we have a phone system we use is Weave, and there are others like this, too. But, you know, if we miss a call, it’ll automatically respond with a text that says, hey, we saw Mr. Call, how can we help? And it’s a good tool. It’s helpful because we can just see the traffic coming out. But still, when that happens, it’s like, immediately, you know, I’m always talking to the team every morning. Hey, if any missed calls slipped through, we got to call them back like. And I think the same goes for tele dentistry. In episode one, we had my friend, Dr. Tanner Clark. He’s got a teledentistry thing going because he works a lot with public schools. And it has its place, but even you know when we’re bringing up the patient still to kind of like how are you going to do dentistry virtually? I’m like, Well, yeah, you know, it’s for emergency kind of things.

But we start to think, oh, everything’s changed so much. But it’s like now the basic human need, just like you said, is they might schedule online, but they’re still going to call and go; oh, by the way, I forgot to ask you to take my insurance. And if you follow, perfect, consistent outline that’s patient-oriented, like what you guys teach in the scheduling Institute, patients are like, Okay, I feel confident. That seems like someone who knows what they’re doing. It looks vibrant, exciting. We ask you about dentistry not like, you know, Mary sitting behind the desk like, yeah, we take insurance? Yeah. Oh, no, he’s not here that day. We were moaning and groaning, eating a doughnut on the cell phone. Yeah, you know, I mean, I, even the days I’m not in the office, you know, on my team, call me for the huddle when I’m available.

We’re not seeing patients those days like Yeah, but look, we still got a collections goal today. We still have a new patient goal. So like, I want to know how many leads came in because we have a little daily lead track, and we call them leads until they have. Well, let’s have a goal for how many leads because this is a perfect way to kick the week off, and rev that thing up. And I think that’s where you know, these numbers, you’re saying that I’m writing all kinds of notes down here, really, really just kick in. And when we look at it from a membership standpoint, I like to follow Costco because I think they do many incredible things.

They know the value of their membership. And there, you know, 80% of their profit comes from their memberships, because essentially, you’re buying air, just a step in the store and maybe cost them a $12 million renewal card once a year. And Costco, compared to Amazon or even Target, has an average revenue per employee of 80 to 100%, higher their profit per employee is double that of Amazon, Walmart, or Target. And they know the value of their members. And so if you’re going, hey, $2,500 is the average revenue per new patient. And that example you gave, you know, what I want to listen to think about it, what about that patient who’s like, really got a significant overhaul. They’re referred to you, and they’re going to join your membership plan announcement; they might be worth two to four times that based on the data we have, oh, my office, it’s usually two to three times the value of an insured patient, which is impressive.

You know, it’s crazy too. The mishandling of the initial contact is more of a turnoff for your right high expectation—self-pay, potentially membership. And I mean, luckily, when the referrals, you have a little bit of good grace from the person who referred them, but I mean, we messed that one up. You know, this is a high, high-value patient who could be a long-term part of your practice, but we just get so focused on it. Well, what about the one person who’s going to call in and complain about how we don’t accept XYZ insurance? That’s the wrong way to think about it. Half the time, they’re calling what they want, not even covered anyway.

Yeah, we were like, she’s calling because she wants veneers and whitening, and I’m thinking off the top of my head? Well, I know none of that’s covered anyway. So why do you know why we hung up on it? But you have to be more diplomatic with my team because I want to do it. But I think, you know, that initial contact, as you said, I saw a study and they took surveys from like a home, you know, like a home and garden show at like an expo center. And they had these survey cards, saying, hey, when are you thinking of remodeling your home?

It was either like remodeling a home or finishing your basement, something like that. And it was like 85% of people said in the next 18 months, and they’re at the Home Show where they’re looking to buy stuff for their home, it was a home remodeling show, the purpose of the show is revived home. So that’s like an 18-month lead time. Because like some of these, even if they’re not ready for the implants or veneers, you get them in for a cleaning or consultation, build some trust you keep them in, you keep them nurtured as you said, and they give you more time to build trust. And yeah, they’re not all red hot right now. But you got to keep those things warm. And they can just produce such great results for your practice.


Oh absolutely! And then what’s fun is once you get that piece secure, right, you’re just increasing the number of those $2,500 means not a transaction, but when they walk through the door, essentially, that’s what you can expect, then you’re going to work on every piece that follows. All right, what about when they do walk in, right? What are all those other things that you can do to create a patient-centric environment that is going to not only increase the quantity of those new patients but also increase the value by making sure that your team is ultimately living up to what their potential is, which, as far as we believe is? No one is there. And so there’s always huge room. And I know, there’s a lot of you know, I mean, if you watch the dental town boards, it is just employee complaint after a team member, you know, issue X, Y, and Z, and a lot of my understanding, but a lot of the stuff you see on there is, unfortunately, the exact opposite of believing that people have a higher potential than exercise.

So that’s, that’s some of the fun that we get to have. It turned into an event. It’s like there’s a Facebook dental page by me where everybody goes to temporary hygienists and assistants. I can’t even go on there because it’s just a negative thing. Yeah, everybody, there is complaining or unemployed people. I just think there’s a reason you’re not employed, you’re probably not very employable, or you’re just looking for the wrong thing. And so they’re complaining. And so I just can’t when we need to find someone I’m like, Okay, guys, you got to go on there. I can’t. That’s just a cesspool, you know. And, and like you said, it’s just kind of the mentality they have, but yeah, well, we just have a few minutes here.

What do you have anything else you want to say about maybe any trends you’re seeing the last year or two? I know all of us want to blame everything on COVID? Right, but a lot of systems are human. As you said, office manager turnover was the highest before we even knew what COVID was. Is, are things changing? Are there trends? Or is it really, like you said still, hey, look, 90% of people are still going to call you they still have basic needs, they still have teeth, they still want to look good on their zoom calls and their selfies and their family, you know, what’s fascinating and sound like you got to experience this. And when you know, march 14 happened, then we whatever it was June or July or August, whenever depending on your state, people were able to get back to work. We saw a pretty significant dip in our average call ratings for the membership, people outside of membership.


We’re still hovering at like a one. We’ve made some enhancements to where our team members going through our newer process are getting higher ratings than ever, which is great to see. But what was fascinating is in that time back, people were locked down the pathway, the fact that people had been looking at themselves on zoom cameras for long they had to, and this still very much exists. Because people also have been saving at a much higher rate than they have in previous years. I mean, the savings number for the average American, and I don’t know the exact number I was listening to yesterday, but it’s drastically higher than it has been recently.

Dr. Williams

So patients have money in the bank. And they’re tired of looking at their, their self in the camera, to be honest with you. And so I would not imagine. And it sounds a little off, if you listen to any kind of, you know, Misery loves company, but this is a fantastic time to be in dentistry. You see, it’s like, every time something terrible happens, we come out the other side. And it turns out, and it’s still great to be a dentist. And so, I think that’s just something that we don’t want to take for granted. Because obviously, that’s good for us, because we helped in this, but people like the work more than ever. And they have the money as you said, I have the money.

Since the 1920s, this is the most money people have had in decades. And slowly, we can joke with our patients on like, you know, Mrs. Jones, I know, you’re so happy to be here, because this is a legitimate excuse to leave your house to come to the dentist, you know, it’s a justifiable excuse to pull yourself out of self-quarantine. And it’s the first time. Yeah, I keep talking my peeps here. I’m like, you know, if your practice can’t make money, right now, you got to do a severe self-assessment, because it’s like, there, people are flush with cash in a lot of ways right now. And there’s so much, you know, government grants and everything else going out to try to bolster everything up. It’s like; it’s out the demands out there at the money’s out there. It’s a great time.


I agree 100%. And I’ll tell you, almost all of our clients who are actively working, the things that we’ve been trying to put in place, you know, that his record if they haven’t had a record-breaking month and new patients or collections between June of 2020. And today, that is a legitimate concern for me. Because I know for a fact that our people who are doing the things are serving their patients, who are communicating appropriately, have been crushing it. And that’s not the norm in the marketplace. And so, if that’s not you, then I do think it’s an opportunity to look and say, Alright, well, what, what do I need to do differently, because no team member is going to do it for you.

But I will say, you know, the first place a patient’s going to get to interact is on the phones, and many people just stopped answering the phones during that time. None like, if you can’t make you can’t, you know, someone introduces you, and you can’t make a good impression on that first date over the phone, they’re not going to get to the date to have dinner with you, that part’s not even going to get that far. And that’s why many practices, unfortunately, didn’t open back up. Because they didn’t pick up, they didn’t even pick up the phone to answer the patient’s request. And so we have clients who are getting 100 new patients because the person they went to didn’t pick up the phone for two months. All right. And it’s the things of making sure that the basics, which this is one of the basics, are always followed, right. It’s like, I’m a football guy and make football analogies. So it’s the blocking and tackling. It’s the make sure you’re accessible. And then make sure you provide an excellent experience that’s pleasant and easy to go through. Right. And so I don’t know if this is if we’re about to wrap up.

But I do want to allow anybody to listen if they’re going to find out how they’re doing today when it comes to that. We have just a free assessment of the experience the patient gets when they try and reach out to you. We call it the Five Star Challenge. Dr. Williams, what you were talking about at the beginning with the CD, that was probably because you took the five-star challenge at some point. But if you just go to

It’ll allow you to get that complimentary analysis. We’ll send you out a package with all the information and even get a call to your office to see if there is an opportunity there or the good news of hey, you’re already doing a fantastic job. So really a win-win to figure out do you have these what I like to call costly drops of water falling out of the pipeline of your business.

Dr. Williams

That’s great! That’s a really great offer, Flint; you know I say this as you know someone who’s benefited from this program. I have no financial incentive to recommend this to anyone listening. But you’re leaving, and I can promise you you’re leaving money on the table. And you’re missing out on some excellent team growth opportunities. If you’re not getting something like this five-star phone program going because just taking that assessment, it’ll open your mind; you start listening to phone calls, you know, I would recommend you record. There are phone systems that record your phone calls and listen to those periodically; their software will now transcribe all kinds of cool stuff. But it’s benefited my practice tremendously. You are scheduling me as the authority for phones in a dental practice.

So, if you have any comments, questions, reviews, we’d love for you to leave some feedback. Leave reviews on iTunes if you have a question. In the transcription of the notes, we’ll also put the link that Flint shared, so you can go and check out the scheduling Institute and get your five-star phone call setup. And if you have other questions, you can post them to our blog as well. So, Flint, you were a wealth of knowledge. I took all kinds of notes here today.

So we might have to do another one in the future and cover some other interesting topics that the scheduling institute specializes in. Thank you so much.


Yeah, my pleasure. I would love to.

Dr. Williams

Awesome. Okay, well, we’ll see you next time. And thanks again for listening.

If you’d like to listen to this topic, check out this episode by clicking here.

How to Ensure You Have a Successful New Year

It’s January, the year of goals, dreams, changes, updates, and resolutions. There’s actually a designated day in January named National “Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day.” The truth is, that means that less than one in 24 New Year’s resolutions, or rather less than 4% of New Year’s resolutions we make are ever realized or achieved.

As you start the new year keep in mind the SMART acronym S M A R T when you are setting your goals.

Most new year’s resolutions are vague, such as “I’m going to work out more” or “I want to manage my finances better” or “we’re going to grow the practice this year,” or “let’s add a membership plan to the mix.” 

Besides being vague, the first problem with these goals is that most are not written. There’s also a fallacy where many people think that if they simply write down their goal they will achieve it. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. When you make a resolution and don’t write it down, you have a very low chance of achieving that resolution.

As mentioned above, there’s a 4% or less chance to achieve it if you don’t you write down your goal and make it specific. Studies show that your chance of achieving that goal increases to somewhere around 10% when you do write it down.

The 3 Big Keys to achieving your goals this year are:

  1. Making them SMART
  2. Write them down somewhere you can see them regularly, such as in your planner or on a vision board.
  3. Get an accountability partner. When you do all three of these things, your chance of achieving your goal skyrockets to around 90%. The accountability partner could be a friend or family member, co-worker, or a coach or mentor.

The most important lesson here is that you verbalize this and write it down to someone who will work with you on the goal and help you achieve it. Then work backwards with the desired result and measurable outcome as you kick off 2022 and work to make your goals attainable. 

I challenge you to think about how you can grow your practice and your personal life together. If adding more membership plans as a bigger part of your practice is something you’re aiming for, be sure to check out our recent blog and podcasts for more information. ( and


If you want to crack the code on membership plans and learn how you can double, triple or even 10X your practice using the profitable growth that comes from membership plans, contact us on our website or email me to learn about our next growth mastermind program. 

We hope you have a remarkable start to 2022!

Dr. Tyler Williams

First Time Going Viral!

During my senior year of high school, a bunch of the guys we’re over at a friend’s house. Her parents were going through a divorce. So her mom was organizing and cleaning out the garage. There was a pile of odds and ends from which her said we could take what we wanted. The only item that was off limited to keep were some old-fashioned fire extinguishers. She told us that we could borrow them, but not keep them. Of course, we were drawn to the thing that we couldnt have because it was the most interesting.

Before I knew it we were filling it up with water at a local gas station to see how much pressure it could hold. When I younger, my dad told me about the old-fashioned fire extinguishers that you had to fill on your own with water, before the modern pre-filled red containers were available. These “old school” extinguishers released enough pressure to knock a kid off his bike. Next we began cruising around the neighborhood in my friends car with the filled tank, seeing what we could find to hit with our new water cannon.

First we pulled up to a stop light next to a couple of girls about our age. They laughed as they rolled down their window. As soon as the light turned green, I shot a burst of water into their slightly cracked drivers side window and they sped off, giggling a bit and the chase was on!

These was far superior to any squirt gun or Super Soaker I had as a child. Following our first test, we drove by a Super Target store where a group of employees were hanging out in the parking lot, just getting off work. Some of them were sitting in the back of the parking lot in a truck. They kind of yelled at us, but because we came in and out of the parking lot so quickly, they had no chance of catching us. The drive by water rifle worked like a charm.

We had no idea that they (or someone nearby) had made a call to the local police station about some teenage punks with water guns. In the meantime, and ironically, that first set of girls we squired pulled up right next to us again (not to far away from the first location) stopped again at another light. This was a one-in-a-million change of happening.

We took it a little slower this time and signaled for them to roll down their window to talk. After some brief back and forth chatting, I grabbed the handle on the extinguisher and shot a full blast burst of water ammo through the driver’s side window, which was all the way down. It ricocheted off the passenger side window, and created an interior whirlpool of cold water inside their car. That was our last chance to put our weapon away.

After just a few more stops and squirts, we noticed blue and red lights behind our car, and the next thing we knew the police were pulling us over confiscating our new toy…

Our friend’s mom wasn’t too happy about the situation, but she kind laughed, almost like she knew what was going to happen when she let us borrow the extinguishers. She was really pretty cool about it, and was willing to go to the police station in the early morning hours to regain her impounded property.

I was never the type to go out and party, and I never got into any real trouble with the law. We just enjoyed spreading a little bit of havoc like many teenage boys do. This time, a little too far.

The next day, one of my friends who worked at Target after school, heard some of his coworkers talking about it. Of course, our parents soon discovered the truth, as did other classmates. This was my first time turning something that was previously sitting idle in someone’s garage and transforming it into an unused viral asset. This was something that many would write off as “boring”, that we turned into something new and uninteresting for us.

The Question

What idle, dormant assets do you have lying around your office or practice that can be repurposed into something new and exciting, or dusted off and reintroduced into boosting your production?

It may be an intraoral camera that you’re not using anymore, but should be to increase your case acceptance.

It’s possible that you bought a Laser and it’s been put away in a drawer somewhere, unused and unproductive. You could use it to help your patients save more of their teeth, stop bleeding gums, and eliminate bad breath.

These ideas and many others are simple ways to boost the value you give to your patients, especially something could make as a free or discounted exclusive benefit for patients who are enrolled in your in-office membership plan.

There really is nothing new under the sun, and the sooner you realize that old saying is true, the better off you will be. The sooner you make a difference in someone’s smile or health, the sooner you can see a massive increase in your bottom line with almost no additional overhead (the best part!).

Everyone knows about Amazon Prime, but most people forget that in the 1950’s, you could call your local grocery store and your groceries by phone. Then you would back your station wagon up to the front door of the store and have it delivered to your vehicle, never setting foot in the store.

This came along way before Door Dash, UberEATS, or online home delivery services existed. The concept is not new. The reason for the change to in-store purchases, is that grocery stores discovered that when you go inside to get your groceries, you spend a lot more. So the phone to car delivery faded away, but now it’s back as strong as ever. Even though now you use a smartphone or iPad to order, the idea is exactly the same.

During the holiday season, take some time to reflect on what you’re thankful for and what you’re grateful for. Your team, your patients, your office, and your dusty assets that are being underutilized. Spend some dedicated down time in organization and planning with your team, and be sure to spend some time planning out your 2022 calendar. When you put together a calendar, a lot of power is unlocked.

While you’re at it, check to see what assets you have in your closet office that can be reintroduced to help you finish the year strong.

Have a great week!

Dr. Tyler Williams

“The Membership Doctor”

Should You Offer Memberships In Your Office? Part 1 of 2.

We’re going to break this topic down into two parts over two different episodes. This episode is really about asking the question, should you offer membership plans? 

Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t. 

But we’ll go through some things that should help you decide if you’re not currently offering a plan, if you should, or if you are offering a plan, how you can make it better. 

Maybe you even should stop offering a membership plan. We’ll go through the 9 Deadly Sins of memberships, and how they’re usually done wrong. 

You may have heard a patient say something like “you billed my insurance wrong, it’s your fault, not mine.” Or the “He Said, She Said” game.

Blah, blah, blah! Right?

This is not a good situation to be in. It’s not fun for anybody. And it’s frustrating for patients and team members because you want to do what’s right for your patients, and they just want to get the dentistry they need. You just want to be as clear and transparent as possible. 

So on a future podcast, we’re going to talk about ways to make treatment planning more clear, especially with your membership plans (including how we actually always give our patients our written estimate before we start, rather than after how that’s helped us grow the practice). 

Maybe it’s something that even keeps you up at night, which is figuring out the questions – just how do you please all of these patients, do the right thing and deliver GOLD Star Service?

The first thing I’ll say is to not let that keep you awake, you can’t please everybody. If you try to be everything to everybody, you won’t be anything to anybody as the saying goes. This certainly applies to  running your dental practice. 

Memberships done wrong Deadly Sins:

  1. Poor return on investment, and or making hygiene a loss leader
  2. Your membership plan sounds too much like insurance
  3. Not promoting your membership internally and externally
  4. Not knowing the lifetime value of your patient
  5. Not knowing your numbers
  6. Flat rate discounting.
  7. Not making it look professional
  8. Thinking your patient is too sophisticated or too smart to want something like a membership plan
  9. The worst sin of them all. BEING BORING!

So depending where you live, you may hear things like:

There are too many dentists in your area!

It’s too crowded!

The market is saturated.

I’ve certainly heard that in my area. The truth is, anywhere that’s nice to live these days is going to have competition. The word gets out faster with technology. When people find somewhere nice to live or nice to vacation, word gets out quickly. People want to live in those nice places. 

So unless you want to live in a cold, isolated area, where there’s no shopping, no movie theaters, and nothing fun to do, you’re probably going to have some competition.

The REAL truth is that your competition really is much less about other dental offices as it is just life, your patients have bills to pay. They have accidents that happen. They have unforeseen expenses. They have vacations. Christmas and weddings, college and retirement, fixed income and new jobs and all these things to plan for. 

Your focus should be to really think like a patient when you create a membership plan, NOT think like a dentist or dental hygienist. 

Think about your competition as other things in life. Because, roughly 50% of the population has not seen a dentist in the past year. That number may be even higher now, since many people have isolated or quarantined themselves in some areas, or been fearful of their safety. 

Certainly, people need to see a dentist like you obviously, and a lot of people who are not seeing dentists are not people who are severely financially challenged. A lot of these people who aren’t regularly seeing a dentist are teachers, doctors, physicians, lawyers, healthcare professionals, engineers, and other kinds of professions.

You know the number one reason they haven’t come to see you? It’s really no lack of perceived need. That is really the bottom line of why people don’t come to see you as often as they should sometimes.

Back to the point, when you’re thinking about membership plans in your office, and you think about these 9 deadly sins, think about what’s valuable to your patient in their personal lives.

There’s a saying that goes like this. You can come to the ocean with a teaspoon, a bucket, a barrel, or a dump truck, and pull water out of the ocean, and the ocean is not going look or feel any different. 

There’s plenty of opportunity out there, more than enough! You have to shift to a creative mindset, not a scarcity mindset.

There’s plenty of money to go around, there’s plenty of needs to be met for all of us, patients and practice owners alike. The first thing is you got to clear out the head trash. May time, insurance is the problem. Saturation really isn’t the problem, and being short money is not the problem. Sit down with your team, or your pen and pad, and think about all the opportunities around, and how you can offer new and interesting things to your patients that may make them interested in signing up for your membership plans. 

Warren Buffett has stated that he stays away from investments in companies that have lots of technology or are technology driven, where there’s fixed pricing. What is price fixing? A bad, low paying PPO plan is a perfect example!

So, if you’re a low tech office, if your office is kind of old school and you don’t worry about updating a lot of things, and you are just very bright “bread and butter” in your services, then, being heavy insurance driven may be just fine. However, if you’re a progressive and growing office, you may want to take another look at how much control any given PPO has over your office. 

Two reports to run tomorrow when you get into the office, and study:

  1. IVNI (Insurance vs Non-Insurance Patients in your practice)
  2. NIVI (Non-Insurance Insurance vs Insurance Payments Total Collections in your practice)

Have a great week and join us on the next episode!

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out this episode by clicking here.