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to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

12 Ways to Get People to Want to Do Business With You

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 29, 2013

I like to think of myself as an amiable guy, but I wouldn’t claim to be charismatic. Charismatic is an adjective I would apply to someone like Jay Leno or Tony Robbins. Bill Clinton is supposed to be very charismatic. I know die-hard conservatives who changed their views about him after speaking to him for just five minutes.

Wouldn’t it be great to have that kind of effect on people? Wouldn’t it feel good to know that you have the ability to make everyone you meet like you… and want to work with you?

Just a few hours ago, such a man came to my office. He had just taken over managing my bond account after my longtime account manager retired. I didn’t want to like this young upstart because I resented it when my old account manager left. I felt (irrationally) abandoned. But within five minutes, we were talking about cigars and martial arts. By the time he left a half-hour later (we were scheduled to meet for only 15 minutes), I had promised him more of my business. I had also given him a copy of my latest book and a $20 cigar!

He should have given me a cigar. But that’s the power of charisma.

Many salespeople are charismatic. You meet them. You like them. You buy from them. Even when they don’t have the best product or the best pricing.

Charismatic people seem to be born that way. They have an uncanny, natural ability to sell almost anything, including their ideas. They don’t follow the usual rules. They smile a lot. They chat a lot.

Do they have skills that the rest of us – the non-gifted lot – can learn?

Absolutely!

Here are 12 ways you can become more charismatic and get more out of all your business relationships. Most of them are based on the principles identified by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

1. People tend to do business with people they like. So behave in a way that makes you likable. Be polite and patient. Avoid being crude, rude, gruff, or impatient.

2. People are attracted to people who keep their word. That means when you make a promise, do exactly what you promised. Do it by the deadline you promised – or sooner.

3. People trust people who have their best interests at heart. They will think you have their best interests at heart when you give them advice that benefits them more than it benefits you.

4. People want to do business with people who are experts in their fields. So first, you need to actually become an expert in your field through practice, research, training, education, and study. Then you need to do things (such as writing articles and books or giving speeches) that demonstrate your expertise to potential customers and business associates.

5. People feel comfortable giving money to people who are honest, ethical, and aboveboard. So don’t lie in your marketing materials (or elsewhere). Telling the truth is much more effective.

6. People are attracted to people who are physically attractive or at least not physically repulsive. So eat right. Exercise. Stay fit. Be well-groomed. Dress well. And pay attention to your personal hygiene.

7. People feel better with people who seem to be “real.” The best way to show that you’re a regular guy is to be cordial, friendly, and genuinely interested in others. Instead of talking about yourself, ask about them. Ask about their company, their job, their industry, even their family and hobbies.

8. People respond to people who listen and pay attention to what they are saying. Remember the old cliché: You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you talk.

9. People feel comfortable with people who are like them. The trick here is to identify one thing you have in common with the other person. It could be gold, kids, pets, or anything else. Then, use that to cement a bond between you.

10. People are attracted to people who are humble. So don’t be a braggart. And never discuss how much money you make.

11. People are impressed by people who seem busy. That’s why you should never tell a prospective customer that things are slow and you really need his business. Think about doctors. How would you feel if you walked into a doctor’s office and you were the only patient? Wouldn’t you wonder how good he was? As much as you hate it when you have to sit there and wait, don’t you feel more assured when a doctor’s waiting room is packed? Of course, you do.

12. People want to be surrounded by helpful people – people who make their lives easier and save them time. They also prefer to deal with people who are flexible and accommodating, not rigid and difficult.

Which of these people-pleasing skills do you have already? Congratulate yourself for acquiring them, and practice them more.

Sent: Courtesy of Dr. Jacque Russo
Originally by Mark Ford

Homecare Products Create Profits to Your Practice and WOW Your Patients

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 19, 2013

 

People want to improve their smiles, and the market for related products is growing exponentially. Every day, television commercials rave about oral hygiene products and cleaner, whiter teeth. Even advertisements not specifically for oral care show people with beautiful, white teeth – and viewers want what they hear and see daily. That’s good news for your dental practice, but are you doing all you can to capitalize on this opportunity?

You may have experienced frustration when patients return months after a visit, never having purchased the home care product you recommended. Patients leave the dental practice with the good intention of purchasing what you recommend, but lets’ face it – life gets in the way, and many of your patients just never get around to buying the recommended products.

All that said, an often overlooked – yet significant – profit center in a dental practice is selling home care products. These products can contribute at least $30,000 to your practice’s net annual profits, and selling them requires only a small up-front investment. Even better, a quick return on investment is easily accomplished when everyone on the dental team participates and understands the value of offering these products. The point here is not to pressure a sale but to promote optimal oral health and create a simple solution for your patients.

Build Up Your Reputation as the Expert

As you well know, patients get loads of oral care product information on the internet, from commercials, and even from makeover reality shows. Unfortunately, patients won’t even think to ask their dental providers about an oral care product they recently saw. As dental professionals, however, we must remind the public that we are THE experts on oral health and thus on the products that protect our patients’ smiles.

Find ways around your office to remind your patients know just how much you stay abreast of the research, the rapid changes in technology, and all the new products available for consumers. For example, you could include a section on your website that reviews products or simply informs patients about new products on the market. You can do the same with pamphlets or an office e-newsletter.

Bottom line, you want patients asking YOUR opinion so that if they see an ad on TV, internet of a magazine they like, they go to you for the expert opinion. Then, if your dental office has that product or a similar one available, you can sell it right then and there! Not only can you sell it but you can educate them about the best way to use the product. Once patients understand exactly how to use something new they are ten times more likely to begin using the product you recommend.

Let Your Patient Education Do the Selling

As a dental professional or hygienist, you may feel like you are running all day on a treadmill, and the last thing you want to do is add another task to your plate. Building a home care product niche, however, doesn’t have to involve a ton of extra work if you already educate your patients about home care products.

When patients learn from you what the most effective products are, their visit to the dental office will likely exceed their expectations. The icing on the cake (and the easy part) is actually having those products available for the patient to buy. This setup will create a WOW type of dental visit with little extra effort on your part. Tip: Be sure to set aside a few minutes during the patient appointment to demonstrate the proper use of the products. This is a perfect way to ensure the patient understands how to effectively use the recommended product.

Added bonus: These home care talks will improve your patients’ self-efficacy. You have taken time to help patients understand how to use a new product, and they will feel confident and at ease about buying it and then using it. Plus, having oral health care products available is just one more opportunity to add that personal touch – and patients may begin asking for refills when they return.

Get Creative With the Holidays

Valentines Day is coming soon and what would be a sweeter gift than a more beautiful, whiter smile!

February is a great time to offer a whitening special. Forever White™ is available to dentists and for less than $9.00 (Cost to your office to purchase) you will give your patient a more beautiful white smile! Who knows what doors you may open when patients says “YES” to getting whiter teeth. Many times this can lead to higher end cosmetic cases.

You can lower the price on your whitening several times a year and not create a loss leader but a WOW experience for many of your patients. Many offices will give away whitening to their new patients while others lower the price of whitening several times a year. (Many offices will lower the fee to only $90.00 during special times of the year. Purchasing all the  Forever White™ products means you keep most of the money while adding a great patient experience.)

Do Your Homework First

Although we highly suggest adding a homecare profit center to your dental business model, we also suggest taking an honest look at your practice and making sure you have the resources available to make it work. Here are a few questions to consider before diving into home care sales. Take time to share the questions with your team members, and listen to their suggestions on how this can work best for your business model.

  1. What will your ROI be on the sale of these products?
    -Discuss the cost of the products you will provide and how much to initially stock.
    -Discuss the fees you will charge when you do carry these products.
    -Find out if these products are covered by insurance.
    -Note the billing code for patients who purchase these products.
  2. Do you have a place to store these products?
    -Find a time to clean your cabinets and purge expired and send-back products.
    -Find out if you can send certain products back to the distributor.
  3. How can you increase the odds of patients purchasing the products you recommend?
    -Discuss how you can communicate the importance of optimal oral health.
    -What words will you use to promote home care most effectively?
  4. If patients buy these recommended products, will they understand how and when to use them?
    -Have written home care instructions accompanying the new products.
    -Have the home care and product use instructions on your website, as well.

Staying abreast of the new products and research to support their use is key. The last quarter of the year is a good time to schedule your annual strategic planning session. At this meeting, determine as a team what products you want to provide patients. Discuss the costs and benefits for you and your patients regarding the products you decide to make available for purchase in your dental office.

You will exceed patient expectations when you consider their total health and save them time and money with their everyday shopping needs. Our world today is extremely fast-paced, and offering home care products will become a benefit to your patients that goes a long way!

Destress and Experience Success

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 11, 2013

 

Dentistry is a profession that seems to be uniquely afflicted with a great deal of stress and anxiety.

Why the stress? Is it the fast pace and trying to see patients in a timely manner? Or is it the stress that patients bring to the dental office that makes us feel stressed? Many dentists today are feeling stress from the financial issues associated with today’s economic challenges.

As a clinician you are performing your duties in an extremely intimate area on clients who, in most cases, are not totally excited about the whole situation of sitting in the treatment room.

This clinical situation would be enough to elevate the stress chemicals of any normal person. Compounding it is the fact that the practitioner is faced with additional pressures. He or she is also a small business owner. In this capacity you must wear many hats. You are leaders, managers, scheduling coordinators, counselors and money managers. Is it any wonder that dentists seem to rank extremely high in incidence of stress-related maladies? These include burnout, loss of passion for their profession and actual physical symptoms. Dentists must learn to manage their stress before their stress manages them.

First you must recognize that not all stress is bad for you. Without any stress you would be like a spineless jellyfish, unable to function in the real world. The stress of owning your own business, of providing for your family, of serving your patients to the best of your abilities can actually be good for you. Stress really can make you stronger, more resilient and increase your ability to relate to others. We can call this type of stress, good stress or eustress. The stress you want to eliminate is the stress that always seems to create anxiety and worry. Let’s call this distress or bad stress. These stressors produce headaches, backaches, insomnia, indigestion and depression. Most of these stressors are self-inflicted.

We really do create a lot of our own stress.

Here are 3 techniques to manage stress and it may also assist other dental professionals

1) Live life in day-tight compartments,

2) Manage your priorities and determine what are your most important and essential daily actions (your crystal balls),

3) Rule your impulses

The first technique,” Dale Carnegie talks about; “live life in day-tight compartments” and you can read more about this in his book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.”  This is exemplified by the words of Thomas Carlyle, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.” Unfortunately most of us do not follow this advice and stew and agonize over things that we cannot control or feel guilty over events that have already taken place.

Guilt emanates from the past. These are actions or events that are over and done with, yet you continually relive them and demonstrate regret. Worry emanates from the future. These are things or events that have not yet occurred, yet you agonize over them. Realize, you cannot live in the past. The past is dead and gone. “Let the dead bury the dead.” You cannot live in the future. The future is merely a promissory note. You have no guarantee that you will even be around tomorrow. “The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today makes the strongest falter.” Live for today only.” Every day is a new life to a wise man or woman. Live only in the present that is all you have. Close off the past and the future and live in day-tight compartments. If you can accomplish this and live only for today by living in these day-tight compartments you can eliminate most guilt and worry.

Remember that the present is just that a, “present or a gift,” that is given to us. Enjoy it. Horace, the Roman poet, wrote “happy the individual and happy they alone who can call today his or her own. They who secure within can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.” Strive to shut the iron doors on the past and the future and live in day-tight compartments. This will eliminate a great deal of worry, anxiety and guilt. Start today and seize this day to obtain the most out of it. Live only in day-tight compartments.

I have been hearing about the stress dental practice owners have been experiencing for about 4 years. I developed a few systems and programs to over come their financial stress. After so many years of dentists calling and asking “Debbie, How can I fill all the holes in my schedule?” And I heard “Debbie, How can I increase my New Patients #s?” and also you have asked “Debbie, How can I have more patients say “YES!” to accepting my care and schedule for treatment?” I have now created a few solutions to answer these questions.

If you are asking these questions here are the solutions for you:

Forever White™

Case Acceptance: Get Them to Say “YES!”

Much success to you this year!

Forever White™ : How to Keep Patients Coming Back!

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

January 4, 2013

I recently spoke at a dental conference and asked the audience “What is one thing that your patients want more than any other procedure?” 100% of the attendees answered in harmony “WHITER TEETH!”

You may be offering patients something they never knew they really wanted so here is how to open up the conversation.

 

Step One
While patients are seated in the treatment room and as you are reviewing the patient medical history, ask a few simple questions. One of the questions can be something such as: “Mrs. Jones, if there is one thing you could change about your smile, what would that be?” Wait for her to answer. This is not a yes or no answer but allow the patient to think of their own answer. It must be answer that doesn’t require a “yes” or “no” but their honest opinion about their teeth. Most of us have at least one thing we would like to change about our smile or how we can look better! We are our own best and worst critic!

Another question you may want to ask is “Mr. Holmes, If I could wave a magic wand and create any wish about your teeth or smile, what would you wish for?” Now that can be a powerful question, as well as get a smile from most people you ask this question!

Asking one of these two questions or developing your own simple questions about how a patient would like to change their smile, can open the door for more cosmetic procedures. Most will want teeth whitening, Invisalign®, Six-Month Smiles®, Veneers, Ortho or even implants. Give it a try for the next month and keep account of the additional services that can come out of your dental hygiene appointments and of course new patient appointments!

Ask a few simple questions to your patients about their smile and you will create a consistent profit stream to your dental practice.

Changing Lives One Smile at a Time
As a dental professional you and your team are changing lives. You are able to truly change the way people feel every day about themselves.

“White teeth is one of the first things people notice about a persons appearance. You have the valuable expertise to not only change how long and healthy your patients live but also how beautiful their smile is. A smile can affect their day to day life in a positive way!”

Men and women of all ages throughout the world are now opting for teeth whitening to improve their smile.

Many patients today are still clueless about the variety of various products and this is why it is very important to educate your patients on the variety of whitening products and procedures you have available to patients in your office.

Keep Them Coming Back for More
For several years, dental offices have seen a decline in New Patient numbers. I see advertisements through social living sites and Google Ads; dentists are spending thousands of dollars in advertising for new patients.

I would never say not to advertise to increase New Patient numbers, but I know there are two ways to get production numbers up as well as New Patient numbers.

If you advertise for New Patients, I suggest that you include teeth whitening in the New Patient fee. (YES! At no charge) You can easily and cost-effectively offer free whitening in your dental office and every six months when the patient returns offer them a free whitening syringe. There is a simple way to deliver this without losing money but gaining patient loyalty and also referrals from your patients. You will gain more attention with your ad if you include the whitening in the New Patient appointment.

The thought here is “give patients something they really want” and use whitening as an incentive for keeping their regularly scheduled hygiene appointments.

There are many patient loyalty programs available to dental practices but they have a hefty monthly fee to participate. Forever White™ is a Premium Patient Incentive Program that has no monthly enrollment fee for the dental practice. Forever White™ is a system for dentists to use and create other income streams.

Forever White™ is a premium patient incentive program dentists can market and brand as their own. View it as a private label program that the dentist can offer their patients, that they can’t get just anywhere. The office will be using the same quality premium whitening gel but at half the price. This means the dentist keeps their patients and more money stays in the dental practice.
It also can used to reactivate those overdue patients and helps to gain patient loyalty. A series of calls and letters are sent to the patients explaining the premium whitening program. The best part of this type of program is that whitening only costs the dentist a few dollars (Pounds, EURO) to use because of the special pricing offered to dentists worldwide.

 

Why Does This Concept Work Well?
One of the reasons this concept works so well is because patients feel like a VIP when they are given the special treatment. Patients will respond kindly when you give them what they want. People feel much better about themselves when they see a beautiful smile. This is what will give you a competitive edge over other dental offices down the street or even a few miles away.

This is also a fantastic tool to get a “YES!” from patients to continue with further restorative needs. The whitening is only the tip of the iceberg.
Not only do your patients have a reason to smile, they have a great reason to continue returning to your office and you will also smile when your bank account grows over your 2012 balance!

Need more information about how to order? Send us an email: support@dentalpracticesolutions.com or call us: 503-970-1122

Toll-free: 888-816-1511

Please note:

* There is no monthly membership charge. You are only charged the wholesale price for the whitening gel. We provide the materials at no additional cost to you so you can reactivate, retrain your patients why their hygiene appointment is so important and your will retain your patients for life! We coach and guide you to utilize whitening most successfully.

Our product has a 100% guarantee! If you are not satisfied send it back. We’ll return your money paid for the product. That is how confident we are you will love Forever White™!