The following is the actual text from an email response that I provided to a doctor’s questions back in January. His words are in bold. He was, at the time, interested in the possibility of having us come into his practice to work with him and his team. They are very typical questions that we receive often. I thought that by providing the questions, along with my answers, to all of our readers might be instructive. This doctor decided to NOT engage us to assist him and I have not heard from him again. My purpose here is to remind you all that the year is now half over. If you aren’t making the kind of progress you had hoped for since 2018 bagan six months ago, I encourage you to consider contacting us right away. It’s not too late to salvage 2018. (MG)
Could you please outline for me how the (consulting) process works?
As we might have discussed on our call last week, Mike makes the initial visit and then the person who will be your on-going coach is assigned and will visit monthly thereafter. Mike provides the information necessary to develop the sequence of topics to be covered in your office on the monthly visits, attempting to start with the thing that is causing the biggest road block and/or that will provide the best and fastest relief/remedy. So it is basically one topic per month. The consulting/coaching process is different in every practice because the people are different in every practice and the doctor’s goals are different in every practice. We are starting our 27th year next month and across several hundred practices I can assure you that no two practices are alike. Because of that, the consulting process is never the same. Consultants’ need, among many skills, to be very flexible. We do not attempt to provide a “one size fits all” solution or approach. We also do not promise specific results because we ultimately have no control over what you and your team will or will not do. We give advice and information based on “best practices” that we have seen be successful in many, many practices. Much like a football coach (or any other sport) who makes great preparation and has a viable game plan, the results are ultimately in the hands of the players to execute the plan by eliminating mistakes and playing as a cohesive unit. The coach can’t throw a pass, can’t score a touchdown, can’t kick a field goal, can’t block or tackle, etc.
What is the goal and end result of working with you guys?
Our goal is to help you reach your goal(s). The end result is reaching or exceeding the goal(s). In your case, unless I have misunderstood something, it will be to get the practice to the level of providing for the addition of your son to the practice when he graduates 2.5 years from now.
What does your actual work entail?
This is going to sound like a broken record, but again, this will vary from practice to practice. As a generalized statement, the work of the coach involves providing proven systems to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of every aspect of the operation of your business. We answer questions, we encourage, we hope to inspire, and most importantly we provide a level of accountability that most offices have never experienced.
How will you guys achieve the goal…help me to achieve the goal…of essentially:
1. Doubling my practice production?
By becoming more efficient and effective in a thousand little things that go on from day-to-day in your practice. It is a process. It does not happen overnight. In general, people don’t like change. In fact they often resist it, sometimes aggressively. There is never “one big thing” that makes a huge difference. That would be way too easy. It’s the dynamic of synergy at work – lots of little things that, when taken cumulatively, will eventually make a gig difference.
2. Quadrupling monthly new patients?
We can provide samples of advertising and make recommendations of how and where to advertise. This will be hugely impacted by the amount available to be budgeted for advertising. We will provide ideas to improve your internal marketing and for getting more direct referrals from existing patients. Again, this is a process. You can’t handle a sudden flood of new patients. No office can. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if you had 100 new patients this month. New patient numbers must be grown gradually. More new patients results in more practice revenue. That new revenue will need to be plowed back into more outreach for new patients – until you reach the desired level. Overall, to make this a reality, 99 out of 100 practices need to become much more “consumer oriented”.
Have you guys routinely experienced that type of result in your work with others?
Key word here is routinely – and the answer is no. Every doctor wants something different. Some practices have an abundance of new patients but still struggle greatly in other areas. Some practices are limited in productivity by lack of capacity in operatories, parking, etc. Again, it is never the same twice.
How specific, how detailed, how involved, do you guys get and what kind of guidance and in what areas can I expect us to work?
By the end of the first year, you will have received everything we’ve got related to practice management. Books, videos, a 3-ring binder with about 300 pages of written information and instruction, to-do lists, and probably too many phone calls, emails, and text messages to count. This is also hugely dependent upon your active engagement in the process. The practices that do the best with our services are the offices most engaged – the ones asking the most questions and the ones consistently saying: “We’ve finished all that you assigned. Give us more!” Some of the specific areas we cover are: Goal Setting, Scheduling, Overhead Control, New Patient Process, Collections, Financial Arrangements, Treatment Planning, Hygiene Productivity, Doctor Productivity, External Marketing, Internal Marketing, Reactivation, Recall, and Staff Management. Those are clearly broad topics and there are thousands of details contained in the material. Too many for me to list.
Just want to know what I’d be buying and what my expectations of the end result should be.
Essentially you’re buying well over 100 years of combined experience and knowledge about how to manage and grow a dental practice. End result? We actually see many practices that never reach “the end”. When a practice continues to grow, the goals, needs, and problems will change. I have one client that I have worked with for over 20 years. It was one doctor, one location, producing and collecting about $75,000 – $80,000 per month in the beginning. Now they are 6 locations, about a dozen doctors (looking for more) and collecting over a million dollars per month. So his goals have changed multiple times, as have his problems and challenges. Is he the exception? Absolutely. He’s also that rare person willing to put in the work necessary in order to achieve what they have achieved. But it does show one very important thing: It is possible.
In some ways, a consultant can be compared to a GPS device. It determines where you are now. You tell it where you want to go. It provides directions to get you to that destination. When you get off track, it “recalculates” and plots a course back to your original destination. But through all of this, YOU DRIVE THE CAR. Maybe driverless cars will be commonplace someday. Maybe driverless businesses will be possible some day. But that day is not now for either one.
PS. Watch this space in the upcoming weeks for details on our next “live” seminar event. It will be here in the Dallas area, likely in October. We are working now to nail down a location, times, etc. So stay tuned!