SEO Visibility: 10 Quick SEO Tips to Boost Your Google Search Visibility

SEO Visibility: 10 Quick SEO Tips to Boost Your Google Search Visibility

SEO Visibility: 10 Quick SEO Tips to Boost Your Google Search Visibility

These days, dental practice owners find it harder than ever to organically make their way to the top of Google’s search engine rankings pages (SERPs), and for good reasons. First, it’s hard to become visible and get organic clicks when your company does not utilize features that Google’s algorithm looks for when its spiders crawl your website.

Statistics show that 75% of searchers never go past the first page of search engine results, so your SEO visibility and ranking are essential factors. Organic results in searches are those that occur naturally, unlike a paid search (also known as a PPC or pay-per-click system). If you’re looking to improve your organic ranking, you may find this article helpful.

What Is SEO Visibility? Use Google Search Console

If you’ve ever wondered why your dental site never shows up on the first page of Google search results, it’s probably because your SEO visibility is low. SEO visibility is a metric indicator of organic search results for an individual keyword, and it helps you determine how much more traffic you need to generate.

However, this concept is more than a measure of your site’s ranking for the right keywords. Visibility also tells where your pages stand against your competitors for these particular ranking keywords.

Google’s Search Console, a handy free tool for beginners, is an outstanding way to see your SEO visibility.

What SEO Visibility Score Should You Aim For?

Your SEO visibility score is based on how well your site ranks for a specific keyword. For example, if your site ranks within the top 30 for the same keyword, you’ll receive an SEO performance score.

Otherwise, your site will usually show up as a 0 on most visibility trackers. This is because very few people scroll past Page 3 on the search queries results after entering a keyword, which is why ranking at #30 is the bottom line.

If your business is trying to rank higher organically for specific keywords, measure yourself against your competitors’ rankings on the same keywords. This can give you a rough idea of your SEO visibility.

According to Moz, a search visibility score of 100% means that you rank at the top for all your keywords, whereas 0% means you don’t rank in the Top 50 on the SERPs.

For this reason, it is realistic to aim for 35-45% on a visibility metric for your keywords. Remember, SEO is an organic process that takes time and effort.

What Is Visibility for a Website?

Visibility for a website means that when users are looking for products or services that your business offers, they will see your pages when they search. The best way to increase your site’s visibility is to rank high on prominent search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Tips to Increase Visibility

So now that we know why SEO visibility is so important to your pages let’s get into some easy tips you could apply to boost your site’s organic traffic and search visibility.

1.   Improve your Content

Before you embark on your SEO visibility journey, make sure that the content on your pages is rich. Next, perform keyword research for on-site optimization or use the Ahrefs Content Gap Tool to see where your content is lacking, then create new content in those areas.

2.   Page Speed Matters in Search Engine Rankings

When your pages aren’t loading quickly enough, users will close them within seconds. Google measures loading speed, so be sure to utilize tools to measure and help you improve it.

3.   It’s Far More Valuable Than You Think When You Build Links

Many people believe that building links between sites can downgrade their website’s SEO visibility. While that may be true of internal links between your own web pages, failure to create external links (as well as backlinks and guest posts) is one of the common mistakes of novice site owners.

However, your web page can actually start performing a lot better in the organic ranking positions with link-building to and from authoritative websites.

4.   Scope Out the Competition on Search Engines

Businesses need to know who they’re competing against and provide what their competitors lack. Use a free SERP checker to check out the links your competitors are missing out on, then compensate with your own.

5.   Social Media is the Way to Go

Though Google doesn’t officially rank based on social media platforms, social media has become an integral part of successful digital marketing and SEO strategies. For example, add those ‘Share’ buttons to your content to encourage people to repost your blog post or content.

6.   Informative Content Always Prevails

When you consistently have unique and fresh content on your site, you’ll notice huge differences in your site’s overall visibility. As you create content, remember to put your readers’ needs first. Valuable blog content and articles can help your audience make better-informed choices.

Make sure that your content is engaging, interactive, and relevant to your audience. Without the right content, you might as well forget the high search volume.

Don’t forget that your site’s images make up a significant portion of your content, so be sure to optimize your images, too (click here for Google Images’ best practices for SEO).

7.   Optimize the Meta Descriptions

A meta-description is what users first see when they find your business in search results. It’s like the sneak peek before the main show – so you need to make sure it’s compelling and enticing!

Use unique meta-descriptions for each page and include an accurate representation of your business. Be sure to refrain from duplicating content – not only will it get you in trouble with the bots, but it doesn’t look appealing to your audience, either!

8.   Nobody Likes a URL They Can’t Read

When you have long and winding URLs, users may not click on them – and tend to forget them. URLs need to be short because that’s what people remember – and where people go, search engine bots usually follow.

Use hyphens rather than underscores, avoid capital letters, use geographic and product or service keywords, and keep your URLs short to make them readable and increase your domain rating.

9.   Frequent Site Reviews Are Necessary

You have to regularly go through your site and figure out what’s still relevant and what’s not. Then, by reviewing all your pages, you end up with a consolidated and updated site that is relevant to the times and simpler for users to browse.

Don’t let your SEO efforts go to waste by ignoring regular content reviews and updates. Be sure to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates and stay current on general trends, as well.

Check your rank changes regularly and chart its average positions over a period of time. You should test each SEO keyword, along with other words, to determine the need to adjust keywords in your SEO strategy.

10. Use Web Analytics

Web Analytics does more than just help you figure out where your traffic comes from. Analytics can also let you leverage keyword rankings, trending pages, LSI keywords, featured snippets, organic user impression share, and so much more.

You’ll need proper tools to be able to see what’s going right and what’s not. Google Analytics and Search Console are definitely significant tools for you to start off with.

Make Your Website ‘All Devices Friendly’

With a majority of users relying on their smartphones for almost everything, you’ll need to make sure that your site works well on mobile devices. Make your site mobile-friendly to raise your SERPs.

At the end of the day, SEO visibility is crucial to driving organic traffic to your site. For businesses to succeed in this era of digitization, they must adapt quickly to changing trends.

If your dental practice is in need of help to boost your average position in search engine results, contact our team for a free consultation.

 

How To Pick The Right Patients For Your Dental Office

How To Pick The Right Patients For Your Dental Office

Listen to the audio-only version:

Watch the podcast here:

Chris talks with Steven Feit, a practicing dentist for the past 30 years, on how to pick the right patients for your practice.

View Full Transcript

 

Chris Pistorius (00:04):

Hi everybody. This is Chris Pistorius again with the Dental Marketing podcast. I’m with a great guest today, he’s got tons of experience in dentistry and does a lot of cool stuff. And today Steven Feit, Dr. Steven Feit, is with us today. And we’re going to really get into his 30 plus years of experience and how he’s transformed his practice from very early on in his career to more recently. So Dr. Feit, thanks so much for being a part of the show today.

Steven Feit (00:34):

Thanks for having me on Chris. Really appreciate it. Big fan, happy to chat with you.

Chris Pistorius (00:40):

Awesome. Well, let’s get right to it. I mean, we talked a little bit off air about a little bit of your background and whatnot, and I was kind of floored by how you transitioned over the years and let’s get right into that. What do you do? How do you do it and how have things changed for you over the years in dentistry?

Steven Feit (00:57):

Well, Chris, as we talked, I came out of my residency at the Goldman school up in Boston, I was an associate in New Jersey and as is typical was a bit abused, where they were taking monies and so forth, that most people have had that experience. So I packed up, went to Florida to set up my own practice, and started from scratch. That was 1991. And you know, of course the mode was just take anybody. And we became very, very busy, but we became busy treating a lot of people that were not nice, not reasonable, not respectful, didn’t refer, didn’t repeat, didn’t pay. And I got to the point where I was actually miserable being so-called successful, depending on your definition.

Steven Feit (01:41):

And I latched on with Patty Lund, who was a dentist down in Australia, and I adopted a lot of his front desk lists. We call them care nurses, even though they’re assistants, but they’re not nurses in a medical sense. But our care nurse greets the patient when they come in the office, escorts them to the treatment room, helps me render the treatment, let’s say we’re doing a crown or whatever. And then they know the next step. They don’t have to bring the patient to the front desk. And everyone in the waiting room overhears what’s the conversation. The patient pays in the room. If there’s a discrepancy, which usually never happens, because everything’s done in writing. It’s all in private, no one overhears it and everything is sorted out. And then they’re rescheduled for the next visit and they leave. They can go to the restroom or just leave. It makes a very tight relationship with the care nurse because then when they return that same care nurse is going to be with them to insert the crown with me.

Steven Feit (02:43):

And then that same care nurse will be with them if they need another procedure down the road. So then they get to know each other quite well. And it’s very simple and easy and natural for the care nurse to say, “Listen, we don’t ask everyone, we ask our special patients and you’re one of them. We really enjoy having you and your company. We would love it. If you would refer some friends, because we believe birds of a feather and that kind of thing.” And if the patient says, yes, we find it’s almost like a verbal contract, and they do, they will refer and it works very nicely. So it creates a higher level of care, a higher level of meaning for the day for the care nurse, a higher level of fulfillment. Most people leave a position, not because of money because they feel under appreciated.

Steven Feit (03:36):

And when you’re appreciated by the very person you’re serving, and then I show my people tons of love. Like I put them on such a pedestal. Throughout the procedure if I asked for an instrument, you’ll hear me say, thank you, please, please, can I have this? And I say, thank you. And what happens is the patient is overhearing that whole dialogue. And the patient sees the respect that I’m giving to my person, who is a very special person in my life, that’s why they’re there. And what happens is they in turn at the end, they’ll turn to the care nurse and say, thank you, thank you. And I’ll say, wow, that came out great. It shortened the treatment time. All because of Sarah. Sarah did an awesome job today.

Steven Feit (04:24):

And so most doctors, they feel like to elevate themselves, maybe they have to push other people down. It’s the exact opposite, because guess who hired them? Guess who picked them? It’s a reflection of me. They say, the fish stinks from the head down. Right? Well maybe it smells good from the head down also. So it’s really a nice way to envelop yourself with people all day, all day long.

Chris Pistorius (04:52):

Yeah. That’s an interesting concept. Kind of the no front desk thing. I’m probably making it too simplistic, but when the phone rings and stuff, you still have these care nurses are the ones that answer phones or how does that work?

Steven Feit (05:05):

Yeah, that’s a great point I forgot about. So our patients, being in south Florida we’re in the demographics of, they’re like as eighties, nineties, hundreds. And so their medical issues is of concern and you always want… I have phones, telephones, in every single room. I have computers in every single room, like most offices today of course do. We’re totally chartless, we’re without paper charts. And so they can take a step and answer the phone.

Steven Feit (05:38):

So I have two care nurses. So when I’m with one treating someone, genuinely, the other one is available and can grab the phone, and there’s a computer right next to every phone, and there’s the front desk. In the old days, I practice, can we had a paper schedule, we’d have to move the in a treatment room and get the schedule done and all that. It was a little more complex, but today it’s really quite easy. And with COVID, by the way, everything’s done in the room, it’s for their safety, it actually is a perfect mode of operating, you know?

Chris Pistorius (06:14):

Yeah. I was going to bring that up. That’s that’s a pretty good concept for times like we’re going through right now. Talk to me though, early on you said you took on just about anybody that would pay you, and it was great money-wise, you’re very successful. But something clicked and you just, at the end of the day, you just weren’t happy. How do you transition out of that? How many patients… If you already brought this up, I apologize. But how many patients did you kind of let go to get to your happy spot, if you will?

Steven Feit (06:42):

Yeah. So what we realized is we were actually miserable and we were busy. As Michael Gerber says in the E-Myth, “You’re doing it, doing it, doing it,” and you’re on a treadmill or the hamster wheel, and you’re like, when is this ever going to end? And so, I got to the point where like, I restore old cars. I’m like, I’d rather go to Jiffy Lube and change oil than come here. You know, that’s a pretty dark place. So, one of my friends said, well, if someone’s not going to come back to the office, why does it have to be me? Why not the patient? And whoever gives thought to let go of a patient, because we’re so used to, and inculcated in our training, like you need more patients, get new patients, need more and more.

Steven Feit (07:24):

So what ended up happening was Patty Lund, we copied one of his systems and we rated the patients as A, B, C, or D. And what we would do is say, Hey… We’d have paper charts in those days. And we’d say, okay, here’s Mrs. Smith. Who knows her? I was the care nurse for her. How is she? Oh, she’s amazing. I love her. She’s super nice. Okay. She’s an A, we’re going to keep her. So we put her in a good pile. And then the next one is, oh, this person is always late. Never brings a credit card, never pays. Never on time, all that. Okay. That’s a D. So the D’s have to go. The C’s, some of the C’s… And I was like 26, 27 years old when I was doing this. And these are 70 year old people. And I’d say, listen, Mrs. Smith, you just don’t bring happiness when you come to the office. We love you, but we would love you more if you would go somewhere else.

Chris Pistorius (08:20):

You told the patient this?

Steven Feit (08:22):

Yeah. And I said, look, I just want to be brutally honest, don’t shoot the messenger. But we just feel that you would be better served, you don’t seem happy here anyway. And some of them would say, geez, I’m really super nervous when I go to the dentist and I’m just not myself. And I didn’t realize I’m doing that kind of behavior. Would it be okay if I could make myself better and work on it? And so if they’re a C, now we can bring them to a B. Absolutely, we’ll keep you Mrs. Smith, we appreciate the honesty and we’ll both be better together. And then if it’s a B patient or an A patient, we don’t have to have that conversation. The D’s, the D’s would go. Some of them would grab their there… I would copy their x-rays back in those days, it wasn’t digital, and we would have it all prepared. And they would use some profane language.

Steven Feit (09:14):

And there’s an old saying, just because someone tells you to go to hell, doesn’t mean you got to go, right. So, the other saying is, through the front door of our office, everyone makes us happy, some on the way in and others on the way out. So let them go. And you know, what happens? You pick the weeds, the flowers grow, that you’re spending your time with really super nice people. They refer super nice people and you’ve eliminated all the people. It’s the Pareto Principle, if you will. Like 80% of your time is spent with 20% of the problems, or whatever.

Steven Feit (09:56):

And it’s gone. Like, we don’t have that. Now. I get a lot of referrals from up north, the Northern dentists. And sometimes I can’t get an A patient in. They’re a D patient. And I’ll call the office up north, and I’ll say to whoever answered the phone, I’m going to say your name, tell me the first thing that comes to mind. And I’ll say the patient’s name and it’s telltale. There’ll be silence, or, oh, sorry, sorry, you have that person there. So now I know of what’s what I’m dealing with, but.

Chris Pistorius (10:31):

Wow. You just gave me a great title for a book is, Pull the Weeds and Let the Flowers Grow. I love that. That’s great. Awesome. So how long ago was it that you started this process?

Steven Feit (10:42):

Well, I would say it took Patty Lund… I’m personally good friends with him, so he’s now in New Zealand, he’s retired. But Patty told me it took him a better part of 10 years to develop what I just described in a few minutes. It took me two years to implement, because I had all his books and I was diligent to push through. And there’s a lot of pushback from the team.

Steven Feit (11:11):

We created a consulting company a few years back. One of the right-hand people with Patty, his name is Fletcher, he’s a great guy. He’s also in Australia. And another fellow Mike. And it kind of fizzled out, because we all got busy doing other things. But we took practices to do this in six months, many of them in four months. And they were rocking. And not only does it create… You create this energy, people start saying yes. A lot of my friends took the consulting side, and they’re like, Steve, I don’t know, there’s like magic in the air. Like everyone’s coming in with money in their hand. They’re like, yes, yes, yes. And I see it’s the energy. They want to be a part of it. They want to be around it. It’s indescribable, but it’s palpable. It’s interesting.

Chris Pistorius (12:01):

Right. That’s awesome. That’s a great story. That’s one of the first times I’ve really heard the concept of this kind of like no front desk, and it makes sense to me. And I think it’s certainly something that can flourish right now, and where we are, and just a different way to really look at dentistry. It doesn’t have to be the way it’s been for the last hundred years. There are new concepts out there, and there are things… You don’t want to do things just because they’re new. But I think there’re things out there like what you just talked about that are proven to work, and it’s kind of gets a fresh look on dentistry and how you approach it. So that’s awesome.

Chris Pistorius (12:37):

So tell me, I saw in your bio too, that you’re a… Let me get the exact… a dental expert witness. And I found that fascinating, because I’ve never spoken to one of those either. Can you tell me about that?

Steven Feit (12:49):

Yeah, so it sort of happened by accident. One of my friends who’s an endodontist was asked to review a case as an expert, and it was all prosthetically driven. So as a prosthodontist, he asked me if I would get involved, and I spoke to the attorney, I didn’t know anything of what I had to do. And the attorney kind of coached me through that first case. And then I found that I was quite good at it. And then I got another case, another case, and I’ve probably done a hundred, maybe a hundred legal cases. I’ve done some cases that are like slip and falls, some that were assault and battery. And we had to determine a lifetime value of a restoring the area that was damaged in the assault and battery. And then I’m also involved in patent litigation between companies with a dental relationship.

Steven Feit (13:45):

So yeah, it’s quite interesting in the fact that like… I’ll give you, for example, the simple things like how every word means something. Opposing or adverse counsel will say to me, doctor, how much are you being paid for your testimony? And that’s a very basic question, right? Well, I don’t get paid for any testimony. I get paid for my time and expertise and knowledge base to review the facts of the case and determine, and answer questions based on that data. But my testimony is mine, mine alone, I don’t get paid for it, and no one buys me or my words. So these are traps. And so when I see these dentists get deposed, they get shredded because they’re not listening, they’re nervous, they don’t breathe, they’re not oxygenating well, they’re not thinking, they’re not prepared, the attorney didn’t prepare them, that kind of thing.

Steven Feit (14:44):

So there are really, really talented attorneys and not so. I’ll boil it all down, I know we have a time limit. It all comes down to relationship. I say to the dentist, why do you think you got sued? They’ll say, I don’t know. And I say, well, I spoke to the… Because I’m not allowed to talk to the dentist, and I only do defense. Like I only help the defense, I never help the plaintiff. So I can only debrief the two parties after the case is terminated. And so I’ll ask the patient, why’d you go after him? I don’t like that dentist. That dentist was mean to me. They never called me to see how I was doing. They never cared. They never showed daycare.

Steven Feit (15:30):

So I described for you our care nursing system. It’s interesting, the words, right? So it’s built in. Now of course, I do make my post-op calls. I find when I fall off from making post-op calls, I get more issues. Not problems, we could solve the issue. So if I make my post-op calls, people are more reasonable, they know you care. And so the second question I get in deposition is, doctor, how many times have you been sued? And the answer is none. And then they’ll… Invariably, the lawyer, the attorney, they’re doing like four or five other charts while they’re asking questions. So they’re billing like for four cases in the hour. And they’ll look up and they’ll say, never? I say, no, ma’am no, or no, sir, never. And it’s like, unheard of, you know? It’s bad.

Chris Pistorius (16:21):

Yeah. Well, that’s interesting. And it kind of gives you a little different flavor in your industry, and I’m sure it’s compelling work, it’s interesting stuff. What’s your favorite book? What would you suggest as a book for maybe a new dentist or coming out? What could help? Just do it on anything, not just being a dental expert witness.

Steven Feit (16:44):

I can give you a couple. I would say the most important book is The Richest Man in Babylon. That’s an amazing book, because that’s going to set your financial house, and set you free and put you on path on being responsible on how you handle your dollars, setting yourself up for your longterm future, and protecting your family and all that, financially speaking.

Steven Feit (17:08):

I love the On Purpose Person. That’s a very influential book in my life. We have four kids, how to stay on purpose with your, whatever your purpose might be. So if you want to spend more time with your kids, you might have to say no to other things and other people, and then the other people might not be happy with you. Well, just stay on purpose.

Steven Feit (17:34):

And then the E-Myth is a brilliant book. I actually met Michael Gerber who wrote it. It’s considered one of the top best 100 best business books ever written. And I mean, it goes on and on, Who Moved my Chair, First Things First, you know?

Chris Pistorius (17:50):

Yeah. I agree with E-Myth, I’ve heard that a few times and it’s great. And I first got into it, and it was like, okay, you’re going to build your business like McDonald’s. And I’m like, okay, I’m not reading any more of this. But then you keep reading and you’re like, oh, you know what he’s got some good points there, and it really applies for dentistry or anything else. That’s interesting. All right. So what about a new dentist? I mean, there’s more new dentists coming into the market now than ever. And in my business, competition is fierce in terms of new dentists, and dentists competing against each other. Would you advise a brand new dentist coming out of school, starting his or her own practice, to maybe go the direction you did right out of the gate in terms of kind of no front desk, and rate your patients, and only really work with the ones you consider somebody who would be nice to work with?

Steven Feit (18:41):

Well, yeah, I mean, to your point, I see it’s a massive challenge right out of dental school. So right out of dental school, I went up, did two years of advanced training in prosthodontics. And at the same time I worked in these capitation, low end clinics, where I’m using a barber chair as a dental chair and a shop vac, and doing MODBL on Malcolm’s back in those days, blowing out teeth, and it was out of control. And so you get your speed and all that kind of stuff, and you learn what you don’t want to do. And then I was an associate and I realized, okay, I didn’t really want to be in that environment. And under the thumb, because it’s like a marriage and you got to really make sure that you guys, or the people, or the parties get along.

Steven Feit (19:25):

So I took a bit of a road where I had two years residency then a year when I was an associate. And I essentially built my practice as an associate. Like he really didn’t give me many patients. So I had to go out and beat the pavement, take people to lunch, and get know them, and ask for referrals and that kind of thing. So it’s a long road, like to your point. So I don’t know that someone… None of my four kids are going into dentistry. But to advise a young dentist right out of dental school, I think he’d go work somewhere and get your speed and get comfortable just even conversing with patients, and you learn to be confrontationally tolerant, and talk, and explain, and set expectations, and verbal skills and on and on and on.

Steven Feit (20:19):

And don’t take on things that are over your head. That’s when you get sued, you know. And practice like you don’t need the money in the worst time when you do need the money. And when I started my practice, I knew, I said to myself, I’m going to make the worst mistakes when I could ill afford it. And you do, but you fight through. You never fail unless you quit. That idea. And then find your way, and then maybe a couple of years down the road, you could buy in and then buy out. And there’s a lot of different options.

Chris Pistorius (20:52):

Yeah. Yeah. Awesome stuff. Dr. Feit, I got to tell you. We could go on for hours with this, and if it’s all right, I’d love to check back in with you in a few months and maybe we can do another episode, because you’ve got a lot of stuff there that we can dive into.

Steven Feit (21:04):

I’d love to Chris. Thanks for the time. I appreciate you having me.

Chris Pistorius (21:08):

Absolutely. And thanks everybody for watching another episode of the Dental Marketing podcast. Be sure to tune in next week, we’ll have another great guest. And thanks again. See you soon.

 

Also, be sure to check out this dentist in Yuma as a reference to the type of marketing work that we can provide!

The Business Side Of Dentistry. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The Business Side Of Dentistry. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Listen to the audio-only version:

Watch the episode:

Chris Pistorius talks with Scott Dudley, the founder and CEO of Branin, about the importance of focusing on the business side of owning a dental practice.

View Full Transcript

Chris Pistorius (00:04):

Hey, everybody. It’s Chris Pistorius here again with another episode of the Dental and Orthodontic Marketing Podcast. Thanks for joining us. I am here with Dr. Scott Dudley. Dr. Dudley is the CEO of Branin, which is an organization, has a few different locations, dental practices here in the Colorado area. Dr. Dudley is also a practicing dentist, and he’s got an awesome story that I can’t wait to share with you guys. So, Dr. Dudley, thanks so much for being on the show today.

Scott Dudley (00:39):
Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.

Chris Pistorius (00:41):

Of course. So, let’s just start off. Off air, we talked about how you got your start, and it’s pretty compelling. Why don’t you talk to me, first of all, about your personal history in dentistry and how you got going?

Scott Dudley (00:56):
Yeah. I think I have, well, I don’t know if it’s very unique, but I went to dental school.

Chris Pistorius (01:05): That’s good.

Scott Dudley (01:10):

And somehow made it through there. But got through dental school. I did the Air Force AEGD program at Andrews Air Force Base, and spent a few years at Fort Bragg, what was then Pope Air Force Base, and came out of there and tried to find an associateship, and did in downtown Washington, DC. And I guess like the trajectory of a lot of dentists, ended up deciding to go out on my own about 18, 24 months after that, and built a practice from scratch in 2008, the last crisis. And spent a few years on that practice, and ultimately built a second practice. And then in 2016, was getting tired and a little burned out. And I wanted to get married, and I’d spent a lot of time on the business, and on the practices, and growing and developing them. We ended up with seven doctors between the two locations.

Scott Dudley (02:13):

So, I thought there might be a better way, and I was trying to figure out how to make that happen. So, I ended up selling to a Dental Care Alliance, which is one of the larger DSOs in the country. And that experience taught me a lot of things, and I’m very appreciative of that experience. Ultimately, went back to business school to University of Virginia at Darden. And then in 2019, my family and I decided to move to Colorado, and that was largely for personal reasons, but I knew I was about to restart my career. And I thought, “What better place than in Boulder, Colorado?” So, here I am.

Chris Pistorius (02:56):
Awesome. So, I mean, that’s pretty unique. I mean, you said, how old were you, 39 years old when you

sold your first practices? Scott Dudley (03:02):

ScottDudley (Completed 08/03/21) Page 1 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com

page1image16944896

This transcript was exported on Aug 04, 2021 – view latest version here.
Yeah. I was 39 when I sold. I had started when I was, I had built that first practice. I think I was 31 when

the doors opened. So, I lived the life cycle of a dentist in a relatively short period of time.

Chris Pistorius (03:16):

Yeah. So, and that’s what I want to leverage here a little bit is we have a lot of people that are coming out of school, or getting ready to, maybe they’ve been an associate for a while, and they’re getting ready to take the plunge into starting their own practice, but we’ve got even more people there at the end of their careers. And it’s time, they want to sell, or maybe they’re going to, not at the end of their career and they just don’t want to have to run a business anymore.

Scott Dudley (03:40): Yeah.

Chris Pistorius (03:40):
Maybe you could tell us, what are a couple of things that you might’ve made mistakes on, or you would

do differently, first of all, about selling a dental practice?

Scott Dudley (03:52):

The market has changed and continues to change. And I think at the end of the day, ultimately, a dentist has to decide, do they want to be part of a DSO, and why, or do they ultimately want to sell to another dentist or a group of dentists? And I think that’s the first box that really needs to be checked, because it’s emotional, it’s legacy, but it’s, what does this picture look like after the transaction happens? Are you involved? Are you not involved? The financials are not, I know there’s a lot of, it seems like there’s a lot of ambiguity or vagueness around the financials, but it’s really not rocket science. Because if you’re selling to a dentist, a single dentist, the banks are going to loan 80%, 85% of collections, more, that’s about what your practice is going to be worth.

Scott Dudley (04:51):

If you’re selling to a DSO, they’re going to use multiples, and it’s going to scale with the size of your EBIT or your free cashflow. So, the numbers are really not, they’re the easiest part. I think the harder part is deciding, what do you want your legacy to be? Who do you want to take control of your staff and your patients? And I think for us as dentists, that should be first and foremost in the decision making process.

Chris Pistorius (05:20):

Yeah. No, I think that’s, everybody thinks about the money part of it. And very infrequently have I heard on this show specifically, when I talked to people about buying, selling dental practices, do I hear the word legacy. And how do you want to be remembered, and what do you really want to accomplish when you sell a practice? So, I mean, I think that’s pretty key. So, on the other end of this, man, let’s say that it’s time for you to buy a practice. Two biggest options I see is, do you just take a bunch of debt and start up from scratch, or do you go and try to find a good fit that’s an existing practice? What’s your recommendation for that?

Scott Dudley (06:00):
Yeah. That’s the million dollar question, no pun.

ScottDudley (Completed 08/03/21) Page 2 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com

page2image16983808

This transcript was exported on Aug 04, 2021 – view latest version here. Chris Pistorius (06:04):

[crosstalk 00:06:04] million dollar question.

Scott Dudley (06:05):

Yeah. And our group, specifically Branin, we’re wrestling with that. Because of the DSOs and private equity, prices have been pushed up. They’ve been pushed up. And so, the cost to buy a practice now, that’s in good working order, that’s ready to go, turnkey, if you will, without needing to put a bunch of equipment or technology into it, is pretty expensive. But you really shouldn’t probably be thinking about, what I talk to folks about, is you probably shouldn’t be thinking about ownership, unless you have the confidence in yourself that people want to see you as a dentist. And so, with that confidence, you should be able to leverage that confidence and to make a decision, if a build-out is going to cost you $600,000, well, and you can attract patients, then if you’re paying more than $600,00 or $700,000 for a business, A), do you know how to run it? B), are the people of that business going to stay there?

Scott Dudley (07:17):

C), do you have an appreciation for the value of that business? Meaning, are you overpaying for something that you could have the same cash flow if you just built it from scratch? I think those are difficult questions if you don’t have a background in finance or business to understand when you’re putting together the spreadsheets to figure it out. But at the end of the day, it really comes down to your confidence of building a team and building a patient base. You probably shouldn’t be entertaining ownership if you don’t have confidence in one or both of those.

Chris Pistorius (07:52):

Yeah. I’ve also seen, there’s this book out there, I can’t remember what it’s, E-Myth Revisited is the name of it. And they talk about one of the top reasons why, not just dental practices, but small businesses in general fail, and it’s because typically the person opening the business is really good at the technical work of the business, but they don’t really know how to run a business. So, they don’t know about accounting, and bookkeeping, and marketing, and how to just run the business. And I’ve talked to some people from dental schools, and they talk a lot about how good they are in teaching dentistry, but what’s interesting about you is you went back and went to business school. Did you find that coming out of dental school, that maybe there isn’t a lot of time spent on how to run a dental practice? Is it really just about dentistry, and that’s why you had to get back into the business side of it?

Scott Dudley (08:45):

Yeah. I think for me, personally, I mean, I wanted to understand how to scale private practice. I knew that DSOs are out there, and there’s certainly a place for them. It’s not coincidence that they’re doing very well, and M&A activity is on the rise, and consolidation is accelerating. But I also thought that there deserved to be a dentist-owned economy of scale option, where just a group of dentists got together and manage themselves, and led themselves, and made decisions for themselves. And so, our organization at Branin is designed to have the dentists front and center in the circle, and the way that we think of our organization. And everything stems from the leadership that that dentist provides, what we call our partners at each office location. But we get the same economies of scale that DSOs get. We have all the advantages that DSOs get.

Scott Dudley (09:52):

ScottDudley (Completed 08/03/21) Page 3 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com

page3image17056512

This transcript was exported on Aug 04, 2021 – view latest version here.

We’re just not taking investor money. We’re not, our budgets are not being set by somebody other than ourselves. We make our own hiring decisions. And I think at the end of the day, most DSOs operate with a lot of associate dentists in the DSO. They’re on year contracts.

Chris Pistorius (10:13): Right.

Scott Dudley (10:13):

And if you think about, if you wanted to go to a doctor and you knew that they were on just a year contract, and they may or may not be there next year, our argument, our philosophy is, well, we think that that’s inferior to a doctor who’s committed to a location for multiple years because they’re an owner there. So, the fact that that ownership, yes, there’s equity there, and yes, there’s financial reasons, but ultimately, we think that we will have higher demands for our practices because our doctors aren’t changing over.

Scott Dudley (10:46):

They’re not changing over because they’re not on year contracts, because they’re owners. And so, to answer your question, I did, it was very valuable for me to go back to business school to understand how all of these things played in, and so that we weren’t an organization that just had year in, year out contracted dentists, that we were constantly recycling, and that our patients were constantly going through different providers constantly. So, business school was very helpful. Obviously, they joke that in dental school you don’t get any of that. And I think it’s only because of my experience that I realized there was a lot I didn’t know, even though I had done quite a bit. And so, I really appreciated borrowing from other industries in business school.

Chris Pistorius (11:34):

Yeah. Well, you’re one of the few, maybe the only I’ve interviewed that has gone the business route option too, and it looks like it’s certainly paying off for you. So, that’s really good. So, I want to talk a little bit more about your organization, Branin, and you hit some great key points on why you’re, it’s a DSO model, I guess, but it’s the not DSO model. And it’s got a unique perspective where you’re not taking private money, and you’ve got equity from the [inaudible 00:12:04] ownership partner, in terms of each location that you have. You currently have, you’re building out your third location now, is that right?

Scott Dudley (12:12):
We’re building out our third location. All in the Northern half of the front range here in Colorado. Yeah.

Chris Pistorius (12:18):

Okay. Gotcha. And so, really, you’re looking for partners that, you’re not just looking for anybody to partner up with. You have a specific goal in mind in terms of partners. Could you tell us a little bit about who that would be?

Scott Dudley (12:31):
Yeah. I like to think of it, I mean, I was an athlete my whole life and it’s like trying to build an all-star

team. And we’re looking for all-stars, not in the sense that they’re the greatest dentist on the planet.

ScottDudley (Completed 08/03/21) Page 4 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com

page4image17015808

This transcript was exported on Aug 04, 2021 – view latest version here.

And to your earlier point, I’ve interviewed a lot of dentists for associate and other positions, and anybody can do dentistry. That’s what you’re taught to do. The hard part is getting the dentistry to come in the door.

Chris Pistorius (13:02): Right.

Scott Dudley (13:03):

And I think that’s what separates the mentality from a doctor who’s just, look, they just need bodies in the chair, so they can do dentistry, to the people who are really invested in people and really feel passionate about building relationships with their patients long-term, and creating a business, which ultimately means that you want people to advocate for you. Not just write a review, but actually say, “You’ve got to go to this dentist.” “Why?” “Well, they’re a good dentist, but they really care about me. They really went above and beyond. It was a completely different dental experience.”

Scott Dudley (13:40):

We like to think in our organization that it’s because of the ownership piece. You think about a mom and pop bakery. Think about that experience compared to you go to a big commercial bakery. How does it feel? It feels totally different. Or a coffee shop, that’s that person’s life, and you feel that when you walk in those small businesses. And we’re trying to recreate that on the dental side.

Chris Pistorius (14:06): Right.

Scott Dudley (14:07):
And a bunch of that is, how do we find great dentists, who are great people, and want to be partners of

something bigger than themselves?

Chris Pistorius (14:16): Right.

Scott Dudley (14:18):

Ultimately, our dental group, owned, led, operated by all the dentists in the group, is really looking for those all-stars that have that philosophy, that don’t want to ride the coattails of a corporation, a PE firm, somebody else marketing them for the lowest, cheapest Invisalign product out there. We want people that can build value for themselves, and are passionate about that. And that’s why we value the partnership model. Our partners are 50-50 owners with myself, and our group in general. And we’re trying to get more partners in, and so we’re offering what we’re calling a pathway to partnership, where we’re literally giving people equity up to 50% in the practices, if they will be basically an operator, and they’ll live by those principles and high standards that we collectively as dentists know are so important to our patients.

Chris Pistorius (15:19):
Wow. That’s cool. I haven’t heard that before. So, somebody could come in, if you find the right

personality and type of person you’re looking to work with-

ScottDudley (Completed 08/03/21) Page 5 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com

page5image17018112

This transcript was exported on Aug 04, 2021 – view latest version here. Scott Dudley (15:26):

Absolutely.

Chris Pistorius (15:27):
Instead of going and getting a loan, and for ever how much money, they can, up to 50% of that, they can

own by just working.

Scott Dudley (15:35):

Yep. Yeah. I mean, they’re going to be, most people, I say this. You’re going to be probably an associate somewhere, if you’re a dentist. Well, if you want to be an owner, and you want to put in what I call the intangible work ethic that it requires, to not do the dentistry, but get the patients in to do the dentistry, which is really what businesses and ownership to me means, is the difference. And you’re willing to put that work in to grow a business, we’re excited to give people, and offer them up to 50% ownership in that practice. They don’t have to take a loan. They don’t have to do anything. They just have to do what they would normally do, and put the intangible work in.

Scott Dudley (16:14):

And it all stems back to our belief that partner dentists, and people who have ownership, or have equity ownership, are going to treat, look, the staff can feel comfortable that the doctors aren’t changing out. The patients can feel comfortable that doctors aren’t going to be changing out. The doctor’s the rock in our organization, and everything surrounds that. And to the extent that you have people constantly changing in and out, I think so goes your organization, your culture, and everything else.

Chris Pistorius (16:40):
Yeah. It’s hard to build that local-feel dental practice when you’ve got a new dentist in there every year.

Scott Dudley (16:46):

Yeah. And that’s how we’re trying to be trying to be different. And for people who have their own businesses, who may be thinking, “Well, geez, I’d like to be part of a dentist-owned, dentist-led organization,” we have a solution there too. Because what we’ll do is, generally we’ll come in and buy, effectively, 50% of the practice, and that dentist can stay on and be part of our group, and they get some liquidity out of it, but they also get now instead of their being by themselves on an island, they’ve got a whole group of dentists, of like-minded dentists, who are very passionate about great dentistry, and all of a sudden they become part of a fraternity, a sorority, if you will. And that’s really cool, in addition to the savings that you get from the same economies of scales that the DSOs are leveraging.

Chris Pistorius (17:37):
Yeah. In a situation like that, where you might take 50% of a practice, do you take over operations of the

practice, or is that still on the dentist, or is that all negotiable based on the deal?

Scott Dudley (17:48):

There’s just a few things that we try and streamline. And the reason we try and streamline it is to get the economies of scale that our partners want. So, some of it’s software, so we have them use Open Dental. Some of it’s primarily our vendors and who we’re using, so that we can get cost savings. But outside of that, the owner, the partner doctors can choose a la carte, all of the tips and tricks and best practices

ScottDudley (Completed 08/03/21) Page 6 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com

page6image17033728

This transcript was exported on Aug 04, 2021 – view latest version here.

that we have. So, whether it’s how we advertise, or the medium that we have, or the revenue cycle management. Whatever it is that they need help with, that’s what we’re there to help for. And I personally do, we do a lot of shadowing. We do a lot of feedback. We have our own study club.

Scott Dudley (18:40):

We do a lot of mentorship. Quite frankly, we do a lot of leadership training, because we know that the growth of a practice is largely dependent on the quality and caliber of the leader, which if it’s the dentist, we need to spend a considerable amount of resources developing that person’s skills. And they may have ceilinged or gotten stressed out, because those skills weren’t as developed as they could be. And I say, what works for a dentist at a half million or a million dollar practice, completely different skill set at $2 million, $3 million, $5 million practices, multiple locations. And if you’re not keeping up with the leadership and the business acumen needed to scale the business part of it, you’re going to probably find yourself pretty stressed out. And so, those are all things that I personally enjoy becoming involved with and helping the partners out with.

Chris Pistorius (19:33):

Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, hey, Scott, thanks so much for taking the time today. Let me ask you this. If somebody is watching this and they think that maybe they might, could be a good fit for your organization, what’s the best way to reach out to you guys and start that process?

Scott Dudley (19:49):

Yeah. So, Branin Partners, B-R-A-N-I-N, partners.com is our website. My personal email is Dudley, D-U-D- L-E-Y-S, as in Sierra, B as in bravo, at gmail.com. And people can certainly reach out. Like I said, we’re not looking for just anybody. We’re looking for folks who want to be part of an all-star team, but specifically an all-star team that is dentist-centric and focused, and is the anti-DSO.

Chris Pistorius (20:21):
Right. Gotcha. It makes sense. Okay. All right. Well, Scott, thanks again for the time.

How Long Does It Take for Your Dental Website to Become a Top-Ranked Google Success?

How Long Does It Take for Your Dental Website to Become a Top-Ranked Google Success?

How Long Does It Take for Your Dental Website to Become a Top-Ranked SEO Success?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process that website owners use to optimize their sites to rank their sites higher in search results for particular terms. This process leads to greater website visibility for a dental practice like yours.

Dental practices that implement SEO campaigns achieve a higher ranking for particular search terms, increase their web traffic and revenue, and boost brand awareness.

SEO is one of the best digital marketing strategies in use today. As searches for company sites wane, even local businesses need to land on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Focusing time and effort on your Google search ranking can pay dividends while growing your practice.

With such an effective tool at the ready, practice owners are anxious to see a return on their investment. They can’t understand why such a seemingly simple strategy requires so much time to produce higher Google rankings.

Factors That Influence Search Engine Rankings

SEO takes time. Your dental practice has to earn top ranking and search visibility. Several ranking factors influence how much time it takes to see results from an SEO campaign, including:

Competition

If your competitors are ahead of you in a particular ranking, try to analyze how they achieve their current ranking and what actions they take to sustain their visibility.  Your strategy needs to include consideration of the strategies of your competition.

Content

Content continues to be one of the top-ranking factors for Google. It is vital to create compelling content that aligns with your target audience’s search intent.

At the same time, review existing content that ranks in local search results and try to improve upon it.

Quality content applies to more than just the written word. Google Image Search is an incredible resource to bring more visitors to your website. It stands to reason that users will search for visual content just as they search for written content.

Keywords

Your content needs to target keywords from online searches to have a strong search engine ranking, which is where keyword research becomes vital to the SEO process.

It would help if you also were mindful of Google’s ranking factor in evaluating content. This requires current knowledge of Google’s algorithm updates and the commitment to staying on top of new developments in keyword ranking.

Looking at the Google ranking algorithm components, a target keyword or keyword phrase plays a vital role in the equation.

LSI keywords, or latent semantic indexing keywords, are terms that are related to the main search words and phrases. LSI keywords help Google show the most relevant results.

Be careful not to overload title tags with too many keywords. A concise title tag is more impactful and creates a better user experience.

Inbound and outbound links

In general, linking root domains with a smaller number of high-quality sites will be more beneficial than linking to several average pages from extraneous websites. Other websites linking to you bring you SEO favor, as well.

Link-building is a process by which other websites link to your site’s page or blog post in order to improve their Google ranking (and yours).

Remember that you must earn high-quality, relevant links and the credibility they bring you. Sites linking to one another without any clear correlation tend to perform poorly. The faster you earn quality links, the more quickly you will rank.

That said, if you follow Google’s guidelines for link-building strategies, your ranking should improve organically, and your site’s linking velocity should grow incrementally.

Be sure to relegate outbound connections judiciously and only to authority sites relevant to your niche.

With a solid strategy in place, most practices see the results of their SEO efforts in 4 to 12 months.

Technical SEO Considerations

You must resolve any technical issues on your website in order to see any improvement in Google’s ranking.  The most common SEO issues include:

  • Site speed
  • XML sitemaps
  • Structured data
  • Duplicate content
  • Crawling and indexing

When working with an existing domain, it’s helpful to examine the site’s search traffic and website visitors. You can do this by logging in to your Google Analytics account and accessing the acquisition channels report.

A technical SEO audit will reveal crawling or indexing issues. Others identify spammy links, unnatural links, and nofollow links. Be sure to disavow them using Google’s guidelines.

In addition, SEO tools such as Google Search Console will deliver a sense of past site performance.

On-page SEO refers to factors on your own website that you can optimize to match user intent, such as the underlying code and the content.

Create a meta description that includes your phrase to entice visitors. Google allows a maximum of 160 characters for meta descriptions, so they need to be short and distinctive from the other descriptions on your web pages.

Additionally, mobile use has become the norm. In fact, over 60% of users who search Google come from mobile devices. As a result, mobile-friendliness is an important SEO ranking factor.

How Search Engines Interpret Backlinks

Next to content, backlinks are one of Google’s top 3 factors in SEO ranking. Backlinks are a sign of approval between two websites and indicate popularity and trust among users. They can significantly boost your practice’s ranking.

It takes time to establish quality backlinks. However, they are worth the time and effort, as high-quality links from other sites have the power to energize your rankings.

You should also include internal links, which will direct traffic to other pages on your own site.

How Long Does It Take To Be A Top SEO Website?

Considering the number of working components necessary for an effective SEO campaign, it is understandable that it will take some time before you see an increase in organic traffic and revenue growth from SEO.

There is no one size fits all timeframe that applies to every dental website. The amount of time necessary depends on your competition, the keywords you want to rank for, and the ease and speed at which Google can index your web content.

Be prepared for a lag time of between  4 and 6 months before you see more traffic as a result of SEO.

Contact Us for SEO Marketing Help!

Our team’s collective experience and expertise have made us one of the most respected and sought-after agencies for dentists.

We pride ourselves in creating a collaborative working relationship and help you grow your business online. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Case Acceptance: Tips That You Can Start Using Today!

Case Acceptance: Tips That You Can Start Using Today!

Chris Pistorius talks with Sean Field, the Senior Consultant at Patrick Consulting Group, about the challenges dentists face on improving their case acceptance rates.

View Full Transcript

Chris Pistorius (00:04):

Hey, everybody. It’s Chris Pistorius with you today again, with The Dental and Orthodontic Marketing Podcast. Unfortunately, I’m having some technical issues, so you won’t get to see my pretty face live, but we’ve got an awesome guest today. Mr. Sean Field is with us live. You can see him. Sean is with the Patrick Consulting Group, and he is one of their senior dental consultants, and he works a different angle than some of our past podcasts, in the sense that he helps people, or he helps dentists with their acceptance rates. So when somebody comes in, how you can actually schedule more of the procedures that you’re you’re offering. But Sean, thanks so much for being on. Please tell us a little bit about what you do and more of those details.

Sean Field (00:52):

Sure, yeah. Thanks, Chris, for having me on, I appreciate it. Again, like you mentioned, I’m with Patrick Consulting Group, we are essentially treatment coordination trainers, and what our specialty is, is we help increase the case acceptance rates in a practice, in a dental practice. We work with any sales organization, but our specialty is in dental, and really just kind of getting the entire team on the same page, and realizing what role they play in the case acceptance. Again, our specialty is case acceptance rates, so what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to acquire more of the comprehensive dentistry from the patient, and really what our goal is, is if we’re working with a practice and they were looking at case acceptance rates and they’re lower, we want to try and increase those. So simply put, if you’ve got three patients that are coming in all with the same treatment, occlusal cavity and number three, and only one out of those three are accepting treatment, our goal is really to get you closer to that three out of three, but then more of an entire comprehensive treatment plan as well.

Chris Pistorius (02:01):

Awesome. So tell me a little bit about what you see. What are some of the biggest reasons why those acceptance rates might be one out of three, instead of three out of three?

Sean Field (02:12):

Yeah. I mean, really, a lot of times the breakdowns happen with… Typically, there’s two different closes. So what we refer to as a clinical close, and then a financial close. So that’s a big step too as well. Sometimes the team is just using very clinical terms, and we’ve just got to really put things in language that the patient will understand, because if they don’t understand the need for the treatment, when we start talking about costs, they’re never going to understand why there’s a cost involved, especially why there’s a high cost with dentistry as well.

Sean Field (02:46):

So, the other thing too, is that we’ve got to make sure that everybody’s on the same page. So is the hygienist doing a fantastic job, making sure that they’re controlling the nucleus of the retention of the patient? Is the dental assistant, when asked the question, “Do I really need this root canal?” They’re really prepared for that, and reinforcing the need for the treatment rather than going, “I don’t know.” And especially with the front desk too, when we pass off the patient, whether you want to call that a power pass or a power play, whatever you want to call that, that’s really important that we’re not just kind of letting them walk up there.

Sean Field (03:20):

The patient and one person, I always say that everybody in the practice, it’s kind of like they’re people on stage, they’re in a play, everybody plays their role. So if one person drops the ball, that’s going to hurt the perception of what the patient thinks about us in the practice, and they’re less likely to choose the treatment. And really, the thing is that whatever’s good for the patient, is good for the production, so why feel bad about the collection?

Sean Field (03:47):

And to answer your question specifically, a lot of times, people are either watching things too much, or they’re underdiagnosing, and they’re kind of assuming the objection before it’s even said in their head, and they’re breaking things down, and where that really hurts things is that every time the patient’s coming in, they’re having to spend money, rather than what we do as a company, is we try to acquire that entire treatment upfront, get the patient to pay up front for it, and then just work off the credit as they go, so then it kind of flips the switch on everything. The cliche, “Well, okay, I’ll have you pay for half of your crown now, half of the crown when you come back in,” but they’re always wondering, “Well, how do I get the patient to come back in, so I can seat that crown and get the other half, and then bill the insurance?”

Sean Field (04:30):

With us, what we’re trying to do is get everything paid up front so that the patient’s knocking at your door going, “Hey, where’s my crown? I need to get in here. I paid for that.” And again, it’s just really switching the mentality of, “Well, the patient’s not going to want to pay for this,” or “The patient’s not going to want to do all this.” Really, the cold, hard fact is that the patient has this treatment, and if we don’t do anything about it, we’re really not doing them any favors, and it’s just going to get worse. So we want to do as best as we can to explain things in general enough terms that the patient can understand, so they’re therefore more likely to understand why there’s a cost involved with it, and every person in the office, the dentist, the hygienist, the front desk, the dental assistant, anybody that tends to your problem, all plays a part in that.

Chris Pistorius (05:13):

Awesome. That’s a really cool concept of it kind of does flip the switch on how a majority of dental practices work now. I love the idea of let’s get the money upfront, let’s get the treatment done upfront, and then it makes things easier on the back end. I have to ask, and I’m sure other people listening to this are going to wonder, what do patients think of that? Are they typically okay with it, or is it kind of in the method of how you deliver that information to them?

Sean Field (05:45):

I mean, it’s absolutely in the method of how we deliver it to the patient, and a lot of times, it’s funny because when I start working with a provider, they’ll have preconditions in their mind of what the patient’s going to think, and they’re going to kind of judge that. And really, what they start to notice is that the more that we’re kind of telling them exactly what’s going on in their mouth, rather than trying to think, “Ooh, they don’t want to pay for that,” that they’re really actually very motivated to get treatment done, and they’re going up to the front desk going, “Okay, I know I need this treatment done,” that they’ve done a very good clinical close and understanding why they need the treatment, so then it makes it a lot easier to do the financial close in the practice.

Sean Field (06:28):

And really, patients kind of appreciate it. It comes down to the belief of the practice, and really, what we’ve noticed is that the patients actually appreciate it. And at a minimum, the goal isn’t to push them into anything that they don’t want to do. They have to get this treatment done, otherwise, it’s going to get worse. It’s just really just letting them know, essentially planting the seeds, so even if they do tell you no, and if they say no to this crown now, and then they come back six months later in pain because they need a root canal, it’s going to be a much easier discussion, simply because you’ve planted that seed.

Sean Field (06:59):

And the trick is always to put the ball back into the patient’s court, and let them decide. We’re not pushing them into anything that they don’t want to do, we’re not diagnosing treatment that isn’t there. We’re simply just educating them on what’s going on in their mouth, why they need to get that done, what’s going to happen if they don’t get that done, and then at the end, really just making it through a lot of times, through third-party financial companies, not only financially affordable, but mentally affordable for them as well.

Chris Pistorius (07:28):

I see. So it’s kind of like the old adage in the sales process of, “Sell the value of what you do, and then talk about the price,” right? So show the patient, “Look, this is the situation you’re in. This is just going to get worse, or this, or this, or this is going to happen,” and then everything just falls naturally into, “Okay, well, what does it cost?” Would you agree with that?

Sean Field (07:52):

Yeah, 100%. 100%.

Chris Pistorius (07:56):

Okay. Awesome. So tell me how your process works when you work with a dental practice. How long does this process take? Is this something that they’re with you for weeks, months, years? I mean, how do you incorporate this type of training into a practice?

Sean Field (08:14):

Sure. So we do work nationwide throughout the country. Typically, nowadays, because of all the technology, it’s easier to either do it, depending on the preference of the practice, but we can work over a Zoom call, we can do over phone call. Really, traditionally, what we’ve noticed is that we charge on a per call basis. So if we’re going to do an hour call, we try and make it relatively affordable, so we can kind of deliver this to the mass general provider public. Usually it’s about $99 a call, or a Zoom call that lasts about an hour, and then the provider decides how long or how often they want to do these calls. So there’s no contract. They can do one call, they can do 30 calls. It’s totally up to them.

Sean Field (09:02):

And to answer your question specifically, how long does it take? It really just kind of depends on the team and the provider, and where they have essentially breakdowns in the communication. It just depends on the provider. So usually what we do is that we kind of get a general understanding of what they’re looking for, what they want to do. Again, we specialize in treatment case acceptance, so we know that that’s probably why they’re calling us.

Sean Field (09:25):

And then a lot of it, it really has to do with a lot of role-playing, kind of scripting, letting them know what they should be saying to the patient, letting them look at as a whole, what cycle that the patient goes through in the office. Like we were talking a little bit before we started the video, we have a thing called the Dental Communication Model, so it’s basically the 26 step process from when the patient, even before the patient picks up the phone and gives you a ring, all the way through their entire visit, all the way back down to getting them through the visit, and then back again for their recall or the treatment that they need.

Sean Field (10:00):

So again, it really just kind of depends. Sometimes it’s easier I can get… We usually start with a training that we call The Five Steps of Treatment Coordination: The Psychology Behind Why the Patients Say Yes or No to Treatment. And if we do that, we usually start with that, that is 499, if we do that with the entire team, it doesn’t matter how many people are there. And then that is a general basis of setting the foundation of those five steps to treatment coordination, and really, the psychology behind when a patient says yes or no. Really, the first couple of things is we want to see where the base is at, where the foundation is at, what is their case acceptance rate, where are they having issues with?

Sean Field (10:40):

And then after we figure that out, then what we’re doing is we’re making sure that we’re doing a lot of role-playing. So, “Okay, well, present this crown to me. Present this perio to me. Present this cavity to me,” and really, the goal is to get them so flawless with their presentation, that they’re very prepared when they sit down with a patient. Because again, I’m not a clinical provider, I’m a salesperson, but I’m really just getting them to understand why we need to do certain things to be able to get the patient to say yes, and what kind of things that we could be doing that could be hurting our chances of getting that yes. And if we’re getting more nos, there’s something going on. There’s a breakdown in the communication, whether it’s at the front desk, or whether it’s the hygienist, or whether it’s the doctor themselves. And really, what we’ve noticed is that essentially, the more we really just kind of role-play, the more prepared they are when they’re actually in the chair, and the more likely that they’ll get the yes out of a patient.

Chris Pistorius (11:36):

That’s awesome. That’s a very unique way to look at this. And I know that in our business with our clients, I know that we have some folks, some clients that could get better at this, and I think you could make a huge impact the bottom line. So let’s talk about results a little bit. After you work with somebody, what kind of results do they typically see, once they start incorporating your training?

Sean Field (12:05):

Case acceptance, I mean, when it comes down to it, so not every single person in the entire world is going to say yes to you on that day. If you’re 65, 70% case acceptance rates, you’re doing fantastic. But usually, to answer your question specifically, if they’re in like the 40% case acceptance rates, we’re getting them closer to that 65 to 70% closing rate. And again, so you may not want every single person in your office, you may not want them, it may not be a fantastic fit.

Sean Field (12:34):

So to answer your question specifically, it’s case acceptance, and that’s really how the company got started, was that I have a long background in dental, and what I really noticed was that the providers were fantastic clinical doctors, and they would do fantastic treatment, but they just couldn’t get the cases sold, because it’s a much different situation if I say, “Okay, well, you’ve got [inaudible 00:13:00], a carie on number two, that’ll be $300,” compared to, “Okay, well, Sean, you’ve got a cavity on this tooth, and essentially, it’s like rust to a car, and the longer that we let that sit, the more unnecessary damage is going to happen to that tooth. And really, why we don’t want to do that, is because we don’t have to cause that damage. We can take care of it right now, and really on top of it, it’s going to cost you a lot more money if we just let this sit. Now, it’s totally up to you, Sean, what you want to do, but if you were my brother, that’s what I’d suggest. That’s what I do if I was you.”

Sean Field (13:36):

And again, just kind of putting the ball back in their court and stop talking, let the patient make their decision. Lng-winded answer to your question is we notice that the case acceptance naturally rises because they are focusing, they’re understanding what the patient in front of them is going through on their end, and the more they understand why they need that treatment and what’s going to happen if they don’t do that treatment, the easier that financial close is. And again, going from what do we usually see? The breakdown.

Sean Field (14:05):

So if the doctor’s doing a fantastic clinical close, and then the patient’s coming up to the front, and Nancy at the front desk is saying, “Okay, well, that’s $200. This is $300, this is $500,” the patient is just literally checking out like, “Oh, thanks.” That treatment plan’s going to go in the back seat when they get in the car and out of sight, out of mind. So really, the case acceptance is just naturally going up because we’re getting everybody on the same page, and everybody is, for lack of better words, closing that treatment, which again, is the best thing for the patient, because it’s just going to get worse if they don’t do it.

Chris Pistorius (14:38):

Yeah. That’s great. And I mean, if you could just increase the acceptance rate by 10 or 15%, just think of the impact financially that could have at a dental practice. Do you ever run across this? And sometimes we do on the marketing side of things when we’re trying to incorporate the team and to helping with marketing, is sometimes there’s always, and it’s not just dental, it’s any business, somebody’s been there maybe 10, 15, even 20 years, and you’re trying to really get them to do something a little different or new, like in your training too, and sometimes they’ll give some resistance, right? Because they’re kind of set in their ways and they don’t want to really have to change anything. First of all, have you seen that with your training, and what are some ways that you can overcome that?

Sean Field (15:26):

Sure. Yeah. I mean, we absolutely see that, and like you said, I mean, usually it’s somebody that has been there a really long time. So maybe an office manager that’s been there 15, 20 years and is in the paradigm of, “Well, this is always how I’ve done it, what’s wrong with that?” And I think to kind of overcome that, there’s two different ways to approach it in a consulting genre. I can either push them and fear them into it and say, “Okay, well, this is what’s going on, and you either have to do it or you don’t,” or I can really kind of first, Stephen Covey’s first seek to understand, and then be understood. If I’m listening to Nancy and what her concerns are, and why is that holding you back? And then finding essentially, just like we’re doing with the patient, finding out what her motivation is, and why she feels that’s a good fit, then I can adjust and pivot, and show her why I feel that this would be a good fit for them.

Sean Field (16:18):

And again, the greatest thing about dentistry is that, like we talked about at the beginning, if one of those three people come in and they have an occlusal cavity or carie, however you want to put it, it’s not going to get worse, and we didn’t put it there. Our job as providers, that’s the whole reason that the dentist went to school is to take the best care of the patient as possible. And really, I don’t think that there’s any office manager Nancy out there that would disagree that if we can get this treatment done and not just… Usually people think, “Okay, well, Sean, you’re all about the money. You’re all about the money.” I’m not. The money just naturally comes, if I can take good care of the patient, and the patient, we’re not doing the patient any favor if they continue this treatment, because it’s just going to get worse, and really, what they’re really concerned about is that it’s going to get more painful and it’s going to cost more money, the two things they don’t want.

Sean Field (17:14):

So we have a saying that says, “Positively influence the positives, and negatively influence the negatives,” and to answer your question, if I can get Nancy, if she’s resistant to me, the office manager, because she’s been doing it for 20 years, if I can get her to understand, “Hey, really, it’s not about the money, it’s just what’s best for the patient. What’s good for the patient, is good for the patient. So why feel bad about the collection?” And everybody’s kind of always heard, if you’re going to go into a grocery store, there’s no grocery store in the world that would let you put a cart full of stuff in your cart, roll past and say, “Hey, I’ll pay you when I can.” You’re not to do that. That’s just not how business works. And I think that sometimes people just feel bad, “Okay. We’ll just bill them. We’ll take care of it later,” and then they end up with a huge AR nightmare, simply just because they’re not believing in the value of their treatment.

Sean Field (18:03):

So forgive me for the long-winded answers to your questions, but if I can understand where Nancy’s coming from, from the foundation, I’m more likely to get her to buy into it, and really, because she’s a star player, or whoever the manager is, they’re a star player in that role, in the dental office, and in the case acceptance rates, then naturally then it’s going to be a more copacetic, synergetic environment where everybody is winning together, and that’s really what the thing is. We’re looking for a triple win situation. We’re looking for number one, the patient, number two, the practice, and number three, as a consulting firm, I realize that you guys are walking billboards for me, so the more that I increase your case acceptance rates in a very copacetic way, changing the paradigm or the mind shifts of the people in the practice, then everybody wins.

Chris Pistorius (18:58):

Yeah, no, that’s cool. It’s obvious that you’ve put a lot of thought into this, and that it’s important to you and you’re passionate about it, and I think that’s important when you consider any sort of a consultant for anything, really. But talk to me about quality assurance. Let’s say you come in, you do training. Is it kind of up to the provider to make sure that his staff is doing kind of what they’ve been taught from you, or is there any way that you can kind of quality assure that?

Sean Field (19:29):

I think working one-on-one is a different mindset. So typically, what happens is the doctor will fly, not with us, but they’ll fly the entire team out to a conference. Everybody gets totally pumped up about, “Oh my God, that’s awesome. I’m going to put this into practice. I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this,” and then Monday morning comes, and things get busy and the phone starts ringing, and everything goes out the door, and they go right back to their traditional way of how they’re doing things. And by working with them consistently, then we’re really reinforcing why we’re doing this, and naturally, through the progression, they’re more likely to continue why we’re doing this.

Sean Field (20:12):

And a lot of times too, one of the easiest ways to get any team member or any staff member, nine out of 10, there’s always going to be one person that doesn’t, but nine out of 10 people are going to be motivated monetarily. So, and that’s one of the things that we talk about too, is one of the easiest ways to keep them on track is that if we offer them some kind of bonus system, where if we work together as a team, and we’re slowly increasing, let’s say 10% per year, and we’re hitting those goals month, after month, after month, naturally, the team’s going to be very motivated for that monetary part of it. Because a lot of times what happens is that the team member will say, especially if there’s not a bonus system in place, they’ll say, “Well, Dr. Sean’s going to make all the money. He’s driving the Mercedes. What’s in it for me if I don’t do that?”

Sean Field (20:57):

So the easiest way to keep them on track is to add a bonus system, attach a monetary reward to it if they do this, so everybody wins again. And then again, consistency. That’s one of the reasons that when we first started, we had an agreement. So we usually had about a year agreement, and we noticed that it wasn’t as copacetic, it didn’t flow as well as if we just had like, “Look, here’s your call. You can stop at anytime you want, so there’s absolutely no pressure to move forward. If you’re done, you think you’re fantastic, that’s fine. And then if you feel like maybe you’re slipping and you want to come back, that’s fine as well.” But if we’re constantly working with the team member, understanding them, what’s in it for them, then the more likely they are to, again, focus back on what’s good for the patient.

Sean Field (21:45):

And that’s really the only reason that we turn on the generators in the morning, the only reason that we turn on the lights in the morning, the only reason that we’re spending all this money on this PPE with everything that’s going on, is because it’s the patient. Without the patient, we just don’t have anything. So really, that’s the main goal, but we’re all human, when it comes down to it, so we just have to figure out what the motivation is, just like when we’re trying to figure out what’s the treatment. What’s the motivation that you want these 12 veneers? What’s the motivation that you want this ortho? And really understanding that, and being able to bring that back up, so it’s going to be the same thing with the team members. But again, long-winded answer to your question, what we’ve noticed is that the more we work over, and over, and over with them, the more excited they get about the process, the better they get about the process, the more rewarding it is for everybody involved.

Chris Pistorius (22:32):

Yep, that totally makes sense, and I know that after hearing this, I’m definitely going to recommend you to our clients.

Sean Field (22:42):

Well, thank you.

Chris Pistorius (22:43):

As I know that our job is to get new patients in the door for them, right?

Sean Field (22:47):

Right.

Chris Pistorius (22:48):

But if they can close more of those patients and get more treatments as a result of that, then that just makes everybody more successful. So certainly win-win-win for everybody. So, Sean, I appreciate you being with us today, but first, before we take off here, could you tell everybody what’s the best way to get a hold of you? How does the process start? Do you do some sort of consultation first, or how does that work?

Sean Field (23:12):

So typically, we offer a free hour of consulting, just to kind of figure out what is your main want, your main needs in the practice, and give you a chance to kind of get to know us, and then give us a chance to get to know you guys, because we may not be a fit for everybody, everybody may not be a good fit for us. So we want to make sure that we initially build that rapport, and break that initial ground. From there, to get a hold of us, you can get ahold of us either through our website, patrickconsultinggroup.com. There’s a link on there where you can schedule your free hour of consulting. Also, you can reach us via email at pcgdentalconsulting@gmail.com. You can call us at (331) 225-3635. Again, (331) 225-3635. If we can’t get back to you, we can’t answer the phone right away, you can just leave a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Sean Field (24:05):

But yeah, the whole process, again, it’s very easy and it’s very straightforward, and nowadays with technology, we can work with somebody in Texas. We’re in the Chicagoland area, very easily and do the same thing, it’s just being able to have them on the phone. So really, a lot of people want to know, “Okay, well, Sean, what’s Patrick Consulting Group’s agenda, and how do you approach that, and how do you do that?” I don’t have a certain thing to say, “Okay, well, this is exactly the procedures we go through,” because everybody is different. It could be the hygienist that needs work, it could be the front desk that needs work, it could be the assistant that needs work, it could be the doctor that needs work.

Sean Field (24:40):

So during that first hour of consulting, that free one hour of dental consulting, we talk about it, we talk about why we think we’d be a good fit for you guys, you talk about us, let us know what you want, and then from there, then we would schedule those calls. And again, the calls are very easy, we try and make them very affordable. They’re $99 a call, and you can either choose to do Zoom, or you could do an over the phone call. Some doctors prefer to actually just do it over the phone, simply just because it’s listening back and forth and really kind of working on that treatment coordination skills that everybody has.

Sean Field (25:15):

And really, I think that the thing is that most of the clinicians think, “Well, I’m a dentist. I went to school to be a clinical provider,” and the hard, cold truth is that you’re a salesperson, whether you like it or not. And one of my best things that anybody ever told me was that you could be the best dentist in the entire world, you could be using the best composite material, you could be using the best labs, you could be using everything, but if you can’t sell the treatment, you’re not going to do anything. So that’s really where we come in, is that’s our profession is the sales profession, and just getting the team to really kind of understand that.

Chris Pistorius (25:55):

Yep. I love it. Sean, thanks so much. I’d like to maybe check back in with you in a few months, see how things are going, and see if anything’s changed with your business, if that’s okay.

Sean Field (26:05):

Yeah, that’d be great. I appreciate you having me on today.

Chris Pistorius (26:08):

Awesome. Everyone, thanks so much. I know you got a lot of great information out of this, and if you’re looking to increase the bottom line and get some more acceptance rates, then I think Sean’s got a great, great offer here at Patrick Consulting Group. So thanks again for all of your time and watching this episode, and be sure to tune in next week for our next great guest. Thanks again.

Sean Field (26:30):

Thanks, Chris. Thanks.