How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 4

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 4Last week, I shared with you the third step of How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 3: Scrap the Tabloids, Share Some Smiles.

So now that you’ve completed your self-evaluation of the practice and cleaned up the clutter of magazines in the reception room and replaced them with a practice promoting photo album and know the value of power educating with collateral materials…

You might be wondering, “What’s next?”

Step 3: EFFECTIVE USE OF A SMILE ANALYSIS FORM

How do you utilize the information gained in your Smile Analysis Form? Do you even have a form or is it a single question on your health history form – asking patients if they want to change anything about their smile? If you do use a form, was it designed to create the comfort level that patients need to confide what enhancements they are looking to have?

Once the form is filled out what does your receptionist do to help create awareness among your other team members that this patient might have some issues they need to address? While the patient is waiting in the reception area what does the receptionist do after reviewing the form regarding addressing the possible services that might solve their esthetic concerns?

Your receptionist will never diagnose, however they should be actively involved in the process. Remember the Power Triad Rx: To inform, educate and remove hidden objections that result in a motivated patient.

THE 80% RULE

Your receptionist is one of the KEY team members who can make or break your cosmetic program. Whether welcoming patients to the practice, answering questions on the phone — or in the office –- your practice and your patients will benefit when your receptionist and other team members have updated their cosmetic skill set.

Sounds easy enough but it does require dedication and effort. The good news is that this new skill set will be seamless with your existing systems when your receptionist works with the Silverman Institute’s 80% Rule.

The concept is simple…80% of the time, while you are in an operatory treating a patient, another team member should be informing, educating and motivating other patients about various cosmetic services.

Dr Silverman teaching the receptionist the 80% Rule at Boot Camp

Dr Silverman teaching the receptionist the 80% Rule at Boot Camp. “The key is not just having your patient fill out a form, but using the 80 Percent Rule in conjunction with the information obtained in the form.”

For example, while you’re completing the final touches on a Non-Invasive Veneer case, a patient is in the reception area talking to your receptionist. In addition to exchanging pleasantries, your receptionist reviews your next patient’s Smile Enhancement Form.

Noticing that the patient would like to enhance some of her teeth your receptionist takes advantage of this time to use the Power Triad Rx described above.

The reception area is where interest is generated while the patient is waiting to be seen by the doctor or the hygienist.

Don’t waste this opportunity to inform, power educate and motivate these patients. The truly cosmetically focused team will want to know how to maximize this key player.

COMPLIMENTARY REVIEW AND FORMS

My suggestion: Consider your Smile Analysis Form as a tool to gather information.

Don’t let it collect dust while the patient is waiting to be seen. Highlight the form with a yellow marker indicating what changes your patient was hoping to have made.

Would you like a complimentary copy of the Silverman Institute’s Boot Camp Smile Enhancement Form?

Simply send me a request to incrediblesmiles@aol.com with a brief explanation of why you hope this form will be helpful to you – and I will be happy to forward a copy of our form to you that you can test and see how it works with your patient population. (If you can include a copy of your office logo letterhead with the email then we can customize the form for your office).

And don’t forget to send me up to 3 photos of your reception area in .jpeg format if you would like me to offer some complimentary advice on how you might be able to enhance your cosmetic dentistry message.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:

Step 4: MOTIVATING OFFICE DECOR

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 3

Dr  Harvey Silverman Last week, I shared with you the first step of How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 2 Creating Self-Awareness Through A Self -Evaluation of Your Practice.

The most successful practices that we have worked with have followed these simple steps in their quest to reach this goal. In an effort to help you achieve those same successes, let’s move on to the next step.

Step 2 — SCRAP THE TABLOIDS, SHARE SOME SMILES

Where is your cosmetic dentistry photo album? Is it hidden under a pile of magazines?

As a prospective patient would you have a challenge even seeing this educational tool while you are in the reception area? Now open the album and look at the photos — are they better suited to be placed in a dental journal than as a motivational tool demonstrating how your cosmetic services enhanced your patients’ self-image?

Are the photos examples of your work or are they from a commercially produced album? Can your team talk with sincerity about the positive impact these transformations made if they are from a commercially available album?

Typical magazine table in a dental office

Caption: A photo of a reception area taken prior to Boot Camp. Too many popular magazines create clutter. This does not help in your mission to inform and educate patients about recent advances in cosmetic dentistry that may benefit them.

My suggestion: Get rid of the clutter of magazines and prominently place your photo album in the reception area — and only show transformations you have personally made.

marketing in your waiting area

Caption: During Boot Camp we do some minor office design changes – such as the above. You can do the same yourself.

However, there is one caveat about photo albums. While they are helpful, your team needs to know how to power educate when dental patients look at before and after photos. Having a patient simply flip through pages in the album is informative at best.

For example, some albums do not even clearly differentiate if the procedure was a crown or a veneer. And if was a veneer, was it a non-invasive veneer or did you have to prep the teeth? You and your team can add your own thoughts on the various queries patients have when looking at your photo album.

At the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program we found it challenging to motivate patients by simply leaving patient education materials in the reception area. Instead we advocate power educating because it is a technique that is easy to master, leverages your teams’ belief in your cosmetic skills and converts interest into a truly motivated patient — where the patient is ready to say “Yes” to proceeding with cosmetic dentistry services.

In Part 4 of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community we are going to explore Step 3 — THE EFFECTIVE USE OF A SMILE ANALYSIS FORM.

I am going to share a simple, sensible method that the dentists I consult with use. This technique helps them understand what elective cosmetic dental enhancements patients still want. I can appreciate that you may believe that your patients of record who had interest in enhancing their smile already discussed their interest with you. The surprise – and good news – is that is not necessarily the case.

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 2

Dr  Harvey Silverman How many times have you heard a patient say, “Let me go home and think about it” or perhaps, “Let me talk to my husband (or wife) about it” after a cosmetic consultation? There are many excuses, or even hidden objections, causing patients to “hold-off” on proposed cosmetic dentistry.

The bottom line though is that this does not have to be the case. I know that from teaching dentists how to step up the cosmetic component of their practice for over 25 years.

So what is the best approach and how long does it take to expand the cosmetic component in your practice? At the Silverman Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry we found that no matter where you practice the good news is that it does not take months to take your cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level.

It can happen in one day if you are willing to make a commitment to distinguishing the cosmetic component in your practice.

Even in today’s economy patients want to have a self-confident smile and to look/feel their best. In order to achieve this cosmetic expert status, you need to cultivate outstanding clinical skills. The good news is that it is easier to do that today than ever before with non-invasive/minimally invasive veneers.

See Figure 1 and 2 below. Simultaneously we must look at our work environment. You might as well do that today since your patients are doing that when they enter your dental practice every day.

Figure 1: This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment

Figure 1:

This patient is undergoing the final phase of Invisalign treatment by another dentist.  He is interested in knowing what can be done to enhance the final esthetics of his case.

Figure 2: After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7

Figure 2:

After doing a custom-designed 60 Second Smile Trial directly on tooth #7, the patient can see exactly what the final outcome of the case will look like.  The patient is also considering tooth whitening prior to doing the in-office LifeLike Veneer™.

Step 1: Creating Self-awareness Through a Self-evaluation of Your Practice

Here’s a simple suggestion on how you can accomplish that. Walk out of the office for a moment. Okay now come back in and look around. What do you notice? Does anything you see in your reception area jump out at you?

Write down some notes on a piece of paper.

After doing that let’s step out of the office again – and come back in. Now this time I want you to look around the office with a different perspective, as if you are a patient. What does your office say about you as a cosmetic dentist? Is there anything in the reception area that informs, educates and motivates patients to learn how recent advances in cosmetic dentistry can enhance their smile? What silently provides your patients with increased confidence in your cosmetic dentistry skills?

Is there anything that you see that helps distinguish you as a skilled, talented cosmetic dentist?

I can go on and on but I think you get where I am going.

This exercise is something I have dentists do during our cosmetic dentistry Boot Camp program. The result is that the dentist and the entire team learn to think about the unspoken message your office is sending to your patients. This may seem obvious enough but when was the last time you sat down in your reception area and looked around – seeing the office from the eyes of a patient? When you do this you and your team will learn what needs to be done to build cosmetic awareness.

So what should your practice look like?

If you snap a few photos of your reception area (no more than 5) and send them in jpg format to my email address at incrediblesmiles@aol.com, I will be happy to review them and provide you with a few complimentary suggestions on simple changes you might want to make.

This is a very important first step for you if you want to take your cosmetic practice to the next level and I’d like to help you accomplish that goal.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:

Step 2. SCRAP THE TABLOIDS, SHARE SOME SMILES

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

The House Flipping Mentality As It Applies to Dental Marketing

time is moneyHouse flipping: Buying real estate and quickly reselling for a profit, either because of renovations or rising housing prices.

Marketing campaign flipping: Trying different marketing campaigns in rapid succession in an attempt to maximize returns.

Given the recent economic situation, particularly the burst of the housing bubble, it’s a good time to examine some common pitfalls associated with the “flipping” mentality. Everyone knows what house flippers do: purchase homes at a below market value, fix them up a little, and sell at a profit. Preferably in the shortest amount of time possible, all while capitalizing on favorable market trends. Sounds good right? Right! Until the bottom falls out of those favorable market trends.

This isn’t a piece on real estate investment. (However, you will see more from us on property management and real estate as it pertains to dental practices!) Here, I’m going to look at what happens when dentists apply the house-flipping mentality to marketing their dental practices.

Your marketing plan is a vehicle to generate return on investment, but it needs time to generate those dividends.

Time is absolutely critical when analyzing your return on investment (ROI). House flippers traditionally try to maximize their profit margin by turning a house over as quickly as possible. Some dentists try to maximize marketing returns by quickly switching to a new marketing campaign if they don’t see immediate results from their current one. Just as flippers are now suffering from time running out, some dental practices suffer from not allowing enough time for their marketing plan to generate a significant positive return on investment.

It’s important that you give your marketing campaign time to succeed. It’s also important that you spend enough time to effectively structure your marketing plan. Without time, your campaign will be doomed to fail. As a busy dentist, you might enlist the help of professional consultants, or you might have staff specifically dedicated to the task. Regardless, it is imperative that you allow enough time to develop a solid marketing strategy that will work for your practice.

The flipper mentality need not apply to your marketing plan. Sure, you might see relatively quick returns from signage or a referral program. But other marketing vehicles take more time. Starting a website, airing a commercial, or launching a direct mail campaign for six months “just to see what happens” is not a smart investment. All you will do is lose money! It’s simply not enough time to gauge success.

Think of a flipper who bought a house at the pinnacle of the market, and is now left with a devalued piece of property. That investment just became an asset – one that loses money. That is exactly what any marketing venture will do if not given the adequate time to develop into something profitable.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but those exceptions are not the foundation of your marketing plan. Your attention and oversight will allow you to effectively factor in the exceptions and local geo-specific variables to further tailor your plan in the future. Do yourself a favor and invest the time educating yourself, before investing a dime showcasing your practice. Don’t become a campaign flipper!

Written by Chris Barnard

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