A Very Exciting Week So Far!

A Very Exciting Week So Far!

Hey guys, it’s Chris Pistorius with dental marketing company, KickStart. I want to give you a quick update on what I’ve been up to this week. I’m actually in Miami, Florida, I am with about, I don’t know, 50 other agency owners. We all get together every three or four months or so. We go over the latest in local marketing. And these are other agencies that are in all kinds of industries, not just dental. We go over what’s working well, what’s not working well. What the latest marketing technologies are, the latest cool things in terms of website, design, and development, and really what’s out there on the horizon in terms of marketing for local businesses. So I want to share you share this with you because I’m so excited about what I’ve learned so far. I’m on day two, tomorrow will be our last day meeting and I’ve just learned a ton about things that I can bring in immediately to our clients to help them and us kind of zoom in if you will, to 2021.

So learning some great stuff here, I’m really excited. I’m going to unpack this for you when I get back. So you’ll see some more videos of me soon talking about the details of things that I’m learning and if you’re a client of ours now, you’ll definitely be hearing from me soon because we want to start, using some of this, some of these new learnings in our campaigns and just to drive even better results for you guys in 2021. So all good here in Miami and looking forward to unpacking this and talking to you soon. Thanks.

Also, if you would like to see how your practice is faring compared to others during the COVID pandemic, please check out the latest study from the ADA.

 

How Does Your Dental Practice Compare To Others During The COVID Pandemic?

How Does Your Dental Practice Compare To Others During The COVID Pandemic?

Some great data from the ADA on the current state of affairs (data as of 10/5/20) in the dental industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. KickStart Dental Marketing is proud to share this kind of important data with our visitors.

  • Recovery: As of the week of October 5th, 99% of dental offices in the U.S. were open and patient volume was estimated
    at 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels. Staffing was at 93% of pre-COVID-19 levels. These values have been roughly unchanged
    for several weeks and suggest we have reached a “steady state” of economic activity in dental offices.
  • Dentists are hiring: Roughly one-third of dental practices are recruiting dental assistants and one quarter are recruiting
    hygienists. DSO-affiliated practices and large groups are recruiting more heavily than non-DSO and solo practices.
  • Recruitment is a challenge: Recruiting dental team members is challenging. Among dentists hiring for any position (i.e.,
    hygienists, assistants, administrative staff, or dentists), the majority report that it has been extremely or very challenging
    compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 80% reported it was extremely or very challenging to recruit
    hygienists, and roughly 70% said the same for assistants.
  • Patients are willing to get vaccinated at the dental office: Consumers are open to the idea of vaccination at the dental
    office as part of their dental visit. If an annual flu shot could be incorporated into a routine dental visit, the majority of
    consumers report they would be interested in that option. If a COVID-19 vaccine were available and patients could get the vaccine at their dentist’s office during their appointment, the majority would be interested.

As of the week of October 5th, 99% of dental practices in the U.S. were open. Less than half of the open practices reported “business as usual” in terms of patient volume. This has declined over the past month.

 

Patient volume in dental practices is at 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels as of the week of October 5th.

 

Staffing in dental practices was at roughly 93% of pre-COVID-19 levels the week of October 5th. This has been stable for several weeks.

 

79% of people are either “recently active” or “ready to go” in terms of visiting a dentist’s office. 

 

Consumers are open to the idea of vaccination at the dental office as part of their dental visit. If an annual flu shot could be incorporated into a routine dental visit, the majority of consumers report they would be interested in that option. If a COVID-19 vaccine were available and patients could get the vaccine at their dentist’s office during their appointment, the majority would be interested.

Also, don’t forget to check out Chris’ latest blog post on how to hire dental front desk staff to enhance your dental marketing efforts!

 

A Quick Thought On Hiring Front Desk Staff

A Quick Thought On Hiring Front Desk Staff

Hey guys, it’s Chris with the top rated dental marketing agency, KickStart Dental Marketing. I just got off the phone with the dentist of a potential brand new practice. And we talked about front desk staff and what they should do when they’re looking to hire a front desk staff. And I thought, “Why not shoot a minute or two video on my thoughts on this. And it might help somebody else in our community?”

So, I wanted to talk about that really quickly in the sense that most dental practices, what we’ve found over the last 10, 11 years that we’ve been doing dental marketing is that, a lot of dental practices will hire front desk people, but they won’t think about these front desk folks as having sales skills. And I think that’s a mistake because truth be known, if you’re doing marketing or if you’re on insurance lists, things like that, you should be getting a good influx of phone calls and inquiries into your practice from people that don’t know who you are. And you need somebody that’s very skilled at that front desk position in sales to help portray your value, schedule those appointments and get them into your chairs.

So, you may want to think about the next time you’re hiring a front desk staff person in that, do they have sales skills? And if they don’t, that’s okay. But are they coachable? Will they be willing to learn new skills and get better at their jobs? So, it can be literally a make or break for a dental practice that is looking to grow of having somebody that’s answering the phones that has some skills in terms of turning cold leads into new patients. So, just some thoughts on that. I hope it helps you. And let me know if you have any questions.

Be sure to check out my interview with Jordan Armstrong with Sky 5 Cleaning on how to keep your office “COVID clean”.

 

A Dental Practice Should Be The Safest Place To Be During COVID – Interview With Jordan Armstrong Of Sky 5 Cleaning

A Dental Practice Should Be The Safest Place To Be During COVID – Interview With Jordan Armstrong Of Sky 5 Cleaning

Hi everyone. Chris Pistorius here again, with KickStart Dental Marketing. Today, I want to talk about something that’s very COVID-related in terms of dental practices. A lot of our clients ask us right now, “What’s the best way to show our potential new patients and our existing patients some of the safety precautions that we’re taking to make sure that our patients are safe when they come to see us?”. And unfortunately, most people or the general public don’t really realize that actually, a dental practice is probably one of the safest places to be during COVID, just because of all the extra precautions and measures that dental practices are taking.

Chris Pistorius:

So, I thought today it’d be a great idea to bring on Jordan Armstrong. He is the managing partner of Sky5 Cleaning, and they specialize in commercial cleaning in health care. They do a lot of cleaning with dental practices. So, Jordan, thanks so much for being a part of this today.

Jordan Armstrong:

Yeah. Thank you, Chris, for having me on.

Chris Pistorius:

Sure. I know you’re really busy right now because of all the COVID stuff going on. But again, I appreciate you coming on and just maybe help educate some of our listeners about what they can do specifically to help make sure that their practices are staying clean, and maybe give them some tips on the things that you do for your clients to make sure everything’s staying clean. So, why don’t you, first of all, just tell us a little bit about your business and how you do things?

Jordan Armstrong:

Sure. So, Sky5 Cleaning Systems, we are a commercial cleaning company. And as you mentioned earlier, we have a lot of clients within the healthcare spectrum, and we provide everything from janitorial services to specialty services, such as deep cleans. A lot of our services right now are related to COVID-19, going in there and disinfecting and providing a safe space for patients.

Chris Pistorius:

Okay. That’s great. I mean, I know that environmental things certainly will make businesses pivot and change, and being in the cleaning industry, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of that change and pivot towards COVID-specific measures with healthcare facilities. I know that we were talking off-air, just before we started the recording here, about how you got pulled in late last night to go to a healthcare provider and do some emergency cleaning because of a breakout they had. Could you maybe detail what it is that you do specifically in healthcare when you go to a situation like that? What kind of products do you use? I mean, are there specific cleaning methods? How does that work?

Jordan Armstrong:

Sure. Yeah, so one of our clients had an outbreak, and because it’s a healthcare space, there’s a lot of regulations, a lot of procedures that you must follow. So, I’ll just give you an example. Last night we have to suit up, we have to make sure that we have all the necessary chemicals that adhere to the CDC guidelines. And when you walk in, you want to be as cautious as possible. And really, you’re covering the entire building. It’s not just the floor, it’s not just high touchpoints, but you ultimately want to fog… We use foggers and they’re very efficient, especially in certain facilities because of the fact that you can cover so much without getting all this expensive equipment, computers, all of that, wet. So, you want to make sure that you have the right equipment when you’re performing these services because they do vary from clinic to clinic.

Chris Pistorius:

Right.

Jordan Armstrong:

So, not only will we do that, but before we even do that, Chris, we like to start with a clean building. And I like to educate clients that before we can disinfect, the clinic must be clean. So, our janitorial service crew will perform a high level deep clean at that facility before we’ll have our disinfectant specialist team go in there and really focus on that.

Chris Pistorius:

I see. So, it’s important, I guess, that makes sense, you wanted to start with the clean surface and then you can go over and sanitize it from there with the fogging. On TV I’ve seen some of the videos of using those fogging machines. It’s interesting how those work. Are there any special chemicals or solutions that you’re using specifically for COVID, or is the stuff that you had been using for years previous to this, is that effective against COVID?

Jordan Armstrong:

Well, look, every vendor has its own different products that they use. The most important thing is to make sure that it adheres to the CDC guidelines and the other guidelines. But for us, we’ve tested so many different products. We wanted to go with something that’s stronger, that is able to disinfect at a 30-second touchpoint level, which was ultimately the reason why we gravitated to the product that we’re using. I’m happy to that with you outside of this.

Jordan Armstrong:

But we like to use that because, here’s the deal, some of those disinfectant chemicals, they have a dwell time of, say, 10 minutes. Well, that’s a lot of time if you have a big facility to cover. So, we want the highest quality product in the least amount of time. So, we want efficiency and that’s why… Look, we’re always looking to test out new products.

Chris Pistorius:

Yeah, no, I think it’s good to stay up on the trends. A client of mine brought this up the other time, they were curious, Chris, we’ve had our same cleaning crew for 15 years or so, and they were a little concerned that, does that cleaning crew do a good enough job of really protecting their office from COVID, in terms of at least cleanliness versus maybe using a commercial company like yours? I’m assuming that you guys probably have done a little bit, at least, special training on the COVID stuff. Maybe you could talk about that a little bit?

Jordan Armstrong:

Yeah. So that’s what we like to really pride ourselves on, is our training program. We’re part of ISS [inaudible 00:07:18], we’re members of all of these different organizations that… We want our staff to be educated. And we also want to help educate our clients. And so, we go through, we call it like a 15 step checklist of everything from general cleaning, all the way down to if a fire goes off, what is your role? What do you need to do? Because everything like that happens.

Jordan Armstrong:

And so, we want to put our staff in a position where they know how to do it, but more importantly, they know why they’re doing it. Because anyone can go in and just perform a cookie-cutter clean if you will. But you really might be hurting your client and even yourself, if you don’t know why you’re using that chemical or that tool. And so, for us, education is the foundation. We care about the safety of everyone.

Chris Pistorius:

Right. No, that makes a lot of sense. How often do you think, without saying there wasn’t an outbreak or any known cases from an office, how often should a practice go through deep cleaning like this? Is this a daily thing, weekly thing, monthly thing? What do you see?

Jordan Armstrong:

So, that’s an interesting question, because you’re going to get all of these different answers. I like to start with almost looking at it like Forensic Twain. I use that because it depends on the amount of traffic, how many people are really coming in? If it’s a smaller clinic, and you’re not seeing a lot of patients, maybe you don’t need a deep cleaning every single day. Maybe you just need it once a month, once every three months.

Jordan Armstrong:

What I always say, have a good janitorial daily clean. Your deep cleans can range from doing it a month or doing it quarterly. We have some clients that do that biannually. So, it really just depends. And then you have your massive high traffic clients where they might be disinfecting every week, could be daily, because of the vulnerability and other factors like that.

Chris Pistorius:

Right. No, that makes sense. Okay. Well, thanks, Jordan. I really appreciate all the information you’ve given us here. Anything else that you’d want to cover, or talk about in terms of how a dental practice could maybe stay clean if you will?

Jordan Armstrong:

Yeah. I would just say, make sure that your staff understands how important it is to, I know it sounds routine, but wash their hands, make sure they’re not cross-contaminated, and really step back and ask yourself, “Do we need to have maybe an expert come in and at least provide a consultation because maybe there are some things that we’re not doing, and we’d like to know how we can keep our patients safer.”

Chris Pistorius:

Yeah. No, that makes sense. And Jordan, that brings up a good point. I think that you said that typically for people watching this segment, and may have some questions for you, number one, what’s the best way to reach you? And the number two, I think you said you’d be willing to do even a free kind of, I don’t want to say analysis, but estimate on what it might cost to do, and how often they should probably think about doing it based on the traffic, and how busy they are?

Chris Pistorius:

So, how can we get ahold of you, first of all? And then secondly, if you could talk about how that estimation process goes?

Jordan Armstrong:

Sure. The best way to reach Sky5 and myself included is jordan@sky5cs.com. That’s my email. Or you can go over to our website, that’s sky5cs.com, and I’m happy to provide all my contact info. As I mentioned, we’re all seeing the numbers, here in Colorado, go up, and so, during this time, I’m more than happy, same with our staff, to provide a free site consult, and just kind of go over it with them and see if it makes sense.

Chris Pistorius:

Okay. Sounds great. And that’s the number 5, right? Not spelled out five.

Jordan Armstrong:

Yep.

Chris Pistorius:

Okay. And I’ll put it in the comment section too. Well, Jordan, I really appreciate your time. Again, I know you’re busy, but I think this is going to be very helpful. Just, if nothing else, for dental practices to know if they’re kind of following the right procedures or not. So, thanks for the information, and maybe we can have you on in the next few weeks, kind of see where we are with COVID, and see if anything’s really changed for you if that’s okay?

Jordan Armstrong:

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks again, Chris.

Chris Pistorius:

Sure thing.

Jordan Armstrong:

Will talk to you soon.

Be sure to see our recommendation for dental credit card processing. Chris Pistorius interviews Billy Parra of Elite Payment Group!

 

Our Recommendation For Dental Credit Card Processing

Our Recommendation For Dental Credit Card Processing

KickStart Dental Marketing is a dental marketing company based in Denver, CO. For more information on our services please call (800) 694-9184.

Chris Pistorius:  Hi everybody. This is Chris Pistorius again with Kickstart Dental Marketing. Today, I’ve got an awesome guest that I know a lot of you are going to be interested in. This is Billy Parra, he is the Director of Sales for Elite Payment Group. He’s located in San Antonio, Texas. I’ll let him speak here in a second, I promise. But, I get asked a ton from dental practices and I’ve never had a really good answer about [00:00:30] credit card processing. There’s some of you that do over a million dollars a year easily in credit card processing and you spend a lot of money in the transaction fees. Well, I had a dental consultant friend of mine, Brenda, talk to me about Billy and his company, Elite Payment Group, and I looked into it and I’ve actually switched over myself. His rates are unbelievable and he focuses on the dental industry. So, without further ado, Billy, thanks [00:01:00] so much for being a part of the show today.

Billy Parra:                    Thank you so much for inviting me. I really appreciate it Chris.

Chris Pistorius:              Yeah. So, you said you’re in San Antonio, right?

Billy Parra:                    Yes. It’s beautiful, great weather. San Antonio, Texas.

Chris Pistorius:              Yeah. Today, we were talking before we start hit the record button, that we got our first snow here in Denver and San Antonio is starting to sound pretty good right now, so.

Billy Parra:                    It’s always golf weather.

Chris Pistorius:              Right, right. Well, hey, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your company, Elite Payment [00:01:30] Group.

Billy Parra:                    We started this company in 2010 because I used to own restaurants and in restaurants I was always… my rates would always keep climbing, my all in rate. My fees kept going, going up. So, we decided to start a company doing processing the right way. In other words, a lot of people… a lot of processing companies are huge conglomerates or units that are small amount of BOPs. What they’ll do is they’ll get you, tie you into a contract, say this is a rate they’re going to give you and then over time, the rate keeps going [00:02:00] up and up and up. Also, rent equipment to you, release equipment to you, which is not what we do.

We kind of flipped the script where, in a nutshell, the way payment processing works is there’s three people that get paid. The bank that issues a credit card, Visa and MasterCard and Amex for every transaction and the processor. The processor that actually takes your payments and puts it in your bank, that’s the only negotiable piece. The other piece is, imagine Walt Disney World and Joe’s little hotdog [00:02:30] stand, they pay exactly the same for the cost of the different types of cards. Your rewards cards, Capital One, business cards, debit. Take debit if you can, that’s the best rate for you.

So, what they’ll do is they’ll say, we’ll put you on a kind of tier pricing and some cards will be at 1.50 and others will be at 2.0. What they’ll do is they’ll just put cards that are 1.15 and put them at the 2.5 rate. And over time, they’ll just keep raising those rates and [inaudible 00:02:57] fees. What we do and I’ll tell you, just [00:03:00] Google interchange pass through pricing. And from there, you can Google that interchange pass through pricing, that way you can learn about pure pricing versus interchange.

We do interchange. Interchange is the actual cost of the different cards. There’s over 600 different rates for credit cards. If you key a card in versus if you swipe it, it’s going to cost you more. What we do, we add only 0.08%. 0.08. So, that’s 0.0008 and 8 [00:03:30] cents a transaction above that. And we have fees that average out to $35 a month, those fees never go up. What we do is, we make very, very little off each customer, but you’ll see on our statements of when you see it, we make very little, but we have thousands and thousands of clients.

We owned about 10% of the self storage market for a long time, we sold that. And we only basically focus on dental, veterinarian, optometry. I handle the dental side. We never raise those rates, we never play games. We don’t put you into a contract that ties you in, you can [00:04:00] quit whenever you want. And we get free equipment, we don’t lease equipment and it’s good quality equipment. You can have a mobile vial that works off your wifi.

And the main thing is that people, we like to say, people come for the price and stay for the service. We answer the phone 24 7. Most companies will just send you to the main processor behind that 800 number and you’ll never get an answer. 24 7, we answer the phone. So, basically the thing about it, you come to us, you will save thousands per year [00:04:30] and it won’t cost you a penny to do it.

Chris Pistorius:              Yeah. And I’m attested, I mean you did a rate comparison for my company and it’s going to save me a considerable amount of money. And quite frankly, I get nothing for doing this. This is legit advice to all my clients. The process was very simple, I signed a couple documents, emailed them back over to you guys and everything’s right on track.

So, [00:05:00] this is the real deal and it’s one of those things that… Sometimes my clients will say, well, I can save a couple hundred dollars a month to switch credit card processing companies. And I’m almost like, it’s not worth it because you got to go through and change processes and it’s just not worth it. But I’m seeing your company literally save dental practices, thousands of dollars a month in credit card processing fees. And that’s just, [00:05:30] that’s amazing. So, is there anything that you can tell the audience? Because my clients do get a lot of calls about credit card processing and it’s taking up some of their front desk time. Do you have any tips or advice on how to really stop those calls other than saying, “Hey, stop calling us.”?

Billy Parra:                    The best tip is, when I had my restaurants I would get calls all the time, I got to say your money or the boss, the boss says like, we need, you need to say [inaudible 00:05:56] I am the boss, I never spoke to you. So, tell them when they call, tell your [00:06:00] front desk or whomever, just say, “I have my own ISO.” Now the ISO allows you… You can do your own processing and you’re not going to rip yourself off. Anybody can become an ISO like we are, and that way you can tell… At least that person will not call you again, you know?

Chris Pistorius:              Gotcha.

Billy Parra:                    They’re not going to call you because they know, Hey, I’m not going to rip myself off. [inaudible 00:06:21] We do so much volume that our buy rate, our cost rate is extremely low. That allows us to do that 0.08 and 8 cents of transaction. [00:06:30] I have to say, I have my own [inaudible 00:06:32].

Chris Pistorius:              Yeah. Okay. And I’ve always wondered, this is kind of my own personal curiosity, but why is it that Amex rates seem to be higher than Visa and MasterCard? Is that just a negotiated rate or?

Billy Parra:                    Well, Amex has the prestige about it, shall we say. Usually when you had Amex, you’d have to pay it off every month, that’s why they charge that 2.89. We have, we were the first in the country to have a program a few years old, that [00:07:00] our Amex is lower than the average. The average is 2.89%. If it’s under $300 a transaction, it’s 2.14. If it’s between 300 and a thousand, it’s 2.4. And then if it’s over a thousand, it’s 2.89%. The thing is that those rates cannot, they won’t go up. And the best thing is the rates on top of that, that we put on, it’s not going to go up.

Chris Pistorius:              I see. Okay. Great info. I know [00:07:30] Billy you’ve offered to my clients and my audience to do a free, absolutely free kind of rate comparison of… I think you take a statement that they currently have, you analyze it and then compare it to what it would be with you. Did you talk about the details with that and how that would work?

Billy Parra:                    It’s real simple. Just get your last current statement and I’ll tell you a little trick to do for yourself. Take the fees that they charged you for that month, divide it by how much credit card volume you did, [00:08:00] and you’re probably going to be in the 2.65 range, which is high. Our average all in, with Amex and everything, is 1.8%. All depends, if you’re in the very affluent area of town, people are going to use more Amex, more rewards cards so you may be in the 2.1, 2.2% range. You send us that statement, within 24 hours we send you back an analysis detailing exactly the savings and how, side to side.

If you’re doing well, I’ll tell you, you’re doing well. [00:08:30] I’ll say, “You know what? You’re doing well enough, just ask them to get rid of this fee.” It’s not about trying to get as many clients as I can, but trying to make as many clients of a lot of my CPAs and marketing companies happy. I would love to do that, just please send me a recent statement, I’ll email it back to you. My email is billy@elitepaymentgroup.com. You can also text the word “Dental” [00:09:00] to (321) 244-3031 and you’ll get my brochure that basically states what we do.

Chris Pistorius:              Awesome. That’s great. Billy, I really appreciate you coming on. This is truly, you know, I don’t really bring a lot of vendors on this show and try to kind of represent what they do just because… Especially credit card processors, because it’s such a flooded market and it’s hard to find people to trust. But I know that you’re doing great work with [00:09:30] dental practices, and like I said, my company’s switched and I know a lot of dental practices already have. I appreciate you coming on and sharing this information, and I’m sure that a lot of people in our audience today is going to reach out to you. So, thanks so much for being on.

Billy Parra:                    Thank you very, very much.

 

 

Be sure to check out our CEO, Chris Pistorius talk about creating a winning dental marketing strategy!